As we tried to cope during this difficult time, most artistic events were cancelled and many cultural organizations had to curtail or reschedule their activities. The Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur was not permitted to hold any shows in its Big Top this year, but we crafted a plan to pursue our mission while protecting the health and well-being of the artists, the public, and our staffers and volunteers, all of whom are our top priority. We were proud to unveil our new digital initiative, “A Shared Solitude,” created in cooperation with the Orchestre Métropolitain.

Artists have been hard-hit by this pandemic and need our help more than ever before. In keeping with its mission to support creation, the Festival decided to ask 20 Québec artists to create 10 original works to be shown online over the summer. Ten choreographers, chosen by our artistic director Guillaume Côté and 10 composers, chosen by OM conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin were paired up to each present an exclusive joint-creation. The current crisis was the common thread linking the 10 solos which, we feel, will prove that the imagination can never be quarantined and that if art can emerge from constraints, it can certainly emerge from lockdown.

In addition, our artistic director, Guillaume Côté, in collaboration with the Orchestre Métropolitain, followed and documented the creative process of the 20 artists through interviews that were part of the final productions shown online. The creations were recorded outdoors in the sublime Laurentian landscapes around the city of Saint-Sauveur. Every Sunday from July to September, one of the performances was presented on our website. 

In commissioning these works and presenting them digitally, our aim is to promote the creative spirit and pay tribute to artists who demonstrate their resilience, their resourcefulness and their generosity. Here’s hoping that the arts continue to inspire, comfort, and awe you, illuminating your way forward as it does ours.