Lise Ravary: Francophones mourn Michel Louvain, anglos say 'who?'


While the Anglo-Saxon world was mourning Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II, Quebecers were “en deuil” over the passing of the prince of Quebec crooners, Michel Louvain.

If you just wondered, “Who was Michel Louvain?” you are not alone. That question has come up several times on Twitter since his passing last week, mostly from anglophones who had no idea.

The two solitudes live on in infamy.

Montreal business superstar Mitch Garber, a man who cares about French culture and vivre-ensemble, Tweeted this a few days ago: “To show you how embarrassing the two solitudes can be: all great francophones are paying homage to Michel Louvain. And I don’t know who he is. I must do better.”

In 2016, Garber admitted he did not know of Gilles Vigneault, Quebec’s equivalent of a national poet laureate. He said he was “embarrassed” that many anglos don’t know Martin Matte and Robert Charlebois.