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November 2011 Archives

Is Quebec fashion too commercial?

thomastait.jpgThomas Tait is a young fashion designer making it big in London.

He's originally from Hudson, west of Montreal. He studied fashion at LaSalle College.

But then he headed across the Atlantic to study at the prestigeous Central Saint Martins College. And now, from his atelier in Hackney, East London, he's producing clothes that are sold in some of the most exclusive stores and boutiques in the world.
 
Thomas says our fashion industry on this side of the ocean may better be called an apparel industry.He says it focuses more on technical ability and marketing than the art of design.

Listen to his interview with Jeanette:

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So what does a designer who has made here career here in Quebec think about what Thomas has to say?

Mariouche Gagné is the founder and designer of Harricana.

It's a line of jackets and accessories using recycled fur and other recycled materials.

Mariouche has trained in Europe, but her main store and workshop is in Montreal, and many of her items are made in Loretteville. She sells her designs internationally -- exporting to about 18 countries.

Listen to her interview with Jeanette:

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Opus 3900 -- Building the organ for La Maison Symphonique

organ building.jpgQuebec is a real hub for organ making.

It's partly because of our stong ties with the Catholic Church.

And also because of Casavant Freres, an organ building company in St. Hyacinthe.
Casavant Freres exports pipe organs all over the world.

But right now, they are working on an organ they are calling Opus 3900. It's the organ for the new Maison Symphonique.

If you've been to the new hall, you will have noticed the facade of the organ is in place, but the actual instrument isn't installed yet. 

Here is a documentary by CBC Music Producer Robert Rowat: Opus 3900.

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(Photo: Casavant Freres Web site)

ANA -- A bilingual play

ANA is co-production between Montreal theatre company Imago and a Scottish theatre company, Stellar Quines.

The bilingual production is at Espace Go until December 10.

Listen to Jeanette's interview with the two playwrights: Pierre-Yves Lemieux and Clare Duffy.

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New energy in the Quebec contemporary art scene

contemporary art 004.jpgBy many accounts, it's an exciting time for contemporary art in Quebec.

Several new spaces have opened recently, thanks to big investments by private collectors.

Among those is the Arsenal contemporary art space -- a massive shipyard that has been converted into exhibition and gallery space. It houses Galerie René Blouin and Galerie Division.

Jeanette takes the pulse of the scene with three major players:

-René Blouin, owner of the gallery of the same name

-Jean-Francois Belisle, director of Arsenal (pictured)

-Jeanie Riddle, director of the gallery Parisian Laundry.  

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An art lover's dream job

jo-ann kane 003.jpgJo-ann Kane is the curator of the art collection at the Banque Nationale.

It's Canada's largest art collection, with over 7,000 pieces.

She talks to Jeanette about the role of corporations in developing the contemporary art scene, and encouraging individual artists.

You can see the Banque Nationale collection for yourself by going to the gallery at the main branch in Montreal, located at 600 de la Gauchetiere West.

Or, you can view the collection on-line by clicking here.

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Francois Rochon's private collection

contemporary art 016.jpgFrancois Rochon is trained as an engineer.

He works as a money manager.

But his real passion is art.

He gives us a tour of him impressive collection of Quebec contemporary art. He has nearly 100 pieces in his office in Old Montreal, and his total collection contains about 200 pieces of art. (Click here to see our Facebook gallery of his office.)

His dream is to eventually start a museum.

Listen to his conversation with Jeanette.

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Reimagining the Olympic Park

bigo.JPGThe future of the Olympic Park is the object of a public consultation this fall.

Around 300-million dollars is earmarked to replace the roof.

And just last week, stadium administrators announced they will spend seven million dollars to revamp the esplanade around the stadium.

So what will a "reinvented" or "reimagined" olympic park look like? The final answer will not come before what may be a long beurocratic process.

But on Cinq à Six, we wanted to open up the idea tap, and have free discussion about what this area COULD be.

Amahl Hazelton (left in the photo) is the producer of the Urban Spaces Project with Moment Factory. Before that, he worked with the Quartier des Spectacles.

Claude Cormier (middle in the photo) is a landscape architect perhaps best known for his "Sugar Beach" project in Toronto. But Quebecers may be more familiar with like the plaza at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, or the recent "Pink Balls" installation in the gay village this summer.

And Talia Dorsey (right in the photo) teaches architecture at McGill and is the principal at The Commons Inc., a strategic design and development practice here in Montreal.

Listen to their conversation with Jeanette.  

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Liberté! Liberté?

delacroix.jpgWhat is freedom? It's a big question, and an especially pertinent one these days.

From the Arab Spring in the Middle East to the "Occupy" movement in the West, it seems something is brewing. People around the world are asking, what kind of freedom do we want to have?

Freedom is up for discussion during a week-long series of events at the Museum of Civilization in Quebec City.

Among the presenters is Hervé Fischer, an author, sociologist and artist. He speaks with Jeanette about how our definition of freedom is changing, and the role artists are taking in that movement. 

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Maestro Culture Quiz

kent_nagano.jpgEver wondered what book is on the bedside table of Montreal Symphony Orchestra Music Director Kent Nagano?

Or, where is his favourite place for a meal?

Find out as he takes the Cinq à Six Culture Quiz.

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Warner Brothers video game studio opens in Montreal

nov 5 014.jpgWarner Brothers held a grand opening for their new video games studio earlier this week in Montreal.

This is the first Hollywood studio to open a production office here in the city. It's thought to be a big coup for Montreal.

Warner Brothers brings its stable of Batman and Superman characters to the video game industry.

Martin Carrier is Vice President and Studio Head of the new Warner Brothers video game studio in Montreal.

Listen to his conversation with Jeanette.

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Why is Jeanette playing backgammon on a show about video games?

nov 5 012.jpgChris Isaac Larnder is a professor of physics at John Abbot College. But he's been studying digital media and video games for years.

He is also the founder of the Montreal chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery.

He's fascinated by how video games are made, but he has some serious questions about the space they are taking in our lives.

He says we need to balance virtual reality with actual reality. He even brought in a backgammon game to remind us of the pleasures of playing one of the oldest board games.

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Can video games save the world?

nov 5 006.jpgOne of the criticisms of video games is that there is a lot of violence, with seemingly no consequence.

But that is changing.

Dorian Kieken is a development director at BioWare, a video game company in Montreal.

He says not only can video games be ethicical, they can also save the world.

He recommends these links:

Jane McGonigal on how gaming can make a better world

Online Gamers Solve a Tricky AIDS Puzzle

Listen to his conversation with Jeanette:

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Culture Quiz: Mathieu Roy

nov 5 003.jpgMathieu Roy is a documentary film maker.

His most recent work is Surviving Progress.

He takes the Cinq à Six culture quiz.

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