Showtime at the British
Local actors unite to promote English culture and artists
The Regional Association of West Quebecers and the British Hotel and Café have joined forces with Videotron’s MATV to showcase local English culture, history, influence and art with the entirety of Quebec.
Showtime at the British has been described by both Linton Garner, Executive Director of the Regional Association of West Quebecers (RAWQ), and Mike Clemann, the British Hotel and Café owner, as a sort of Aylmer-based Saturday Night Live.
The 28-minute show will feature interviews, historical segments, skits and live performances showcasing local artists such as musicians, comedians, painters, and spoken word artists as well as the British as a cultural building block and icon of the region’s English-speaking community.
In the words of Linton Garner, “13.7 per cent of Quebec’s population is anglophone; in Aylmer, that number is closer to 20 per cent and in other areas across the Pontiac, the numbers are much greater. If you think of all of those people, that’s a lot of great talent that hasn’t had an opportunity to be properly showcased and that’s the gap that we hope to fill and the platform we want to provide with this.”
Financing for the show was made available through funds given by the Quebec Community Health and Social Services Foundation to help local community groups such as RAWQ expand their mandates.
The Regional Association of West Quebecers already hosts a show on MATV called Citylife focused on local issues, politics and news and now hopes to dazzle both English and French communities with the area’s raw artistic talent.
“The British has, for as long as it’s existed, supported and showcased live music from the 1920s to the 60’s, 80’s and up until today and we’ve always believed in local artists. I play in a band called the British Invasion and jam once every few weeks. Music is our thing; it’s what we do; and now we want to take it to the next level to really put forward and help our local cultural mosaic flourish,” said Mike Clemann.
As part of this cultural project the British Hotel will provide its space and stage to local performers and the shows’ film crew. They also plan on hosting a varnishing in their first floor “gold-room” every month as a means to promote local artists.
Filming for the show begins on the 12th and 13th of August and the first episode will air on September 16 at 10 pm on MATV, both on cable television and on the web.
With a cast and crew composed entirely of qualified members of the community, the show’s first season has been mandated for 24 episodes, each showcasing individual artistic talent and elements of the British and Aylmer’s heritage.