The giant costume department of Canada’s French-language public broadcaster, Radio-Canada, officially closed on Friday (December 5). Reportedly the biggest in North America with some 90,000 costumes, it includes some worn by iconic figures through decades of television productions.
According to broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada the service was no longer financially viable.
In November, a group of 400 artists and cultural workers signed a letter protesting the closing. “We the artists and cultural workers from the theatre community, we who in the daily practice of our art bring new and classic characters to life on stage, we who dress our actors in costumes which serve to complete the very dimension of the characters they play, we in the theatrical community, who regularly use the CBC wardrobe department, are outraged by the announcement of its closing.”
On Friday, the union representing employees at the costume department held a brief funeral procession to mark the official end of the department, but vowed to fight on to restore it.
J’aime Radio-Canada Facebook Page (in French with photos) – here
Fagstein blog – Radio-Canada shutting down its costume department – here
Montreal Gazette – Letter: The CBC’s wardrobe department must be saved – here