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Salon Audio Montréal / Audiofest 2023 Show Report

Salon Audio Montréal Audiofest Show Report Part 3
The incredible industry banquet... sponsored by Enjoy the Music.com.
Report By Rick Becker



  Others got into corporate bonding, like the folks above from Oracle Audio.



Eventually, the crowd settled into their assigned tables while everyone continued to enjoy the live music. I was given a seat next to Lonny Gould from Kimber Kable. In addition to learning a lot about the company from Lonny, we also shared bicycling stories. We are both lifelong cyclists and I’ve had several magnificent rides out west in my younger days.



A fabulous four-man band, Les Agités, played a wide variety of instruments. The youngster in the middle, 22-year-old Eric Drouin, was exceptional with a pair of fast hands on his wooden spoons as well as electric guitar.



With my champagne long gone, I moseyed up to the bar and contemplated a beer. They were fresh out of Mammoth Tusk beer, so I settled for Birra Moretti from Italy, a light lager, and the only one of the four that was still a mystery to me. The woman in line behind me applauded my choice as she had had one earlier. And indeed, it was delightfully thirst quenching without a heavy after-taste.


Lifetime Achievement Awards
When the band took a break, it was time for the Lifetime Achievement Awards. The first recipient was Gaëtan Lavoie, a rep for Kevro International, the North American distributor for Monitor Audio speakers and Roksan electronics. I’m not sure if he was a professional hockey player in an earlier life, but the #27 jersey certainly had a special meaning for Gaetan.



The second Lifetime Achievement Award was introduced by none other than Michael Fremer of LP record fame. Michael whipped out his iPad and proceeded to deliver a model-by-model history of the Oracle turntable, beginning with the invention of the wheel.



The award went to Marcel Riendeau, who developed the Oracle turntable that first came out in 1979 and ran the company until 1995. That turntable has continued to evolve to this day, as you will see in Part 5 of this report. Sarah Tremblay presented the award.



Marcel’s younger brother, Jacques, who is now part-owner and also a key player in the development of the turntable joined him on stage for the presentation.



Then, just before Michael Fremer was about to catch the train for New Jersey, Anne Bisson called him on stage to receive a third Lifetime Achievement Award for the evening. Michael, as we all know, has been carrying the banner for LP records and playback technology since the invention of CDs, if not longer. This was certainly a well-deserved award and an honor that is rarely given to Yankees.



In his acceptance speech, Michael was eager to assure us that the recent turns in his career are only the mid-point and that the most exciting times in his life still lie ahead.



Dinner was served, one course after another, with dishes that were indigenous to Quebec. I can’t say I was able to identify everything I ate, but it certainly expanded my palate. It was a rare opportunity to enjoy a leg of duck and the take-home can of Canadian maple syrup will surely be enjoyed this summer at a family pancake breakfast.



The band returned to play another long set while people socialized. Eric Drouin got airborne in a fast rendition of “Jailhouse Rock.”



As I wandered out I caught a photo of Michel Plante, Marcel Riendeau, and Sarah Tremblay oat the RMA board. Sweet!



People were still playing in the pool as I returned to my room to check my photos and recharge the camera batteries for the day ahead.



Part 4 will explore half of the large rooms on the lower level of the Bonaventure. Part 5 will cover the other half on the lower level and will also include the nomination of the Best Rooms at the show. And I might share a little adventure I had after the show. Check back with us as we are only halfway through the show.




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