Children enjoyed bouncy castles and games at the 2019 Fall Fest. There will be no bouncy castles this year, but video clips of the virtual community event can be seen soon on VEQ's YouTube and Facebook pages.
For the past many years, the Voice of English-speaking Québec’s Fall Fest, a showcase for local community groups and organizations, has been held in the gymnasium of St. Vincent School, with fun bouncy castles for kids on the playground outside a hot dog sale and many, many other things to see and do and eat. Local music, dance and theatre groups also perform.
The QCT recently chatted with Brigitte Wellens, VEQ’s executive director, to find out how the pandemic will affect Fall Fest this year.
“Obviously, we’re doing it virtually this year. The board made the decision back in the spring because we didn’t know where [COVID-19] would be in the fall. We didn’t want to take a risk and have all those people piled into the gym at St. Vincent. But we still wanted to promote community organizations and do the community showcase as well as offer a few performances. Just like we usually do in the gym, but this time virtually.
“So we’ve asked organizations to produce 90-second videos to introduce themselves, explain who they are and what services they offer the English-speaking community. They’ve been a little slow coming in; a lot of people were on vacation and not everyone is able to film and produce a video clip, but they’ve been trickling in slowly but surely.
“Our goal is to shine the spotlight on the community groups, on who’s serving the community. The community is nothing without those groups. Everyone does such a fantastic job in making sure that services are maintained. It’s been a tough period. We’ll miss all the people who always came to the gymnasium at St. Vincent, but [a virtual Fall Fest] is better than nothing.”
Wellens is expecting the first of the videos to be ready next week. She explained, “What we’re going to do is ‘stitch’ two or three video clips together, no more than five minutes long in total. We’re going to keep it short and sweet. We’ll post several videos per week until we’re done with all the clips. Performances will be placed somewhere in there.”
VEQ is hoping to receive some 30 or 40 different videos. “We’ll put them on our YouTube channel first and then share the link from that to our Facebook page. This way we’ll be able to track how many views each clip has gotten,” said Wellens.
“If they haven’t already done so, we encourage community groups to send in their video clips as soon as possible. Then, stay tuned. We’ll be sharing them on our Facebook page in September and October. There’ll be some surprise treats in there with a few performances,” said Wellens.
Wellens reminded people and organizations submitting videos to make sure they are shot in landscape mode, and in 720p or more. Send the video to email@example.com, they’ll take it from there. If you have any questions, contact Melissa Wan at 418-683-2366, ext. 221.
Photo from QCT archives
IF there were a “real” Fall Fest, Shirley Nadeau and Lorie Pierce would be happy to welcome you to the QCT table! This photo was taken at the 2019 Fall Fest.