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DISPATCH 12: Creativity, self-indulgence and going viral

April 2021

The vaccination rollout in Québec is going strong, spring temperatures are on the rise, and (fingers crossed!) we saw the last of the snow a few days back. Despite the third wave, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. But the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reshape our daily lives and alter social, political, and cultural landscapes around the world. At the shop, we’re keeping our heads high and continuing to do what we do best: understanding Québec. And being there for our partners. Once again this month, we’re back to keep you in the loop and share a snapshot of what’s happening here, based on the news stories that have piqued our interest. From advertising to communications and human-interest stories, here’s what’s worth mentioning (in our humble opinion).

Jazz Fest and Les Francos set to return this fall (if all goes well)

While Osheaga, ÎleSoniq, and Lasso decided one after the other to postpone this year’s events until 2022, L’Équipe Spectra remains optimistic about the possibility of a fall 2021 edition of Les Francos de Montréal and the Montreal International Jazz Festival. That being said, the organization plans to adhere to public health guidelines in place in September and has developed more than 20 different scenarios (when you want something to happen, you find a way to MAKE it happen, right?). There’s even been talk of a digital-slash-outdoor-slash-remote-indoor hybrid show format, which would enable audiences from around the world to tune in to the Québec music scene online. And with indoor shows likely to be strictly regulated, what with the ton of events that had to be rescheduled this past year, there might even be the possibility of merging festivals or events. There’s been no official word yet on what the Jazz Fest or Les Francos will look like this year, but one thing is certain: people in the Québec culture scene are working overtime to get things in gear! Locked down for far too long, Québec performers are ready to give it their all—and their audience’s thirst for culture and entertainment is at an all-time high. Why wait for the storm to pass and postpone things again, when we can mobilize our legendary optimism and ability to take things in stride to let the good times roll, even if doing so means slightly reinventing the wheel? We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled, as this will be a unique opportunity for brands to get involved with a couple of highly anticipated events!

Photo credit | Radio-Canada

Is self-indulgence the new resilience?

Like pretty much everywhere else on the planet, Québec has been knee-deep in public health measures for more than a year now… and, well, it’s safe to say that the third wave is taking its toll on morale. With growing criticism of public policy guidelines, curfew protests, and a heightened sense of fatigue, it’s clear that most Quebecers have reached the end of their rope. But aren’t Quebecers known for being the most optimistic people in the country? And our desire for consensus? Then why all the hatred and violence? Are we losing sight of what sets us apart? We believe that how Quebecers see the current situation has to change: we must continue to draw on our resilience to deal with the context and be more tolerant of others. In this way, our resilience becomes a sort of self-indulgence. Fingers crossed that spring plus the vaccine is the magic formula for restoring our renowned joie de vivre.

Photo credit | LaPresse

Lavender fields to flourish year-round with the help of Moment Factory

Québec entrepreneurs are known for their creativity and resilience. And when two of Québec’s finest decide to join forces? Well, that’s when the magic really happens. Case in point: the “Chromatic Fields” immersive experience, set to launch in May 2021 in the Eastern Townships (Magog, to be precise). Combining creativity, nature, and multimedia, this unique collab between world-renowned creative hub Moment Factory and beloved Québec lavender farm Bleu Lavande will allow locals and wannabe tourists alike to enjoy the natural beauty all year round. Not only will this initiative give the economy and local tourism a boost, but Moment Factory’s international reputation will help Bleu Lavande and its products blossom and grow. It’s the perfect example of a project that’s made in Québec, by Quebecers, for Quebecers. Buying local is good. And exporting local does good.

Photo credit | NIGHTLIFE.CA

Indigenous TV: A first for Radio-Canada

Indigenous issues have been making headlines for years, and there’s a growing desire among Quebecers— especially the younger generations—to learn more about them. And because art is often the best way to help people understand and be exposed to little-known truths, Radio-Canada will launch Pour toi Flora as part of its spring 2022 lineup. A first of its kind, this Indigenous TV series will look at the history of residential schools, revealing the scars that this part of Canadian history has left (and continues to leave) on Indigenous people. Québec is known for its diversity, and this new series supports the desire to bring the Indigenous community back to the forefront of the Québec arts and media scene and give them a voice in our star system.

Photo credit | Radio-Canada

Arnaud Soly goes viral yet again

There’s no secret recipe for “going viral” on the Internet. But it would seem that some people, like comedian Arnaud Soly, know exactly what ingredients are needed! Alongside Pier-Luc Funk, he’s once again managed to banish our third wave blues with this video parody of Justin Bieber. In a matter of hours, his video—a mash-up of humour, simplicity and more than a dash of absurdity—was shared online thousands of times by viewers and Québec blogs alike. So what is it that makes his videos work so well? Our best guess: authenticity. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, when it comes to content, Quebecers want to feel that it’s real. Forget the fluff and fireworks. If it showcases our unique sense of humour and feels like one of the artists we love is speaking to us through the tubes, chances are it’ll work!

Photo credit | LaPresse

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