According to popular belief, francophones and anglophones are “like cats and dogs”. But are they really so different?
During the 2015-2016 school year, six classes of Grade 5 and 6 students (three groups of Franco-Manitobans and three groups of English-speaking Quebecers) were invited to create a collaborative comic strip on the subject of linguistic duality, using humour and inspired by the topic of cats and dogs and how they communicate. Students in each class, together with their partner class in the other province, explored the subject of linguistic prejudice by conducting short interviews with older family members (parents and grandparents). Using this material, the students created a bilingual comic strip. Quebec comic strip artist Michel Hellman accompanied them throughout the creative process.
Thanks to participating teachers and schools:
- Brigitte Drew, Ayer’s Cliff Elementary School (Ayer’s Cliff), Eastern Township School Board;
- Sharon Lax, Alexander von Humboldt Schule (Baie d’Urfé);
- Jody Wilson, Sabrina Pianese, Anna Tzouvadakis and Lisa Triestino, Westmount Park Elementary School (Westmount), English Montreal School Board.
- Danys Lachance, École Marie-Anne-Gaboury (Winnipeg), Division scolaire Louis-Riel;
- Abdoul Sall and Roxanne Sarrazin, École Roméo-Dallaire (Winnipeg), Division scolaire franco-manitobaine;
- Justin Lamoureux, École Gabrielle-Roy (Ile-des-chênes), Division scolaire franco-manitobaine.
Here are the final results:
- The collaborative bilingual comic strip Like Cats and Dogs was published in June 2016.
- Over 3,000 festivalgoers saw the exhibition at the 2016 Blue Metropolis Festival (April 11 – 17) and over 10,000 people saw it as part of the Montreal Comic Arts Festival (May 27 – 29) where a roundtable discussion took place regarding the creative process. In addition, an exhibition travelled to participating schools, such as École Roméo-Dallaire, where it was presented to the community at large (French content).
This project was also covered by Radio-Canada in Manitoba (in French only):
- Television interview (38:55 to 42:10) with Lisanne Gamelin, May 2015;
- Radio interview with Lisanne Gamelin, May 2015;
- Radio interview with Michel Hellman, January 2016;
- Radio interview with Michel Hellman, June 2016.
Project Coordinator: Lisanne Gamelin
Thanks to our partners!