‘I’VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING’: QUEBEC CITY ARTISTS MULL CAREER CHANGE AS SHOW VENUES SHUT DOWN AGAIN

Report by federation of unions for artists says more than 40 per cent of members considered leaving field

Réjean Vallée’s career as a stage actor goes back 30 years, but now he works at a long-term care home in Quebec City as a patient attendant.

With show venues shuttered for much of the last year, Vallée signed up for the province’s condensed training program for orderlies. He’s discovered a new passion, even if his new line of work has exposed him to the horrors of the pandemic.

“I’ve never seen so many people dying during this year. I saw many people dying in front of me. Just that, brings another colour to life,” Vallée said. “It’s a human experience.”

After 30 years as a stage actor, Réjean Vallée started working as a patient attendant in a long-term care home in Quebec City last year. (SophieGrenierPhotographe)

But saying goodbye to his first career after decades as a stage performer isn’t easy. He still has that itch.

“I love the job very much,” Vallée said, referring to his work in long-term care. “But I love acting very much [also]. It’s in my blood.”

It’s a dilemma facing artists across the province, including in Quebec City.

LEAVE A REPLY