Last Thursday, the French section of the Department of Language Studies, Association of Francophone Students at UTM, and Language Studies Academic Society hosted “La Soirée des Talents.” The talent show occurred during National Francophone Week, which is an annual celebration of Canada’s French heritage. 2017 marks the 25th year of National Francophone Week.
La Soirée des Talents is performed completely in French. Performances included music, sketches, poetry readings, and lectures about current world issues. Professional touring musicians, Amèlie et Les Singes Bleus, started the night with a soulful performance of several songs. UTM students then proceeded to showcase their own talents. The hosts also provided a selection of cheeses, fruits, and bread, which were available to the audience throughout the night.
Maria Dumdumaya, participating for her second time in the show, impressed the audience by performing a song she translated from Korean to French. I was particularly impressed by her success in rhyming and harmonizing the lyrics with the original music, a difficult feat when translating compositions.
Victoria Flores and Madina Karimova, who each sang an acapella cover of “La vie en rose” by Edith Piaf and “Dernière Danse” by Indila, respectively also gave great performances.
The audience was delighted by Hartaj Brar and Joshua Hinds’ sketch. Tapping into popular concerns, the pair presented a comedic sketch where Hartaj acted as Donald Trump and annoyed Hinds, who played an interviewer. The piece showcased the pair’s French writing skills and comedic talent, which earned the audience’s laughter.
Bertha Hawill and Josiah Villegas gave a presentation that centered around the French perspective on GMOs. Their piece was well-written, informative, and smoothly presented, offering alternative opinions to those prevailing in North America.
The evening ended with the students of FSL106, who entertained the audience with readings of their original haikus. The group’s inspirational performance won the audience’s pick for the night.
La Soirée des Talents concluded with a brief awards show. Apart from the audience’s favourite, the jury picked two entries for Best Performance and Most Creative. The awards for Best Performance went to Rachel Navarro, Gabriela Rocha Nozaki, Melissa Siqueira, and Hannah Park. Navarro, Rocha Nozaki, and Siqueira performed a cover of “Comme des enfants” by Coeur de Pirate, while Park played the violin in a beautiful accompaniment to “Le Fantome de l’Opéra.” The award for Most Creative Performance was given to Brar and Hinds for their comedy sketch.