Culture | Get your fill of culture

Quebec-wide festival provides free weekend pass to arts and entertainment

The thirteenth edition of Les Journées de la culture is taking place all over Quebec this weekend, from Friday through Sunday. The festival promises a smorgasbord of over 2,200 free cultural events hosted by a plethora of the province’s art organizations. The key word for us culture vultures on a student budget is “free” – on the menu are writing workshops, visual art, hip hop demonstrations, world music, theatre, architecture, and much more, all open to the public. The activities vary from interactive, get-your-hands-dirty stuff, to performances, to discussions and conferences run by professionals and members of the artistic community.

While Les Journées de la culture is held throughout the province, Montreal is the hub of all that this weekend-long celebration of art and culture has to offer. The number of events on offer is almost overwhelming, so we at The Daily have given you some suggestions on where to begin. But don’t simply take our word for it; check out the rest of the program at

Association for Contact Improvisation (
In collaboration with Studio 303, an organization that aims to promote art and affordable work spaces for artists, the Association for Contact Improvisation is putting on an introductory workshop in contact improvisation. The movement, which began in the sixties in New York, is founded on a variety of artistic and athletic expressions including dance, martial arts, gymnastics, and psychocorporal work. When the interactive workshops end, later in the afternoon, you can sit back and watch a show by the dance collective Performance Improvisation Exchange.

Sunday from 10:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Studio 303 is located at 373 Ste. Catherine O. Suite 303.

Chris & Alix Bijoux Couture (
Chris & Alix Bijoux Couture is a duo of Montreal jewelers, Christine Loertscher and Alexandra Scherzer, who make handmade jewelry. Chris and Alix are offering their expertise and artistry to all those who have broken or passé jewels lying around at home. Channel your inner artisan and receive a consultation with a professional in order to recycle and reuse your old junky pieces. It’s an ecologically-friendly way of repurposing your accessories – come with a broken pair of peacock feather earrings and leave with a necklace.

Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Chat des artistes (2205 Parthenais, #317).

Cine-Peace Festival (
In collaboration with the Forum Social Quebecois, a movement that aims to rethink our response to market conditions while encouraging social responsibility, the sixth annual Cine-Peace Festival will screen a collection of short films followed by a discussion with the directors. The festival offers visibility to young directors, while asking the audience to imagine, at the very least, an alternative to the global economic order. This year’s theme is “La jeunesse et la mondialisation,” or “Youth and Globalization.” Films will discuss and critique the omnipresence of neoliberal globalization, while also considering topics like war and conflict resolution.

Friday 6:30 pm – 9 p.m. at UQAM’s Salle des Boiseries, 1435 St. Denis.

Circuit-Est, Choreographic Centre (
Fortier Danse-Création, the Montreal dance group that’s home to internationally renowned dancemaker Paul-André Fortier, is opening a rehearsal of Cabane to the public. The work is a contemporary dance performance that takes place in a “disturbing universe removed from reality,” and uses installation art to take the audience on a voyage through unexpected locations, such as an indoor parking lot and a ballroom.

Friday 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. at Édifice Jean-Pierre-Perreault, 2022 Sherbrooke E.

Circuit-Est is also putting on a public rehearsal by Le Carré des Lombes, a dance company led by one of Quebec’s most innovative choreographers, Danièle Desnoyers. A more interactive experience, this event will give you insight into the making of and meaning behind a dance production, featuring explanations by Desnoyers and a discussion with her, the dancers, and the rehearsal directors.

Friday 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. at Espace St-Andre, 1881 St-André # 100.

City of Montreal, Borough Plateau-Mont-Royal Bike Tour (
Ride your own bike (or a rented Bixi) through the Plateau and Mont-Royal to discover artists and cultural organizations alongside municipal representatives of the aforementioned districts. A bike tour is an environmentally-friendly way to discover these culturally-rich boroughs. This is also an opportunity to try out the Bixi phenomenon, a must-do before the weather turns frigid. Beware: cancelled in the event of rain.

Saturday and Sunday; 514-868-5190 for information.

Co-op Radar (
Co-op Radar is a project aimed at building a cooperative housing community for artists behind the Brigide-de-Kildare Church in Ville-Marie. The proposed plan, already underway, is set to be finished at the beginning of 2011. The building will be composed of 42 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. Learn more about this urban development project at Co-op Radar’s presentation of photographs, sketches, and architectural plans. Members and future residents of Co-op Radar will be on site to discuss their future homes. In addition, there will be guided tours of the heritage site on which the project will be built, and a variety of urban performance pieces.

Saturday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. at Brigide-de-Kildare Church, 1151 Alexandre-DeSève.

Festival Danse-Mur (
Danse-Mur is an event consisting of urban artists collaborating to paint large murals at various Plateau locations. Buildings and walls will be painted or repainted in an attempt to beautify the neighbourhoods. The event will also include conferences, speakers, dancers, and other artistic interventions. Artists contributing to the murals include

Frank Lam, Zema, 500m, Peru, Sbire, Omen, Narc, and Bobo. Also sure to be interesting is the urban art conference with filmmaker and curator Pablo Arevena and anthropologist Raphaelle Proulx. Installations and dance performances feature the likes of Grasshoppa Dance Exchange, Francois Gourd, Soirée Rap Maudit, Chasing Bright Lights, and Le front d’action stupide.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday; see web site for specific locations and times.

Friperie La Gaillarde (
La Gaillarde is a non-profit clothing boutique that aims to provide ethical and ecologically-friendly clothing. Using recycled fabrics and materials, the clothing is made by local designers and bolsters the St-Henri economy. Start your afternoon off at 4:00 pm with a chic cocktail while browsing new collections. After mingling, set your eyes on the Fall/Winter collection in a fashion show featuring eco-designers Isabella Pasinato for Dita&bella, Tamara Rubilar for Estralla, Deborah Adams for Second Skin and Yana Gorbulsky for Supayana. The recent wrap-ups of New York and London fashion weeks ain’t got nothin’ on this.

Saturday 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. at 4019 Notre-Dame O.

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