Intercultural studies 

ANG 160 Fall 2005


Eastern townships



Quebec regions


Important people/Theories


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Is the city of Sherbrooke multicultural?

by Julie Labranche

Is the city of Sherbrooke multicultural? To answer this question we have to know what multiculturalism is. According to the Canadian government, “it ensures that all citizens can keep their identities, can take pride in their ancestry and have a sense of belonging.”[1] In other words, everybody has the right to be different and practice their own culture without being discriminated against. Furthermore, the Canadian government “recognizes the potential of all Canadians, encouraging them to integrate into their society and take an active part in its social, cultural, economic and political affairs.”[2] The definition of multiculturalism can be applied to the city of Sherbrooke because people are diversified, the city creates events to gather different ethnic groups, and the university of Sherbrooke welcomes international students.


According to the Statistic Canada’s census of 2001[3], the population is about 135 415 and there are 3690 people of visible minorities. There are Chinese, South Asian, Blacks, Phillippin, Latin-American, Southeast Asian, Arabic, Western Asian, Korean, and Japanese. Moreover, there are 1605 people who speak only English, 77 215 people who speak only French, 56 035 people who speak French and English, and 560 people who don’t speak neither English nor French. In addition, since 1961, the immigration rate never ceased increasing. Here’s a diagram of the immigration rate.


According to the census of 2001, the most popular religion in Sherbrooke is Roman Catholic with 118 810 followers. Other citizens are Anglican, Christian, Baptist, Moslem, Protestant, Presbyterian, Pentecotist, Buddhist, Orthodoxe, Jehovah’s witness, Mormon, Evangelic Missionary and Adventist. These figures show us that Sherbrooke is a multicultural city and the citizens come from all around the world and have their own culture.


During the year, the city of Sherbrooke organizes several cultural events to integrate different ethnic groups. For example, in May, there is the “Buffet des nations”[4]. It is an annual buffet which is prepared by different ethnic groups of Sherbrooke. This event allows people to discover culinary and gastronomical specialities and to be in contact with other cultures. In August, there is the “Festival des traditions du monde”[5]. This festival invites us to discover the culture of people from Canada and different ethnic groups and celebrate the multicultural traditions via music, gastronomy, dance and more. Moreover, this activity is free for everybody. In October, there is the event “Les jours sont contés en Estrie”[6]. This is a story telling festival that occur in the Estrie region. The shows take place in about twenty different places. It is for adults but there are some tales for children. The stories are presented in French, English, and Spanish so it is a multicultural activity that gather several people. Finally, in December, there is the “International Bantam Tournament of Sherbrooke”[7]. This hockey tournament is international and the players are thirteen and fourteen years old. The tournament welcomes teams from Quebec, Canada, United States and Europe. In short, these events allow people from different ethnic groups to share their culture and to gather. It helps them to be aware of other cultures so the discrimination, hatred and violence towards the visible minorities can diminish. Furthermore, it allows people to be concious of the multicultural society in which they live.


The university of Sherbrooke welcomes people from all around the world. There are seventy-eight North African, one hundred fifteen South African, twenty-eight from the Middle-East, seven from South Asia, twenty from Southeast Asia, twenty-three from East Asia, twelve from Eastern Europe, three hundred forty-one from Western Europe, one from Oceania, eighteen from North America, one from Central America, nineteen from the West Indies, and thirty-four from South America. In addition, there are student associations for international students. It helps them to integrate in the city of Sherbrooke. It provides information about housing, transportation, how to get in touch with the consulate, and it organizes activities to meet people from the same ethnic group to avoid isolation. If a student encounter a problem during his stay, the association can give him the support needed.[8]


The city of Sherbrooke make a lot of effort to look after the wellbeing of newcomers and visible minorities. Furthermore, they create events to encourage cultural diversity, to integrate ethnic minorities, and to make people aware of other cultures. In short, Sherbrooke is a multicultural city and foreigners are welcome.      



[1] Canadian Governement, Canadian Heritage, Multiculturalism,

[2] Canadian Governement, Canadian Heritage, Multiculturalism,


[3] City of Sherbrooke,

[4] City of Sherbrooke,


[5] City of Sherbrooke,


[6] City of Sherbrooke,


[7] City of Sherbrooke,


[8] university of Sherbrooke,