For touring artists who don’t speak French, finding venues in Quebec can be challenging. What many English-speaking musicians don’t know is that there are many historically Anglophone towns and regions in Quebec where you can not only find venues open to booking artists who don’t speak French, but also a music-loving audience wanting to hear you perform.
Some of the areas in Quebec with sizeable English-speaking populations (and a strong Anglophone arts & culture scene) include:
There are also some small and friendly English communities near Quebec City, Grosse Île (part of the beautiful Îles de la Madeleine). Even in predominantly French areas, such as Launadière (where English speakers make up only three percent of the population), there are English-language community organizations like the English Community Organization Launadière (ECOL) serving a thriving minority language community. (One tip: anywhere you find English public schools in Quebec, you will find English-speaking communities!)
Here’s a map of some of the venues in Quebec who have been known to book English-speaking artists. This list includes festivals and theatres, but also many small and non-traditional venues: wineries and orchards, microbreweries, restaurants, and small-town bars and clubs. It is by no means a comprehensive list, and we have not personally visited all these venues — they are places we’ve heard about through word-of-mouth or discovered online.
Expand the map to filter by category: theatres, community halls, and arenas; music festivals; pubs, bars & restaurants; non-traditional venues; and presenters / arts organizations.
This is very much a work in progress! If you know of venues that are missing from this map or see any errors, please get in touch. Many thanks to Nick Maturo from the English Language Arts Network (ELAN) and Glenn Patterson from the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network for their contributions to this project.
There is no consensus on how to define and measure the size of Québec’s English-speaking communities. Depending on the definition used, the population varies between 657,078 and 1,103,475 persons according to the 2016 Canadian Census (or between 8.1 per cent and 13.7 per cent of the total population). The narrowest definition is limited to people with English as their sole mother tongue. The broadest definition includes those for whom English is the first official language spoken, which takes into account non-native speakers who use English with greater or equal frequency than French. The federal government generally favours broader definitions than the provincial government.The Canadian Encyclopedia