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Salut, Gadou!

When she learns that the local youth centre is in danger, Geneviève refuses to give in without a fight. She tries to convince her friend Gadou to participate in the movement to save it.

Salut, Gadou! is a fictitious tribute to the Saint-Jean-Baptiste neighbourhood’s history of community involvement (downtown Quebec). It is based on a novel by the same name by Malcolm Reid, published in 1982. Reid’s novel was inspired by the neighbourhood’s Saint-Gabriel movement (1976) and the operation to rescue what is now the community’s youth centre.

Starting in June 2021, a cultural outreach project transformed an entire inner-city neighbourhood into a playground for fiction and learning about civil society. Readings and group discussions were fuel for writing scenes and poems. Young people imagined how the story might take shape in today’s world before participating in organizing, filming, and creating the original soundtrack. Salut, Gadou! is directed by Hélène Matte, Jérémie Thibault, Marco Chantal.

Salut, Gadou! involved 10 youths for an entire summer, four of whom worked on screenwriting. Twenty-odd youths had speaking parts while just as many were extras. Thirty-odd adults, including historian Réjean Lemoine and four professional actors (Charlie Cameron, Justice Rutikara, Jean-Marie Alexandre, Thomas Langlois) were also involved, as well as a choir of 12 children from immigrant backgrounds who are neighbours. Salut Gadou! also had its own band and features five never-before-released songs. More than 20 neighbourhood businesses supported the project, which was produced in collaboration with the Comité populaire Saint-Jean-Baptiste, the Maison des jeunes Saint-Jean-Baptiste and La Bande Vidéo.

Hélène Matte has been working in Québec City’s cultural scene for over twenty years as a multitalented free agent. She is a writer and a poet, a curator and a mediator, a performer and a visual artist, a mother and a citizen. Her artistic practice examines the notions of the voice, encounters and experimental poetry. She practices action art, draws and writes. While Matte has exhibited and performed in Europe, Canada and elsewhere in the Americas, she is also active locally, initiating, coordinating and supervising projects such as Apprentis poétes ! (Planète Rebelle, 2015) and Vies de Quartier (2016). Hélène Matte regularly publishes her work and has directed and produced numerous works of video poetry (Aurora Revelatìon, Fotogenia Festival 2020).

Marco Chantal is a cinematographer that specializes in editing and directing. He often works with young artists and helps them create their audiovisual projects

Travailleuse culturelle depuis plus de vingt ans à Québec, Hélène Matte est un électron libre portant de nombreux chapeaux : écrivaine et poète, commissaire et médiatrice, performeure et artiste visuelle, mère de famille et citoyenne. Sa pratique interroge les notions de voix, de rencontre et de poésies expérimentales. Elle investit l’art-action, le dessin et l’écriture. Elle a réalisé des expositions et performances en Europe, au Canada et ailleurs en Amériques, mais agit aussi au niveau local où elle initie, coordonne et anime des projets rassembleurs tels Apprentis poètes ! (Planète Rebelle, 2014) et Vies de Quartier (2016). Hélène Matte publie régulièrement et a réalisé plusieurs stand-up poétiques et nombreuses vidéopoésies.

Marco Chantal est un technicien en cinéma qui se spécialise en caméra et en montage. Il travaille souvent dans la réalisation de publicités et de vidéoclips pour les artistes locaux.


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