As soon as she joined the Télévision Quatre-Saisons team and long before TQS aired, Madeleine Careau became concerned about the audience.
How not to organize a gala in which the public themselves would choose their favorite stars? A gala like the Awards for people’s choice of American television that has honored popular culture stars since 1975. Madeleine, who has nothing to prove her as her two decades at the helm of the Orchester symphonique de Montréal show, managed to convince me that we could have broadcast one less first gala three months. What has been done, but only thanks to the resolve of André Grou, editor of Montreal Newspaperand Gaétan Frigon, great head of marketing at Métro-Richelieu and a future ex-dragon. Within hours, these two men decided to sponsor the gala.
My son Christian had the happy idea of baptizing the MetroStar trophies and gala and on Sunday evening 23 November 1986, in front of the largest TQS audience to date, Martine Sinclair and André-Philippe Gagnon were proclaimed winners of the public gala. . The following year, Gaétan Frigon, who could not bear being shown the door of TQS, moved the sponsorship from Métro to Radio-Canada. In 1989, TVA ditched its Artis gala, envisioned in a disaster in the fall of 1986 to overshadow the MétroStar, and the two galas merged. Radio-Canada remained a television broadcaster, but the trophy created by Métro disappeared in favor of the TVA Artis statuette. In 2006 Metro withdrew its sponsorship, TVA became the broadcaster of the public gala, which took the name of Artis.
THE ELDER OF THE TELEVISION GALA
It is therefore the oldest of our television gala that TVA has just disconnected, that of the Gemini having been created the following year. If it is true that spectators’ interest in galas has decreased, the fact remains that with its 1,176,000 spectators, the Artis gala was, in 2021, the most watched of all. I’m not one of those who believe in the imminent death of galas, even if a gala as bad as the last one at Québec Cinéma gives it a hard blow.
Our television galas have suffered greatly from the merciless war between TVA and Radio-Canada. Even in the United States, where competition is fierce, the networks have always observed a certain respite during the various gala of cinema, television or that of the public. The next Awards for people’s choice will take place on November 13 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. It will air on E! Online and CBS.
NOTHING LASTS FOREVER
In our country, the struggles within the associations and the rivalry between the networks have undermined the credibility of juries and polls. The petty fate reserved for some animators has left a bad taste in the mouth and discouraged the best. The length of the galas, their lack of diversity, the tenor of the polls that too often report the same winners have certainly contributed to the weariness of the public, but the biggest culprits for their momentary disinterest are the replacement galas presented during the pandemic, not to mention of the constraints imposed by the extreme political correctness that took place in America at the same time as COVID.
But none of this is forever. If I were TVA, I would carefully store the Artis mold in mothballs. We may have to release many new trophies in the near future.