The GRANDÉ Group: a major player in the film, television and advertising industry.In 1997, young entrepreneurs Iohann Martin, then 29, Mitsou Gélinas, 27, and Andrew Lapierre, 32, created Dazmo and Vidéo Assist. The latter company offered innovative video assistance services, enabling filmmakers to view live footage while shooting on film. It was a Montréal first! But it was not the only breakthrough for the trio of partners. This was the era of the first “rush to the North,” with the advent of American filming in Québec. Within a few years, Montréal received visits from, among others, Angelina Jolie and Denzel Washington in The Bone Collector and Robert De Niro in The Score.
Inspired entrepreneursIn 2000, inspired by the arrival of high-definition technology, the entrepreneurs started renting camera equipment with Vidéo MTL, and then acquired Kelvin Technik from director of photography Paul Hurteau, who joined the team. The company was present on all film sets, series and commercials, but also on reality TV, a novelty in the industry. In Québec, this included the premieres of Star Académie and Occupation Double, for which Vidéo MTL was in charge of the installation of the cameras and the control room. In 2005, the group opened Dazmo Camera, its first office in Toronto, offering expertise and equipment to productions such as Big Brother Canada.
The decade of the 2010s was prolific for the entrepreneurs. They acquired several companies, including Lyca (camera equipment), and, in January 2012, they changed gears. Video MTL acquired two well-known companies, Département Caméra and Cinépool, adding studios and lighting to its offering, thus becoming a key player serving the content and entertainment industry.
GRANDÉ creates large spacesOver the next few years, filming increased thanks to public demand for more content, both on specialty channels and on streaming platforms (Netflix, Amazon). While Montréal competed with Toronto and Vancouver to attract American productions, Québec producers also saw an explosion in demand. Québec needed new filming spaces. The partners leaped into action and grouped the various banners under the GRANDÉ brand, offering STUDIOS, CAMÉRA and ÉCLAIRAGE in 2016.
GRANDÉ STUDIOS now offers 243,000 square feet of space in 13 studios ranging in size from 1,200 to 21,000 square feet at three sites near downtown Montréal. These studios are home to numerous TV shows such as Génial !, Dans les médias, Les chefs!, LOL, as well as original productions such as Le chant des noms, GHOSTS, Transplant, Damp, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Jack Ryan and Moonfall, to name but a few.
One of these studios has a special meaning: it is named in honour of the man considered one of the founders of modern Canadian theatre and a pioneer of Canadian cinema, Gratien Gélinas, who is also the grandfather of Grandé partner Mitsou. This studio is where the Radio-Canada’s En direct de l’univers, a beloved Québec program, is filmed.
That same year, GRANDÉ deployed a mobile production truck to meet the industry’s growing demand for live and recorded broadcasts. MOBILE GRANDÉ supported many productions such as Belle et Bum during the Québec City Summer Festival, the Juste pour rire and Just for Laughs French and English galas, Qui sait chanter, the Cirque du Soleil specials O, TORUK and VOLTA, Danser pour gagner, and L’OSM reçoit : Alexandra Stréliski.
Always attentive to the needs of the industry, the company created GRANDÉ POST-PRODUCTION in 2018. The company remained close to creators by offering them the means, resources and expertise to carry out all their projects for all distribution platforms, whether conventional or digital. GRANDÉ POST-PRODUCTION has been involved in the production of such films as L'homme qui aimait trop, Un souper presque parfait and … Moi non plus! Stars such as Michelle Pfeiffer often drop by the studio to do screenings before leaving for the shooting location.
Dreams do come true!In 2020, Bell Media acquired a minority interest in GRANDÉ STUDIOS, which already hosted several productions by the BCE Group subsidiary, including Transplant and La semaine des 4 Julie.
In 2021, new technological possibilities enabled GRANDÉ STUDIOS to develop the very first virtual studio with an LED screen in Québec. It re-created hyper-realistic environments in real time, allowing for production in optimal and efficient conditions.
For years, GRANDÉ has also specialized in the recording of shows (Stromae at the Bell Centre, The OM at the Foot of Mount Royal). This will increase significantly with GRANDÉ's association with Espace St-Denis, an entertainment complex that will include a new multi-purpose hall and will open its doors in 2023.
With GRANDÉ STUDIOS, GRANDÉ CAMÉRA, GRANDÉ ÉCLAIRAGE, and GRANDÉ POST-PRODUCTION, the GRANDÉ group offers a seamless ecosystem of infrastructure, state-of-the-art equipment, cutting-edge facilities and unique expertise in Montréal and Toronto. In addition to founders Iohann Martin, Mitsou Gélinas, Andrew Lapierre and their partner Paul Hurteau, the company now employs 105 people, the first of whom, Dominic Voisine, is still on staff.