A PROJECT TO BRING TOGETHER AND GIVE RECOGNITION
TO ENGLISH-SPEAKING QUEBECERS FROM IMMIGRANT
AND FIRST NATIONS COMMUNITIES
PRESENTED TO CANADIAN HERITAGE
AS PART OF THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGES PROGRAM
With an aging population and an increasing number of elderly people affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive difficulties, our collective memory is on the point of disappearing. And this is even more evident among Quebec’s English-speaking seniors, who are fewer in number, less visible and more isolated. Young anglophones, like their francophone peers, spend less and less time with the elderly, who no longer live with their families but instead live in retirement homes or in long-term care facilities. Not all seniors have access to the Internet, and over time and as the population ages, the gap between young and old continues to grow. The result is the lamentable loss of our cultural heritage, of stories, of recipes, all of which are part of a unifying thread between the generations, weaving the cultural fabric that allows a community to be a community.
In 10 or 20 years, who will remember the traditional recipe for
Greek baklava, Russian blini, the Irish recipe for ham hock and
colcannon, or Italian passata della Nonna? Food that people
once ate when they gathered together for family meals, and
which nourishes the soul.
No time to visit Grandma at the hospital
or at her residence?
We will do it for all those young and not-so-young people whose
hectic lives prevent them from visiting their aging relatives and
who, as a result, will be deprived of a vital cultural heritage.
The Secret Is in the Sauce is a project that relies on
Quebecers’ (of all origins and languages) love of food and their
innate sense of celebration and festivity to create a project that
will bring together and give recognition to anglophone culture
among first-generation immigrants.
Recognition of the cultural heritage of anglophone seniors from immigrant and First Nations communities
Promote rapprochement between anglophones of various ages (seniors and family members) as well as between Quebec’s anglophone and francophone communities
Preserve historical, culinary and cultural heritage
Combat cultural and linguistic prejudice
Promote intercultural rapprochement in Quebec
THE PROJECT AT A GLANCE
An anglophone blogger and journalist will travel across Quebec to gather stories and recipes and to document the project: at least 20 meetings with anglophone seniors to collect their valuable stories and recipes
Highlight the culinary traditions and festivities of anglophones from the Jewish, Greek, Italian, Russian, Irish communities, as well as those of the First Nations, etc.
The collected content will be shared widely on various digital platforms (photos of the participants and their dishes on Instagram, the creation of a blog to be maintained throughout the project)
Publication of a book chock full of recipes, uplifting and entertaining stories, photographs and more, to be made available online and in print
The book will be registered with Quebec’s legal deposit program and offered free of charge to 30 public libraries throughout the province.
The book will be launched as part of the 2021 Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival
Seniors will take part in the 2021 Festival, with round-table discussions and talks related to the topics of intercultural understanding and exchange
Local festivities to launch the book at cultural centres to reach members of the local anglophone community (and anyone else interested in learning about other cultures)
An exhibition based on the project and the book, to reach the general public and extend the life of the project
Monique Polak is the author of 26 books for young people. Her spring 2019 titles are I Am a Feminist: Claiming the F-Word in Turbulent Times, and Princess Angelica, Part-Time Lion Trainer. Monique is a two-time winner of the Quebec Writers’ Federation Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature. Monique has been teaching at Marianopolis College for 32 years. She is also a freelance journalist whose stories have appeared in the Montreal Gazette and in Postmedia publications across the country. Monique is a columnist on ICI-Radio Canada’s Plus on est de fous, plus on lit!
The Secret is in the Sauce! is sponsored by Canadian Heritage’s Official Languages Program.