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October 2012 Archives

Video games and violins

thumb.jpgIt's not on the pop charts, but because of the enormous popularity of the game, the theme song of Angry Birds is among the most listened-to songs in the world.

So when violinist Angèle Dubeau was looking for a new project that would appeal to young people, video game music seemed like a natural fit.

She's just come out with a new album of video game music that includes themes from games such as Angry Birds, Tetris, and Assassin's Creed.

The album is available on the Analeka label.

Listen to Jeanette's interview with Angèle Dubeau.

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(Please note: If you are wondering why songs that were played on the radio broadcast don't play on the Web audio, it's because music copyright laws prevent us from making the music available on our Web site.)

Quebec Writing Competition shortlist

This morning CBC Quebec - along with partners the Quebec Writers' Federation, Maisonneuve magazine and Vehicule Press - announced the shortlist for the 2012 Quebec Writing Competition.

Ten original unpublished stories by English writers living in Quebec are on the list and the CBC will be publishing all 10, one every weekday for the next two weeks. You can read the first one today: "What I Really Did on my Summer Vacation" by Anita Anand

All stories will be published at

Once all of the 10 stories are posted online, the public will be asked to vote for their favourite. The winner of the QWC Reader's Choice Prize will receive a cash prize of $300. 

The first and second prize winners, as selected by the Quebec Writing Competition jury, will be announced at the QWF Literary Awards Gala held on November 20, 2012 at Le Lion d'Or in Montreal.

Stay tuned for more information.

Replace the Champlain with "the most beautiful bridge in the world"

stephen leopold.JPGThe Champlain Bridge is Canada's busiest bridge. Its six lanes carry almost 60-million vehicules every year, between the Montreal burough of Verdun and Brossard on the south shore.

The Champlain Bridge was official opened in 1962, but now it's wearing out. It's time to build a new bridge.

At a time when we are hearing a lot of about corruption and cost overruns, some people are bucking the trend.

They're hoping the Champlain Bridge can be replaced with a structure that will become an inconic piece of architecture -- a true gateway to Montreal.

Stephen Leopold is a real estate developer and agent. He is the founder of a group called Audacité Montreal.

He believes we should replace the Champlain with "the most beautiful bridge in the world."

Listen to Jeanette's conversation with Steven Leopold.

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Do you think it's possible to build an architectural masterpiece to replace the Champlain Bridge? Have your say on our Facebook page.

Listen to Jeanette's conversation with two of the world's leading bridge designers, Sebastien Ricard from the UK firm Wilkinson Eyre Architects and Poul Ove Jensen, Director of the Danish firm Dissing + Weitling Architecture.

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(Photo: Jeanette Kelly and Stephen Leopold. Credit: Tanya Birkbeck)

New Museum of Canadian History might be "boring"

desmondmorton.JPGThe Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau is Canada's biggest and popular museum. It draws around 1.3 million visitors every year. 

The Museum will now be known as the Canadian Museum of History, and it will take a more narrow focus on  "national achievements and accomplishments that have shaped our country, " according to a government press release.

Desmond Morton is one of Canada's most prominent historians. He is a professor emeritus at McGill University and the author of 41 books on Canadian history.
"The government does have the right to make this kind of name change, but it does reflect a lot about this government and about the kind country they want us to be," says Morton.
"One of the reasons we don't pay much attention to history is how boring it's become," he says. "I rather like the broader interpretation, because as a historian I find the exciting things are not the traditional preoccupations, but they are the concerns of individuals."
"Canadians will find in the version of history that is imposed [in the museum's new focus] the boredom that they felt in school when history came up," predicts Morton.
Listen to Desmond Morton's conversation with Jeanette:
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(Picture, l-r: Gail Morton, Desmond Morton, Jeanette Kelly. Photo by Tanya Birkbeck.)

Maison Publique aims to be a neighbourhood restaurant

maisonpublique 003.jpgMaison Publique is a new restaurant on Montreal's Plateau Mont-Royal that has attracted a lot of attention because it's backed by British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

Chef/owner Derek Dammann comes from the swank Old Port restaurant DNA, but he says he wants something more down-to-earth with Maison Publique. Although Oliver is an investor, Dammann has complete creative control.

The decor is somewhat rustic, and the restaurant is tucked away on a quiet residential street.

Dammann says even though the restaurant is associated with one of the most famous chefs in the world, he wants this to be the kind of place the neighbours feel comfortable coming for a drink and a bite to eat.

Go to our Facebook page for a photo album from our visit to the restaurant.  

Listen to Jeanette's interview with Derek:

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Martin Lim launches capsule collection with Reitmans


Husband-and-wife duo Pao Lim and Danielle Martin started their line Martin Lim two years ago.

Since then, it's become a darling of fashionistas, but not all that well-known among the general public.

Now, Martin Lim is getting wide exposure in a collaboration with Reitmans, Canada's largest womenswear retailer.

Designer Marie Saint Pierre has already done two limited-edition collections with Reitmans, and her creations sold out in hours.

Martin Lim for Reitmans will be available online on November 1, and in stores on November 2.

Listen to Jeanette's interview with Danielle Martin and Pao Lim:  

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"Mars et Avril" imagines a Montreal of the future

MarsAvril_00793.jpgMartin Villeneuve has released his first feature-length film, Mars et Avril.

It's a romantic sci-fi film which features an idealistic version of what Montreal could be like in the future.

In Mars et Avril, Villeneuve (who is, by the way, the younger brother of one of Quebec's biggest filmmakers, Denis Villeneuve) liberally employs special effects to create a world that is almost entirely the product of his imagination.

And to do that, he brought together a blockbuster team of people with some pretty impressive resumés.

Listen to his conversation with Jeanette:

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Lolë, a made-in-Quebec activewear success story

lole.jpgIf Quebec is the perfect place to make activewear, Lolë is puts the principal into practice.

Lolë (an acronym for "live out loud everyday") started in Quebec and now has stores all over North America and Europe, with eyes on expansion to Asia, as well.

The company recently brought Andy Thê-Anh on board to design it's technical-yet-feminine activewear.

Bernard Mariette, the CEO of the parent company of Lolë, says activewear and streetwear are rapidly intersecting, and he predicts yoga pants will have as big an impact on the way we dress as jeans did in the 20th century.

Listen to Bernard Mariette's conversation with Jeanette:

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Quebec a "hub" for sportswear design

jacquesnantel.JPGQuebec has four distinct seasons, people with deep rural roots, and a long tradition of garment manufacturing.

This, according to HEC marketing professor Jacques Nantel, is the perfect recipe for a successful sportswear design industry.

According to Nantel (pictured), sportswear and activewear is one of top-five growing industries in Canada since the 208 financial collapse.

"It's one of the few industries that has been surviving and thriving across that turmoil."

There is a market of 1.5 billion dollars in Canada. In Quebec 300-400 million dollars of sales are made each year.

Sales of sportswear are growing by about six per cent a year, even outstripping the growth of electronics.

Listen to Jeanette's interview with Professor Nantel:

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(Photo: Courtesy of Jacques Nantel)

Breast Stories

breast stories 001.jpgPhil Carpenter (centre in the photo) is a Montreal Gazette photographer who has just released a book called "Breast Stories".

He photographed dozens of women who have had mastectomies because of breast cancer, including Cinq à Six host Jeanette Kelly.

Terry O'Shaughnessy (on the left in the photo) is a freelance writer from Hudson. She was also featured in the book.

Click here for more information about the book launch on October 19.

Listen to Jeanette's conversation with Phil and Terry:

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Electronic goes symphonic

DJ Champion, aka Maxime Morin has been invited to compose and perform a piece with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. 

But adapting electronic music, which is largely improvised, to the exact and rehearsed world of classical music is no easy task. 

Listen to Jeanette's interview with DJ Champion to discover he overcame these challenges. 

He also answers the question, what does a DJ wear to the symphony?
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Arts organizations get creative with funding

fundraising.jpgMany young professionals don't feel like they've reached the age and stage in life where they could be considered "patrons of the arts".

With careers to build, families to feed and mortgages to pay, being a philanthropsist seems far off.

But arts organizations are increasingly reaching out to young people of more modest means.

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has a newly-formed group of young philanthropists. The group is called Le Cercle, and it aims to get young professionals involved in the museum events. It allows young people to network and get involved in museum activities.

The cost to join Le Cercle is relatively modest (around $50 per event), but it serves to build a link between the instution and donors who will hopefully remain involved for decade to come.

The MMFA isn't the only institution looking to recruit young donors. The Montreal Symphony Orchestra also has a group of Young Ambassadors which gives members access to trendy evenings with cocktails and special performances.

Meanwhile, smaller arts organizations are turning to the internet.

The magazine Nouveau Projet got off the ground using crowdfunding, and musician Katie Moore used crowdfunding to help bankroll her latest album. 

Montreal-based Talisman Theatre, which adapts French-language Quebecois plays for an English audience, used crowdfunding site Indiegogo to fund it's upcoming production of The Medea Effect. (Opening October 11.) 

Listen to Jeanette's conversation with Marc-Antoine Saumier, President of Le Cercle, and Lyne Paquette, Artistic Director of The Medea Effect at the Talisman Theatre.   

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(Pictured, left to right: Lyne Paquette, Jeanette Kelly, Marc-Antoine Saumier)