Mes Aïeux (My Ancestors)

 The musical ensemble Mes Aïeux was formed in Montréal in 1996 after the referendum failure. The group is made up of Stéphane Archambault (vocals), Marie-Hélène Fortin (vocals, violin, tambourine), Éric Desranleau (vocals, guitar, bass, flute, drums), Frédéric Giroux (vocals, guitar, bass, harmonica), Marc-André Paquet (drums, percussion, bass, vocals), Benoît Archambault (vocals, keyboard, trumpet, guitar) and Luc Lemire (saxophone, percussion, vocals).

Their music, self-described as "pop with folk inspiration," often evokes stories and legends from Québec, and these, along with well-worked-out arrangements, give their work a very contemporary and dramatic flavour.

In 2000, Mes Aïeux launched their first album Ça parle au diable! on the Disques Victoire label, receiving a nomination at the ADISQ gala for best traditional album in 2001. The album got good reviews in spite of near indifference by commercial radio stations.

In 2001, the ensemble's second album Entre les branches won a similar nomination at the 2002 gala, and the members were nominated for group of the year.

In 2004, En famille was released, and in 2005, the group was honoured with their first FÉLIX for best contemporary folk album, and nominated for group of the year. They also received three concurrent certifications: En famille went platinum (100,000 copies sold) and Entre les branches and Ça parle au diable! both went gold (50,000 copies sold).

In 2006, En famille went double platinum (200,000 copies) and Mes Aïeux was a phenomenal hit on traditional radio. "Dégénérations" was named French song of the year by listeners on Radio-Énergie in Canada's most important annual vote based on play time. The song describes the generation gap - the changing values between generations, the resulting frustrations and helplessness, and the inability to draw on essential points from our ancestral roots.

That same year, the band launched its CD/DVD Tire-toi une bûche, which included "La Corrida de la Corriveau" (based on a major figure in Québécois folk legend), and the song "En vérité" about the search for a character named Ti-Jean. This song was from an adaptation of a verbal account compiled by writer Jean-Claude Carrière. Tire-toi un bûche went gold only three weeks after its release, and platinum in January 2007.

In high demand following their recent successes, the band started touring, and in the summer of 2007 they stopped over in France to take part in summer festivals there.

At the 2007 ADISQ gala, Mes Aïeux were multiple winners: group of the year; pop song of the year for "Dégénérations /Le réel du fossé" by popular vote; best contemporary folk album; best-selling album for Tire-toi une bûche; and a nomination for best video for the song "Ton père est un croche."

In 2008, they performed "Dégénérations" with Céline Dion on the Plains of Abraham during Québec City's 400th anniversary celebrations. In October, the ensemble launched their fifth album La ligne orange, with a jacket cover illustrated by Michel Rabagliati.

In the summer of 2009, astronaut Julie PAYETTE brought La ligne orange with her on her journey into space. At the 2009 ADISQ gala, the group was nominated in five categories and won three Félix Awards: best artwork, group of the year (by public acclaim) and best contemporary folk album for La ligne orange.

When people ask Mes Aïeux about their recipe for success, they answer that magic operates beyond words, songs and questioning. They say that people who come to hear and see them perform feel the communicative energy of the seven friends on stage interacting and having fun with their audience, and a deep respect is established. The public has also acknowledged this ongoing feeling of goodwill among the members. Of more importance than stardom to the group is the fact that the family spirit that unifies them ignites the same fervour as at their début.

Since 2008, the members of Mes Aïeux have supported the causes of Équiterre and Porteurs d'eau in the water watchdog coalition Eau secours, supporting values they believe in and reflecting their great love of life. The group performed in the Cultural Olympiad at the 2010 Vancouver WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES.