Last weekend, Julien Morissette was probably one of the busiest men in Gatineau.
Co-founder and artistic director of the Transistor Media studio, he has been at the head of the Digital Radio Festival (FRN) for seven years, which is held in Old Aylmer. Each year, excluding those stolen by the pandemic, it brings together around the La Basoche cultural center many festival-goers passionate about podcasting and its various derivatives. The latest edition was no exception.
All around La Basoche, colorful FRN posters reminded passers-by of the event. Cafés and bistros had also taken the leap to highlight the programming of the various activities this year, from the late-night wrestling gala to the family day spent under the sign of Passe-Partout or ‘El Kapouchi.
The 34-year-old man is delighted to see his fellow citizens embrace this young festival devoted to a medium that is quite young after all.
Another source of satisfaction: allowing artists visiting each festival to discover a region they often know little about. Or wrong.
Gatineau City Council President Steven Boivin, who co-founded the Digital Radio Festival in 2017, agrees: “The city of Gatineau is looking for a lot culturally. Too often, the referents that people have kept are Luce Dufault or Pierre Lapointe… who no longer live here! The festival allows us to position ourselves on the cultural chessboard. Gatineau is seen as a city of civil servants; it could become the city of sound, a cradle for this art form…”
Julien Morissette could also have followed the siren song to settle in the metropolis, but that was never an option for him. “I was born in Hull, I did my primary, secondary and college studies here. Even when I was in Montreal for my bachelor’s degree in cinema, I was very involved in the Hull cultural community, especially with my music group Tracteur Jack. At the time, you had to cross into Ontario to find a recording studio and technicians…”
This loyalty, however, has a price, admits the one who has long worn the hat of touring bassist.
“Also,” he continues, “arts councils want diversity, regional in particular, but they are skittish when it comes to adding hotel nights, transportation or meals to the budget. »
However, the man has more than one trick up his sleeve and he has managed to convince renowned artists to drop by his house to participate in his projects: Sophie Cadieux, Marie-Thérèse Fortin, Sylvie Drapeau and Patrice Dubois are of the number.
In his projects, Julien Morissette never misses an opportunity to put the spotlight on the region where he grew up. Thus, in his podcast Haunted, presented in particular on the OHdio platform of Radio-Canada, he tells the paranormal stories that have occurred in Old Aylmer. A second season of this creation mixing reality and fiction is on the way. He also organized three Kino-Radio where artists from Quebec, Canada and abroad traveled the region to create in situ (and in 48 hours) a radiophonic work.
“They say that the Outaouais has no cultural identity? It gives me beautiful blank pages to write stories! “says Julien Morissette with philosophy.
Birth of the FRN in 2017, then of the Transistor Media studio in 2018