40 years of Ciné-gift | The gift we keep giving ourselves


In five rounds, Ciné-cadeau will blow out its 40 candles. Beyond the number, rarely reached on television, this anniversary confirms our deep attachment, even visceral, to the cult appointment of Télé-Québec, which is usually accompanied by a good hot chocolate.

Because Ciné-cadeau is much more than a simple selection of children’s feature films that we present every year in December; it’s a nostalgic experience that can be recreated and shared.

At least this is what Éric Falardeau says, a doctoral student in communication and professor at the University of Quebec in Montreal, but above all an author who knows blocks of film programming that mark generations. Since in addition to having signed a message in Cathode Christmas – The magic of Ciné-gift to unwrapcollection published in 2017, Falardeau is, with Simon Laperrière, co-director of Bleu nuit, the story of a nocturnal cinephilea collective work released in 2014 celebrating the former erotic-naughty niche of TQS.

“Ciné-gift, is one of the rare rites steeped in nostalgia that we have preserved,” the master declared in an interview. It’s a tradition that always happens at the same time of year, which means that Christmas is approaching. »

Even more, it reminds us of an easy way to experience the holiday season, before the arrival of the internet, when we went outside to play. It evokes winter, the cold, the holidays, the food, the gifts under the tree… It’s all connected.

Éric Falardeau, PhD candidate in communication and lecturer at UQAM

Always popular

After 40 years, Ciné-cadeau remains a huge success for Télé-Québec. Numéris figures don’t lie. Last year, 4,100,000 viewers (54% of Quebecers) watched the network’s holiday programming each week. The three broadcasts of Ciné-cadeau (9am, 3.30pm and 6.30pm) brought together 393,003 young (and not so young) spectators every day.

This popularity carried over to the Internet: received 2.04 million views during this period, a 55% increase over the previous year.

“The ciné-gift is something that is handed down from generation to generation, indicates the public broadcaster’s new vice president of content, Nadine Dufour. We lived it with Master key 2.0. Parents who loved the show were really excited to introduce their children. »

Fierce competition

Which films will be presented at the Ciné-cadeau this year? Some news (Even mice go to heaven, Lassie – The road of adventure) and of course timeless classics like Tintin, Lucky Luke and Asterix. We write “unavailable” because if they weren’t on schedule, complaints would come at a high speed, says Nadine Dufour.

  • Even mice go to heaven


    Even mice go to heaven

  • Lassie - The road of adventure


    Lassie – The road of adventure


“Every year we get inquiries from viewers who want to see very, very old movies that have never been remastered. We try to renew as many titles as possible, but some are not found in decent quality releases. We won’t get to the point of broadcasting movies [format] four thirds, by the way! »


The Ballad of the Daltons

Another factor determines the return or otherwise of a title in the Ciné-gift offer: the price. With the arrival of platforms such as Netflix, Prime Video, Crave, Disney+ and Club illico, which also want to please their subscribers by offering family films in December, the acquisition market is heating up. The competition is fierce. To get the broadcast rights to a film, channels have to do it in advance and, above all, get their wallets out.

Negotiations are much more difficult. Prices have gone up tremendously. There are films that we have been screening for years that we can no longer afford to have, because we are billed three times as much as before.

Nadine Dufour, vice president of content at Télé-Québec

Asterix resists… top

Fortunately for Télé-Québec, the Asterix films remain available… and affordable. The Adventures of Little Gaul occupy seven of the top ten positions in the ranking of the most viewed Ciné-gifts of the last ten years. The 12 Labors of Asterix And Asterix and Cleopatra sit at the top of the chart, with 693,000 viewers (brand established in 2016) and 542,000 viewers (brand established in 2015) respectively.

  • The 12 Labors of Asterix


    The 12 Labors of Asterix

  • Asterix and Cleopatra


    Asterix and Cleopatra


Spokesman of the celebrations around 40And anniversary of Ciné-dono and great lover of the work of Goscinny and Uderzo, Guillaume Lambert (The escape, like me) approves of this popular choice. If he were to make his own list of essentials, the writer and director would certainly add The War of the Tuques by André Melançon (“for cult replicas”) e Garfield and his nine livesa 1988 animated film (“That’s it space potato like movie! “).


The war of the tuques, by André Melançon

“I was born in the 80s, Guillaume Lambert points out. For me the Ciné-dono has always existed. Every year I take the opportunity to listen to my classics again. »


William Lambert

It is an important tradition. It’s part of the necessary downtime in December, that time when you’re thankful for the year that’s ending and hopeful for what’s to come.

William Lambert

Underlined anniversary

Not surprisingly, the 40sAnd anniversary of Ciné-cadeau will not go unnoticed by Télé-Québec. On Friday the channel will present The Gervais-Diaz celebrate Ciné-donoa special program in which the couple Bianca Gervais-Sébastien Diaz notably receives Mahée Paiement, Kim Lizotte, Kevin Raphaël, Bleu Jeans Bleu (disguised as Dalton brothers) and Ariane Moffatt.


The Gervais-Diaz celebrate Ciné-dono

In recent weeks we have also been able to listen on various platforms (including OHdio) The great déballado of Ciné-donoa pleasant podcast of three episodes hosted by Mathieu Bouillon, where the host revisits the classics of the Ciné-cadeau with Catherine Éthier, Antoine Vézina, Tammy Verge and other enthusiasts.


Tintin and the Temple of the Sun

Finally, on Saturday, December 10, A Tale for All will screen outdoors at Montreal’s Old Port. “We had to point this out, observes Nadine Dufour. Christmas festivities without a Ciné-gift, it’s impossible! People are always looking forward to our programming. »

The future of Ciné-gift seems assured. Due to the lively interest that she still arouses today, Nadine Dufour seems certain to celebrate her 50th birthdayAnd birthday in 10 years. “The attachment of the audience is just too strong,” she explains. Yes, we want to keep modernizing the brand by adding new content, but pull the plug, no one will ever dare! »

Télé-Québec presents Ciné-cadeau from Saturday 10 December.

The 20 most screened films at the Ciné-cadeau since 2005


The 12 Labors of Asterix

  1. The 12 Labors of Asterix
  2. Asterix among the Bretons
  3. Asterix and Cleopatra
  4. Asterix the Gaul
  5. Asterix and the surprise of Caesar
  6. Asterix and the blow of the menhir
  7. The Daltons on the run
  8. The Ballad of the Daltons
  9. Tintin and shark lake
  10. Asterix and the Indians
  11. Tintin and the Temple of the Sun
  12. daisytown
  13. Tintin and the Tournesol affair
  14. Alex and the ghosts
  15. Asterix and the Vikings
  16. shark party
  17. Voices
  18. Sweater
  19. Chickens on the run
  20. Kiriku and the witch

Source: Télé-Québec, holiday season 2005-2006 to 2021-2022

Learn more

  • Top 5 Ciné-gift film of 2021
    1. The 12 Labors of Asterix : 530,000 spectators 2. Asterix and the Vikings : 405,000 spectators
    3. Asterix among the Bretonss: 373,000 spectators 4. Asterix and Cleopatra : 363,000 spectators 5. The little boss : 257,000 spectators

    Numéris, InfoSys+TV, French Quebec, December 11, 2021 to January 2, 2022 (data confirmed)

    Last year, two out of three Quebec households watched Télé-Québec’s holiday programming.

    Source: Numéris, InfoSys+TV, French Quebec, 11 December 2021 to 2 January 2022 (data confirmed)


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