Cite

Flu in the Gaspé

UQAR

The UQAR Project is a unique initiative of Defining Moments of Canada. We have partnered with the University of Quebec at Rimouski (UQAR) to undertake an archeological investigation of a remote lumberjack camp in rural Matapédia (in the Gaspé). This is a camp where nine lumberjacks – effectively the entire camp – died of the pandemic in 1918.

These five short videos were shot on location in June 2018 and provide an overview of some of the project activities. Additional media reports and interviews can be accessed via the links that follow the videos. In Vidéo 4, project directors Nicolas Beaudry and Manon Savard invited the local population to a day at the site (the invitation was published in the local press and radio). There was an impressive turnout, considering that the site is very remote and isolated in the forest, and is accessible only by ATV.

Vidéo 3 – 1:53

Additional media reports on the UQAR Project can be found on the Media Resources page.

Survivors of the Pandemic

These (edited) video interviews [en français] were recorded in the Gaspé region in L’Anse-au-Griffon, Gaspésie (Quebec), in 1974 and 1975, with survivors of the pandemic. The interviewer is Claude Allard. (Avec l’aimable autorisation du Musée de la Gaspésie, Gaspé, Québec, Canada.)

Sébastien Malouin
Sébastien Malouin et Valentine Boulet. Âgés de 36 et 23 ans au moment de la grippe espagnole de 1918. [Length: 11:06]
Blanche Bernard
Blanche Bernard (Mme Eddy Lescelleur). Âgée de 22 ans au moment de la grippe espagnole de 1918. [Length: 10:22]
Adème Cotton
Âgé de 29 ans au moment de la grippe espagnole de 1918. [Length: 4:47]

Music from the Gaspé

This unusual piece of music is a “comic” folk song. “Complainte de la grippe Espagnole,” recently discovered but written during the time of the pandemic in the Gaspé. One of many faces of this plague.

Complainte de la grippe Espagnole: Sheet Music

Complainte de la grippe Espagnole: MP3 File

UQAR Project Media

Archeologists dig up history of men lost to Spanish flu in Matapédia, Que. A CBC article on the UQAR Project. [In English]

La Grippe Espagnole à Saint-Irène. A Radio-Canada interview with project director Nicolas Beaudry. [En Français]

Un premier inventaire archéologique au Camp de la grippe espagnole de Sainte-Irène.  An article in the UQAR newspaper on the project. [En Français]

Un premier inventaire archéologique en 100 ans du camp de la grippe espagnole. An article in L’Avant Poste on the UQAR Project. [En Français]

Des archéologues s’intéressent à des bûcherons morts de la grippe espagnole à Sainte-Irène.  An article from Radio-Canada on the UQAR Project. [En Français]

Matapédia: le Camp de la grippe espagnole scruté par des archéologues.  An article from le Soleil on the UQAR Project. [En Français]