On s'garoche à Batoche

By the end of the 70s, some Western Francophones were concerned about how vulnerable their culture was in the midst of an overwhelmingly English environment. There was a move to assert their identity and one way of expressing it was the On s'garoche à Batoche event in the summer of 1979. The historic festival was organized by the Francophone youth associations of the four western provinces. They wanted to pass on to the young participants historical knowledge and pride in their cultural heritage. More than 500 youth showed up at the Batoche historic site in Saskatchewan. For four days, musical performances with a historical flavour were part of the program. Through this event, a number of young people became aware of the importance of participating in the development of their Francophone community.


Laurier Gareau, who took part in the event, explained why he believes it is essential for young people in Saskatchewan to know their history and culture.



On s'garoche à Batoche: a Historic Festival
The organizers discussed the event.
Laurelle Favreau, president of the Association jeunesse fransaskoise (AJF) (Fransaskois Youth Association), explained why they organized this event.

Michèle Smith, from the Manitoba provincial youth council, commented on why certain activities were chosen rather than others.

Gisèle Bélanger, provincial coordinator of the Fédération jeunesse colombienne (BC Youth Federation), talked about the participants of the festival.

Agathe Gaulin, director of Francophonie jeunesse en Alberta (Francophone Youth of Alberta), discussed the budget.

Bernard Lavigne talked about the historical slide show with audio that he produced for On s'garoche à Batoche.

The actors in the slide show spoke of the historical characters that they played. Also, an excerpt from their performance.



Laurier Gareau talked about the play Une nation provisoire (A Tentative Nation) that he co-wrote for the occasion.

The participants gave their impressions at the end of the event.

Laurelle Favreau was asked about the anticipated impact of On s'garoche à Batoche.

Western Artists Performance

Gilberte Bohémier sang L'histoire du Canada0 (The Story of Canada)

Danielle Julien sang En veillant sur le perron (Keeping Watch over the Front Steps)

Nicole Bremault sang J'ai besoin de tout recommencer (I need to Start All Over Again)

Gisèle Lemire sang Les secrets de la colline (The Hill?s Secrets)

Norman Lemoine sang L'illusion (The Illusion)

Maurice Aubain sang Emontone

Nicole Bremault sang Assimilation

Gisèle Lemire sang Ch'u tanné blues

Gilberte Bohémier sang a traditional song

Maurice Aubain sang Louis Riel

and Sans amour (Without Love)

Articles from L'Eau vive

« On s'garoche à Batoche », 1 November, 1978

«Un appel lance aux artistes francophones», 6 December 1978

«On s'garoche à Batoche: grand festival historique», 26 June 1979

«Fini 'On s'garoche à Batoche'», 4 July 1979