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The Bastille Day French Festival welcomes Peugeot!

We are delighted to announce Peugeot as the naming sponsor of the Bastille Day French Festival this year! What could be more fitting than a French brand whose spirit is as revolutionary as that of La République Française?

Did you know a premium French brand is the oldest car company in existence? Did you know that brand is Peugeot? This proudly pioneering French company was founded in 1810, originally as a steel foundry, in the town of Valentigney in Franche-Comté. Much has changed in the intervening years!
Renowned for style and French flair, it’s appropriate that the nineteenth-century fashion for crinolines brought Peugeot into vehicle manufacturing. Why? Well crinolines are made of hoops of steel rods; this led to them making bicycles – a skill they still possess today - and from there, automobiles.
The first Peugeot car was produced in 1889: a steam powered tricycle. By 1890 their innovative spirit had already moved to petrol. Peugeot was also a forerunner in the electric car game, pioneering vehicles since 1941! It’s a high-technology arena in which they will soon have an increasing Australian presence, with the 2022 launch of an all-new electric vehicle. Bravo Peugeot!
Our commitment to keeping you safe
The Bastille Day French Festival is committed to keeping our community safe and will be delivered in line with Public Health Orders and advice provided by the state government to ensure it is COVIDSafe. However we can all do our part in stopping the spread and QR check in will be required at Fed Square, along with physical distancing.
We will be implementing our COVIDSafe plan to ensure a safe and wonderful Festival for everyone.

Announcing our Les Lumières Talks

We are thrilled to announce this year's Les Lumières Talks, to be held at
The Edge, Fed Square.

A key feature of the Bastille Day French Festival, this series of talks, titled Les Lumières, (the Lights), focus not only on history but also on topical issues that are relevant to all of us. Especially relevant as the French Revolution and its values of Liberty, Equality Fraternity came about at the end of a century of Enlightenment [Le Siècle des Lumières].
Les Lumières Bleu; What are the most common French clichés?
Saturday 17 July, 2.30pm

“French men all wear berets. All French people listen to accordion music and eat gourmet meals. The French are good lovers. Everyone in France rides a bicycle with a baguette in their basket.”

Three French expats, Véronique Duché (Professor of French, University of Melbourne), Anne-Sophie Pink  (Head Education AFM) and Cecile Plaa (Coordinator Education AFM), and an Anthropologist, Tom McNamara (LaTrobe University), will explore what are the most common and what is their impact.

Join us for enlightening, lively, fun and myth-busting discussion sponsored by The University of Melbourne and in collaboration with Alliance Française de Melbourne.
Book now
Les Lumières Rouge; The French Revolution and its relevance to today
Saturday 17 July, 11am

What does an event that happened over 200 years ago, across the other side of the world, have to do with today?

We have all heard the stories of ‘let them eat cake’ and heard our own versions of the storming of the Bastille, but what really happened and how has the revolution affected modern society?

A world authority on the French Revolution and nineteenth-century France, Prof Peter McPhee will explore how the Revolution is still relevant today.

Prof McPhee, one of Australia’s most eminent academics, has focused his research on the study of change and continuity in regional and rural France during and following the French Revolution.

Join us for this enlightening and fascinating talk supported by The University of Melbourne.

Book now
Les Lumières Blanc; A Revolution in Painting - The French Impressionists
Friday 16 July, 12pm

Monet, Renoir, Degas, Cézanne – we all know their work but what is the story that lies behind the Impressionist movement?

As the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) welcomes its winter exhibition, French Impressionism, presenting more than 100 masterworks of French impressionism from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), Dr Ted Gott will discuss the role of key French painters who initiated an artistic revolution in the history of painting.

Join us for this enlightening, lively and engaging talk.

Book now
Les Lumières Vert; Can we achieve net zero carbon emission without decline?
Friday 16 July, 4.30pm

Presenting a dynamic discussion between panelists Dr Katie Allen MP, Louise Davidson (CEO Australian Council of Superannuation Investors), Augustin Honorat (CEO of Engie) and Shane Walden (CEO of ANL), we'll ask ‘can we achieve net-zero carbon emission without decline’?

Key players from the energy and transportation sectors, at the forefront of the energy transition, will debate with financiers and government members on whether the historical relationship between GDP and environmental impact can be weakened and effectively severed. Can we deploy new technologies and shift the nature of our consumption and lifestyle while continuing to grow GDP, even in a wealthy country such as Australia?

Join us for this enlightening and informative talk sponsored by ANL and supported by the French Australian Chamber of Commerce.
Book now
Les Lumières Talks will be held in line with the current Public Health Orders and government guidelines regarding indoor seated events. Ticketing is based on the current restrictions per venue and we will continue to release tickets when permitted.
The Bastille Day French Festival is committed to keeping the community safe and in the case that Public Health Orders change for major events, the Les Lumières Talks will look to convert to an online format. In this case, all purchased tickets will remain valid for the online format.
Caudalie. A Guided Online Wine Tasting
Thursday 15th July 2021, 6.30pm to 7.45pm

Join us online for a guided wine tasting with French vigneron Maxime Chapoutier, eighth generation winemaker of renowned M. Chapoutier winery and Ben Portet, tenth generation winemaker from the fabulous Yarra Valley based Dominique Portet winery, in conversation with Melbourne’s own French chef Gabriel Gâté, and Jacqueline Dutton, French and Wine Studies Professor at the University of Melbourne.  Each ticket holder will receive a box containing two bottles of wine (Zoom only tickets available as well). 
Book now
The Winter Market Returns
Explore this year's French Winter Market featuring Melbourne’s best French stalls selling mulled wine, crêpe, croissants, pastries, cheese and Armagnacs!
We can't wait to tell you more and announce who will be joining us - stay tuned!
Behind The Scenes
Meet Georgie Stayches - Vice President
Hello! I joined the Bastille Day French Festival in 2019 and have loved being part of the team that brings this event to life. As an Event Manager and Chief Engagement Officer at Fetching Events & Communications, I am passionate about community events and this is one of the best in town! While I don’t speak French, I am the true embodiment of a Francophile – in fact here I am at a Chateau in the Champagne region a couple of years ago, full of joie de vivre.
What are you looking forward to at this year's Festival?
“I can’t wait to walk through the Atrium, smell the amazing French food on offer, hear the buzzing of chatter and soak up the music drifting from The Edge. I miss the amazing atmosphere of live events and this Festival will be a very welcome return this winter. There is nothing better on a Melbourne winter night than to treat yourself to some delicious hot crêpes, raclette and a crème brulee to top it all off. And of course the Les Lumieres talks are always fascinating! Fed Square really is going to be transformed as we bring France to the heart of Melbourne – it is going to be magnifique!”
Meet Heather van Heerwaarden - our Art Curator
Bonjour! I am the Bastille Day French Festival curator, Heather.  I am excited about featuring French art and artists at this year’s festival. Look for the hot pink installation at Fed Square and enjoy hearing from Dr Ted Gott about the French Impressionists on display at the NGV down the road.
What are you looking forward to at this year's Festival?
“I am very much looking forward to ‘Caudalie: A Guided Wine Tasting’ at this year’s Festival.  This will be an online wine tasting and talk featuring renowned wine makers from the Dominique Portet  and M. Chapoutier wineries, hosted by the wonderful Gabriel Gaté together with Professor Jacqueline Dutton. Your ticket will include delivery of a bottle of wine from each of these wineries. And the tasting and conversation will end with a screening of the short film Caudalie produced by the festival. But book early! This will be popular.”

Prix des Franç en Australia  - Announcing the 12 Finalists

For the first year, Le Courrier Australien is organizing a readers' prize to reward French nationals in Australia who have distinguished themselves in a particular field.

This "Prix des Franç en Australia" aims to honor French citizens who have recently arrived in Australia, or who have lived there for a long time and whose commitment and talents contribute to the influence of France in through the territory of Ustral.

Voting is now open.

Meet the Finalists and Vote Now

The Bastille Day French Festival is a largely cash free Festival. Cards and Paypass will be accepted.
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