Demystifying Quebec Event Hailed A Success

Demystifying Quebec Event Hailed A Success

On a wet Tuesday evening, 20 inquisitive souls ventured to the Coin de Soleil room at the Jeffery Hale Hospital, Quebec City, in an attempt to ‘Demystify Quebec’.

The event, jointly hosted by the Voice of English speaking Quebec and TD Canada Trust, saw a panel of Quebec experts assembled to offer their varying opinions on cultural differences between anglophones, allophones and francophones.

The evening commenced with the VEQ’s Laura Turner and TD’s Chris Leier and Christina Szymanis inviting those in attendance to tuck in to some excellent cheeses and decent drops of red and white wine.

This helped everyone to relax and get ready to grill the expert panel.

The panel consisted of Branch managers from TD Canada Trust and members of the Quebec City community.

The event was in English and the panel were all francophone. Some of them had made a move away from Quebec themselves and therefore completely understood the process of changing language, job, culture, surroundings and making new friends. 

Five tables were set out and a member of the panel was sat at each one. Everyone else then found a seat and the questioning began.

About thirty minutes in, Chris Leier decided to shake things up a bit and asked the experts to change tables.

Topics discussed included: coping with a move to a new culture, how to fit in when you don’t (yet) understand the new language, the shops closing at 5pm, high taxes, the price of alcohol, $7 a day government subsidized daycare and more.

Towards the end of the evening, Christina Szymanis drew the winning tickets for the door prizes – ensuring that at least 2 people went home happy. Well everyone did but, 2 a bit more than others.

Laura thanked everyone for attending and spoke briefly of the help offered to newcomers by the VEQ.

Chris Leier, himself a relative newcomer to Quebec City, having moved here in 2009, finished off by saying that he understood how important it was to get served in your mother tongue so as to fully understand what’s going on. This is particularly important when financial matters are being discussed. He stated that should anyone go into a TD branch in the city, then the likelihood was that they would be served in English if they wanted to be. This was backed up by the English-speaking TD branch managers on the expert panel for the evening.

Another well attended, well managed, event in the city, involving the Voice of English-speaking Quebec.

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