Stories of Girls Making a Difference
Biography of Alice Robitaille
Name: Alice Robitaille - stage name Alys Robi
Date: 1923 – 2011
Role: Singer, translator of Latin American songs
Girlhood achievement: Hosted her own radio show, performed on military bases across Canada
When she performed at Quebec City's Capitol Theatre at the age of seven, Alice Robitaille – who later took on the stage name of Alys Robi – was already an experienced actor and singer who had sung on-air with CHRC radio station.Footnote 1.
Born in Quebec City, Alys was 13 when she moved to Montréal's Théatre National to sing and perform under the direction of Rose Ouellette. Following her 75-week engagement, she began performing in cabarets and on radio, even hosting her own war-time show, Tambour battant (Rumbling Drum). Alys also toured Canadian military bases during the war years, entertaining the troops with her repertoire of translated Latin American songs as her star rose across the country.
By her late teens, Alys was known internationally for her extraordinary singing voice and for her powerful performances of Latin American songs such as "Besame Mucho" and "Tico tico," which she translated from the original Spanish and Portuguese into French.
After a long and distinguished international career that included a performance on BBC television and a series of personal tragedies and triumphs, Alys died in Quebec City at the age of 88.Footnote 2.
Alys Robi – a history-making Canadian girl and a great Canadian woman!
Photo credit: http://www.cbc.ca/lifeandtimes/robi.html
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