Whether on hold or stuck in an elevator, you'll be hearing more Quebec crooners from now on

·1 min read
Culture Minister Nathalie Roy made the announcement during a news conference on Sunday. (Olivier Lefebvre/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Culture Minister Nathalie Roy made the announcement during a news conference on Sunday. (Olivier Lefebvre/Radio-Canada - image credit)

Next time you take an elevator to a government office, you might be hearing fewer American pop hits and more work from Celine Dion's back catalogue.

On Sunday, the provincial Culture Ministry announced that elevator and telephone hold music used by government services, including at liquor stores and casinos, will have to feature 100 per cent Quebec artists.

"The time for royalty-free elevator music is over," said Culture Minister Nathalie Roy at a news conference on Sunday.

"I was waiting on hold with the Culture Ministry and I was stunned to hear an American singing me a little song in English," said Roy.

She said the order to play only Quebecois music within government services and crown corporations takes effect immediately.

According to the Culture Ministry, 90 per cent of the music used that includes lyrics will be in French. The remaining 10 per cent will feature songs either in English or in Indigenous languages.

Roy also announced an investment of $1.1 million as part of an initiative to promote local music produced during the pandemic.

"The goal of the project is to introduce to the public the dozens of Quebec albums that came out during the pandemic and which are ready to come to life on stages," said Solange Drouin, director of the Association québécoise de l'industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la vidéo (ADISQ).

Reacting on Sunday to the minister's announcement about music used by the government, Drouin added that she hopes private companies will follow suit.

"Our music is beautiful, let's hear it," she said.

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