The Big Lantern “pulls the plug”
The faithful festival-goers of the forest of Béthanie, in Montérégie, will have to mourn La Grosse Lanterne, the flagship cultural event of the last seven summers, since the lack of budget prevents the organization to continue the festivities.
The outdoor music, visual arts and cinema festival was created in 2014 by Martin Bergeron, owner of the event site, and Mathieu Pontbriand, event worker.
“Fake that's what it is! Thank you to everyone who participated, contributed, liked and adopted the Big Lantern! It’s a heavy heart that we tell you À la r’voyure!!!”, can we read on the Facebook page of the event.
The absence of a subsidy is at the origin of this heartbreaking, but considered decision. Although Mathieu Pontbriand invested his time and money for nearly a decade in his festival, its technicians and its artists, he was forced to admit that he could not continue like this.
The summer gathering was only able to obtain funding during the two years of the pandemic, as part of SODEC's “Cultural Relaunch” program. The latter could not support it otherwise, given its lack of scale.
It would rather be the Ministry of Tourism that would take care of financially supporting cultural events of a smaller scale compared to the big festivals like the Francos. La Grosse Lanterne requested this one, but could not file a request because it was not able to provide enough data about the origin of its audience. Producing such a study would have incurred expenses that the owners could not afford.
Followers of The Big Lantern say they formed intimate human connections there and particularly enjoyed the fact that this festival allowed them to feast in kind.