Quebec Film, Starbuck, to be remade by Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks studios

Starbuck, a made in Quebec film that found success on last year’s festival circuit, has been picked up for an American remake by Steven Spielberg’s DreamWork Studios.  According to reports, producer Andre Rouleau said Spielberg was enthralled by the movie after seeing it last month. Production on the English language version of the film will begin in New York this fall.  The casting process is already underway. The Quebec film industry is booming!  Montreal has found a nice spot on the international film industry map!  We are proud of this prestigious accomplishment. We can’t wait to see what Spielberg does with this film!

Pancakes anyone?

  Today, we had a special treat for EC Montreal students, pancakes with syrup! A pancake is a thin, flat, round cake prepared from batter and cooked on a hot griddle or frying pan.  For some students it was their first time having pancakes.  It was so much fun seeing the student’s line up to get their serving of pancakes.  They were all waiting very patiently while our cook Laurent, who works in the office, prepared the pancakes to perfection.  We at EC Montreal enjoy interacting with our students.  We know that being away from home can be difficult at times and we try our best to make the students as comfortable as possible and a part of our EC family.

A student testimonial of the week – Yosuke Higasa

“It’s been great studying English at EC Montreal. I had good experience in Montreal and in school. In Montreal, you can see French culture and study in English. If you are interested in French influence, you have to come here! I met nice friends who came from Italy, Germany and Belgium. Moreover, my host family were also nice and kind! I will miss them and never forget my stay in Montreal!” – Yosuke Higasa-

DELF exam preparation courses at EC Montreal

Part of EC Montreal’s specilaty courses for French are the courses that prepare for the DELF exam. We offer courses that go from A/A1 to C1. Just so that the information is easier understood the DELF diploma recognizes a certain degree of knowledge of French. The  DELF and DALF diplomas are awarded by the French Ministry of National Education( regardless of the exam center where you write the exam) to certify language skills of people whose first language is not French. There is no time limit to their validity, which makes them a really good investment- you pay for the preparation course( should you chose to take one, and it is recommended that you do) and for the exam and once you have the diploma you have it for good, there is no re-testing involved. It is recommended, as I have mentioned before, to take the preparation course before writing the exam, especially because the candidate has to be familiar with the format of the exam, its components and how to maximixe their time in each of the sections, so that they can write ( and speak) a successful exam!   EC Montreal’s DELF preparation course offers you the linguistic tools that you need to succeed in the exam, whether you write it here in Montreal at McGill university, inOttawa at Alliance Française, or in any other center of your choice. The diplomas are independent and officially recognize perfect command of four language skills. They are consistent with the six levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR): Some of the main reasons to take the time and effort to take a preparation course and the DELF exam are: -The top levels of the DALF give access to all French universities and to an ever growing number of European and francophone universities, eliminating the need for pre-admission French language … Read more

Poutine & fun in EC Montreal’s student lounge

This past Wednesday EC Montreal’s student lounge was busier than usual!  Despite the impressive number of students present there was  not too much conversation going on ( at least not right away)- the reason for it was obvious: everybody had their mouths full with poutine!!! The first ones to arrive were Andrea’s students from the English elementary class; thanks Andrea for bringing in the entire group!   For those of you that are not familar with it poutine is a fast food dish that originated in Quebec and can now be found across Canada. It is sold by national and international fast food chains. In the basic recipe for poutine, French fries are topped with fresh cheese curds, and covered with brown gravy or sauce.  It was such a joy to see students linig up to be served a plate of Monreal’s famous poutine and even come for second servings!!!  of course, not so many of your lovely ladies indulged twice , just because of the calories count in a poutine serving ( I kept telling them that it was low calories  just this once but, without too much success). The lounge was literaly packed, the music was playing and the students were chatting and applauding the idea of serving poutine for their lunch break. And just so you know this activity is a keeper, we will surely be repeating it!!!

April 14, 2012: Giving back For Fred Day at EC Montreal

On Saturday, April 14, 2012 all EC schools, were involved in the “Giving Back For Fred Day”.  The EC community is committed to giving something back to their community. Fred Gonzales was an EC Centre Director who sadly passed away in 2008 before his time, and EC honored his life over the weekend by giving back to society. We at EC Montreal choose the Salvation Army.  The Salvation Army is an international organization that began its work inCanada in 1882 and has grown to become the largest non-governmental direct provider of social services in the country. It gives hope and support to vulnerable people today and every day in 400 communities acrossCanada and more than 120 countries around the world. It offers practical assistance for children and families, often tending to the basic necessities of life, providing shelter for homeless people and rehabilitation for people who have lost control of their lives. At the school on Friday we started by collecting and sorting used or new clothing for the needy.   The day of the event one group of volunteers helped clean up the kitchen while the second group did some painting.  One of our homestay families, Margot came with her son Mark.  Mark is an entertainer; he played the guitar during lunch hour.  We at EC Montreal thank EC for giving us this opportunity to give back and a great big thank you to all who participated. The pictures speak for themselves:    

Star Wars Identities.

Star Wars Identities is an interactive exhibition on obviously Star Wars. The project started here inMontreal but took a big turn of events when nothing less then LucasFilms decided to join the project.  The exhibition is open to everyone, from die hard Star Wars fan to children’s. It includes multimedia installation, games, costumes, props, models and art work from LucasFilms archives. The immersive exhibition is based on interactivity and science, and it explores human identity through the Star Wars universe and his vast quantity of characters. The exhibition is starting today Thursday April 19th until September 16th, after that it will leave toToronto andEdmonton before going around Europe andAsia. It’s presented at theMontrealScienceCenter on the dock of theOldPort.   -Laurent

A famous montrealer- Christopher Plummber

I do not know how many of you know that  2012 Oscar winning actor Christopher Plummber was raised in Montreal from a very early age, I confess I accidentally found this out a few days ago! It is interesting to discover that such a heavy name in acting, both on the scene and on the screen, has extremely fond memories of Montreal. He is actually the great grand son ( on his mother’s side) of Sir John Joseph Caldwell Abbott, the first Canadian-born prime minister and onetime mayor of Montreal. His artistic inclination was a perfect match with his childhood and early adulthood city. Montreal was the perfect environment for him to develop as an actor.He was exposed to opera, ballet and theatre but, when he could, prowledMontreal’s clubs where he saw the great acts of the day, such as Sinatra and Piaf, perform.    In many interviews he speaks fondly of Montreal, mentioning the fact that Montreal was and is an exciting city that has its own culture with its French theater influences. He remembers Montreal as a ” jumping ” city with a lot of night clubs, cabarets and some of the best theaters. Speaking of the lively night life of the city he says that the night clubs were ( and they still are!)” As many as there were days in the year. They never closed…” He has also been known as an admirer of Montreal’s architecture and has had a hobby of photographing Montreal’s downtown greystones and historic mansions, which he considers among the world’s best. He is so fond of Montreal that he actually married Elaine Taylor at Montreal’s Ritz Carlton Hotel in 1970!     

A student testimonial of the week – “So friendly and so kind here”, Chi-ling Hsieh

  “I have been here around 8 months. I made a lot of friends and I learned a lot. Actually, I used to be a very shy girl, but I changed a lot. It was not that easy to change myself , but I just tried many things. EC is a really good school. Teachers, staff and students are so friendly and so kind here! And EC has a lot of activities. They are great! Would I like to recommend EC? Actually, I  already recommended EC to my friend who wanted to study abroad!” -Chi-ling Hsieh-