Anglo culture is thriving

Re: “A sad day for anglophones in Quebec” (Opinion, Aug. 18) We were surprised to read Gary D. Shapiro’s assertion that Quebec anglophones are “tired” and “apathetic.” We agree that ghettoization and isolationism don’t serve anyone, but we see a thriving community that is far from apathetic. We need to protect our interests, but organizations like the English-Language Arts Network and the Quebec Community Groups Network are well-established and effective advocates. We work with anglo writers’and publishers’organizations: our groups are expanding, in membership and programming.

We are among many anglophones who came from elsewhere because we love the richness of a multilingual society.

We appreciate Montreal’s linguistic abundance, intellectual stimulation and cultural diversity. Rather than “pushing back” against French, we are encouraged to see anglophones enjoying French language and culture, and vice versa, e.g. the current boom in translations of Quebec books – in both directions.

We invite Mr. Shapiro to attend a play by one of Quebec’s English theatre companies, or a literary festival. Take a workshop at the Quebec Writers’ Federation. Drop by the Resonance Reading Series or the Atwater Poetry Project. English-speakers do face barriers, but our community is engaged and energetic.

Anna Leventhal, executive director, Association of English-language Publishers of Quebec; Elise Moser, past president, Quebec Writers’ Federation, Montreal.