Zoom Photo Festival Saguenay. Overview on the Tenth Year of the Photojournalism Festival – Sophie Bertrand

[Summer 2020]

By Sophie Bertrand

For the last ten years, the Zoom Photo Festival been a mid-autumn feature in Chicoutimi, in Quebec’s Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region. La Pulperie de Chicoutimi, a national historic site and regular partner of the festival, serves as headquarters and hosts most of the exhibitions, with La Zone Portuaire, and other shows are scattered through Chicoutimi and Jonquière in spaces generously provided by colleges, cultural centres, and libraries. This year, no fewer than twenty-six photography exhibitions were presented: 1 eighteen solo shows and eight group shows, including those by the prestigious Agence VU (France), CECI (Centre d’étude et de coopération internationale, Canada), and the News Photographers Association of Canada, as well as collections of images by local photojournalists and from the celebrated World Press Photo, which, since 1955, has been giving international awards to outstanding images illustrating subjects related to contemporary issues in different categories. The WPP has presented works at every edition of Zoom. Although the winning prints were shown in a reduced format at the Saguenay festival, the show, which tours the world and is always supervised by a team from Amsterdam, was designed to offer an intimate environment with a stronger focus on the photographs than they received in the installation at Marché Bonsecours in Montreal in September.

Michel Tremblay, a press photographer born in the Saguenay region, founded this ambitious regional festival. Launching an international event far from a major city is a challenge in itself. Tremblay took it on because of his passion for documentary images, the stories that they tell, and the community of press photographers. Well before he created the festival, he and a small team of volunteers organized satellite projects around photography. From 2003 to 2006, in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and Mauricie regions, he organized photographic missions for which he invited Quebec press photographers, including Jacques Nadeau, Marie-France Coallier, Normand Blouin, and Bernard Brault, to take on time-limited assignments to produce an exhibition or a publication, in collaboration with municipalities. Since then, the festival has become incontest-ably not only a showcase and meeting place for Quebec photog-raphers but also a springboard for young, emerging Quebec talents…

See the magazine for the complete article and more images: Ciel variable 115 – THE MARCH OF THE WORLD


1 The festival was held from October 16 to November 10, 2019. www.zoomphotofestival.ca