Alienfest music festival in Abitibi-Témiscamingue |  A group was canceled for criticizing the Horn Foundry
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Alienfest music festival in Abitibi-Témiscamingue | A group was canceled for criticizing the Horn Foundry

Fonderie Horne’s harsh criticism of committed metal band Guhn Twei cost her her participation in the Alienfest music festival in La Sarre, in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, a situation that says a lot about the “culture of silence that prevails” in the region, denounces the group’s singer.


What is there to know

Custom metal band Guhn Twei from Rouyn-Noranda were uninvited from the Alienfest festival in La Sarre, which was subsequently cancelled.

The group denounces the pollution caused by the Horn foundry.

The sponsor and main organizer of the event, which counts the foundry as a client, described the situation as “sensitive” to explain its decision.

The event, which was eventually canceled entirely, had its main sponsor as Métal Marquis, a Lasaro-based manufacturer of metal parts and equipment for the mining, forestry and industrial sectors, which counts Fonderie Horne among its clients.

“We are one of the suppliers of the foundry and this is exactly where things get sensitive,” festival organizer Francis Pepin, a shareholder in Métal Marquis, explained in a letter to the group’s singer Guhn Twei. Simon Turcotte.

This Rouyn-Noranda artist, who had his leg amputated after suffering from five types of cancer, is a vocal critic of the copper smelter whose toxic emissions have polluted the region’s air and soil for a century.

Portrait of Dominique Leclerc, special collaboration

Rouen-Norande musician Simon Turcotte in his practice room

“I am the century and its chimneys/The black plague is the final judgement/No pity for the vermin of the earth/I am karmic death,” he sings privately in ParasitesPiece of album Glenn’s corruptionits title is a reference to Glencore, the Anglo-Swiss multinational owner of the Horn foundry.

90% of our songs denounce the situation; This is our “in your face” criticism of the smelter and the poisoning of people

Simon Turcotte

Organizer Francis Pepin stated in his letter to Simon Turcotte, dated 26 March, that the situation leaves him “no other choice but not to add Guhn Twei to the Alienfest 2024 programming.”

Six days later, on the firstany In April, the festival was canceled entirely, citing in a press release a “conflict of interest between sponsors and participants,” Radio-Canada reported – Journalism He was unable to obtain this press release and Francis Pépin did not respond to requests sent to him through various channels.

“Autry” singer.

Simon Turcotte says he is “furious” that his set at Alienfest, which was scheduled to take place for a third year and which he was invited to in November, has been cancelled.

“It is very troubling for culture, for culture funding, and for other artists,” he said. Journalism.

People are so afraid of the Foundry that artists are removed from the festival programmes.

Simon Turcotte

Horne Foundry confirms that it was not involved in any way in this matter, and its spokeswoman, Cindy Caouette, confirmed that the company “had no connection to the Alienfest festival and was not aware of what was happening.” [Guhn Twei] “.

Whether Horn Foundry intervenes or not, it doesn’t matter, believes Simon Turcotte: “The sponsor is so afraid of offending a business partner that they decided to take us out of their festival, and then cancel their festival, it’s a big deal »

Ironically, the band addresses this issue in their song Melt water : “Apologizing for ecocide/mass gagging/Their profits are more precious than our lives.”

Simon Turcotte finds it more difficult to explain the Alienfest decision because he has performed with his two music groups, Guhn Twei and the Tumeurs, at other events in the region, including the Emerging Music Festival in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, which is sponsored by the Horn Foundry.

He also performed at the traveling concert festival Au pays des Pickups in 2023.

“We played at the Horn Foundry,” he says. We were right in front of the fences and chimneys. »

precedents

This is not the first time that criticism targeting the Horn Foundry has been excluded from cultural events, recalls the Gohn Toy group, which is concerned about freedom of expression in the region.

The Horn Foundry ended its funding of the Rouyn-Noranda Exhibition Centre, which it had supported for many years, in 2005 due to a “controversial exhibition,” Radio-Canada reported at the time.

Works of artist Veronique Doucet, exhibition Carelessly The company criticized and expressed concern about the impact of its polluting discharges on the health of surrounding residents and the environment.

Even the now famous documentary NorandaThe film, directed by Daniel Corvick and Robert Mondéry and narrated by Richard Desjardins, was excluded from the Abitibi-Temiscaming International Film Festival when it was released in 1984, Pierre Serre recounts in his book. Journey to the end of the minepublished in the fall by Écosociété.

“It must be said that the festival had support from Noranda Mines,” he wrote, adding that the police arrested Daniel Korvik on the evening of the film’s premiere at the Copper Theater, due to an unpaid fine.

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  • 45 ng/m⁠3
    The maximum arsenic level in the air that the Horn foundry must meet this year is 15 times higher than the legal standard in Quebec of 3 ng/m3.⁠3

    Source: Ministry of Environment, Combating Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks

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