A documentary series on the centro

The Sherbrookois will have a very local documentary series to put in the tooth on Saturday, September 7th. The six episodes of the series Mon centro, which explores several facets of downtown Sherbrooke, will be offered on the Bell Fibe TV1 pay-per-view channel.
Réalisé and written by Sherbrooke residents Dutil Jean-Sebastien and Jean-François Vachon, the documentary will address several aspects of the neighborhood: the population, the social spaces, restaurants, community organizations, cultural venues and history.

“I’ve lived in the city center for about 10 years,” says Jean-Sébastien Dutil. I invest in it and it becomes a bit like a family. There are so many people who do not come here anymore. It’s important to talk about it and to invite people to take an interest in it. ”

“Often, when we talk about downtown, we will talk about the shops, parking, renovations or the Well South neighborhood,” said Jean-François Vachon, a historian by training and former co-owner of Café Singing Goat. “It’s important, we will not hide it, but what we wanted to convey is that downtown is a living environment. ”

“We see in the series a 90-year-old whose father had a business here in the early 1900s,” he continues. We took this person back to the store (currently the Kitsch Shop) and she told us about the daily life of the downtown area at the time. The goal is to convey the soul of the neighborhood. ”

100 shootings, 30 interviews

The two Sherbrooke residents shot about one hundred shootings and about 30 interviews. The two lovers of downtown decided to approach their subject in a positive light.

“We wanted to show what’s interesting. We see a lot of cultural events. We give the floor to people, but we do not have our heads in the sand either, says Vachon. I’ll pick up what people told us in an interview, but the downtown needs to specialize. I do not know if the neighborhood will be back to what it was in the 1940s or 1950s, but there is potential. ”

“Generally in Quebec, we feel a revival in downtowns. To continue this, it will take more people who live there and who are interested in what happens, “summarizes Jean-Sebastien Dutil, who is also involved, at this time, in the making of a documentary on the revitalization of the school yard Larocque.

A huge amount of research work was needed to complete the project. Archival images, photos and newspaper articles from La Tribune also illustrate the downtown past and revive places like the Flamingo, the Moulin Rouge and the Luxor.

The series will be available for 5 years on Bell Fibe TV1. Jean-Sébastien Dutil and Jean-François Vachon are however looking for other broadcasters to present it more widely on the Web and on the airwaves.

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