2016 / Editorial / Photo Essay

Domaine de La Florida

  • Photographer
    Sébastien Michaud

Domaine de La Florida (English) 2500km north of Florida, is a camp ground that is quite peculiar: Camping Domaine de la Florida, in St-Ambroise, located in the Saguenay region in Canada. Created and administered by the neighbouring RV retailer, Le Géant Motorisé, this camp ground has willingness to offer the feeling of being in Florida with, amongst other things, a faux Palm tree decor, exotic street names and activities that would be practiced by the « Snowbirds » (the Québec tourists) in Florida during the winter months. This series of photographs will give you a look into a way of life and the habits of a generation, whom are, or will soon be, retire; will redefine the notion of pleasure, vacations, and community. On the grounds that are continuing to grow, with all the advantages and inconveniences this gives the residents of the small and peaceful village of St-Ambroise, there are 700 plots of land laid out. A whole new town or Ghetto is forming within the other. The lack of privacy that camping brings is hard for us to appreciate, yet this is one of the qualities that the campers love about the place. The cleanliness, the novelty, lack of privacy and imitation of an American paradise are all factors that make this site so alluring for multiple retirees and future retirees with well rooted habits of a North American life style. Tired of the sleep individualistic life style in their home towns, the residents find a more humanistic and simplistic style of living that the camp ground offers them without pretense. Obviously, this micro society clashes with the Nordic landscape found in the province of Québec; the palms mixed with the poplars and the birches. The landscaping of the little lots do not follow conventional esthetic codes that are found in urban areas. They are comprised of multiple sculptures, flowers, fountains and lights laid out with care. It is quite surprising to see all the effort that is put in by the residents, the pride that is shown Looking at these photographs is to reflect on the risk on the mass social activities, their environment and the motivation of the people who participate in them.