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Dissertation: Montréal Canadiens and Culture in Québec

By Peter McCambridge

On 13, Mar 2014 | In | By Peter McCambridge

Dissertation: Montréal Canadiens and Culture in Québec

Studying French and German at Cambridge University from 1998-2002, I spent a year in Québec City and Paris, where I wrote a dissertation on the Montréal Canadiens and popular culture in Québec.

200,000 mourners filed past the coffin as it lay in state in Montréal. Tributes came from Jean Chrétien, Prime Minister of Canada, and Québec Premier Lucien Bouchard. Flags were flown at half-mast on private and public buildings. The outpouring of communal grief was so great that addresses and e-mail accounts were advertised to which the public could send their messages of condolence.  They were not mourning a statesman, however. The tears and the tributes were for another representative of the Québécois nation, Maurice Richard. By his own admission, “just a hockey player”[1], he died “l’idole d’un peuple”[2], his death having enormous cultural significance in Québec where hockey – specifically le Club de hockey Canadien – has played such a key role for a people trying to define its national identity.

[1] Salutin, R., Les Canadiens (Vancouver: Talonbooks, 1977), p.8

[2] Pellerin, J.-M., Maurice Richard: l’Idole d’un peuple (Montréal: Éditions Trustar, 1998)