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A word from the founder

I have spent the most part of my adult life away from Quebec.

At 21 years old, I hitchhiked from Drummondville to Banff to learn English, then I went to Costa Rica to learn Spanish. When I became trilingual, I became flight attendant and fast-forwarded my discovery of the world! But it was Asia that was ruling my dreams – Bruce Lee, the Shoguns, martial arts.. I then headed to Taiwan, then Shanghai and now Hong Kong.

In 2009, after 15 years developing my career away from the Motherland, I felt the need to create Quebecois.Shanghai.

During my stay abroad,  I have come to the conclusion that Quebecers often found themselves living in english speaking expat circles. I often met with Quebecers, but it was mostly due to luck. Many others expats community received the benefits of associations or typical meeting places (Irish pubs for instance). We, Quebecers, did not have those occasions allowing us to gather as a community and to thread relationships.

During the first years of Quebecois.Shanghai, I organized alone at first, then with the help of friends, friendly meetings. Each June 24th, we held a celebration of Quebec’s National Holiday. In 2010, during Shanghai’s Universal Expo, numerous Quebecers working at the Canada Pavillon or at the « Espace Montréal » had joined us and some have been of great support. We then put together our first mission statement.

Then, in 2014, a Quebecer from our new network, Dominic Granito, proposed of building a Web platform. I wish to name him as he has been a decisive inspiration. I then agreed to invest my energies and resources into this project that was to become a whole new Quebecois.Shanghai.

This new drive for Quebecois.Shanghai persuaded us to put in place a true organizing committee. I gathered my past collaborators, to which new ones added themselves. Our committee now gathers 8 members, all from Quebec and active in diverse fields such as; architecture, law, arts, business, new technologies… It is an energetic team, reflecting the skills and entrepreneurial minds of Quebecers abroad.

My vision of Quebecois.Shanghai as a platform is to give first row to Quebec’s women and men living abroad. It’s purpose is simple and welcoming.

Our events allow Quebecers to develop friendship and alliances. The Website therefore is the anchor of the community as well as the bridge with which we communicate with the province of Quebec.

Ultimately, my dream is to inspire Quebec’s women and men to follow this path of acknowledgments and mutual support.

Welcome to Quebecois.Shanghai! This platform is yours!

Éric Gagnon,
October 27th 2014

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I wish to extend warm thanks to, in particular, my collaborators who from the beginning or more recently, helped at laying the bases of Quebecois.Shanghai: Yves Nadon, Louis Dussault, Patrick Alleyn, Julien Saint-Georges, Sonia Labranche, Jérôme Blanchet, Dominic Granito, Mathieu Cormier, Marie-Chantal Caron, Marc Fecteau, Yannick Brooks and Jean-Philippe Garand.

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