A Fall-Fest Mish-Mash

A Fall-Fest Mish-Mash

by Farnell Morisset

Scottish strong men, Gaelic football players, brass bands, Irish and Philippine dance troupes, inflatable games, community booths, and local businesses all gathered at Quebec High School last Saturday.  Aside from the annual Fall Fest, it’s hard to imagine where such a mish-mash of people coming together would make sense – or even be likely to happen.

So I can’t say I was honestly expecting anything in particular when I arrived on the grounds late in the morning.  The first and most striking thing to be noticed was the giant children’s inflatable slide set up in the back of the parking lot, and the dozen or so face-painted children bouncing it up and down.  A quick duck inside the gym revealed it, too, was filled with two other similar games for various ages – though none for children of my size.

The gym’s stage was also showcasing the dancing skills of various troupes, as well as the music of brass bands to drown out the fans of the inflatables.

Through the other side of the inflatable games, in the main hallway, various local businesses were selling their wares, ranging from The Anglo Store’s books to artisan jewellers.  The ambiance was like something like a bazaar, the close quarters giving a sense of warmth to hallway.

Over a dozen various community groups had set up booths in the cafeteria.  The churches, schools, clubs, media, and other organisations that serve the Anglophone community were open for browsing and sharing, while volunteers served up hot dogs and corn.

Back outside on the field, near the Macauslan beer tent, demonstrations of Celtic sports were underway.  Dirk Bishop, four-time Canadian Highland Games masters champion, demonstrated along with his son Scott a few Scottish highland athletic events.  True to the stereotype, these events are not meant for the small-framed and brittle-boned, but the Bishops were willing to coach and help the crowd try their luck at these proto-highland games.

A demonstration of Gaelic Football followed.  Now describing this sport to someone who has never seen it is… difficult.  It looks a good deal like soccer, except that players aren’t limited to kicking the ball with their feet.  Players are instead permitted to carry the ball for a few steps at a time, before some kind of dribble, kick, or pass is necessary.  The ultimate goal is to send the ball between two goalposts at the opposite end of the field.

With the sun peeking out throughout the day, the games and the community, it was a Saturday well spent.  This is an annual event, and so, I will most definitely be there next year.

Listen to an interview with Peter Black, at the CBC booth during Fall Fest.


About the author:

Born and raised in Québec City, Farnell Morisset attended English school throughout his primary, secondary, and CEGEP studies, before ultimately choosing to stay in Québec City and study civil engineering at Laval University.

While at Laval, he served as president of the civil engineering student association. It was there that he discovered his affinity for writing and commentary, preparing a weekly column in the student newspaper dealing with the issues he, as president of the association, felt were important and relevant.

Farnell is passionate about discussing (amongst other things) the issues of modern social identity for many Québecois who, like him, feel deeply connected to the Québecois nation and culture yet do not identify with the traditional francophone non-practicing Catholic nationalist image.

He is also alarmed by what seems to be an invasive and aggressive polarization of complex social issues for which there are no black-and-white answers. This eventual identity crisis, he feels, will only be solved through good faith in, and honest communication with, all sides pulling on our ever dwindling “pure laine” blanket.

It is with this in mind that he contributes to LifeinQuebec.com as a valued member of our, in-house, writing team.

Categories: News

About Author

Farnell Morisset

Farnell Morisset has an engineering degree from Université Laval and common law and civil law degrees from McGill University, where he also studied economics.


  1. sensolaau
    sensolaau 16 September, 2012, 12:18

    The English community in Quebec City is a small one.
    It would be nice to have everybody together.
    Please try not to have two activities going on at the same time.

    Please try to combine them or consult each other so that they don’t fall on the same date.

    I went to Fall Fest at QHS and the corn roast at St. Vincent school.

    How tiresome.

    I would have preferred to have been to able to go to both at the same location, on the same day.

    Or perhaps have the two events a week apart.



  2. lifeinquebec.com
    lifeinquebec.com 16 September, 2012, 20:44

    Thanks for leaving a comment, Senso.

    Perhaps it would be best to take this up directly with the ‘powers that be’ within the Quebec City English community.

    Although LifeinQuebec.com is in English, we do not have (nor seek) an affiliation with any part of that (or any) community in the region.

    We do however, find it sad when we hear of instances like this occurring, avoidable or not.

    There are some wonderful people active in the Quebec City English community, who work tirelessly for the good and benefit of it.

    It’s those people who you should be speaking to about this.

    We weren’t asked by either organisation to add details of their respective events on our calendar.

    Perhaps this is something that could be looked at.

    The events calendar is free to use and is for the benefit of all those living in or visiting, the Quebec Metropolitan area.

    The LifeinQuebec.com Team

  3. Farnell Morisset
    Farnell Morisset 18 September, 2012, 09:55


    I completely agree. I’d suggest passing your comment on to the Voice of English-speaking Quebec (generally known as VEQ), as their charge is to see to that kind of thing. Their contact information is available here:


  4. voiceofenglishspeakingquebec
    voiceofenglishspeakingquebec 18 September, 2012, 13:50

    Thanks very much for your suggestion. At Voice of English-speaking Québec, we are very aware that the English-speaking community is active and vibrant and that there are often many events going on in the community. Unfortunately sometimes conflicts do occur. In our event planning and organisation, we always check with other local groups and visit online community calendars to ensure that our events do not conflict with others. Unfortunately we were not made aware of the St. Vincent Corn Roast. We would encourage everyone to send their event information to Life in Québec, the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph and to VEQ so that we and other groups in the community can do our best to avoid such conflicts. Community events are always published on our website and information can be sent to info@veq.ca.

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