---Aylmer businesses deal with COVID-19 differently
While the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for most people to adapt to, small businesses have felt the brunt of the blow – many needing to reinvent themselves to stay alive during the pandemic. For a couple of local businesses, the coronavirus has given them the opportunity to use their specialty to steer people’s minds away from negativity and enjoy what the world has to offer.
--Podcasting pays during pandemic
Despite many businesses struggling financially since the start of the pandemic, Transistor Media has largely thrived with radio entertainment being as prevalent as ever. As a non-profit organization specializing in producing all sorts of podcasts and selling them to different media organizations – including Radio Canada and Télé Québec – Transistor Media is committed to entertaining the community in the safest way.
Having recently helped found the Scène nationale du son, https://scenenationaleduson.com/, an event giving artists a unique platform to perform plays online via digital audio, owner Steven Boivin said Transitor Media is hoping to provide the community with an adequate alternative for theatrical productions during the pandemic. “We take shows that can’t be on stage right now and we put them in audio form,” Boivin said.
Taking place on September 14, 21 and 28, the shows will be approximately one hour and a half long with no intermission. Currently located at 53 rue Court – with some studio space on rue Front as well – Boivin noted that the enterprise is proudly Aylmer-based and conducts the majority of its activities in Gatineau’s westernmost sector. “Our studios are in Aylmer,” Boivin said. “We collaborate with the Aylmer musicians … pretty much all the team from Transistor lives in Aylmer.”
Launched in 2018, by Boivin and Julien Morrisette, Transistor Media is the product of two audio junkies determined to turn their passion into their life’s work. Known for organizing large-scale events, such as the Festival de la radio numérique and the Festival Transistor, Boivin said Transistor Media is largely supported by the proceeds raised from its events as well as by the city of Gatineau and the provincial government.
Noting that last year’s Festival Transistor was held in Hull, Boivin said the organization is working hard to ensure that the 2021 edition will take place in Aylmer. Having recently joined the Board of Directors of APICA, the Aylmer Association of Professionals, Industrials and Merchants, Boivin noted that involving other local businesses in Transistor Media’s initiatives is quite gratifying.
The 2020 Festival Transistor was initially scheduled to take place in Hull, back in May, before being postponed because of COVID-19. To take shows on the road when needed, the enterprise also owns an all-black FedEx truck bearing the Transistor Media logo that can be seen rolling around and stopping at different places for some live radio.
--Pure Apothecary: caring for the spiritual self
Officially open on August 4, Pure Apothecary’s wide inventory of spiritual products and energy healing sessions is more than prepared to provide alternative solutions of dealing with pain and struggle, and finding the path to enlightenment. Providing energy healing workshops and sessions, along with a bevy of products and healing tools – including books on witchcraft, clothing and work from local artists – the Boutique’s owner Dana Ouellette explained that her business is all about making people connect with their spirituality and feel good.
Located at 149B rue Principale – attached to Café Mulligan – the boutique’s operating hours are Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm and Thursday and Friday from 12 noon to 8 pm.
Founded in April 2019 – initially providing energy healing sessions from the comfort of her home – Ouellette said it was important for her to open Pure Apothecary’s first brick and mortar boutique after noticing a need for her service in the community. “I think we bring a place for people to express their spirituality,” Ouellette said. “We don’t limit ourselves to one religion or scope. It’s about connecting with the spiritual community in Aylmer.”
While COVID-19 has made it more challenging for her to connect with locals, Ouellette said she’s grateful knowing that her vision of opening the boutique has been realized.