StO 1 ~ St-Octave-de-l'Avenir and some of its story
THE VICTORIA MORRISMEN
Report on participation in Folklore Festival, St Octave, PQ
(sent to Frances Fridge, CFAC, Vancouver)
The third annual Festival de Folklore de St-Octave-de-l'Avenir was held
June 29-July 2, 1978.
St-Octave-de-l'Avenir is an abandoned village (now reduced to the church and two adjacent buildings) in the hills of the Gaspé peninsula, overlooking the St Lawrence estuary and about 10 miles inland.
The festival is run by a local organization
(the Corporation du Festival de Folklore) based in Cap-Chat, the nearest town, with help from the Canadian Folk Arts Council.
The CFAC handled the show presented on each of the four evenings on an outdoor stage, and dealt direct with us on the preparatory arrangements for the trip.
Other groups (all dancers) taking part in the stage show included local Indians; Nordfolk (Québecois, from Sept-Iles); Evangeline (Acadian, from PEI); Polish and Egyptian (Montreal); and Philippine and Italian (Winnipeg). So we had travelled the furthest!
The festival also included folk-music performances, arts-and-crafts displays, and various side-shows, stalls and kiosks. Reported total attendance figures ran into the tens of thousands, and certainly after the Thursday the village was continually packed with people.
(1978, from the Facebook page
The village was created during the 1930s
Depression, as part of a back-to-the-land strategy. "Octave"
Octave Caron, a local churchman, one of the project leaders; "de
(of the Future) expressed a belief in better times to come.
In 2010 I found on the Internet copies of the outdoor
evening dance performance
programs for three years. The first two years I have
summarised by province; the 1978 program is as listed. I
rather like the title they gave us: "Morris
Men Dancers of Vict".
Festival de Folklore de Ste-Octave de l'Avenir
The St-Octave-de-l'Avenir festival continued in later years; I found references to 1979 (Facebook. Saint-Octave page, comment on 1976 photo, Serge Duclos, of Tam Ti Delam); and 1980 (Daniel Lemieux web site).
(The Italian dancers