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January 2012 Archives

I am Leah, I am LilyBear

week of jan 28 006.jpgMeet Leah Delisle.

Most of the time, she's Leah-- a young woman with curly red hair, someone who dresses modestly, and teaches kindergarten at a French school.

But for around 25 hours a week, she's LilyBear--  a buxom redhead who scales the buildings of ancient cities and works as an assasin.

Leah has competed in international-level videogame competitions, she playtests games for Ubisoft, and and she works for a team of female gamers.

All this... and Leah is completely deaf.

(Photos: Top left, Jeanette interviewing Leah at her house, bottom left, Leah recreating a scene from Assasin's Creed during a recent visit to Jerusalem.)


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"Art-house" arcade

If you are old enough, you might remember going to an arcade to play video games.

But then consoles like Sega and Nintendo turned gaming into something most people do at home, often alone.

saleem.jpgThe Mount Royal Games Society and Concordia's TAG research center are aiming to get gamers out of their dark basements and back in public space.

They're planning a public arcade

And at this arcade, gamers and non-gamers alike will have a chance to discover something other than what the multi-million dollar gaming companies are offering.

Saleem Dabbous describes it as a sort of "art-house" game culture, where independent game makers push the boundaries of the sensations and emotions that can be experienced while playing a video game.

Listen to Jeanette's conversation with Saleem.  

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Super Mario at a Rave!

XC3N-8static.jpgChiptune music is a fairly new and underground genre of music that uses sounds from old-school video game consoles.

Francis Rodrig is the founder of a Chiptune collective here in Montreal called Toy Company.

He's planning a two-day Chiptune festival in Montreal on February 10 & 11, 2012.

Listen to some of his music (not copyrighted) and hear his conversation with Jeanette:

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The next step for the Olympic Park

lise bissonnette.jpgA commission has been looking into the future of the Olympic Park area in Montreal.

Before Christmas, they were hearing from members of the public.

We were also brainstorming here on Cinq à Six. Click here to listen to our panel "Reimagining the Olympic Park".

Now, the commission has issued its first report. (Available on the Website, in French.)

Listen to Jeanette's interview with Lise Bissonnette, the President of the Advisory Committee on the future of the Olympic Park. 

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Bridging the literary divide

antoine_tanguay-FB.jpgAntoine Tanguay is the director of Éditions Alto.

He says there is a literary divide between French and English Canada.

He's made it his personal mission to try to bridge that gap by publishing French-language translations of books originally written in English.

Listen to his conversation with Jeanette:

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Antoine Tanguay is among those who will be attending a Translation Rights Fair next Friday in Montreal. It's presented by the Canada Council for the Arts. Click here for more information on that event.

A new soundtrack for skating

Alexis Bellavance.JPGThe soundtrack at skating rinks usually consists of Top 40 rock and pop music.

A project called Klondike is changing that at one rink in Quebec City. Klondike is an audio art project at the winter sports centre at Pointe-aux-Lièvres. Natural sounds are part of the audio mix.

Contributor Alexis Bellavance explains that part of the goal is to help the skaters hear the natural sounds that are already there, but that are obscured by man-made sounds like traffic and music.

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For the love of translation

donald and shelia 002.jpgShiela Fischman and Donald Winkler are two well-known translators who live in Montreal.

Donald Winkler just won the 2011 Governor General's Award for French to English translation. He is also a film director.

Fischman is one of Canada's finest translators of contemporary Quebec literature. She has over 150 translated novels to her name.

And they also happen to be husband and wife.

Listen to their conversation with Jeanette about what makes a great translation.

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Winter culture in Canadian art

Elizabeth 001.jpgWinter, and the culture surrounding it, has played a big role in the paintings and photographs of 18th and 19th century Canada, which tell the story of a vibrant winter life.

Jeanette Kelly talks to Elizabeth Anne Cavaliere, a doctoral student at Concordia University in the department of art history who specializes in 19th-century Canadian landscape photography. To the left, Elizabeth is holding a stereoscope, an instrument that was used in the 19th century to create a 3D effect when viewing photos.

Here's our viewing guide to Jeanette's conversation with Elizabeth:

Cornelius Krieghoff: Winter scene with two racing sleighs

Alexander Henderson: Ice palace, Winter Carnival, Montreal, QC, 1884

Wm. Notman and Son: Carnival, Montreal, QC, composite, 1884

William Notman: Skating Carnival, Victoria Rink, Montreal, QC, painted composite, 1870

David Milne: Side Door, Clarke's House, c.1923

Lawren Harris: Mt. Lefroy, 1930


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Igloofest: showing winter's playful side

igloofest snowstorm.jpgIgloofest is an electronic music festival that's held entirely outdoors during the month of January.

And the culture of winter -- especially the notion of winter as a time to get outside and play -- is at the root of why Igloofest now draws over 60,000 snowsuited, toque-wearing dancers to Montreal's old port every year.

Jeanette talks to Nicolas Cournoyer, the co-founder and general director of Igloofest, and VJ Caroline Blais, also known as Chocobeets, about how getting people to dance in a snowstorm really brings out their inner child. 

(And speaking of snowstorms, here's a video of Chocobeets' VJ art at Igloofest 2009.)

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The Ice Cloud: Reimagining winter in the Quartier des Spectacles

Nuage-de-givre_c_Martine-doyon_PQDS_04.jpgA new outdoor installation in Montreal's Quartier des Spectacles is literally changing the way we look at winter.

The Ice Cloud is an outdoor installation of "ephemeral land art" that interacts with winter in a dramatic way. Here's a great article about it in World Architecture News; and here's the live webcam Jeanette mentions in the interview.

The Ice Cloud consists of 5,500 cryopacks hanging from a series of nets to create a 35,000 square-foot canopy that people walk under on their way through the space.

Winter shapes the user's experience of the installation with fluctuations in temperature, light and wind.

Jeanette talks with Jean Beaudoin, the co-designer of the Ice Cloud, about winter's role as a creative partner in the installation.

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Chef Hugue Dufour and the future of M. Wells


DSC_1390.jpgWith his restaurant, M. Wells, chef Hugue Dufour was responsible for one of the most spectacular stories in Quebec cuisine in the past year - except it didn't actually happen in Quebec.

In its short 14-month lifespan, M. Wells - situated in Queens - won raves from Time Out New York, The New Yorker and the New York Times. And just before shutting down, M. Wells was named one of the best 10 new restaurants in America by Bon Appetit magazine.

So what's the future of M. Wells? As Jeanette finds out, there's a luncheonette planned for MoMA PS1 - the more experimental arm of MoMA, based in Queens. And then, just for fun, there's a steakhouse/catamaran combo...

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Costas Spiliadis makes Milos a global brand

costas_spilliadis.jpgCostas Spiliadis is the owner of Milos restaurant. It's a Greek fine-dining restaurant that's been a Montreal landmark on Parc Avenue for over 30 years.

But Costas has also made Milos a global brand. There are already well-established branches of Milos restaurant in New York City and Athens, Greece - and in 2011, in less than a year after opening, Milos Las Vegas was named one of the city's top restaurants.

For an entertaining profile of Costas, here's the enRoute magazine article profiling him that won the prestigious Bert Greene culinary journalism prize.

Here's our full-length, unedited interview with Costas Spiliadis on what it means to be a global brand in 2012 -- and other topics ranging from why he flies in cabbages from Greece to the UNESCO-protected village he's turning into a Greek cooking school.

Photo credit: Cosmopolitan Hotel Las Vegas 

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Gita Seaton and the Nouveau Palais: from old-school diner to culinary hotspot

Thumbnail image for P1013840.JPGGita Seaton is the chef and co-owner of the Nouveau Palais diner in Montreal. The Nouveau Palais has been a fixture of the Mile End neighbourhood for over 70 years.

Gita and her two business partners bought the old diner in 2010, and in the course of the last year they transformed the Nouveau Palais into a culinary and cultural hot spot -- known especially for Gita's regular Cookies Unite events, which showcase young cooking talent.

Here's our chat with Gita about how she made the Nouveau Palais into one of the year's culinary success stories - and where she's taking the business now.

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