For the past eight years, the Mondial Loto-Québec has been heard throughout the city of Laval thanks to its surprise filled program. This summer festival has welcomed more than half a million spectators from Quebec, but also from the northern United States and elsewhere in the world. Families and couples of all age groups never tire of hearing the melodies the choristers sing in unison. Gregory Charles, president of the event, conveyed some of his passion for choral singing to Quebecvacances.com in this interview.
Québecvacances.com – Gregory Charles, how did the idea to launch a festival dedicated entirely to choral singing get off the ground?
Gregory Charles – I've always loved choral singing. After having participated in the organization of various national celebrations in Laval, I got the idea to suggest an event entirely dedicated to this niche. For our first Mondial in 2005, we welcomed 400 choristers and the show by Jean-Pierre Ferland was a real success. This year, after eight years, we have more than 200 choirs that will be accompanied by renowned musicians.
QV - What kind of experience do you want spectators to have?
GC – It's first and foremost a community experience. That is why these concerts are held throughout the city in churches, inside community halls, in parks, and near metro stations. Like the choirs themselves, Laval has a family spirit. That is what spectators will feel when they attend the various concerts.
QV - You have invited some very popular artists that really are not associated with choral singing. Why?
GC – You know, choral singing is just about everywhere. You hear it in advertising, in film music, and even pop groups use choral singing. Think about Elvis Presley, the Beach Boys, and I'm sure we could just go on naming them. There is really nothing extraordinary about adding choral singing to an Aerosmith show. I would even add the choral singing is easily adapted to all types of music without needing to rehearse with the invited artist. And the result is always spectacular!
QV - What was your greatest success?
GC – There were several. First on the artistic level, eight years ago, choral singing was not highly thought of. Today, I think that the Mondial has contributed to people paying more attention to this art form. I am also proud of my team which does remarkable work in welcoming all the singers and organizing volunteer accommodations with host families. This year, we are experimenting with spreading the Mondial over an entire month so that more people can enjoy it.
Event name: Mondial Loto-Québec de Laval
President: Gregory Charles
Number of visitors: Yearly average of 500,000 people
Event date: June 15 to July 15, 2012
The Mondial Loto-Québec de Laval was awarded the Nouveauté ou activité originale des Prix Coup d’Éclat! 2011 (novelty or original activity) prize given out by Festival et événements Québec. It also won the Quebecor media bursary valued at $43,500 given out as a multiplatform media campaign.