Anglophone band pulled from St. Jean Baptiste celebration
A group of Anglophone musicians has been banned from playing at a St. Jean Baptiste celebration.
The band, called "Lake of Stew", is made up of three brothers from the Mile End. They play folksy, bluegrass music - and they sing exclusively in English.
A few weeks ago, they were invited to perform at the first edition of a St. Jean Baptiste celebration called "L'Autre St-Jean".
"It's kind of a more inclusive alternative to the other St. Jean fete that usually happens," said Richard Rigby.
But the group recently found out they were no longer welcome to perform at the celebration on June 23. Organizers told them one of the sponsors threatened to pull out of the event, fearing the crowd would turn violent if English bands were allowed to play.
Rigby told CTV Montreal's Daniele Hamamdjian that he and his brothers were blindsided by the news.
"Here we are thinking, 'Wow, the consciousness and the attitude of the Quebecois people is finally becoming more inclusive!' And then this!"
The Rigby brothers said they take great pride in Quebec, even though they are not Francophone.
"I love the place. It's my home, it's where I grew up," said Mike Rigby.
Out on the streets, Montrealers offered mixed opinions on whether English bands should be able to perform at events in celebration of Quebec's national holiday.
"I'd be more for including only French bands for the national holiday, absolutely," said one man.
"Music is music," said another. "There shouldn't be any difference between French or English.