The place to get the latest news on what’s coming up on #Gtonight. Find out what Canada’s boyfriend is up to. Share stories, pictures, favourite tv and radio episodes.
• His work with Artists for Peace and Justice
• UN Ambassadorship for The World Food Programme
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Please stand by
The Sunday night Strombo Show with Ryan Doyle (who loves the Strombo fans).
Monday through Friday on The Hour more of your favourite episodes.
La Press did an article about George, here it is. They talk a great deal about Montreal and Toronto and Politics and Hockey. Wow, George's French has to impress you in that article.
I don't do translations like this for a living. My apologies to Marc Cassivi and George Stroumboulopoulos if I don't get the tone right.
George Stroumboulopoulos: A Toronto-Montreal game
By Marc Cassivi
I dined with George Stroumboulopoulos at La Rotonde in the Contemporary Art Museum. With his talk-show on weeknights at 11pm the former Much Music VJ has a look of eternal adolescence that gives the CBC some cool ( a little bit)
This skillful and informed Interviewer, it is as much at ease with political commentator P.J. O' Rourke, as he is with Gene Simmons of KISS.
Last weekend, he sat on the jury of Comédia, at the Just for laugh festival. A Toronto-Montreal match with a true fan of the Canadiens.
Marc Cassivi: I thought of this topic when I saw on your show where you make fun of Saskatchewan while playing the guy who never leaves Toronto.
George Stroumboulopoulos: It was a sketch for a film maker who had made a documentary entitled Everyone Hates Toronto.
M.C.: Montreal saw a little the same phenomenon in Quebec. Many people hate Montreal for all kinds of reasons. For some time, there was much in the media made of the competition Toronto-Montreal and I wondered whether, like Montreal in the competition Quebec-Montreal, Toronto did not care about that...
G.S.: What is funny, it is that the majority of people of Toronto adore Montreal. We made this sketch to have fun a little the sensitivity of Canadians. I just thought of this:The Canada of our parents does not interest me. I understand the questions of identity, policy, economy and culture of Canadians, but I am not interested by the way in which it's been done for thirty years. It bugs me that the West wants more power; I am not interested by the linguistic debate in Quebec. One more thing. We are adults, we are good people, for the most part we prefer to live in the same country. Another thing, let's live with the fact that we do not agree on everything. It is what I always thought of the "Quebec question". I have been interested in the Canadian politics since I was young. I do not believe that Canada is like Europe, where the countries separate. I am tired of this discussion which has prevented us from progressing for too long. It is like the complaints of the West in connection with Ontario. When was the last time there was a Prime Minister from Toronto? Once in the last 50 years. Most Torontonians figure that the resentment about Toronto is not justified. But in my opinion, the only true competition between Montreal and Toronto relate to hockey, at least from the point of view of Toronto.
M.C.: The rivalry between Quebec and Montreal also knew its equal in the rivalry between the Nordique and Les Canadiens. Is it a mirror of Society? I don't know.
G.S.: The Londoners hate Manchester because of the rivalry between Arsenal and Manchester United (with the soccer)...
M.C.: I am a true fan of United.
G.S.: I did a report with Old Trafford during a match Arsenal-United.
M.C.: Fans of Manchester, tend to hate United. Mancuniens natives are fans of City (the other club, more modest, city). United, it is for the tourists.
G.S.: The Gallagher brothers (Oasis) are fans of Man City.
M.C.: It's true that there is a generational question in the constitutional debate. People of our generation generally find that we wasted enough time going over the same questions unceasingly. Even if we do not know ourselves all the answers. It is particularly true in Quebec. People who are 60 years old today remember the trouble between English and French in school. It is not something which the 30 year old people experienced in the same way.
G.S.: People of the preceding generation advanced society in many good ways, but on certain questions, they failed. This is not in Northern Ireland. There is no more October Crisis.
M.C.: Nobody is ready to carry weapons, except some all fired up.
G.S.: Can one imagine a Prime Minister who would declare today the War Measures Act? Not on your life. It's not who we are. However, it is always the rhetoric of the old guard. In Toronto, a very polite and Canadian city, one does not tolerate any more this kind of discussion. It is not accepted any more that somebody says "Fucking Quebec".
M.C.: It is perhaps the good side of the proverbial courtesy of the Canadians. But why do you believe that the remainder of Canada hates Toronto? Is this authentic or only a posture?
G.S.: Something should be hated.
M.C.: Thus one hates what is larger.
G.S.: The Canadians suffer from the "tall poppy syndrome" . He should cut down the poppy when it becomes too large. The Americans do not have the same attitude, at least not in the world of television. In the United States, where I worked sometimes, you can make things completely different from the status quo. You become somebody different and one accepts you without problem. In Canada, it is much more difficult. You will always be that which you were at the beginning. One does not like what is too large. That's why people do not like Toronto. * * *
M.C.: What recently revived the competition between Toronto and Montreal, it is a declaration of the mayor David Miller who said to want to charm within ten years in Montreal his title of capital of the festivals. He approached the owner of F1 so that they move the event to Toronto, He approached the president of Just for laughs...
G.S.: He said that publicly?
M.C.: Yes. With a Montreal journalist , before coming to give a press conference here. The mayor Tremblay was criticized much because he did not react. He said that he wanted to work in collaboration with Toronto.
G.S.: I don't believe that Toronto can become the capital of the festivals. Just For Laughs will be never be as large on our premises. F1 does not interest Toronto as it interests Montreal. Toronto will never manage to organize a Jazz Festival as interesting as that of Montreal. The Ontarian laws with regards crowds or alcohol consumption in a public place are much more strict. The Ontarian government does not especially want to make it as much fun as it is in Montreal! Our film festival took years before having its take-off. In 1987, I was a promoter for the festival. I do not know if Mayor Miller really wanted his declaration interpreted in this way.
M.C.: I had the impression that he wanted to show that he has a vision for his city.
G.S.: Toronto improves. For a long time, the city was badly managed. I was afraid it would ruin the city that I love. It's nice if one wants to make better festivals. But the priority should especially be to make a better city, with social housing, better living conditions for the least fortunate, actions of this kind. To make a better city, it is not the job of public relations.
M.C.: I agree. What do you think of the stereotype that Toronto is a boring city? That it is a sleepy town where large quantities of commuters come to work . I like Toronto a lot. It is a rather different city than Montreal, larger, North-American perhaps. One eats there very well. Culturally, it is very rich. However, Montrealers have the impression that nothing happens there and that everyone goes to bed early.
G.S.: It's changed. When the bars closed to 1 a.m., people preferred to come to have fun and party in Quebec. But since the bars close to 2 a.m. on our premises, the city is animated. Obviously, Toronto is not New York. It remains a small city. From the Toronto-native point of view, the stereotype on Montreal east which one changed the license plates of "I remember" with "Allouettes!". For a long time had the impression that the city was emptied of its work force and its industry. It is not true any more. I have several Toronto-native friends and new Yorkers who live now in Montreal. And then Montreal will always have a better team of hockey than Toronto!