A visit to the Chants de Vielles Festival in Quebec
Mary Ann Kennedy explores the rich folk traditions of Quebec at the annual Chants de Vielles Festival in the tiny village of Calixa La Vallée. Its main stage, set up in a barn, hosts a performance by star acapella group Les Charbonniers d'Enfer; Les Chauffeurs a Pied play for a barn dance; and trio Serre l'Ecoute lead the audience in some rousing anti-English songs from the eighteenth century.
The Chants de Vielles Festival takes place in the local village showground, and one of the tasks of festvial volunteers is to clear the main barn of 'dirt' to prepare for the concerts. Local people house the artists, put up the marquees and feed the festival-goers, but it's also an international event which attracts performers and audience from Europe as well as across North America. It's a festival where top performers mingle freely with amateurs, and there are improvised music sessions starting up throughout the day, and well into the night.
First broadcast in December 2011.