J’ai la mémoire qui tourne

Recipient of the 2011 Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media: the Pierre Berton Award 

March 20, 2012

Eric Ruel and Guylaine Maroist accepting their award at Rideau Hall, 2011.

Montreal (Quebec)

Based on amateur 8 and 16 mm family films, J’ai la mémoire qui tourne was first presented in the summer of 2009 as four one-hour TV episodes around the theme of seasons. In 2010, the series’ theme was childhood and in 2011 it explored the four corners of Québec.

In the delicious fashion of home movies, host Marcel Sabourin and well-known personalities have presented family moments ranging from marriages, making maple syrup, summers at Old Orchard Beach, New Year’s Eve traditions, and watching Rocket Richard in Madison Square Garden. The series, first presented on Historia Television and now available on the web, is supplemented by a website co-produced with Marc Beaudet at Turbulent Media.

It has been hugely popular in Quebec. With links to YouTube and Facebook, the site attracted some 250,000 visitors over the past year. The public are invited to upload films from their home-movie collections and, with some 10,000 family films covering the period from the 1920s to 1989, the site represents the largest archives of family films in North America.

J’ai la mémoire qui tourne has particular appeal to young people encouraging their interest in history and film. The website includes a zone des profs with activities and films directed to specific courses in the Québec history program. While invariably entertaining, J’ai la mémoire qui tourne is also a primary research source for subjects as diverse as the snowmobile, smoking, and scouting.

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