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Found 41 results

  1. Talk about orchestral manoeuvres http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080204.SEGUIN04/TPStory/TPEntertainment/Music/ A young Montreal conductor has landed two high-profile gigs in Europe. It may be a while before Canada gets him back to lead an orchestra at home, writes Robert Everett-Green ROBERT EVERETT-GREEN February 4, 2008 How did he get that job? A lot of conductors must have had that thought about Yannick Nézet-Séguin recently, probably more than once. Till last spring, Nézet-Séguin was known mainly in the Montreal area, as the music director of l'Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal and a frequent conductor of l'Opéra de Montréal. His guest-conducting appearances elsewhere in Canada and the United States had been well received, and he had built a respectable library of recordings with the ATMA label in Quebec. It seemed only a matter of time before the 32-year-old Montrealer began to move up the ladder of orchestral jobs in Canada. Everything changed in April, when Nézet-Séguin surprised everyone (including himself) by becoming the next principal conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic. He will replace Valery Gergiev, one of the most prominent and exciting conductors on the planet. In November, the London Philharmonic announced that they too wanted a steady relationship with the young Canadian, who will become the orchestra's principal guest conductor at about the same time he starts work in the Netherlands next fall. His first gigs with his new colleagues are still months away, but Nézet-Séguin seems certain to become the most prominent orchestral conductor Canada has ever produced. Print Edition - Section Front getSLinks("topStoriesInSection","LAC.20080204.SEGUIN04",5); Historically, we've done better in the world's opera houses, both in singing and conducting. Wilfrid Pelletier was a fixture on the podium at the Metropolitan Opera in the forties, Mario Bernardi conducted Sadlers Wells in the sixties, and Yves Abel and Keri-Lynn Wilson (conductors of Nézet-Séguin's generation) both have busy careers, mainly in Europe. Nézet-Séguin had only done a handful of concerts in Europe before arriving in Rotterdam for his debut program as a guest conductor, some months after Gergiev had announced his departure. He knew they were shopping, and liked the idea of a job in Europe, but thought it would take another four or five years to get one. "I never imagined I was a real candidate," he said during a phone conversation, in advance of four performances in Toronto. "Maybe that's what got me the job, because I didn't act like someone who wanted the job. I just worked the way I always do." Even so, he was aware that he was coming under sharper scrutiny than usual, from players who have a lot of sway individually over who runs the show. "An orchestra in a search is always a strange animal," he said. "I could feel they were testing me more than usual, asking more questions, resisting things I was asking them to do, to see if I had the balls to go ahead." He describes himself as a risk-taker, willing to follow the impulse of the moment in performance even if it means colouring over the lines a little. That approach got a strong stamp of approval from the Dutch musicians, who voted unanimously in favour of his appointment. His candidacy was also helped by his repertoire, if only because it doesn't overlap much with that of his predecessor. Gergiev's programs included plenty of Russian works, while Nézet-Séguin favours French music and late-Romantic Germanic repertoire: the symphonies of Mahler and Bruckner, and the tone poems and orchestral songs of Richard Strauss. The same logic advanced Nézet-Séguin's case at the London Philharmonic, which was looking for a foil for its new principal conductor, Vladimir Jurowski. The orchestra had a "great tradition" in the works of Mahler and Bruckner during the reign of the late Klaus Tennstedt, Nézet-Séguin said, and they wanted someone to carry that on. He said he has been offered "almost total freedom" in programming his four concerts a year. Nézet-Séguin initially studied piano with Anisia Campos at the Conservatoire in Montreal, though he knew he wanted to be a conductor by the time he was 10. He was particularly impressed by his early experience of concerts in a park, given by Charles Dutoit and l'Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. "Dutoit would introduce pieces and be very accessible, and that had a big impact on me as a little boy," he said. "If it had not been for this, I would maybe never have been a conductor." He began singing in the Catholic Cathedral choir when he was 8 or 9, eventually became a section leader, and took over as music director at age 18. He did extra work in harmony, analysis and history at the Conservatoire, but only took one year of formal conducting study, with Raffi Armenian. "My main conducting teacher was actually my piano teacher, because a conductor is also an interpreter," he said. "She was a very old-school teacher, very strict and demanding. She wouldn't allow any compromise in my piano study just because I wanted to be a conductor. I remember some years, I was really angry with her, because she wanted to develop some aspect of my playing that I considered very superficial. But I'm so grateful now. I couldn't have wished for a better teacher." He spent a couple of summers at a choral-conducting workshop in Princeton, N.J., and a year of informal study with Carlo Maria Giulini, whom he followed around Europe, sitting in on rehearsals and occasionally meeting with the conductor. Nézet-Séguin was much impressed by Giulini's "very simple and human approach to everything, to the music and to the musicians. He was very calm and respectful and collegial, whether he was working with l'Orchestre de Paris or a Spanish youth orchestra. I didn't know what to do with the amount of respect he was showing me." Gradually he realized that he was being taught the value of an open, trusting attitude, toward others and inevitably toward oneself. Ironically, he never had much contact with his first conducting hero, Dutoit. "I tried twice to get permission to attend rehearsals with the OSM. I wrote them two letters, that were never answered." The usual route for young Canadian conductors trying to get noticed is to enter competitions, leave the country, and jockey for an assistant's job with some well-known conductor. Nézet-Séguin was considering those options when l'Orchestre Métropolitain asked him to become its music director in 2000. "When they offered me the job, I was really ready to leave, and become an assistant somewhere else," he said. Some people even counselled him to do that anyway, because they feared that if he stayed in Montreal with the city's "second" orchestra, he would be seen as a merely local conductor. "I'm very thankful that Canada trusted me very early," he said. "Because I did not really expect that." He remains fiercely loyal to his home town and his first orchestra. When the Berlin Philharmonic approached him with an offer to conduct three concerts in December, he turned them down, because he was already booked to perform several school concerts with l'Orchestre Métropolitain. "It's a matter of survival, musically and personally, to be part of my own community," he said. His parents and two sisters, who are all teachers, still live in Montreal, and he expects to return often once he takes up his posts in Europe. And he plans to take Canadian music with him in the other direction. His Dutch audiences are probably ready for more Canadian music: Montreal's Claude Vivier may actually be better known in the Netherlands than in Canada, thanks to a major retrospective of the late composer's music at the Holland Festival several years ago. "Rotterdam is a very modern city, and is known for its modern architecture and contemporary art," Nézet-Séguin said. "But the orchestra is quite conservative. So one of the goals is to develop the range of repertoire and to try to be more daring." It sounds like a good berth for a young conductor with an appetite for risk. The next question on this side of the water is whether we'll ever get him back, to lead a major Canadian orchestra. Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts a Tchaikovsky program with l'Orchestre Métropolitain at various Montreal-area venues from tonight through Friday (http://www.orchestremetropolitain.com). He performs music of Tchaikovsky and Dvorak with pianist Yundi Li and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra on Feb. 13, 14 and 16 at Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall; and Bach's St. Matthew Passion with Toronto's Bach Consort at Eglinton St. George's United Church on Feb. 15.
  2. Montreal's new music defies category January 22, 2008 By Jim Lowe Times Argus Staff Blair Thomson, second from right, applauds members of the Musica Camerata Montréal as they applaud him after the premiere of his “Don’t be afraid of …” on Saturday at McGill University. Left to right are violinist Luis Grinhauz, pianist Berta Rosenohl, flutist Marie-Andrée Benny, cellist Mariève Bock, Thomson and violist Lambert Chen. Photo: Jim Lowe/Times Argus Musica Camerata MontréalFor its next concert, Musica Camerata Montréal will present "Music of Central Europe," Saturday, March 15, at McGill University's Redpath Hall, 3461 McTavish (at Sherbrooke) in Montreal: Smetana's Piano Trio, Opus 15; Kodaly's Sérénade, Opus 12; and Julius Zarebski's Piano Quintet, Opus 34. Tickets are $30 Canadian, $20 for students; call (514) 489-8713, or go online to www.camerata.ca. MONTREAL – If there is any "Montreal style" of composition, it couldn't be discerned at Saturday's concert by the Musica Camerata Montréal at McGill University's Redpath Hall. The veteran chamber ensemble presented compositions by five contemporary Montreal composers – Serge Arcuri, Jacques Hétu, Robert Rival, Blair Thomson and Claude Vivier – but the works were so diverse in style that there seemed nothing in common save for the traditional instrumentation. The concert honored the Canadian Music Center, celebrating its 35th anniversary, which makes some 15,000 Canadian scores available free to performers. All composers but Vivier, who died in 1983, were in attendance. Most fascinating was the work commissioned by Musica Camerata, "Don't be afraid of …" by Thomson (b. 1963), heard in its premier performance. Full of color, mostly subtle pastels, the one-movement piece for flute, clarinet, piano and string quartet opened with ethereal sounds, edged along by quietly sliding pitches. It was atmospheric, but ever-changing in tonality – and atonality – but then things picked up, with a virtuoso violin solo contrasted by pizzicato among the other strings. It became driving with just a bit more stridence, increasing in velocity – coming to a sudden stop. The up-and-coming Thomson was born and trained in Toronto, but now makes his home in Montreal. A protégé of the late Canadian composer James Tenney (this work is in his memory), Thomson used 21st century rhythmic and harmonic language – with soft edges – and a lot of imagination. Now in its 38th year, the Musica Camerata Montréal, one of the city's most respected chamber ensembles, uses the mix-and-match style of New York's Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in its varying instrumentation. Led by violinist Luis Grinhauz, longtime assistant concertmaster of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, the ensemble has made a name for itself performing unusual chamber works of the 19th and 20th century. The ensemble's high level of playing was quite evident as it moved into the 21st century. "Les furieuses enluminures" by the Montreal born-and-bred Arcuri (b. 1954) was episodic in nature and often quite exciting. The respected Quebec composer said he was inspired by Medieval illuminations on a church ceiling in Florence. Written for flute (and piccolo), clarinet, piano and string quartet, it opened with striking clashes of chords, followed by the piano supporting a haunting melody played by the others. It was a constant struggle between tonal and atonal, as he wove a colorful tapestry of solos and various groupings, building in excitement – finally fading out with barely audible flute notes. "Pièce pour violon et clarinette" by Vivier (1948-1938), one of Montreal's most respected composers, was hardly new to the Musica Camerata. The two who played it – Grinhauz and Michael Dumouchel, the OSM's second clarinet – recorded the musical "storytelling" work. At times in parallel, other times in tandem, the two engage in pithy and spicy conversation throughout this little work. It was a delight. The three-movement Serenade, Opus 45, for flute and string quartet, by Hétu (b. 1938), one of Montreal's best-known composers, didn't challenge the audience much, but it gave pleasure. The opening Prélude was light, lyrical, tonal. The larger-scale Nocturne, opening with a viola lament, mixed the conversational and lyrical and indulged in the passionate, finally proving haunting. The scherzo-like Dance was light with a touch of stridence – but not enough to bite. Most traditional was the 2005 Piano Trio by Rival (b. 1975), who is not a resident of Montreal but wrote the work while living in the city. The opening Allegro resoluto was substantial and powerful in a Brahms-like way, its drive interspersed by moments of lyricism. The slow movement, Elegy: Largo, was very moving, with lyrical strings, intense piano, then joining in an almost romantic style. The final Dance: Andante, despite a mundane theme, was full of dance rhythms, spiced by unexpected moments such as an atonal piano contrasting the tonal strings, and nice lyrical interlude. Throughout, the writing was largely tonal but with interesting rhythmic juxtapositions. The Rival benefited from the sensitive and sure-fingered piano of Berta Rosenohl. Marie-Andrée Benny, principal flutist of the Metropolitan Orchestra, Montreal's second, was sensual as well as dexterous in Hétu's Serenade. Violinists Grinhauz and Van Armenian, violist Lambert Chin and cellist Mariève Bock were the able string section. Certainly there were a few intonation and ensemble slips, but this was an able, substantial and convincing performance of some rewarding music. http://www.timesargus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080122/FEATURES14/801220317/1011/FEATURES02
  3. The fine Montreal art of being happy with what you have ARTHUR KAPTAINIS, The Gazette Published: Saturday, August 18 Almost everything was wonderful last Saturday - the weather, the music, the charity, the skyline. The sound? Well, what do you want? Percival Molson Stadium was built for football, not for music. There might be room for sonic improvement next summer, if I may jump to the reasonable conclusion that a concert by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under the auspices of the Montreal Alouettes, with or without Kent Nagano, is now an annual event. One point of departure would be a shell that projects sound rather than a tent that contains it. Of course, there are certain sonic variables beyond the control of the MSO or the Als. The Royal Victoria Hospital is nearby, with its mamoth ventilation units. A two-hour shutdown of hospital air conditioning would be very nice, but perhaps too much to ask. Imperfect Acoustics: Kent Nagano and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra in last weekend's charity concert in Molson Stadium. While I mused over the problems and possible solutions it occurred to me that Montreal does not have a good, permanent outdoor summer concert facility. It is an odd situation considering that the city appears to experience more outdoor summer concerts than any other city on Earth. Where to install it? There is a mountain and a Chalet, the esplanade of which is haunted by ghosts as formidable as Leonard Bernstein, who conducted the MSO there in 1944 and 1945. In the 1950s Alexander Brott developed a rival operation called Dominion Concerts under the Stars. To build an amphitheatre anywhere on the mountain, however, would likely involve the felling of trees, an idea that now creates fierce opposition regardless of the benefit. Furthermore, the Montreal International Jazz Festival and Les Francofolies are strongly integrated into the centre of the city and Place des Arts. There are idle lots in that neighbourhood, some formerly earmarked for the development of a Place du Festival. But as the destruction of the Spectrum suggests, few downtown developers view the performing arts as a priority. And even a radical arts freak would have to concede the essential oddness of a deep-downtown outdoor concert venue that is vacant nine months a year. To build something as fine as the Lanaudière Amphitheatre within the city limits would also have the regrettable effect of siphoning off thousands of listeners from Lanaudière itself. Perhaps the solution to this problem, among others, is not to worry about it. Russell Johnson, the American acoustician who died last week, was an international figure famed for his concert halls in Birmingham, Lucerne and Dallas. But his Artec Consultants firm had a disproportionate influence in Canada. The Domaine Forget in Charlevoix - frequently used as a recording facility - is an Artec design, as is Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary, the Chan Cultural Centre on the campus of the University of British Columbia, the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium, the Weston Recital Hall in Toronto, the hall of the Festival of the Sound in Ontario cottage country and the Bayreuth copy that is the Raffi Armenian Theatre of the Centre in the Square in Kitchener. The Francis Winspear Centre in Edmonton is thought by many to be the best of all modern Canadian concert spaces. But perhaps Johnson's most astounding contribution to the cause of good acoustics in Canada was his transformation of the notorious dead space of Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto into a vibrant home for the long-suffering Toronto Symphony Orchestra. "That was easy," I remember his telling me at the 2002 reopening, with a shrug. The essense of the solution was reducing the interior volume with bulkheads. Sure it was easy - for someone with Johnsons's mix of spatial instinct, musical perception and pure science. Johnson long harboured a desire to build a new hall for the MSO. It appears he will realize it posthumously. The Quebec government chose Artec as the acoustical consultant for the project even before launching the competition to seek an architect. Diamond Schmitt Architects, one of the firms in the running for the MSO hall design, has won a "Good Design is Good Business" citation from BusinessWeek and Architectural Record magazines for the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto, a facility often referred to simply as the opera house. It was one of 10 projects cited from a competitive pool of 96 projects from nine countries. This common-sense award honours "architects and clients who best utilize design to achieve strategic objectives," according to Helen Walters, editor of innovation and design for BusinessWeek.com. My sense is that it serves as a counterweight to the ultraflamboyant designs that tend to capture headlines. The CAMMAC music centre in the Laurentians has also received an honourable mention from the Prix de l'Ordre des architectes du Québec 2007 for its new music pavillion. There will be a celebration at the site on Sept. 5. Love it or not, Place des Arts is active during the summer. Carnegie Hall - despite its prestige and air-conditioned presence at Seventh Ave. and 57th St. - is completely dark through the summer of 2007 and much of September. By October, however, the place is humming. The MSO used to occupy an October weekend under Charles Dutoit. During the coming season the orchestra will give one performance in the New York temple, on Saturday, March 8. Nagano conducts a program of Debussy (Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien: Symphonic Fragments), Tchaikovsky (Violin Concerto), Unsuk Chin (a new work) and Scriabin (The Poem of Ecstasy). All these selections are in keeping with the orchestra's former Franco-Russian reputation. If you wait six days you can then hear the Philadelphia Orchestra under its chief conductor - Charles Dutoit - in an even more MSO-ish program of Bartok (The Miraculous Mandarin Suite), Debussy (Nocturnes) and Holst (The Planets).
  4. Montreal musicians dominate Polaris shortlist Jul 11, 2007 07:44 PM Ben Rayner Pop Music Critic The votes are in and, apparently, Toronto is no longer quite the centre of the Canadian musical universe. Only expat-Torontonian Leslie Feist - who actually hails originally from Calgary - muscled her way onto the shortlist for the second annual Polaris Music Prize, unveiled yesterday afternoon during a reception on the Drake Hotel's rooftop patio attended by such homegrown rockers as Joel Plaskett and Olga Goreas of the Besnard Lakes. The tres au courant indie scene in Montreal, represented by five acts including rising stars Arcade Fire and Patrick Watson, dominated the final voting. More than 170 music writers and broadcasters from across the country who were polled last month on their favourite Canadian albums released between June 1, 2006 and May 31, 2007. The rest came from points as varied as Hamilton, Halifax, Calgary and Sackville, N.B. "It was an arduous process," said Polaris founder Steve Jordan. "We saw some records move up and down in the balloting as time went on, and I think people really gave serious consideration to their choices. It's going to be a real challenge to pick a winner ... All of these records are 'epics' in some way." The Polaris shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows: Arcade Fire, Neon Bible. The Besnard Lakes, Are the Dark Horse. The Dears, Gang of Losers. Julie Doiron, Woke Myself Up. Feist, The Reminder. Junior Boys, So This is Goodbye. Miracle Fortress, Five Roses. Joel Plaskett Emergency, Ashtray Rock. Chad VanGaalen, Skelliconnection. Patrick Watson, Close to Paradise. The winner will be determined after a day of hard-fought argument between a small group of final jurors on Sept. 24 and announced that same night during a gala concert. The prize - taken last year by Toronto's Final Fantasy for his album He Poos Clouds - is $20,000 cash. A Polaris compilation album featuring tracks by each of the nominees will also be released on Aug. 28.
  5. The New York Times June 28, 2008 By BEN SISARIO MONTREAL — On Wednesday night, in the last of his three concerts presented as preludes to the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Leonard Cohen, the 73-year-old hometown poet-hero on tour for the first time in 15 years, said that on his last time through town he was “60 years old, just a kid with a crazy dream.” Between waves of applause and hollers in French and English, he added, “I am so grateful to be here and to be from here.” Mr. Cohen’s math notwithstanding, hometown pride and musical reverence are at the center of the festival, which opened its 29th season on Thursday and runs through July 6. Billing itself as the largest jazz festival in the world, it attracts one million visitors a year to more than 500 concerts in a three-block music zone downtown and brings about $100 million in revenue to the city, according to Canadian government estimates. With CD sales in a chronic slump, the music industry has been turning increasingly to live events for income, and in recent years big smorgasbord festivals have sprouted up all over North America, aiming to present all kinds of music for all kinds of people. But with a setting ideal for tourists as well as for local residents, and a solid history of eclectic programming — among the attractions this year are Woody Allen, Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Public Enemy and the local debut of Steely Dan — Montreal has held on to a rare prestige. “There is no parallel in North America and perhaps no parallel around the world,” said Scott Southard, a jazz and world-music booking agent who has 15 artists at the festival. “In Europe or Bonnaroo, for instance, they have to erect an entire village in a remote location. Here you have an urban environment without having to reconstruct the venue infrastructure every year.” Begun in 1980 by two concert promoters, Alain Simard and André Ménard, as a way to fill up what was then a dry summer concert calendar, the festival takes over four concert halls of the Place des Arts performing arts complex as well as numerous theaters and clubs around the perimeter. Several blocks of downtown streets are closed for outdoor stages, retail and food booths and children’s activities. Despite the size, Mr. Simard, the president of the festival’s parent company, L’Équipe Spectra, said that “the goal is not to be the biggest jazz festival in the world, it’s to be the best.” But as the festival approaches its 30th season, it is preparing to grow even bigger, with help from a four-year, $120 million government plan to develop the area around Place des Arts. The first phase, to be completed by next summer, includes a 75,000-square-foot park and performance ground, the Place du Quartier des Spectacles. The festival has also been given a 30-year lease and a $10 million grant from the Province of Quebec to renovate a nearby vacant building; when completed it will add one club for use year-round. As a tourist draw second only to Grand Prix du Canada, the Formula One race held in Montreal in early June, the jazz festival has become an important symbol of Montreal’s cosmopolitan lifestyle, said Charles Lapointe, the chief executive of Tourism Montreal, a nonprofit agency financed through a hotel tax. “The jazz festival exemplifies perfectly what we are presenting on the foreign market,” Mr. Lapointe said. “You can celebrate on the streets without any problems with security and express all the pleasure you want.” Civic pride and creative abundance was clear on Thursday, the official opening. (Mr. Cohen’s touring schedule prevented him from being part of the festival proper; he appears at the enormous Glastonbury pop festival in Britain on Sunday.) During the afternoon crowds gradually filled up the Place des Arts campus, slurping on ice cream cones beside the fountain and listening to the sound check for a tribute to Mr. Cohen featuring Chris Botti, Madeleine Peyroux, Buffy Sainte-Marie and others. Darting between indoor evening concerts by the veteran jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater, the young British songwriter Katie Melua and the African performers Vieux Farka Touré and Salif Keita, a visitor could quickly take in half a dozen outdoor concerts, parades and magicians. Two-thirds of the concerts are free. The Cohen tribute drew an estimated audience of 100,000, filling the plaza and nearby streets. But the concerts by Mr. Cohen himself were the clear early highlight. Dressed like a spy in a crisp black suit and fedora, Mr. Cohen, who has said that after years in a Zen Buddhist retreat in California, his lifelong depression has finally begun to lift, sang a sleek and emotional set of nearly three hours. In “Bird on the Wire,” “Hallelujah” and “Tower of Song” he sang of being weighted down by cynicism and starving for affection, but between songs he doffed his hat and smiled broadly for sustained ovations. The festival, a nonprofit enterprise run by the for-profit company L’Équipe Spectra, has an operating budget of $25 million. And though about 18 percent of that comes from national, provincial and city sources, the biggest form of government support is the closing of several blocks of busy city streets. The bulk of the budget comes from corporate sponsorships (40 percent) and sales of tickets and memorabilia (39 percent). The prominence of sponsorships gives the festival a sense of hyperbranding. Looking over Place des Arts, it is almost impossible not to see a giant symbol of General Motors, the lead sponsor: besides GM logos on banners and fliers throughout the grounds, the company also has five displays of new cars for contests, and at least one of the many marching bands wended its way around, wearing black GM T-shirts. Festival organizers say that they have made efforts to ensure that the sponsorship is tasteful and not intrusive. Signs are only seen outdoors, where concerts are free, they say. There is no advertising for the paid concerts indoors, and the organizers say they will not rename the event to suit any sponsor. To create an egalitarian atmosphere, the festival also shuns velvet ropes. “You will never see a V.I.P. area on the site,” Mr. Ménard said. “There’s never a place where people walk and are told, ‘No, that’s not for you.’ The unemployed can stand next to the president of the sponsor company.” For the Cohen tribute on Thursday night, however, there was a small area of bleachers near the stage reserved for the news media and others. But a reporter who lacked the necessary badges was still able to enter with a few kind words. And unlike many large festivals, this one had a network of fenced-off pathways that made quick travel through even a crowd of 100,000 tightly packed fans on Thursday evening easy for anyone needing or wanting to get through. “The vibe is very peaceful,” Mr. Ménard said of the festival. “The fabric of this city is all about the quality of life. The fact is, we have long, deadly winters, so come summertime, everybody is in for a party — but a civilized party.”
  6. En 2011m, il y a eu un désencrassage majeur pour cet édifice de McGill. Nous n'avions pas de fil sur le sujet. Avant : Après :
  7. Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/entertainment/Lambert+shouts+enough/3317503/story.html#ixzz0uhaLT8LV
  8. 2017 Muralfest lineup/program revealed! https://www.facebook.com/MuralMtl/ This is one of my favourite festivals in Montreal, which is considered to be a street-art capital of the world. This event is the biggest of its kind in North America. Interesting news is that it's expanding to Old Montreal this summer, along with more free shows for the public.
  9. by Tabia Lau (facebook) on Saturday, September 8, 2012 at 6:51pm · My Dear Montreal, I miss you like nothing else. Montreal, your walls of concrete and collapsing bridges, your tardy buses and delayed metros. Your incidents that causent un ralentissement for a duree indeterminee sur la ligne orange in my direction. Oh Montreal, your potholes and signs of ARRET and odd hilltop slopes. Your grey skies and hesitant Autumns with children rattling off numbers in a playground in broken Quebecois and your speedy Springs and torrential snowfalls in February and April. Your french baguettes and hipsters on Ste-Catherine on bixis and plaid hats with red squares. Montreal I miss your Tam tams. I'm homesick for your noise, Montreal. I miss the buses driving by, I miss the pitter-patter of jaywalkers, the french chatter on St-Denis and the gusts of winds up on Mont-Royal. Oh I miss Mont Royal, your blue skies and green lawn, the music of your LARPers and Tam-tams. I miss the Tam-Tams, the self-forming circle and slight haze of 420, the city, the earth, the blades of grass breathing with us as we beat, as a city, as one. I miss your cracking Old Montreal, your warm creperies and bus tours. I miss your dying newspapers and your bill 101. I miss your easy film rating system, the way bus drivers wave to one another. I miss your voice in the metro, the parade of scarves in October, Americans already in puffy coats, girls in UGGS in Westmount. I miss your jewish bakeries and italian pasta, your chinese noodles and greek wraps, your hidden Tibetan cuisine and Indian buffets, Your fresh fruits by Cote-Des-Neiges and buses upon buses at Vendome. I miss this ridiculous bagel feud (St-Viateur ftw), and this slightly less ridiculous language barrier. I miss your music festivals, Montreal. No one loves music the way you do. I miss your Quebecois accent, and your ridiculously small street signs. Your rude old ladies and creepy old men. The violinists on the metros and free hugs in the Old Port. I miss your habs riots and your policemen on horses, I miss your street construction and lights. I'm going to miss your Christmas lights, Montreal. That'll be when this hits hardest, won't it? Christmas. I miss your Christmas lights, Montreal. Rene Levesque and Penfield with large wreaths. I miss your Autumn already, Montreal. It isn't fair I may never live through the entirety of another Montreal autumn, another Halloween night. I love your leaves and gusts and the parks, at night. I miss your chilly raindrops. You know, I will try to collect some of your sunscent, your gorgeous bilingual humid night moisture bring it with me wherever I go whoever I become you will always be home.
  10. Vibrant Montreal brings new Canadian rock sound to world scenes Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2007 (EST) Montreal, the Canadian city known for its fierce winters, has become an international hotspot for a new wave of indie bands. The Montreal band "Arcade Fire" during a performance © AFP/GettyImages/File Kevin Winter PARIS (AFP) - Led by trailblazers Arcade Fire, guitar-wielding groups have been touring overseas, winning fans and have everyone wondering about the secret of the city’s sudden success. Alongside the rock scene, electronic acts such as DJ Champion, Kid Koala and Tiga have made "based in Montreal" a fashionable stamp of quality. In the process, the image of Canadian music, once dominated by pop crooners Bryan Adams and Celine Dion, has been redefined. "Montreal is an extremely cosmopolitan and open city," said homegrown singer Pierre Lapointe, giving his reasons for the new vibrancy. "We couldn’t care less about origins. What we look for is good music and interesting ways of doing things," he added during a stop in Paris. Montreal is home to about two million people, making it the biggest city in the French-speaking eastern province of Quebec. Music journalist and commentator for Canadian cable channel MusiquePlus, Nicolas Tittley, puts the vitality of the guitar scene down to North American influences. The Montreal band "Arcade Fire" during a performance © AFP/GettyImages/File Kevin Winter "Rock, country, blues, folk. Basically, all the music movements linked to North America are not foreign for 'les Montrealais'," he said in an interview. Indie rockers Arcade Fire have sold a million albums worldwide, according to their record label, and fellow groups Wolf Parade, The Bell Orchestre, Patrick Watson, Stars, The Besnard Lakes or The Dears are following in their footsteps. The francophone movement includes Ariane Moffatt, Karkwa, Ghislain Poirier, Les Trois Accords and Malajube. Malajube is threatening to cross the language divide and break into English-speaking markets after the group’s new album "Trompe-l'oeil" won plaudits from US reviewers. Although Montreal is a majority francophone city, most people can speak (and sing in) both languages and the city is also home to a large, well-integrated ethnic population. "The openness that we have in Montreal is quite unique," said Laurent Saulnier, programmer for the Montreal International Jazz Festival and Francofolies de Montreal event. "Few cities in the world have access to so many sorts of music from everywhere: France, USA, Europe, South America, or Africa." The cross-over of influences and culture is also seen in the music collaborations. Pierre Lapointe, The Dears, Les Trois Accords and Loco Locass, a rap group similar to the Beastie Boys, make guest appearances on the Malajube’s album. Critics snipe that the hype will not last, but for the moment at least, a new, fresh face has been put on Canadian music overseas. ©AFP
  11. Oooooh, Canada A French entry opened the Montreal international fireworks competition this year. Article Tools Sponsored By By HENRY FOUNTAIN Published: June 27, 2008 LATE last Saturday evening, La Ronde, an amusement park that’s just a stone’s throw from downtown Montreal on an island in the St. Lawrence River, seemed an unlikely venue for a world-class competition. Teenagers with the giggles and other signs of roller-coaster overexposure contemplated yet another ride on the Super Manège or Le Monstre. Younger children, slowed by too much barbe à papa (cotton candy) and poutine (that Québécois concoction of French fries, cheese curds and gravy), were willed along by weary parents. The occasional large Fred Flintstone or Scooby-Doo plush doll appeared among the midway crowd, bounty from booths like Frappez la Taupe (Whack the Mole) and Roulé-Boulé (a form of skeeball). GENERATIONS Some families haven’t missed any of the shows for years. But just a few feet away at La Ronde’s small lake, before a grandstand filled with about 5,000 people, with thousands more waiting in anticipation elsewhere in the park, along the riverbanks and on a nearby highway bridge that had been closed to traffic for the occasion, a tuxedoed master of ceremonies introduced Fabrice Chouillier, a French pyrotechnician, and his team. The 24th International des Feux Loto-Québec, the international fireworks competition that runs for two months every summer in Montreal and draws millions of viewers, was about to begin. Mr. Chouillier, whose company, Prestatech-Artifices, is the first of nine competitors this year, walked through the crowd to a control booth at the top of the grandstand, ready to start his computer-controlled extravaganza, built around the theme of space exploration and synchronized with orchestral passages from “2001: A Space Odyssey” and other works. He’d designed the 30-minute show at his office near Paris, had shipped thousands of shells and other fireworks across the Atlantic, and had been preparing them the last five days at a series of bunkers and platforms in an off-limits section of the park. Across the lake, the lights on the park’s Ferris wheel flickered off. Among the crowd, the hawkers selling beer and blinking devil’s horns grew silent. As the opening strains of “The Blue Danube” waltz filled the air, a series of pyrotechnic strobes went off on the far side of the lake. The Strauss faded out, replaced by the “10...9...8” of an Apollo-era countdown, each number embellished by a comet, a shell that leaves a glittering trail in its wake. At zero, a line of fountains started spewing fire, and a loud rumbling began. It was as if the whole lake was about to lift off. For the public, the competition is a chance to see 10 grand pyromusical displays — including a noncompeting show that closes the festivities — throughout the summer. In a city known for its festivals, the fireworks are exclamation marks that punctuate many Saturday nights, and a few Wednesday nights as well. Officials at La Ronde, which was built for the 1967 World’s Fair and is now owned by Six Flags, estimate that last year more than three million people watched the displays. A jury of 19, chosen from the public, evaluates each performance and at the end awards golden, silver and bronze trophies to the top three. There’s no prize money, but that doesn’t really matter: for Mr. Chouillier and the other pyrotechnicians, just being invited to participate in the competition, generally regarded as the industry’s most prestigious, is an honor. “It’s a sort of consecration in the life of a fireworks artist,” Mr. Chouillier said last Friday as his team, aided by La Ronde’s own crew, loaded aerial shells up to a foot in diameter into firing tubes. Or as Stephen Vitale, president of Pyrotecnico, the American entrant in the event this year, put it, “It’s like the Olympics for us.” It’s also a chance for these companies to design a show just for themselves, rather than carrying out some client’s vision. “What’s great about this competition is you have total freedom,” Mr. Chouillier said. OF the hundreds of thousands of people who see each show, only a fraction are paying customers in the park. Many are like Marcel Gareau, a construction worker who with his family had driven from the suburbs and was installed in a lawn chair on the Montreal side of the St. Lawrence a full five hours before the fireworks began. The Gareaus have hardly missed a show in a dozen years, watching over the trees and listening to the soundtrack on their car radio. They’ve seen the work of some of the best fireworks companies worldwide — from China, Australia, Italy, Portugal and elsewhere — but Mr. Gareau has a clear favorite. “The Americans,” he said. “They make the most noise.” The competitors and the jury like a good racket as much as anyone, but for them the shows are more about conveying emotion through kamuro shells, go-getters, tourbillons, Chinese cakes and other pyrotechnic effects, all intricately synchronized with the music. “You have to have a lot of emotion to think about the soundtrack and the colors and everything,” said Martyne Gagnon, who has directed the competition since 1998 and is herself a licensed pyrotechnician. “It comes from the heart.” VANTAGE POINT Fireworks displays are generally best viewed straight ahead from ground level. The recent French show, above, used a lot of surface effects. Enlarge This Image Yannick Grandmont for The New York Times WAIT UNTIL DARK Part of the pre-fireworks entertainment at La Ronde. Enlarge This Image Yannick Grandmont for The New York Times FAIR PLAY La Ronde, on Île Ste-Hélène, initially part of Expo 67. Ms. Gagnon is in charge of choosing the competitors, and she keeps tabs on possible candidates within the small community of professional fireworks companies. She almost always invites teams from Canada, the United States and Australia, a couple from among Europe’s big three — France, Italy and Spain — and usually another European team or two. She tries for one from Asia, and this year she got two, from South Korea and China. Competitors are given a fixed amount of money for materials, but some pay for extra shells and effects out of their own pockets — which may be one reason the Americans make the most noise. The jurors get a day of training in the science and art of pyrotechnics. Magalie Pilon, a doctoral student in physiology who was among those chosen for the jury from 550 applicants this year, was taking the job seriously. “This is a big party here,” she said as dance music thumped in the grandstands a few hours before the show. “But we have to concentrate because it’s important.” “But if they wanted a professional jury they would have asked for it,” she said. “As a member of the public, I know I’m good.” That confidence comes from having seen almost every display for the last six years. But she used to watch from the bridge, where her family had a special spot each week. As a jury member, she now has a prime seat for every show for herself — and for one guest. “Let’s just say that now I am very popular,” she said. “I could ask for anything. Maybe I’ll ask for somebody to wash my car.” THE grandstands offer certain advantages over the view from the bridge or the riverbanks. Many of the low effects can’t be seen from far off. And the shows are designed to look best from straight on. Mr. Chouillier used plenty of low effects, starting with the fountains that, accompanied by the rumble of a rocket engine, seemed to simulate the launching of a Saturn V. Then it was on to “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” with exploding mines and other effects piercing the sky, choreographed to the piece’s famous kettledrum passages. The “Star Trek” theme followed, with glittering showers of tiny stars looking for all the world like what Captain Kirk disintegrates into when Scotty beams him up. There were brilliant flashes, head-throbbing bangs, huge groups of flares in red and green, chrysanthemums in red, white and yellow and, during passages from “Mars, the Bringer of War” by Gustav Holst, dozens of small green flares that seemed to dance on the water like little green men. More comets crisscrossed the sky in perfect time with the music. And at 30 minutes the whole thing ended in a barrage of pale gold-and-white shells, accompanied by more music from “Star Trek.” As the smoke drifted, the final sounds were heard: the five-tone alien signal from “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” Afterward the verdict among some of the veterans was that the show was probably not a trophy winner — that the choice of theme and music was a bit clichéd, that the effects weren’t startling enough, that the all-white finale, though elegant, lacked a certain drama. But back at a makeshift beer hall where team members and others relaxed and discussed the show, Mr. Chouillier looked happy and relieved. “My big fear was that something would go wrong, and it didn’t,” he said. And judging from the hoots and hollers in the grandstand, the show was a crowd pleaser. “It’s the best we’ve ever seen,” said Mark Jeffries, a Floridian who with his family had come to Montreal to visit his mother. “There’s some fireworks we’ve never seen before.” His 11-year-old daughter, Carlin, had no problem with the finale. “In Florida they shoot off all of them,” she said. “They kind of overwhelm you. This was different. Just nice and white.” VISITOR INFORMATION L’International des Feux Loto-Quebéc continues every Saturday through Aug. 2 and on three Wednesdays — July 23 and 30 and the closing show, on Aug. 6. The countries represented include Australia, Austria, China, Italy, Portugal and South Korea; the United States entry’s show is on July 30. Fireworks begin at 10 p.m. Grandstand tickets, which include all-day park admission, range from 44.90 to 56 Canadian dollars (about the same amount in American dollars) for people over 4-foot-6; it’s less for those under that height. After 5 p.m. tickets are about half price. La Ronde is best reached by public transportation. The Papineau Métro station, on the Orange Line, connects with the 169 bus, which goes to the park’s front gate. Alternatively, the Yellow Line stops in Parc Jean-Drapeau on the other side of the Île Ste-Hélène; it connects with the 167 bus to La Ronde, or a 15-minute walk will get you there (and you’ll pass the geodesic dome designed by Buckminster Fuller for Expo 67; it now houses an environment museum). After the show, walking to the Yellow Line is the best way off the island. Free places to watch the shows include the Jacques Cartier Bridge, which closes to traffic at 8 p.m.; the Old Port of Montreal; and around Boulevard René-Lévesque north of the bridge. http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/06/27/travel/escapes/27fireworks.html?pagewanted=2&hp
  12. In keeping with the theme of creating a thread for each place, here's one for 1234. I'll make a bunch of threads for places that come to mind, maybe eventually we'll have a thread for every bar, restaurant, lounge, etc! So, 1234. Nice place, a little small, but it's got two floors and a nice terrasse. Music: Music is good, MC Mario is there, though i've yet to see him and he wasn't there last saturday (i think he's there on saturdays?) Drinks: Drinks are average price and the barmaids are friendly and reasonably fast Ages and dress: Not velvet rope, but not casual either... middle of the road. Average ages are in the 21-28 range although i've spotted both 18 year olds and 35 year olds. Bouncers: Average lineups on a saturday night. 10-15 min wait usually, during rush hour. Bouncers are friendly, never had delays. Cover: I think it's 15$, not sure (the guy lets us in without paying and gives us a bunch of free passes, i don't know if we're the clientele he's looking for or he's just a nice guy..) Misc: my girlfriend says the girl's bathrooms are bad and i find the men's bathrooms are fine, so go figure. Isn't it usually the opposite? Lol. Hip hop and pretty much anything on the top floor, mostly house, electro, etc. on the bottom floor. Pic from last weekend
  13. January 15, 2009 By PATRICK McGEEHAN The retailing of recorded music will take another step toward extinction in early April, when the Virgin Megastore in Times Square closes to make room for Forever 21, a popular chain that sells moderately priced clothing. The closing, which was announced to the store’s 200 employees this week, will leave the Virgin store on Union Square as the last Manhattan outpost of a large music chain. The future of that store has not been decided, Simon Wright, the chief executive of Virgin Entertainment Group, said on Wednesday. Stores that sell prerecorded CDs and DVDs have been done in by the popularity of digitized music that can be downloaded from the Internet onto iPods and MP3 players. But Mr. Wright said that the Times Square store, which has about 60,000 square feet of selling space, is not simply a victim of technological progress. It has remained “very, very profitable” by shifting its merchandise toward apparel and electronics, including iPods, he said, adding that those two categories accounted for about 25 percent of sales during the holiday shopping season. “Stores that rely completely on recorded music have a difficult future,” he said, “but we’ve been changing our business quite dramatically.” But the chain’s owners, two big New York-based real estate development companies, saw greater potential in leasing the prime space to Forever 21. The Virgin chain, once part of Sir Richard Branson’s business empire, has been owned since 2007 by the Related Companies and Vornado Realty Trust. It comprised 11 stores when it was acquired, but now will be down to just five, two of them in California. Virgin closed other stores late last year. The Times Square space, on the east side of Broadway near 46th Street, will be closed for at least a year before it reopens as Forever 21’s largest location. It will be combined with some adjoining space to create a 90,000-square-foot store that will be triple the size of any of Forever 21’s three current stores in Manhattan, said Lawrence Meyer, a senior vice president of Forever 21. Forever 21 is a Los Angeles-based chain that sells trendy clothing for young women and men. It competes with other moderately priced retailers like H & M and Gap stores. “This is a bigger format,” Mr. Meyer said. “It’s going to be a fashion department store. It’s going to offer a deeper assortment of women’s apparel and men’s apparel.” Mr. Meyer said the recession had not diluted his company’s enthusiasm for making a big splash in an expensive area like Times Square. He declined to specify the rent Forever 21 will pay. “We have been doing O.K. in this environment because we have always given great value to our customers,” Mr. Meyer said. “Our stores are exciting and we want to create an exciting environment in Times Square.” http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/15/nyregion/15virgin.html?_r=1&scp=3&sq=virgin&st=cse
  14. We ought to give each club, lounge, bar, restaurant, pub, it's own thread with reviews, pictures, info, commentaries and all that kind of stuff! I'll start with Opera since it's been the subject of a lot of talk lately with the possible demolition for the redevelopment of the ilot du monument national. Some pix from last sunday: My review: Good spot, huge, clean, modern, great music, (mostly) classy good-looking people but all this comes with a price - definitely one of the most expensive spots in town.
  15. Montréal - Cool with a French accent 4 June 2008 Lewis might be driving this weekend in Montreal - but what does the city have to offer for a weekend break? Forget the “Paris of North America” cliché — Montréal, QC has always sashayed to its own unique Latin beat. Roaring back to life after more than a decade of economic woes and separatist turmoil, the 21st century has seen the city’s distinctly Québécois melange of the traditional and the hip blossom. There are buzzy new bohemian enclaves. The fashion, food and music scenes are on fire. Chic boutique hotels have upped the romantic ante. What hasn’t changed is Montréalers’ focus on leisure and their penchant for long afternoons and evenings over wine or coffee. Sound like a population hankering for endless weekends? Mais oui! Summer’s the time to visit, when the city is unleashed from a long winter and shifts into overdrive with a frenzied outdoor itinerary. Downtown sidewalks are crowded till the wee hours as the annual Festival International de Jazz de Montréal (montrealjazzfest.com) spills free jazz onto the sweltering pavements, and Just for Laughs, the world’s biggest comedy festival, lets you yuk it up in both official languages (justforlaughs.ca). Add a side trip to Québec City, celebrating its 400th anniversary with great fanfare throughout 2008. Celine Dion is scheduled to be there, as well as Cirque du Soleil. And the world’s biggest outdoor multimedia architectural projection — dreamed up by Robert Lepage and Ex Machina — will be splashed across giant grain elevators nightly at the Old Port. myquebec2008.com But back to Montréal. Start your weekend with a bowl of café au lait and a croissant or a bagel with cream cheese and lox — Montréal’s cross-cultural breakfast specialties — on an outdoor terrace while you make your plan.In Montréal, it’s all about neighbourhoods, and each has its own distinct character. Pick a boulevard, pick a theme (traditional, hip, funky, chic, ritzy, sporty, gay), then explore the collage of villages that make up Canada’s second-largest city. Old Montréal Ignore the touristy overtones and head for the gas lamps and classic cornices of Old Montréal. It’s a cobblestoned warren of tiny galleries and boutiques. Get your history at the stylish Pointe-à-Callière Museum of archaeology and history perched atop the original settlement’s ruins: 350 Place Royale, pacmusee.qc.ca. Linger outdoors to enjoy the buskers and painters or head indoors for wearable art at the eclectic Reborn: 231 rue Saint-Paul West, reborn.ws. A fave for casual lunch is Olive et Gourmando, an inspired deli/bakery gone affordably gourmet: 351 rue Saint-Paul West, oliveetgourmando.com. St. Denis Montréal is a walking town in the true European sense, and the best stroll is down French-flavoured rue Saint-Denis. Eavesdrop on the locals’ twangy, slangy peppered-with-English lingo at the very Left Bank L’Express over steak frites or duck confit salad: 3927 rue Saint-Denis. Shop at hip Dubuc, HQ for Montréal’s high-profile men’s and women’s wear designer, Philippe Dubuc: 4451 rue Saint-Denis, dubucstyle.com; or hunt the latest French styles at bargain prices at Paris Pas Cher: 4235 rue Saint-Denis. Arthur Quentin’s is the mother of all lavish French kitchenware stores: 3960 rue Saint-Denis, arthurquentin.com; and Bleu Nuit across the street stocks decadent bedroom and kitchen linens from France: 3913 rue Saint-Denis. Plateau Pub crawl through the fashionable Plateau District by following Mont-Royal Boulevard. Start at Billy Kun, with live music from classical to jazz, in an unpretentious “tavern chic” environment that includes stuffed ostrich heads mounted on the walls: 354 Mont-Royal East, bilykun.com. Dine at one of the city’s popular BYOB (bring your own wine) neighbourhood bistros; for example, intimate La Colombe, where chef Moustapha cooks up a fabulous French chalkboard table d’hote menu with influences from his native North Africa: 554 Duluth East. St. Laurent Boulevard/Mile End Funky Saint-Laurent Boulevard is the city’s east/west, French/English divide. This busy lifeline between Chinatown and Little Italy is a jumble of Old World and edgy side by side. It runs north into once-decrepit real estate undergoing a renaissance called Mile End, a vaguely defined area of everything from retro furniture to local designer boutiques. Wallpaper magazine recently dubbed it Montréal’s hottest neighbourhood. The Ex-Centris theatre is a hotbed of Indie film screenings where ticket agents’ heads are surreally projected onto video screens: 3536 boulevard Saint Laurent, ex-centris.com. Casa del Popolo is a vegetarian café that morphs into an indie music Mecca at night: 4873 boulevard Saint-Laurent, casadelpopolo.com. Then there’s down-to-earth Schwartz’s Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen, the high temple for lined-up devotees of Montréal smoked meat: 3895 boulevard Saint-Laurent, schwartzsdeli.com. Old Port/Lachine Canal Want to burn off all those foie gras and crème brulée calories? Rent a bike at the Old Port at Montréal on Wheels: 27 de la Commune East, caroulemontreal.com. Follow the leafy bike path along the Lachine Canal that has gone from gritty-industrial hub to red-brick, factory-loft-lined park. Pass the geodesic dome and block-shaped Habitat 67, vestiges of Montréal’s Expo 67, and watch for one of the city’s best farmer’s markets, the 1930s Atwater Market, where you can pick up a baguette and cheese for a canal-side picnic. Overnighting: Old Montréal has, in recent years, become the city’s hotspot of boutique hotels with some of the most original accoms in town. Hotel Nelligan 106 Saint-Paul West, hotelnelligan.com. The classic feel of Old Montréal lingers in the very modern, brick-wall, loft-style rooms, each unique. Hôtel Gault 449 Sainte-Hélène, hotelgault.com. Minimalist, spacious and very de rigeur. Concrete and modern designer furniture make this a hipster magnet. Le Petit Prince 1384 Overdale, montrealbandb.com. A B&B with quirky style in a renovated house, each room colour themed. Funky and different with a great breakfast included. Dining: Le Club Chasse et Pêche: 423 Saint-Claude, leclubchasseetpeche.com. High-end French cuisine, one of the city’s best in what The New York Times called a “Gothic-minimalist hunting lodge.” Toqué: 900 place Jean-Paul-Riopelle, restaurant-toque.com. Chef Normand Laprise has become a Montréal icon thanks to his market-based contemporary cuisine. Au Pied de Cochon: 536 Duluth East, restaurantaupieddecochon.ca. Hardcore Québécois cuisine from pigs’ feet to poutine, taken upmarket by renegade chef Martin Picard. For more information on Montreal, go to Canada.travel. http://www.easier.com/view/Travel/Travel_Guides/article-182940.html
  16. Selon Martin Prosperity Institute The Great Musical North November 12, 2009 The music business is a fascinating example of a creativity-driven industry. Advances in manufacturing and sound recording technology mean that only a small part of the value of the final product – a compact disc or digital download – is generated by manufacturing and distribution. Instead, most of the costs of the music business today are incurred by creative work: writing, producing and performing the music; designing the packaging and branding; and marketing via blogs, magazines, videos and more. This emphasis on creative inputs makes the music industry an excellent research subject for improving our understanding of the geography (and other dynamics) of a broad range of creative industries, from software to medicine to media. While the public perception exists that Canada is a hot spot for music and musicians (from Neil Young to Shania Twain to Kardinal Offishall), a comparison with the global leader in music production – the United States – will help us to separate perception from reality. The most recent period for which detailed and directly comparable data are available is 2007. This Insight aims to improve our understanding of the dynamics of the business by focusing on one particular aspect: the differences between the music industries of Canada and the United States. On a per capita basis, Canada’s music industry dramatically outperforms the US when it comes to the presence of music business establishments (this category includes record labels, distributors, recording studios, and music publishers). Canada has 5.9 recording industry establishments per 100,000 residents, about five times the US figure of 1.2. A detailed breakdown at the metropolitan level can help us to better understand what drives this disparity. To make the scope of our analysis more manageable, we focus on city-regions with populations over 500,000, as they are home to 85% of recording industry establishments and about 65% of the North American population. Using location quotients, a standard industry measure of regional concentration, we find that almost half of the 15 cities with the highest music industry location quotients are Canadian (Exhibit 1). But despite its much lower per capita figure at the national level, the United States has the two top-ranking cities. The first, Nashville, boasts an incredibly high figure due to its heavy specialization in country and pop music. The second, Los Angeles, is the global giant of the entertainment business. US dominance becomes more apparent when we look at size. Recording industry establishments in the US are slightly larger – they have an average of 5.9 employees each, compared to only 5.7 in Canada. But the difference is dramatically more pronounced when it comes to revenue. US establishments earn average receipts of $4.1 million per establishment, compared to only US$540,000 in Canada. So Canada has considerably greater per capita musical activity than the United States in terms of record labels, recording studios, and licensing houses. But the data tell us that the United States has much higher-earning businesses that are more heavily clustered in fewer places – especially Nashville, Los Angeles, and to a lesser extent, New York. While this research is preliminary, we can speculate about what drives these differences. Economic geographers, from Jane Jacobs to Allen Scott to the Martin Prosperity Institute’s own recent analysis, have long noted that growth in creative industries like music tends to be driven by clustering and economies of scope and scale. The concentration of the American music business in a few key cities likely encourages these forces. In Canada, the fact that the music business is more evenly distributed is certainly a positive thing for musicians looking for opportunities in smaller cities. But failure to cluster in a few key centres may be discouraging the Canadian music industry from growing larger and more internationally competitive. [/img]
  17. Comme le fil dit. What are you listening to right now? Music discussion time! Il n'y a pas assez de discussion sur la musique I guess i'll start. Last three played in reverse order: Deep Swing - In The Music 2009 (Nari And Milani Day Mix) La Roux - Bulletproof (Tiborg Club Remix) J Nitti ft. Shirley Davis - Deep Down (Original mix)
  18. The lineup is not official yet, but there have been some bands confirmed/rumoured. They are Rob Zombie, Emperor, Hollywood Undead and Helix. There's also a rumour that they're adding a hip-hop group ala Rockfest.
  19. Very interesting opinion on the current state employment trend http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/05/digital-economy-work-for-free Merci au site MTLCity pour cette suggestion: http://w5.montreal.com/mtlweblog/?p=27514&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
  20. http://www.oprah.com/own-super-soul-sunday/21-Swings-How-Perfect-Strangers-Make-Beautiful-Music-Video
  21. World vibe at Montreal jazz fest David Rubien, Chronicle Staff Writer Thursday, June 21, 2007 "Jazz is a tree that has many leaves," says André Ménard, artistic director of the Montreal Jazz Festival -- a terse and apt summation of not only jazz but also his festival and the city of Montreal itself. The festival -- beginning its 28th annual edition June 28 and running through July 8 -- is the biggest of its kind in the world, an event that features more than 350 free outdoor concerts and 150 paid indoor shows. It is expected to draw more than 200,000 attendees, yet it manages to feel intimate. It's hard to imagine how a music festival that traffics in such numbers could be as sophisticated, smooth running, user friendly -- and inexpensive -- as Montreal's, but it is. Purists may raise eyebrows over the fact that two of the festival's headliners are Bob Dylan and Van Morrison (both shows are sold out), but this festival long ago got past distinctions of genre. In fact, in booking nonjazz acts, which Montreal started doing about 20 years ago, it pointed the way to survival for every major jazz festival, including San Francisco, whose fall lineup includes nonjazz acts Caetano Veloso and Ravi Shankar, and Monterey, where Los Lobos and DJ Logic will perform. "In 1986, when we last programmed Van Morrison, people questioned it, but he was on the cover of (jazz magazine) Down Beat three months later," Ménard says. "I wish every jazz album was as spiritually strong as Van Morrison's music. ... And as for Dylan, the way he redoes his songs -- that's a jazz attitude." Attitude is the right word. It's the thread that connects jazz acts the festival is producing this year, like Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland, Wayne Shorter and Bill Frisell, with world music acts like Angélique Kidjo, Femi Kuti and Richard Bona, with rock acts like Garth Hudson, Rickie Lee Jones and the Cowboy Junkies. It's not a punk or grunge attitude, obviously, but a dedication to musicianship and exploration -- a willingness to stretch and take chances. A jazz attitude. The strong world music presence at the festival -- 30 countries are represented, from a Chinese jazz singer covering Patsy Cline, to French new-wave pop, to Italian barrel percussionists, to Malian kora, to Australian didgeridoo, to Garifuna singers -- is appropriate, given the diverse ethnic mix of Montreal, which, as home to 80 nationalities, is considered North America's gateway to Europe and beyond. That is true even though almost everyone younger than 60 speaks English fluently. Centrally located downtown at the complex of theaters, museums and hotels called Place des Arts, the Montreal Jazz Festival packs all the action into a relatively compact space. Free outdoor shows are on nine small -- and one whopper -- stages, and 12 indoor venues feature the paid nighttime shows. The festival doesn't only stick the little-knowns on the outdoor stages, either. This year, a Brazilian carnival bash with Carlinhos Brown gets things going June 28; last year, it was the Neville Brothers. With more than 50 performances a day, it's clearly too much to take in, so it's a good thing adventure beckons outside the Place des Arts from any direction you choose. Heading south toward the St. Lawrence River, you'll hit Old Montreal, where you can easily spend an afternoon investigating the cobblestone streets, some with buildings dating to the 17th and 18th centuries. Stop at any of the many bistros offering mussels and pomme frites, usually with a good selection of French and Belgian beers and, of course, wine. Continue south to the river and at 27 De La Commune, you'll find Boutique Ça Roule, where you can rent bicycles -- a great way to see the city. But if dodging traffic sounds daunting, there's a leisurely ride to be had along the tree-lined Canal de Lachine, where heading west you can stop at the Marché Express, Montreal's equivalent of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, only it's open every day. Less than a mile northeast of the festival grounds are enticing residential neighborhoods of many ethnic flavors along Boulevard St.-Laurent and Rue St.-Denis -- including the Latin Quarter, where last summer a spontaneous parade broke out, clogging streets, when Portugal defeated England in the World Cup soccer quarterfinals. Keep heading north along St. Laurent and you'll hit the Jewish neighborhood that gave the world, believe it or not, William Shatner. Now we can settle for old-school deli sandwiches and soda-fountain drinks at Wilensky's Light Lunch, or superb bagels at La Maison du Bagel or St. Viateur Bagel. Heading back south to the festival, consider having dinner at what many call the most authentic French bistro in the city, L'Express. There's nothing pretentious about this spot. It's all business, packed with locals who seem ecstatic to be there, digging into bowls of bouillabaisse or scarfing pate foie gras or bone marrow, and tossing back wine that practically dances in the glass. There's so much more to do: great museums, galleries, beautiful parks, a 20-mile underground city where people spend much of their time in the frigid winter, day trips to the Laurentian mountains. Once you've spent a day exploring the city, the music back at the festival -- be it danceable, cerebral or both -- offers a way to relax and synthesize your experiences, processing them through the sensual to the aesthetic to the spiritual and back. That's jazz, and that's Montreal. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- If you go All locations are in Montreal. Prices are in Canadian dollars. Getting there From San Francisco, Air Canada flies nonstop to Montreal. A number of airlines offer one-stop connecting flights. Where to stay Hyatt Regency Montreal: Online rates for doubles from $244 (about $229 U.S.). 605 modern rooms and suites across from the Place des Arts. 1255 Jeanne-Mance. (514) 982-1234, montreal.hyatt.com. Hotel Place des Arts: Eight air-conditioned rooms, studios and suites in a renovated Victorian building downtown. $40-$80 ($37.55-$75.10 U.S.). 270 Rue Sherbrooke W. (514) 995-7515, http://www.hotelplacedesarts.com. Where to eat L'Express: Bustling traditional French bistro. Entrees $12-$22 ($11.27-$20.65 U.S.). 3927 Rue St.-Denis. (514) 845-5333. Wilensky's Light Lunch: Tiny shop serving classic deli fare 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Entrees less than $10 ($9.39 U.S.). 34 Fairmount St. W. (514) 271-0247. What to do Montreal Jazz Festival: June 28-July 8. Various venues across the city. $12.50-$87.50 ($11.73-$82.14 U.S.); many free performances. (888) 515-0515, http://www.montrealjazzfest.com. For more information Tourisme Montréal: (877) 266-5687, http://www.tourisme-montreal.org. E-mail David Rubien at [email protected] http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/06/21/DDG4MQI4M71.DTL This article appeared on page E - 3 of the San Francisco Chronicle
  22. Nicest places to live in Montreal. Right next door to Hotel St. James (275 SQ. JACQUES OUEST PH.701) 1 Bedroom 2 Bathrooms 7272 SQ.FT ($3.9 million, down from $4.5 million) --- Le Phenix (It was used for a music video) **USE to have an awesome view of the city, now Quebecor new tour upstructs the view** 3 Bedroom 3.5 Bathrooms 3600 SQ.FT Indoor Pool Indoor Parking ($2.413 million USD) --- I'll post some more. Post some if you like.
  23. We are living through a great turning point in world history. In just a few short months, our economy and our society are on their way to being transformed. The U.S. and Canadian stock exchanges have lost as much as a third of their value. Gone are the days when regions will grow wealthy from ephemeral finance capital. Only those that build their real economy from the only true capital we possess - the creative energy of our people - will enjoy sustainable prosperity. Gone, too, are the days when one's identity can be purchased literally off the shelf through designer brands and a Sex and the City lifestyle. Times are tight, credit is no longer freely available, and the house is no longer an infinite piggy bank that can be used to finance luxury consumption. The regions that will succeed and be attractive are those that offer history, authenticity and realism - and where the price tag is more affordable. Montreal is well positioned not just to weather the economic storm but to flourish in the long run. The city and its surrounding region have underlying economic and social capacities which, if properly harnessed, will position them to develop a truly sustainable prosperity and perhaps to serve as a model for other regions in Canada. By no means am I trying to pooh-pooh the problems facing Montreal. Some of them stem from external economic forces, while others are self-inflicted - and I'll get to them in a moment. But Montreal has not just the opportunity but the obligation - to itself, Canada and the world - to lead the way out of the current financial crisis. With credit tight and in some cases unavailable, the real economy, real people and real creativity replace finance capital as the new coin of the realm. Montreal has this in spades. My research shows that more than a third of the region's workforce comes from the creative class - scientists, technology workers, entertainers, artists and designers, as well as managers and financial types - putting it in the top 10 per cent of all regions in North America, and a global leader as well. Nearly a fifth of the Montreal region's workforce forms a super-creative core made up of the techies plus cultural and entertainment types. Some years ago, when I conducted a study of Montreal's creative economy with colleagues Kevin Stolarick and Lou Musante, we identified the region's unique capacity to blend arts and culture with engineering and technology, and to combine that with street-level creativity energy. We were convinced the region would benefit from its ability to generate "spill-acrosses" between companies and industries, driving powerful creative economic engines. And look now at its video-game and movie production industries, at the burgeoning music scene, at the Cirque du Soleil. Montreal also benefits from its dense, compact geography. Most experts agree that innovation and productivity are driven by density, and Montreal ranks third among all North American cities in average population density. Montreal is a real and authentic place - perhaps the most authentic city in North America. It mostly avoided, and certainly did not suffer from, the insanely out-of-control, finance-powered new-wealth spiral, Gatsby-esque lifestyles and real-estate bubbles seen in places like New York, London, Miami and L.A. Its genuineness and history are in sync with the social and economic pendulum's swing away from opulence and hyper-consumption. People today, especially creative people, are looking for authentic creative places that are affordable and allow them the openness and social space to do their work. Urban thinker Jane Jacobs long ago said that "new ideas require old buildings." Montreal has old buildings in spades, many of them in stunning historic neighbourhoods. These attributes contributed greatly to Montreal today having one of the most innovative music scenes in the world with bands like Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade, Islands and Sunset Rubdown. It has attracted not just local musical talent, but musicians from all over the world. As Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler told the British newspaper The Guardian last year: "I felt like I discovered Montreal ... There's this great weird city, and it's full of arts and culture, and I was so shocked. A year in Boston, nothing. I come to Montreal, and I had a performing band straight away. It's hard not to think of it as fate that I found myself there." The region's personality predisposes it to innovation and creativity. Regions, like people, can be sorted across five basic personality types, according to Cambridge University psychologist Jason Rentfrow. For example, Chicago is an extroverted city. Atlanta is agreeable, Indianapolis is conscientious, and Boston is neurotic. Montreal is an open-to-experience region. Like New York and San Francisco, the city craves new experiences. Such regions, like open-to-experience people, may appear a little aloof or introverted and at times a bit prickly, but they are the source of innovation and a springboard for human creativity. They are magnets for those who may not fit into more conventional surroundings, but want to express themselves and try new things. Open-to-experience cities have higher rates of innovation and new business formation. Creativity requires openness to self-expression, and it requires diversity. My own research - along with that of world values expert Ronald Inglehart - has found that a society's openness to gays and lesbians is linked to overall happiness, technological innovation and economic well-being. These are things etched in Montreal's very DNA. In fact, Montreal tops our new ranking of Canadian regions on the gay and lesbian index. It ranks sixth on our bohemian index. The Gay Village and festivals such as DiversCité are visible evidence of this openness. Montreal has a broad structural economic advantage in being part of the fifth-largest mega-region in North America and 12th-largest in the world. The future will be defined by the mega-regions - urban agglomerations that reach far beyond a single core city and its suburbs, and that host business and economic activity on a massive scale. The 40 most important "megas" house 17 per cent of the global population, but account for two-thirds of its economic activity and more than 90 per cent of innovation. Montreal is part of a mega-region that stretches through Ottawa to Toronto and out to Kitchener-Waterloo, and south to Rochester and Buffalo. Home to more than 20 million people, this economic powerhouse produces more than half a trillion dollars in annual economic output, making it one of the leading mega-regions driving the world economy. Montreal also abuts a second, even larger mega-region: "Bos-Wash" stretches from Boston through New York to Washington, D.C., and has more than 50 million people and more than $2 trillion in economic activity. That makes it the second largest mega-region in the world, larger than most countries. This positions Montreal as a key node in one of the world's largest and most formidable economic centres. All these factors have resulted in real successes. For the Canadian edition of my book Who's Your City?, my colleague Kevin Stolarick ranked the nation's cities on their suitability across five key life stages: recent university graduates, young professionals, families with children, empty-nesters and retirees. Montreal ranked in the top five in every category and performed even better when housing affordability was accounted for. And a recent global ranking by Monocle Magazine named Montreal among the world's 20 best cities. Still, Montreal struggles with substantial challenges and obstacles. There is the high dropout rate in secondary schools, the low level of college graduates, the crumbling infrastructure, and the legacy of lingusitic and cultural tension. They must be addressed head-on if Montreal is to realize its full potential. In fact, these obstacles and challenges have been in place for a long time, setting in motion a kind of institutional and civic sclerosis that keeps the city and region from doing better. Montreal is not alone in this; many, if not most, regions in the world have their own sorts of paralysis. The point is we are in the midst of a historic turning point set in motion by the financial crisis. Those regions that can overcome the internal issues holding them back and can capitalize on their creativity and economic assets have powerful first-mover advantages that will position them for long-run economic advantage and sustainable prosperity. Right now Montreal is wasting a lot of human creative energy. The city still has a very high number of people with low incomes, many living on social assistance. It has a high school dropout rate of nearly a third. This is not just a social problem; it's an economic issue that leads to lower rates of productivity and growth. The region also has lagged on what we call human capital accumulation, with one of the lowest levels of post-secondary education despite having the lowest tuition in Canada. But it has the great advantage of being home to four universities, one of the biggest higher-education sectors of any city. And it has a fluidity across class lines. It needs to use these advantages. It needs to develop a broad regional initiative to tap and harness the creative energy of all, giving these young people and those on social assistance the motivation to use their talents and participate in the creative economy. It has to make this a priority. Montreal can take a cue not from economic development policy but from its own Cirque du Soleil, which combines the talents of circus performers and street musicians with those of designers and engineers. It can also learn from the world's most successful manufacturing company, Toyota. Long ago when I studied Toyota, its top managers told me point -blank that they would beat the Big Three U.S. automakers for one simple reason: While the Big Three gave super-rewards to their CEOs, MBAs and top engineers, Toyota worked day in and day out to harness the collective creativity of every worker on the factory floor. Imagine if Montreal could become the world's first region to tap the creativity of all its people. This is not just a key challenge for Montreal; it's the key challenge of our time. It's here that Montreal can forge a real global leadership position and develop a new sustainable model for economic development: by extending the creative class far beyond a creative elite, and by stipulating that it will no longer waste either its natural resources or its human talent. Creativity is in the region's DNA. More than just about any other region, Montreal has the underlying capacity to broaden the reach of the creative economy to service business, manufacturing plants, and even agriculture. But the city and the region need a government that can help get them there. Governmental structures in Montreal and most other places are not up to the task. They are fractured and fragmented and filled with contradictions - complicated and clumsy. Hardly anyone who isn't involved full-time can understand them. In Montreal, there are local boroughs, municipalities, the agglomeration council, and a regional administration as well. I saw similarly overbearing structures in Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., and many other places. It leads to what people in Montreal call "immobilisme" - the tendency for nothing significant to happen because governments, business, social groups and unions are so at odds and so stuck in their ways that no one can provide clear direction and make anything happen. Many people say a strong leader is the answer. They look back to Mayor Jean Drapeau and the successes of Expo 67 and other landmark projects. They ask what's happened and worry that Montreal has become gun-shy. How does the region get its mojo back? But today's regions are too complicated for top-down, single-leader strategies. The key is to create a broad shared vision that can mobilize the energy of many groups - an open-source approach that can harness the energy and ideas of networks of people. Some may say the region needs a large-scale marketing or branding campaign to overcome this legacy. In the creative age, the best marketing is viral. Here's a simple suggestion: Capitalize on the region's growing music scene and audio identity. Pop Montreal, for example, has emerged as one of freshest and most offbeat musical festivals in the world. Where else could Burt Bacharach share buzz with an up-and-coming indie band like Black Kids? Where some music festivals rent hotel ballrooms and other traditional venues, Pop Montreal used the Notman House. Still, the festival is largely unknown outside the mega-region. Montreal should follow the lead of Austin, Tex., home of the famed South by Southwest music and media festival, and transform Pop Montreal into a magnet for the most innovative music acts, blogs and talent scouting. That would extend the region's reputation as a creative centre, virally and organically. This is just an example of the general principle; many other organizations, festivals and events can be marshalled in similar fashion. This kind of vision must go beyond Montreal per se and extend to the entire mega-region. That's a tall order, but a necessary one, and there are signs it can be done. The positive relationship between Premier Jean Charest and his Ontario counterpart, Dalton McGuinty, has been widely reported. It has even been jokingly referred to as a burgeoning "bromance." Provincial governments have authority over transportation, environmental and educational policies. Why not work together to build a powerful vibrant mega-region from Montreal through Ottawa and Toronto and down into the U.S. as a world example of cross-jurisdictional and cross-border co-operation, putting in place the transit infrastructure of high-speed rail, addressing environmental and natural resources issues, and harnessing the broad talent and skills of the workforce on this massive geographic scale? But to be successful in these areas, provinces need to recognize that transportation and environmental systems are more faithful to economic boundaries than to provincial ones. That brings me to perhaps the toughest issue of all. Montreal has been the focal point of a long history of linguistic, cultural and political issues that have held back the city and the province. On one hand, bilingualism is a huge advantage in the global economy. On the other, language laws and the threat of separation have scared people and businesses away and continue to discourage some companies from investing. The region can ill afford to lapse into historic battles. It needs to overcome its past and use its uniquely French heritage and bilingualism to its advantage. Montreal must continue to work on making linguistic diversity into a strength rather than a weakness. Recent events put us at a pivotal point - one that provides once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for Montreal. Now it's up to the region's leadership and people to develop a vision of how to overcome the challenges and obstacles of the past. Montreal can be a model for how to flourish in the new era of financial and economic turbulence.