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November 2012 Archives

Dialect no debate for Acadian musicians


The three members of Radio Radio grew up in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, speaking Chiac. 

(That's Acadian French with English and old French words and expressions mixed in.)

The band is now based in Montreal, but they continue to write catchy songs in Chiac, which are for the most part, well received. 

They won the 2012 ADISQ Award for Hip Hop Album of the Year, and are nominated in the CBC Radio 3 Bucky Awards in the Best Reason to Learn French category. (You can vote in the Bucky Awards -- click here.)

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Museums changing approach to displaying human remains

maori_03.jpgThe Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has returned a mummified, tattooed head of a Maori warrior to New Zealand.

In an emotional ceremony at the museum, a delegation of Maori people played music and chanted prayers.

They carefully wrapped the head in plastic, and then placed it in a box to protect it during the journey back to New Zealand.

The head was likely transported to Europe in the late 19th century.

Once seen as collectors items 

At the time, the intricately tattooed Maori heads known as "toi moko" were considered a curiosity and collectable item. The facial tattoos were a sign of status in the community.

According to Maori mueseum leader Michelle Hippolite, the Maori people themselves participated in the trade.

Hippolite says the heads were usually sold after the person died, but sometimes the bearer of particularly "valuable" tattoos would meet an early death to accomodate the travel schedule of European traders.

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First release for Warner Brothers Montreal game studio


Now, the Montreal team has its first release: Batman Arkham City Armored Edition

The game was released to coincide with the launch of the Nintendo Wii U

Timing that is a real coup for WB Montreal, says Vice President and Studio Head Martin Carrier. 

"It's a fantastic opportunity for us," he says.  

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Quebec Writing Competition Reader's Choice Award Winner

brandonsilver.JPGBrandon Silver is the winner of the Quebec Writing Competition Reader's Choice Award

The 10 shortlisted stories in the competition we posted on our site. Members of the public had a chance to vote for their favourite. 

Brandon wins $300 for his story, The Revolution. The story received 29 per cent of the popular vote. 

Congratulations, Brandon!
Listen to Jeanette's interview with Brandon:
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Oliver Jones at home


 A lovely black grand piano.  

Sheet music strewn around.

This is the scene at the home of Oliver Jones.

Cinq à Six host Jeanette Kelly visits the jazz great as he prepares to record a new album.

He also speaks about his involvement in a program called Reach Out with Music.

One of the musicians from The Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul gives free music lessons to children at the Tyndale-St. George's Community Centre. And the church members have been donating money for musical instruments.

This is the community that Oliver Jones grew up in and now, he's giving back.

Listen to Jeanette's interview with Oliver Jones:

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Revisiting the École de la Montagne Rouge

Copy of ecoledelamontagnerouge 002.jpgBack in April, at the height of the student protest movement, we visited the École de la Montagne Rouge.

That was a group formed by UQAM graphic design students during the strike.

They produced posters, t-shirts, and banners that were used during the protests.

Students at the École de la Montagne Rouge were also the ones who started distributing those little red squares that were soon seen pinned to the jackets and bags of thousands of people across the province.

Now, the students are back in class, and much of the work produced during that heady time will soon be exhibited at UQAM Design Centre gallery.

The exhibition is called Création en temps de crise sociale (Creation in a Time of Social Upheaval). It will run from November 22 to December 9, 2012.

To see a preview of some of the work that will be in the exhibition, visit the gallery on our Facebook page.

Listen to an interview with the curator of the exhibition, Frédéric Metz.

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Listen to an interview (in French) with two former members of the École de la Montagne Rouge, Éliot Lafrenière and Guillaume Lepine (pictured).

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Design gone wrong

design_portrait1347029046.jpgFrédéric Metz is the author of a new book called Design? (Flammarion).

He speaks with Jeanette Kelly about times when bad design leaves us feeling uncomfortable and confused.

Have you ever noticed something that's poorly designed? Tell us about it on our Facebook page.

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Quebec Writing Competition Reader's Choice Award

Cinq à Six host Jeanette Kelly be presenting the Quebec Writing Competion awards again this year. The winners will be announced at the Quebec Writing Federation Gala on November 20, 2012.

This year, there is a new category, the Readers Choice Award. We need your help to choose the winner. 

Ten finalists have been chosen. Now, we want you to be the judge.

Read the stories, and vote on your favourite.


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Holt Renfrew launches spinoff stores, hr2

12.10.26 HR2 .jpg

Quebec-based luxury chain Holt Renfrew is about to add some new members to its retail family.

The first location of a mid-priced spinoff chain, hr2, will open in March 2013 at Quartier Dix/30

Listen to Jeanette's interview with Holt Renfrew's managing director for Quebec, Joceyn Dumas.


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The opening of this new line of hr2 stores is part of a growing battle between Canadian and American companies for the mid-range market in Quebec, according to Université of Montréal marketing professor Jacques Nantel.  

Listen to the interview: 

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Simons opens store in West Edmonton Mall

simons.jpgSimons has been a family-owned business since the first store opened in Quebec City in 1940.

Now, for the first time ever, Simons is venturing outside of the province of Quebec.

A 100-thousand square foot store opened in the West Edmonton Mall on Wednesday.

"It's just so big, there's so much to look at, I was just kind of overwhelmed," says blogger Janis Galloway.

Galloway blogs on Dress Me Dearly and she also works in marketing at the Art Gallery of Alberta.

"Customers in Edmonton were kind of looking for something different," she explains.

"The thing that Simons offers... is the ability to buy a 30 dollar pair of jeans or a 300 dollar pair of jeans." 

Simons is a household name in Quebec, but has little brand recognition in Western Canada.

Marie Zydek who blogs on Marie a la mode, admits she'd never heard of Simons before the West Edmonton Mall tweeted the store would soon be opening.

But Zydek predicts shoppers in Edmonton will warm up quickly.

"The fashion industry is growing every year here," she says, "and we have the money to spend on clothes.

Listen to Janis and Marie tell Jeanette about how Albertans are receiving this iconic Quebec brand:  

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(Photo: West Edmonton Mall Facebook page)

Major shift for the struggling publishing industry

simondardick 005.jpgThere's been a seismic shift in the publishing industry this past week,
and most of it looked dire.

D&M, which includes Douglas & McIntyre and Greystone Books has filed for bankruptcy protection.

Penguin and Random House are merging

This follows the demise of a couple of other Canadian publishers including McLelland and Stewart and Key Porter Books.

The Globe and Mail suggests we are seeing the failure of Canadian-owned independent publishing.

Simon Dardick, the co-publisher of Vehicule Press here in Montreal, begs to differ.

Listen to the interview: 

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Video game takes players on emotional journey

papo1.jpgLike many video games, there are battles in Papo & Yo. But these are battles of the heart.

Papo & Yo was recently released by Montreal studio Minority Media. (Available for Sony Playstation.)

The the game is directly inspired by the childhood experiences of creative director Vander Caballero.

Caballero says this is the first ever "autobiographical" video game.

In Papo & Yo, Quico, a young boy living in a South American shanty town trys to help his friend Monster, who is addicted to frogs.

Whenever Monster eats a frog, he becomes are real beast.

Monster is metaphor for Caballero's father, and the frog addiction represents his alcoholism.

Players are taken on an emotional ride as they get a sense of what it can be like to grow up with an alcoholic parent.

Listen to Jeanette's interview with Vander Caballero.

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Legends of Kahnawake come alive in video game

stonegiant.jpgOral storytelling is a long-held tradition in the Mohawk community of Kahnawake.

Now, young people have translated some of those stories into interactive video games.

Skahiòn:hati Rise of the Kanien'kehá:ka Legends is produced by the Skins Aboriginal Storytelling Workshop.

Jason Lewis is the co-director. Listen to his interview with Jeanette:

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