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A visit to the Chants de Vielles Festival in Quebec

Mary Ann Kennedy visits Canada, exploring the rich folk traditions of Quebec at the annual Chants de Vielles Festival in the tiny village of Calixa La Vallee.

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.

Available now

1 hour

Music Played

  • BBC Location Recording

    • Chants de Vielles Festival

      Festival parade

    • Les Charbonniers de l'Enfer

      Sur C'es Terres Labourees

      Performers: Michel Bordeleau, Michel Faubert, André Marchand, Jean-Claude Mirandette, Normand Miron

      • Chants de Vielles Festival.
      • Calixa La Vallee, Quebec.
    • Les Charbonniers de l'Enfer

      O Marie

      Performers: Michel Bordeleau, Michel Faubert, André Marchand, Jean-Claude Mirandette, Normand Miron

      • Chants de Vielles Festival.
      • Calixa La Vallee, Quebec.
    • Les Charbonniers de l'Enfer

      Le Diable dans la ville de Poitiers

      Performers: Michel Bordeleau, Michel Faubert, André Marchand, Jean-Claude Mirandette, Normand Miron

      • Chants de Vielles Festival.
      • Calixa La Vallee, Quebec.
    • Les Charbonniers de l'Enfer

      Hier au soir

      Performers: Michel Bordeleau, Michel Faubert, André Marchand, Jean-Claude Mirandette, Normand Miron

      • Chants de Vielles Festival.
      • Calixa La Vallee, Quebec.
    • Chants de Vielles Festival

      Improv session in marquee

    • Daniel Thonon

      hurdy-gurdy improvisation

      • Chants de Vielles Festival.
      • Calixa La Vallee, Quebec.
    • Daniel Thonon

      hurdy-gurdy improvisation

      • Chants de Vielles Festival.
      • Calixa La Vallee, Quebec.
    • Serre l'Ecoute

      C'est le général de Flipe

      Performers: Gabrielle Bouthillier, Liette Remon, and Robert Bouthillier

      • Chants de Vielles Festival.
      • Calixa La Vallee, Quebec.
    • Serre l'Ecoute

      Buvons ma cousine

      Performers: Gabrielle Bouthillier, Liette Remon, and Robert Bouthillier

      • Chants de Vielles Festival.
      • Calixa La Vallee, Quebec.
    • Serre l'Ecoute

      La vie d'un jeune garcon

      Performers: Gabrielle Bouthillier, Liette Remon, and Robert Bouthillier

      • Chants de Vielles Festival.
      • Calixa La Vallee, Quebec.
    • Les Chauffeurs à Pied

      5,4,3!

      Performers: Antoine Gauthier, Benoît Fortier, Olivier Soucy, Louis-Simon Lemieux

      • Chants de Vielles Festival.
      • Calixa La Vallee, Quebec.
    • Les Chauffeurs à Pied

      J'aime mon 'tit flacon

      Performers: Antoine Gauthier, Benoît Fortier, Olivier Soucy, Louis-Simon Lemieux

      • Chants de Vielles Festival.
      • Calixa La Vallee, Quebec.
    • Les Chauffeurs à Pied

      Barn Dance music

      Performers: Antoine Gauthier, Benoît Fortier, Olivier Soucy, Louis-Simon Lemieux

      • Chants de Vielles Festival.
      • Calixa La Vallee, Quebec.

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