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February 2012 Archives

Pierre Hébert

subway pierre hebert2.jpgGrants can be hard to come by for artists and filmmakers. 

So when a 100-thousand dollar grant is handed out, people stand up and take notice. 

Filmmaker Pierre Hébert has been awarded a grant of that covetable amount from the Conseil des arts et des lettres of Quebec. 

It is a bursary that honours career achievement for filmmakers. 

He plans to use the money for a project he is working on right now, called Lieux et monuments

Listen to Jeanette's Cinq à Six Web Exclusive feature-length interview with Pierre Hébert. 
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Image above is a still from Pierre Hébert's 1985 film Songs and Dances of the Inanimate World: The Subway

Anne of Green Gables

This week, Monique Polak chose Anne of Green Gables, written by Lucy Maud Montgomery in 1908. 

Here is what Monique says about why she chose this book: 

There is no resisting Anne Shirley, the mischievous, outspoken and  huge-hearted heroine of this novel. Originally written for adults,  Anne of Green Gables was appropriated by a younger audience. This  book for readers of all ages is about friendship (Anne Shirley longs,  as we all do, for "a kindred spirit"), the bonds of community and the  power of imagination.
Listen to Monique explain why she chose Anne of Green Gables (in English):
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Allan Hawco at the National Theatre School

allan hawco 017.jpgThe star and creator of Republic of Doyle visits his alma mater and takes questions from the students. 

Listen to part of the conversation:
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Le Survenant

For the first week of 10 Essential Books, Thomas Hellman brought Le Survenant to the Cinq à Six studio. 

Listen to him explain why he chose this book as his first entry on the list of 10 Essential Books: 

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The Columnists

Thomas Hellman

Thomas Hellman will be presenting his Top Five Francophone Canadian Books on Cinq à Six

Known as a singer-songwriter in Quebec, Thomas Hellman was a judge on Combat des livres (the French version of Canada Reads) in 2010. 

Since then, he has been indulging his passion for literature as a regular book columnist on Radio-Canada's Plus on est de fous, plus on lit

In January 2012, he was invited to give "literary concert" at the Studio littéraire de la Place des Arts, where he performed music and readings from some of his favourite texts. 

He holds a Masters Degree in French Literature from McGill University. 

Monique Polak

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Monique Polak will be presenting her Top Five English Canadian Books on Plus on est de fou, plus on lit, a Radio-Canada national radio show about books, reading and writing. 

She is the author of 12 novels for young adults, including What World is Left?, which is based on the story of her own mother's experience in a Nazi Concentration camp. That book won the the 2009 Quebec Writers' Federation Prize for Children's and YA Literature. 

Monique also works as a freelance journalist.

Her writing has appeared in The Montreal Gazette and Macleans Magazine. 

Monique teaches English and Humanities at Marianapolis College in Montreal. 

About the Series

How well do you know French Canadian literature? 

Even though we are surrounded by so many wonderful French books here in Quebec, sometimes even serious literature buffs have trouble crossing the the linguistic divide. 

Over the course of five weeks, starting February 25, Thomas Hellman will act as an ambassador for French Canadian literature, introducing us each week to a book that he considers essential reading to understand the psyche of modern-day French Canadian society. 

Meanwhile, Montreal writer Monique Polak will represent the English community on Radio Canada's book show Plus on est de fous, plus on lit. She will be presenting a must-read book in English each Tuesday on that show. 

Follow along as we create a bi-lingual and bi-cultural essential reading list. 

You can also follow the project in French on Zone D'Écriture

Of course, we want to hear which books you think should be on the list. 

In the end, we will have five English books, plus five French books. That adds up to a fresh and contemporary list of 10 Essential Canadian books. 

Projet Trame lights up the Quartier Latin

Students at the Department of Interactive Media at UQAM have created an interactive sound and light show for the Nuit Blanche

Projet Trame projects images onto the Clocher de l'UQAM. It pays tribute to the history of animation at the National Film Board in Quebec, on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of Les Rendez-Vous du Cinéma Québecois

Listen to Jeanette's interview with two of the students, Raphael Jolicoeur and Jonathan Bonneau.
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Have Your Say and Win!

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The contest is now closed. Thank you for your entries. 

We asked our listeners to send us their suggestions for the 10 Essential Books list. 

We received dozens of great messages by e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, and right here on the comment section of this page. 

The Winners

Congratulations to  Aurel Emelcuic, winner of the Sony E Reader with the 10 Essential Books in e book form. 

We also gave away 10 CBC Prize Paks. The winners are: Denis Salter. Beverly Akerman, James Little, Nicole Bergeron, Joan Rzadkiewicz, Jean Pycock, Jimmy Luong, Amber Neysmith, Nicole de Rouin and Seosamh.
The contest is closed, but you are still welcome to send us your suggestions for the list. 
Email us at

Tweet your choices using  the hashtag #5a6 in your tweet 

Comment on our Facebook page

Comment right here at the bottom of this Web page

Chelsea Smokehouse

chelsea smokehouse 001.jpgThe often-overlooked Outaouais Region is in the spotlight for the Montreal Highlights Festival. 

Jeanette went to the Marché Jean Talon to meet with James Hargraves and Line Boyer, the owners of the Chelsea Smokehouse

They "don't smoke beavers" (listen to the audio to see what we mean) but they do smoke everything from butter to oysters, in addition to running a small restaurant called Le Resto.

James and Line tell us about their business, the remarkable story of how they got together (It involves a trip to the North Pole...) and then take the Cinq à Six Culture Quiz. 
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Here are links to some of the people and places James and Line mentioned in the Culture Quiz: 

Favourite Public Space: The National Gallery of Canada
Favourite Restaurant in the Outaouais Region: Les Fougères and Domus Café
One to Watch: Photographer Louise Tanguay 
Favourite Quebec Blog: Mitaine écarlate
A link they recently shared: Olivia Chocolat from Cantley, Quebec

Illuminating the Highlights

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Creative - some may even say artistic - lighting seems to be a new trend in Montreal in recent years. 

For the Highlights Festival, lighting designers have created "progressive architectural lighting" for the Quartier des Spectacles.

Listen to lighting designer Marc Tetreault's conversation with Jeanette: 

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Gaëtane Verna has the power

musee_gaetane_35.jpgQuebecer Gaëtane Verna is heading down the 401 to Toronto, where she has been appointed the director of the Power Plant contemporary art gallery.

It's a gallery with an international reputation, and as director she will be a powerful force in the Canadian contemporary art scene.

We reached her as she was packing up her desk at her old job, as director of the Musée d'art de Joliette.

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Here are links to some of the artists Gaëtane mentioned during the interview:

-South African artist Mary Sibande

-Cuban collective Los Carpinteros

-Japanese artist Yayoi Kusuma

-Quebec-based artists Milutin GubashPatrick BérubéValérie BlassGenevieve Cadieux & Jérôme Havre

Art by women in 2012

valerieblass.jpgThere are three conconcurent exhbitions on right now at the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art: Valerie Blass, Ghada Amer, and Wangechi Mutu.

Three powerful female voices, all dealing with issues of the female body, sexuality, and even pornography.

You might be tempted to call it a feminist exhibtion.

Not so fast.

We invited three other prominent women of the Quebec art world into the Cinq à Six studio, to tackle the question of what is the place of l'art au feminin in 2012.

Lesley Johnstone is a curator at the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art. She curated the Valerie Blass exhibition.

Bettina Forget is a multimedia artist, blogger, and author of The Belgo Report.

And Line Ouellet is the director of the Musee national des beaux arts in Quebec City

Listen to their conversation: 

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Click here for more information about "In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States," an exhibition coming to the Musée national des beaux arts du Quebec June 7 to September 3, 2012.

(Photo: Artwork by Valerie Blass, photo courtesy of Montreal Museum of Fine Arts)

Wesli Louissaint takes on the culture quiz

wesli 003.jpgWesli Louissaint is one of this year's laureats for Black History Month.

February is Black History Month.

He was also winner of the 2009/2010 Radio-Canada Musique prize for "Revelation of the Year" and Canadian Folk Music Award nominee for "Best Solo World Music Album".

Wesli Louissaint "flexes his muscles" to take our Cinq à Six Culture Quiz.

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Should we have more World Heritage sites in Quebec?

christinacameron.jpgOld Quebec and Miguasha National Park are the two World Heritage sites in Quebec.  

World Heritage sites are designated by UNESCO. They are places that are given special protection to preserve their natural or cultural attributes.

This year is the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention -- the organization that makes that list.

So how well is it working? Are there other areas in this province that should be added to the list?

Christina Cameron is a Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Montreal. She is the Canada Research Chair on Built Heritage, and the vice president of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. She's also working on a book about the origins of the heritage convention.

Listen to Jeanette's conversation with Christina Cameron:  

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Can Quebec learn from Soviet-era architecture?

Originally from Kirkland, Jason Tsironis is a graduate of the School of Architecture at McGill. He's presently working in London at the firm Caruso St John.

Tsironis has just been awarded the Canada Council Prix de Rome for emerging architects.

He will be studying the evolution of Soviet architecture, and he says his work will also apply to Quebec and Canada, when it comes to finding new uses for empty churches. 

(Note: If you cannot view the photo gallery on your browser, you can also view photos for this story on our Facebook page. Photos by Richard Paré and Frederic Chaubin.)

Listen to his conversation with Jeanette.

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UPROOTED from Isabelle Hayeur on Vimeo.

The Institut de la statistique du Québec came out with some new statistics this week.

For the sixth year in a row, the city of Montreal is losing population -- more than 22-thousand people in 2010/2011. 

Overwhelmingly, people are moving to the suburbs -- the South shore, the North shore, and the Laurentians. 

Filmmaker Isabelle Hayeur would like all those people who are fleeing the city to think a little more carefully about who and what they may be displacing when they move out of the city. 

She recently released a video called Uprooted (Déraciné) that documents the transformation of the landscape as suburban developers push ever further into rural areas.

Listen to her conversation with Jeanette:  

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Wangechi Mutu at the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art

mothgirls2.jpgNairobi-born sculptor and collage artist Wangechi Mutu is one of three women artists featured in a new show at the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art.

The museum has just purchased a major piece by the artist, called Moth Girls.

In this Cinq à Six Web Exclusive, Jeanette speaks with curator Josée Belisle about Wangechi Mutu and her work.

(Photo: Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art)

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