A studio named after the "grandfather of Québec theatre"
My grandfather is not only a giant in the history of the arts in Canada because of his theatrical works, he was also a great film enthusiast. When there was no film industry in Montréal, he founded Studios Gélinas, at the corner of Sainte-Catherine and Saint-Denis streets. He was the director of the first colour talking film in Canada, La dame aux Camélias, la vraie, in 1943, and 10 years later he made the first French-Canadian film with a contemporary theme, Tit-Coq.
A company that contributes to Montréal’s international reputation
The GRANDÉ STUDIOS complex has 13 turnkey film studios spread over three sites located near downtown Montréal. Opened in 2016, the Pointe-Saint-Charles studios offer 182,000 sq. ft. of production space. With their 54-ft height, they are among the highest film studios in the country and help promote Montréal as a leader in the seventh art, as well as the talent of the city's artisans. So it was only natural to name one of its studios in honour of a key figure in the history of our local performing arts.
About Gratien Gélinas
Born in 1909 in Saint-Tite, Québec, Gratien Gélinas was raised by parents who knew how to tell a story and make people laugh. He cultivated his talent as a “p’tit comique” (jokester) in church halls and as an actor in amateur theatre groups. This talent led him to write a radio series that propelled his character of Fridolin onto the airwaves in 1937. Spurred on by this success, he wrote, directed and produced the series of nine short films, Fridolinons, between 1938 and 1946.
The first major star of the Québec stage, Gratien Gélinas went on to write four plays. His resounding successes and his determination to make Québec a force in the dramatic arts made him a true pioneer. In 1957, the man now known as the “grandfather of Québec theatre” founded the Comédie Canadienne, an ambitious theatre complex that today houses the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde. In 1969, he was appointed Chairman of the Board of the Canadian Film Development Corporation (CFDC), the forerunner of Telefilm Canada, and thus contributed to the development of the film industry in Canada. Gratien Gélinas, who passed away in 1999, was a fascinating creator with a complex and profound humanity, and is one of the giants of Canadian art history.
Since 2018, Radio-Canada, the French-language network of the CBC, has made the Gratien-Gélinas Studio its home. It produced the Beijing Olympics and On va se le dire there, and still uses it to produce its flagship program, En direct de l'univers.