Iconic Music Festival Venue In Gaspésie, Quebec Rises From The Ashes After Major Fire
Six years after the fire that devastated this iconic venue of the Petite-Vallée Song Festival in Gaspésie, construction work has finally begun on the Théâtre de la Vieille Forge.
Early Monday morning, a convoy of excavators and trucks marked the commencement of reconstruction work at the Théâtre de la Vieille Forge in the Gaspésie. The performance hall and café are notably recognized as the headquarters of the Village en Chanson de Petite-Vallée, the cultural organization and social enterprise behind one of Quebec's most prominent Francophone music festivals
Since 1983, the Petite-Vallée Song Festival has been a stage for both established and emerging artists, whether they hail from the region or from afar. Marjo, Gilles Vigneault, Michel Rivard, Daniel Lavoie, Laurence Jalbert, Karkwa, Vincent Vallières, Florent Vollant, Klô Pelgag, and Lisa LeBlanc have all graced the iconic Théâtre de la Vieille Forge's stage.
However, everything took a drastic turn in August 2017 when it was reduced to ashes in a fire, and a temporary solution had to be found. After six long years of waiting, relief is finally here as the construction work has finally begun.
"Everyone is very happy about what's happening in Petite-Vallée today," says Marc-Antoine Dufresne, the festival's Director of Communications and Assistant to the Artistic Director, in an interview with Billboard Canada.
If the building's structure is erected by December, the inauguration of the new Théâtre de la Vieille Forge will take place much later, during the summer of 2025.
"We are facing a logistical challenge for organizing the festival next year," Marc-Antoine Dufresne adds. They have decided to maintain the festival dates during a break from construction, from July 25 to August 3, 2024. "We want to mitigate the effects of the construction on our activities," he explains.
However, this compromise will be possible because the work will be concentrated inside the new structure. "Festival-goers will be able to see the building's shell!" Marc-Antoine Dufresne enthuses.
In the meantime, the Village en Chanson de Petite-Vallée promises regular updates on the progress of the construction.