Language Exchange Program seeks English-speaking peers to pair with French-speaking artists in Québec City region.
Since 2010, the English Language Arts Network (ELAN) has been playing matchmaker for its members, pairing English-speaking professional artists with their French-speaking counterparts in the same field. The pairs then meet to talk shop, perfect conversation skills, build vocabulary, and, in many cases, forge friendships that continue long after the program has finished.
In fact, the majority of past participants reached in Montreal said that would have loved to participate again this summer, but they’re still meeting and talking in French and English with their first partner.
Now, thanks to ELAN’s summer intern Gabrielle Jacobs, it’s time for artists in Québec City to have an opportunity to do the same. Jacobs, who recently moved to Montreal, has teamed up with her co-workers to set the wheels in motion.
ELAN’s home base is Montreal; however, its membership hails from different communities across the province and beyond. Its small staff is always looking for opportunities to do outreach and take activities on the road.
Recently, Québec City was among several spots that played host to an ELAN Schmoozer, its famous brand of networking event.
“It’s really important for ELAN to expand further than Montreal,” explained Jacobs, who was born and raised in Québec City. While wanting to bring an exciting opportunity to her home town, she understands the importance of being bilingual as an artist. “I grew up in an artistic environment. My parents are both musicians. It’s a fascinating world.”
ELAN members or interested professional artists can simply contact the organization to sign up. Jacobs is currently seeking English-speaking artists to pair with the handful of French-speakers from Québec City who’ve signed up and are eager to begin.
“The program is free for ELAN members and $15 dollars for non-members – a one-time fee applicable only once the match has been made. It’s really in place to make sure participants don’t leave the project at the last minute,” explained Jacobs, who is headed to McGill to study sociology and political science.
When asked if she was thinking of a career in the arts on the side, Jacobs admitted, “I’d love to write.” For now, she’s preparing to tackle university when not missing Québec City, “… especially all the trees.”
Interested? Know someone who might be a perfect fit? Head here to sign up or catch ELAN’s Québec City connection at email@example.com before July 20, 2012.
After that, contact her colleagues at firstname.lastname@example.org and they’ll continue the matchmaking.