Canwest News Service
VANCOUVER — Heritage Minister James Moore says he was "disappointed" with the amount of French used during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games' opening ceremony.
Moore, whose department pitched in $20-million to help pay for the elaborate opening ceremony Friday night, told CBC on Sunday that the spectacle should have been "a better representation of our bicultural past and the reality today. "
"They were beautiful, they were spectacular on television, but there should have been more French," said Mr. Moore, who represents the Vancouver Island riding of Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam. "I was disappointed there wasn't as much French as we were expecting, as we were told that there was going to be.
The opening ceremony was watched by a record-setting TV audience in Canada, as 13.3 million viewers watched the entire 3 1/2-hour ceremony.
Like Canada, the International Olympic Committee, has two official languages: English and French.
And there certainly was some French during the ceremony.
VANOC chairman John Furlong delivered parts of his speech in French, Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean officially declared the Games open in French first and then in English, while speed-skating referee Michel Verreault took the Officials' Olympic Oath in French.
"We've made it clear from beginning to end our expectations that these Games be entirely bilingual, and be respectful of both of Canada's official languages, " Mr. Moore said.
Among the French cultural elements of the opening ceremony was a performance from Garou, a hugely popular singer in Quebec, and a dramatic interpretation of the Chasse-galerie, an old Quebecois tale about a group of voyageurs who make a deal with the devil.
Not enough French in Olympics opening ceremony: Heritage Minister
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