Quebec Shocked by English Music

I am not sure whether to laugh, cry, or jump for joy after reading an article by CTV News in Montreal about the Culture Minister being shocked and upset that an American was singing a song in English while on hold on the phone. Culture Minister Nathalie Roy stated at a recent news conference that using royalty-free elevator music would no longer be used in government buildings and that only Quebec music will be used.

At first I had to laugh, after all who even notices the music on the phone when you’re on hold? I couldn’t tell you the last song I heard while waiting for a person to answer the line. If you’re like me you put the phone down and work away at something else.

Then I had to cry in the fact that our World seems to be falling into oblivion on so many fronts with the pandemic, businesses closing, people being killed based on skin colour, and restricted travel across our Country, and the biggest thing politicians have to worry about is the music played while on hold on a phone line.

Part of me wanted to jump for joy because when you think of it nobody liked that elevator music anyway and I myself love so much music from Quebec so it certainly would be better than elevator music in any language.


This does bring together many questions such as what is Quebec music? Is it music in French only? Is it music made by someone in Quebec? Is it music made by a person living in Quebec? Many song writers co-write and travel in order to make their music. What if I am English speaking and on hold, should I be offended? How will you track the songs played and pay the musicians?

I would think time would be better spent creating opportunities for these musicians on stage by getting our Country back to having festivals and allowing people to play music in public again. Most musicians are paid very little for music streamed and make money on album sales or concert tickets. I am happy to see the culture of Quebec being pushed to the forefront as there are many talented people in Quebec, but I think the best way to promote Quebec artists are to promote them outside of the Province to the rest of the World and not keep them in our government buildings. Next time I am in one of the buildings I will try to remember to pay attention to the music playing and apparently you should too.

If you want to read the article from CTV Montreal you can read it here.

About the Author

Carmen Outridge is the owner of Outridge Translation Services and has been translating documents between English and French for over 30 years. Carmen is from the Eastern Townships part of Quebec and understands the language and dialect of Quebec. To learn more about Outridge Translation Services or to get help with your next project visit

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