November 16, 2016
Quebec superstar Celine Dion gave a moving tribute to her late husband, Rene Angelil, at the 2016 ADISQ Awards. Credit: Jean-François Leblanc, Agence Stockshot.
Quebec takes its music seriously.
And there is no better display of this than the ADISQ Awards, the annual awards show dedicated to celebrating the best of the Quebec music industry, where attendees are treated to three hours of world-class Quebec tunes.
It’s a night that brings out the leaders of not only the Quebec industry, but also industry members from across Canada. Spotted at the event were Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly, CARAS/JUNOS President and CEO Allan Reid, and Jeffrey Remedios of Universal Music Canada, among others, and some personal Quebec music favourites, such as Louis Jean Cormier, Marie-Mai, and Jean Leloup.
The Quebec music industry has a special way of paying tribute to its own, pairing nominees together to collaborate on performances—including some icons with emerging artists—along with awe-inspiring production elements.
In particular, Coeur de Pirate (a.k.a. Béatrice Martin) put on a stunning performance with some noteworthy touches. Standing on an elevated platform, Martin sang a song off her new record as a cascade of water fell around her. With a spotlight shining onto her back, emphasizing her silhouette, droplets of water fell onto the stage—and the singer—to breathtaking effect.
Cœur de Pirate’s performing “Crier tout bas” amid a shower of rain. Credit: Jean-François Leblanc, Agence Stockshot.
Next was newcomer Safia Nolin, performing with roots act Les Soeurs Boulay, nominated in the Group or Duo category. The trio sang into vintage microphones, creating beautiful Americana-inspired harmonies that recalled the likes of Emmylou Harris, Rosanne Cash and Alison Krauss.
Nolin, who has been taking Quebec by storm, would go on to win the Revelation de L’Année. As the winner of this emerging artist award, Nolin will also take part in the National Music Centre’s Artist in Residence program in 2017 as part of a partnership between the National Music Centre and ADISQ.
(From top to bottom) Safia Nolin with Les Soeurs Boulay. Nolin accepting her Felix award for the Révélation de l’année. Credit: Jean-François Leblanc, Agence Stockshot.
Rock troupe Les Cowboys Fringants, winners of Rock Album of the Year, are no stranger to the ADISQ Awards with a career spanning two decades. With around a dozen people on stage playing banjos, accordions and acoustic guitars, the group, including a few special guests, had everyone on their feet for a high-energy performance that lit up the room.
Les Cowboys Fringants ont enflammé la scène du Gala de l’ADISQ. Photo : Jean-François Leblanc, Agence Stockshot.
Perhaps the most stirring performance of the night was Ginette Reno and Celine Dion’s tribute to Rene Angelil, who passed away in January of 2016.
Angelil, the producer, impresario and major builder of the Quebec music industry, is noted for his role as manager to Reno, and skyrocketing the career of his wife, Dion. Dion was there to accept an honorary Félix trophy on his behalf, which was followed by a musical tribute featuring a medley by Reno and a moving performance by Dion in celebration of her late husband. Speaking in French, Dion reminisced about her life with Angelil and vowed to carry on his work through her music.
—Andrew Mosker, NMC president and CEO