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At the bottom, we see Stéphanie Beaudoin 6 months after the defining night of the Christmas party. She is preparing the crepes (sic!) for what will be the first “Crepes and Ciders” weekend organized by the Circuit du Paysan de la Montérégie. 

25 YEARS AGO;
THE SHOCK OF LOVE

François Pouliot, founder of the cider house, has just celebrated his 59th birthday. We thought this was a great opportunity to tell you about some of the stages of his hectic life. We continue the story here.

Part 3 of 4.

Context

We remember that the first bottles of Neige (then defined as a sweet cider) were bottled in 1995 at La Face Cachée de la Pomme and that the first label in the world to receive the mention “Ice Cider” was the one affixed to Neige harvest 1997.

The year of ice


In January 1998, the famous ice storm paralyzed the entire province of Quebec. Anyone who witnessed this significant event certainly has an anecdote to tell; François too.

On day 1 of the ice storm, Pouliot, 33, was in the middle of producing an advertisement* for a French client. The filming took place in the ONF (National Film Office) building which then ran alongside the Métropolitain. Following the production contract, the company Les Productions François Pouliot** filmed for 4 days in Montreal on 35 mm film. It must have the film transferred to video in Quebec and send the tapes to Paris for editing by the French director.



 

However, on the first evening of the storm, it will be impossible for François to return to Hemmingford. The roads are blocked. Fortunately, his dogs, two Labradors named McIntosh and Cortland, are looked after by his neighbor. In the chaos of Montreal, François manages at the last minute to get a hotel room, but without lighting or hot water.



 

During the extraordinary days that followed, François traveled back and forth between Montreal and Hemmingford in Montérégie. This large region located south of the island of Montreal will be called the “black” triangle because for 28 days, there will be no electricity. In the old stone house which dates from 1842, François gets by quite well thanks to his gas stove and the wood fireplace. It can thus accommodate 4 members of its family; his father, his stepmother, his half-sister and his 3 year old nephews. They will live with him for 3 weeks.



 

As for the production of the ad, a large generator was rented to ensure filming. But, as for film, due to lack of electricity in the rest of the city, the originals of the film reels cannot be transferred to video. No choice:  they will be delivered by plane carried by arms of the French director upon his return.


 

What about love shock?


11 months later, on December 18, 1998, François went to a Christmas party at the production company Jet Films in Montreal. It's at this party that everything changes. He only sees this girl with short hair. Stéphanie Beaudoin was then 29 years old. She is already the mother of 8-year-old twins. She comes from a visual arts background, she had directed a short film and, with Jet Films, an advertisement; hence her presence... That evening however, she did not want to go to the Christmas party.


Story will continue!

* Publicité pour la chaîne de restaurant Flunch.

** Les Productions François Pouliot va changer de nom pour Yul Films dans les mois qui suivent.

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