Music

Karim Ouellet's legacy will live on with a new prize for emerging Quebec musicians

Le Grand Théâtre de Québec will gift an eligible artist the equivalent of $10,000 in memory of the late singer-songwriter.

Le Grand Théâtre de Québec will gift an eligible artist the equivalent of $10,000 in memory of the late singer

Karim Ouellet stands in front of some greenery, wearing a blue blazer and a black-and-white patterned shirt.
'Karim was always an artist who supported emerging artists and he was, right to the end of his life, proud of living and evolving as an artist in his city of Quebec,' his sister, rapper Sarahmée, said. (Karim Ouellet/Facebook)

In memory of late Quebec singer-songwriter Karim Ouellet, who died in early 2022, le Grand Théâtre de Québec recently announced a new prize for emerging Quebec artists.

The recipient of the prize will receive $7,500, as well as a number of hours with De La Létourneau, a marketing publicity agency. The chosen artist will also be able to put on a show at le Grand Théâtre de Québec the year after receiving the bursary, bringing the total value of the prize up to $10,000, according to the theatre. The prize is supported in partnership by le Grand Théâtre, la Ville de Québec and Solotech.

The news of the prize comes just a few months after le Grand Théâtre de Québec staged the show Bye Bye Bye Karim, in memory of the singer.

"It's really a prize to commemorate the memory of Karim, his musical values, his pride for being from Quebec and of living in his neighbourhood, in the Basse-Ville, so our family is very proud and very touched," rapper Sarahmée, who is Ouellet's sister, told La Presse.

Sarahmée will be on the selection committee, as well as someone designated by the family, a representative from the City of Quebec and another from le Grand Théâtre. Eligible artists, whether solo or part of a band, will need to be at the beginning of their career, living in Quebec City or Wendake, and able to put on a live show of at least 30 minutes. For artists who are part of a group, at least 50 per cent of the members have to fit the prize's criteria.

"Karim was always an artist who supported emerging artists and he was, right to the end of his life, proud of living and evolving as an artist in his city of Quebec," Sarahmée told Radio-Canada.

Applications are now open for the prize, and they close on Dec. 1, 2023.

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