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TELUS Social Impact
TELUS Social Impact

Connecting Canadians

Festival Musique du Bout du Monde, an electrifying event!

Aug 16, 2021

(Above) Overlooked by the Arche de l’Éveil Collectif, festival-goers return from a concert near the Gaspé marina. PHOTO BY ROGER ST-LAURENT

As you exit Quebec City, keep driving along the St-Lawrence river for 700 km, almost to the very tip of the province. That’s where you’ll find the Festival Musique du Bout du Monde (Music Festival at the End of the World) – with a little help from TELUS rural connectivity.

The Gaspé peninsula played host earlier this month to some 30 artists who’ve been waiting impatiently to share their music with eager fans at the Festival Musique du Bout du Monde. As international acts are restricted by border closures, this year’s festival focused on showcasing the rich diversity of Quebec’s local music scene, including Anachnid, winner of the SOCAN Foundation Indigenous Songwriter of the year, rapper Sarahmée and the popular Bleu Jeans Bleu band, best known for its earworm, Coton ouaté.

Four venues in the heart of nature

The annual event normally draws upward of 15,000 festival-goers at a single festival site. But amidst the pandemic, as explained Steven Pontbriand, festival general manager, the team this year had to get creative in order to provide a live experience that kept people safe, while still living up to past expectations – this, despite the fact that just a few weeks ago it was still uncertain whether lockdown measures would even be lifted.

The result was the construction of four separate outdoor venues set up throughout Greater Gaspé, each one carefully selected to honour the region’s distinctive landscapes:

  • Mont Béchervaise: accessible by the chairlift used for skiers, with breathtaking views of the Gaspé bay

  • The forest clearing stage: the headliners played in an elusive location that used to be home to the Ursulines religious community and is now surrounded by trees

  • The stage at the Arche de l’Éveil Collectif: a thrilling line-up played at the arch, a grandiose installation by artist Armand Vaillancourt, near the Gaspé marina

  • Cap-Bon-Ami, Forillon National Park: the festival’s signature sunrise show held in the heart of nature

Steven Pontbriand, General Manager of the Festival Musique du Bout du Monde, heading to the top of Mont Béchervaise, one of four outdoor festival venues this year. PHOTO BY DANIELLE PETITPAS

Connecting the end of the world

“Holding shows in new and remote venues like this wouldn’t be possible without TELUS’ powerful and reliable connectivity", said Pontbriand.

In 2010, wireless high-speed Internet was deployed throughout the Côte-de-Gaspé RCM – a first for the Canadian telecommunications industry, which brought internet and mobile communications to communities spread out across a vast territory. 

Since 2015, TELUS has invested over $40 million to deploy its PureFibre network in Gaspésie, with a $13-million contribution from the Quebec and Canadian governments. Now, all RCM communities in Gaspésie have access to a fibre-optic internet, at home or at work, and residents can enjoy the world’s fastest and most reliable Internet technology on par with events in large urban centres. 

And in a place that is proudly nicknamed “the end of the world,” festival-goers got to access the various venues with ease using a digital passport and enjoy gourmet food using online ordering at venues without physical cables.

This year’s festival can now be held in the middle of the forest following a $40-million investment by TELUS to bring fibre optic connectivity to the Gaspésie region. PHOTO BY ROGER ST-LAURENT

“Since 5G was installed in 2020, participants were able to share these unforgettable moments practically instantly,” added Pontbriand. 

For festival organizers, the new venues not only thrilled festival-goers, but they will also make a mark for years to come. Collaboration between the organization, the community and long-time part

ners like TELUS is key to bringing this unique vision to life in a rural area.

“Our mission has always been to recreate the spirit of Gaspé back when it was a free port visited by travellers from all over the world,” said Pontbriand. 

“We can now hold our own compared to larger urban centres, and we can boast about being connected to the fastest network in the country.” 

Government policies have made the digital divide in Canada worse, leaving some rural Canadians without optimal internet. You can help change that.

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