Starting in the 1960s, there was a multitude of Quebec artists in a variety of fields, from song, to humor, visual arts and theatre. Quebec culture was on fire and appealed to a growing audience. The government promoted artistic productions by funding public libraries, cultural centers, museums, theatres and the “Cinémathèque”.

The awakening of a Quebec cultural identity

The success of Quebec artists promoted the awakening of a Quebec cultural identity. Increasingly, artists talked about their work in Quebec, and the public took pride. It was now possible to hear the Quebec accent in theatre and songs, which was not previously the case. In addition, Quebec works were broadcast on radio and television, which helped make them even more popular.


In 1980, singers as Gilles Vigneault were always appreciated but many others had become popular Quebec artists by producing other kinds of music. For example, the album Je ne suis qu’une chanson by Ginette Reno was very successful this year. Rock songs by Robert Charlebois were also very popular in Quebec and in France. Also, since 1974, group Harmonium had been exploring new kinds of music. Quebec song had changed a lot in just a few years.


Literature was also changing quickly. Many Quebec authors such as Hubert Aquin, Réjean Ducharme and Jacques Godbout wrote novels that had marked the public of the 1960s and 1970s. This new generation of writers was open to the rest of the world. The characters in their novels no longer lived in the country but in the city, and they travelled throughout the world.

American culture

Quebec culture had grown between 1960 and 1980, and there were many more records, television shows and movies produced in Quebec. However, Quebec was still very influenced by the culture of the United States. In spite of the popularity of Quebec artists, American music, television shows and movies remained very popular, especially with young people.

Author:  Alexandre Lanoix

See also – Traces of the past: