THE MONTREALCONNECTIONAn emerging international creative hotbed
THE MONTREAL CONNECTION An emerging international creative hotbed Sid Loves Montreal - one foot in the old world, one foot in the new - 4 Pole of Creativity - CirQUe dU Soleil - 14 Creativity Montreal - worldS within worldS - 16 Digital Arts - the SoCietY for ArtS And teChnoloGY - 20 Fashion & Design - 22 Videogame Capital - UBiSoft - 26 Urban Art - wAlK thiS wAY - 28 Photography - froM the eYe of CArl leSSArd - 30 Gastronomy - Joe Beef - 36 Gastronomy - MontreAl, CUlinArY CApitAl? - 38 Electronic Music - we CAn dAnCe if we wAnt to - 40 Contemporary Art - reGenerAtion - 42 but it can go down to Montreal’s whitest winter ever was of snow are collected each year when the city was buried in 383 CM Of sNOw! from montreal streets – that’s 4 5 0,0 0 0 In wInter, -10ºC TO -25ºC 1970-1971,More than teMperatures generally range froM 7 sTORMs durIng the 2007-2008 wInter season, Montreal weathered more than 30 CM Of NEw sNOw! 13 million cubic metres TRuCkLOAds! -40ºC! that each covered the city in Contemporary Dance - the lAnGUAGe of loCK - 46 Indie Music - it’S A Zoo oUt there - 48 Comic City - the QUArter for drAwinG - 52 Cinema & Special Effects - the UnKnown MoVie StAr - 44 liStinGS - 56 NOM DE LA SECTION - 2 -
SID LOVES MONTREALONE fOOTIN THE OLdwORLd,ONE fOOTIN THE NEwat tImes dIssonant but more often har-monIously, the physIcal and culturalcontrasts and counterpoInts that col-lIde, connect and coexIst wIthIn It makemontreal a bInary cIty, a place of dIs-tInct dualItIes and a pole of creatIvIty.BY Rupert Bottenberg
2 “Montreal has one foot in North nology, Montreal provides a perfect1 America and the other one in Eu- environment for ideas and imagina- rope,” says Hélène Godin, creative tions to flourish and bear fruit. director and partner at Sid Lee. 2006 UNESCO selected Mon- That’s no small part of why she loves treal as an international City of De- Montreal so much, a passion she sha- sign, a designation Godin helped res with her colleagues. That’s why celebrate with a Sid Lee Collective we’ve asked her to share it with you, poster project. A recruiter for Sid the reader, in these pages. Lee, Godin says, “Montreal is both The polarities abound in Mon- an attractive destination for foreign treal. English and French dance designers and an excellent, expan- around each other as countless eth- ding pool of talent from right here nic groups from across the globe at home.” mingle in a cosmopolitan kaleidos- That Montreal, in terms of in- cope, in a city small enough to fa- ternational creative relevance, isn’t vour footwork and familiarity over yet mentioned in the same breath driving and distance. as New York or L.A., Paris or Berlin Montreal’s winters, fearsomely only means that its artists, perfor- cold and snow-caked, alternate with mers and designers remain unres- summers of scorching heat and fren- tricted by expectations in their ex- zied freedom. In its Old Port dis- periments and explorations. trict, some of the oldest buildings in With such freedom, stimulation North America sit side-by-side with and energy, it’s no surprise then that the ultra-modern architecture of its so many talented and inspired indi- digital industry centre. viduals have made of Montreal not The inherent tensions of such just a residence but a true home. extreme and eternally unresolved The magazine that you are hol- dualities generate an invisible energy, ding right now, Sid Lee’s celebration the perfect fuel for the mind and soul of the city we love so much, showca- of the creative person. Be it in film, ses the brightest lights among them. music, visual arts, dance, fashion, design, cuisine, architecture or tech- ONE FOOT IN THE OLD WORLD, ONE FOOT IN THE NEW - 6 -
“expo 67 3 awakened montreal to the world and changed the face of the cIty forever.”- Hélène Godin
4 5 6Montreal’s landscape is peppered with iconic places and structures, spotson the city map that have found their place in Montrealers’ hearts. HélèneGodin, a creative director and partner at Sid Lee—and enthusiastic Mon-treal booster—joins Université de Québec à Montréal’s renowned, even no-torious, design professor Frédéric Metz on a tour to take stock of the city’smost memorable sights. 1 the Jacques-cartIer brIdge 6 boulevard st-laurent and mIle-end“Represents not only Montreal but A mixed neighbourhood where North America,” says Metz, English and French blend happily. “the American Dream.” The exterior staircases are a Mon- treal trademark. Shop signs are “the 2 alexander calder’s “man” visual representation of a people’s A monumental abstract sculpture. past and character,” says Godin. 3 habItat 67 7 the turcot Interchange Moshe Safdie’s unique An ambitious and controversial 7 8 9 modular housing complex. “Expo structure. “A city must have a bit67 awakened Montreal to the world of everything,” says Godin, “the and changed the face of the city daring as well as the lasting.” forever,” say Godin. 8 fonderIe darlIng 4 the bIosphère An excellent example of Once the American Pavillion at successful restoration.Expo 67, the Biosphère is located inBuckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome. 9 the melvIn charney gardens and cca 5 mont-royal park The Canadian Centre for Architec- A favourite spot with squirrels ture is Montreal’s best-kept secret. and picnickers alike. The cross, vestige of Quebec’s Catholic 10 st-lawrence graIn sIlos tradition, watches over the city. Sentinels of the river. ONE FOOT IN THE OLD WORLD, ONE FOOT IN THE NEW - 10 -
10 Montreal seen by… Montreal seen by… “CREATIvE “wITHOuT A dOubT, “MONTREAL “MONTREAL, MONTREAL: MONTREAL Is A ALLOws ME TO REbEL Of THE A gREAT gLObAL LEAdER LOvE. THE CITy AMERICAs.” NATuRAL IN THE MuLTIMEdIA ALLOws bE TO bE, Philippe Dubuc REsOuRCE!” wORLd, THANks TO LIvE, TO CREATE fAShion deSiGner TO ITs IMpREssIvE ANd TO HAvE fuN Torcherbearer of the Quebec fashion scene, Guy Laliberté foUnder of CirQUe dU Soleil CRITICAL MAss fREELy.ITs dIs- Dubuc’s collections are presented alongside From street performer to worldwide Of TALENT, wHICH CREET CHARM pLAN- those of Dior, Hermès, Givenchy, Vuitton and Galliano. Entrepreneur of the Year, Guy Laliberté CONTINuALLy TEd THE sEEd fOR reinvented the spirit of circus. Since CREATEs HIgH-quA- AN EvER-gROwINg Cirque du Soleil’s inception in 1984, over 80 million spectators have seen its shows. LITy INNOvATIvE LOvE AffAIR.” “MONTREAL: pROduCTs.” m0851 INsTINCTs For the past 20 years, m0851 has been ANd EMOTIONs.” “IN MONTREAL, OuR Stephane D’Astous GenerAl MAnAGer, building a strong global reputation with Normand Laprise CREATIvE TEAM HAs eidoS-MontreAl its high-quality leather bags and unique Chef And owner of toQUé! suCH A gREAT IMA- Major video game publisher Eidos chose designs. All are designed, manufactured and managed in Montreal. Toqué! is one of North America’s top gINATION THAT I Montreal and its talented workforce for restaurants. Normand Laprise’s warm HAd NO CHOICE buT its new development studio. personality, leadership and unique vision of product-centered cuisine have made TO jOIN IN THE fuN.” him one of the leading figures in Canadian culture and world cuisine. Rémi Racine preSident And exeCUtiVe prodUCer, A2M (Artificial Mind And Movement) Founded in 1992, A2M is a Montreal- based videogame developer specializing in interactive action-adventure games. MONTREAL SEEN BY... MONTREAL SEEN BY... - 12 - - 13 -
POLE OF CREATIVITYCIRquEdu sOLEILA UniQUe And CreAtiVeenVironMentBY Sarah Lévesque tionale de Zaragoza exhibition supervision, and all around the proud of our latest event, be- tire evening, showcasing the 90% of my team is made up ofSince its creation in 1984, in Spain. world: from Toronto, Dubai cause, we never repeat oursel- stadium, fireworks and a ballet Quebeckers, given the incredibleCirque du Soleil’s mission is to and Buenos Aires, to Berlin, ves, we try to outdo ourselves. of vehicles dancing around the pool of creative talent in Mon-invoke the imaginary, provoke hAVe YoU MAnAGed to Clone YoUr- New York, Las Vegas and Rio I would say that this mentality guests. It was spectacular. treal. I keep up-to-date aboutthe senses and evoke emotions Self? _ There’s the Jean-François de Janeiro. we have of always coming up what’s available here, and then if Iin people around the globe. The Bouchard, President of Sid Lee, with something new stems from how do YoU CoMe Up with All need anything abroad, I go get it.result? The company founded and Jean-François Bouchard, So it’S A SUBSidiArY of CirQUe dU our leader, Guy Laliberté. Last theSe GreAt ideAS? BY GroUpinG Despite the combination of dif-by Guy Laliberté boasts a criti- Director of Event Creation at Soleil thAt iS Still not well year’s labour of love was the toGether All the riGht people? _ ferent nationalities at the Cirque,cal and financial success, having Cirque du Soleil. Known, BUt thAt iS GrowinG with Fiat event. From the very start, Teamwork is always key to a our Montreal way of thinkingwon the hearts of 80 million It’s funny, because people liGhtninG Speed… _ That’s for we established a wonderful re- project’s success. To get the ri- always shines through, which isspectators and presenting 18 are often confused. We gave a sure. Ten years ago, this subsi- lationship with the people from ght people together, I work what I believe gives us the abilityshows on every continent. In conference once at the Mon- diary of Cirque promoted only Fiat, who let us choose the site, like in Mission Impossible, with a to equip ourselves with a uniqueall, 4,000 employees, including treal Board of Trade on the same its own shows. It was in Mon- the Marble Stadium in Rome, binder full of people at my dis- and extraordinary creative envi-1,000 artists from 40 different morning. It’s always amusing treal that we created a name for to unveil the new Bravo. We set posal. I turn the pages and se- ronment. I’ve never come acrosscountries, are hard at work eve- for people to see that we’re the ourselves by organizing the fa- up in the middle of the stadium lect the individuals who meet this type of spirit or way of thin-ry day. But that’s not all. This same age and that we work in si- mous Grand Prix Formula One for three days, during which the event’s needs, whether in king elsewhere, even though I’velarge dream factory also inclu- milar fields. parties. Since we were dealing we received 3,000 people from projection, performance, food, worked around the world.des an event-marketing sphere, with an international clientele, everywhere in Europe every lighting or sound. It’s my mainwhich is not as well known, but in ConCrete terMS, whAt doeS the news travelled fast. At the evening. To get there, we crea- job, to be able to get the right we CAn heAr people SinGinG Atis just as spectacular. Interview YoUr JoB ConSiSt in? whAt doeS same time, event marketing ted a tunnel so people wouldn’t people together, to have a sense the top of their lUnGS in thewith Jean-François Bouchard, A direCtor of eVent CreAtion do was growing rapidly around the recognize the location. They of the energy and craziness that rooM next door. iS it SoMeone’SDirector of Event Creation At CirQUe dU Soleil? _ I’m in world, and we took advantage of would have cocktails, diner go together. BirthdAY? _ No, it’s always likeat Cirque du Soleil, the man charge of corporate events that this movement. and a circus show in the dining that here. We work in eventbehind some one hundred or so promote our own shows as well room. At the end of the meal, CirQUe dU Soleil iS A VASt pool thAt marketing, so we need to havehappenings around the world as large-scale, private turnkey YoU Are reSponSiBle for neArlY the roof would drop, revealing MASterfUllY CoMBineS CreAtorS fun. From Monday to Friday, it’seach year, from the opening of events. We currently have 70 100 eVentS per YeAr. whiCh do YoU a sheet measuring 120 metres froM All oVer the world. howe- just crazy around here.a casino in Macao to a parade fea- events on the agenda for the ConSider A ViCtorY, A Sweet AC- by 30 metres on which images Ver, iS there A MontreAl wAY of ACroBAt froM Corteo, one ofturing 70 artists for the Interna- coming months, all under my CoMpliShMent? _ We’re always were projected during the en- doinG thinGS? _ I would say that CirQUe dU Soleil’S prodUCtionS. NOM DE LA SECTION CIRQUE DU SOLEIL NOM DE LA SECTION CIRQUE DU SOLEIL - 14 - - 15 -
CREATIVITY MONTREALwORLdswITHINwORLdsMontreAl’S CUltUrAl lABorAtorYBY Lucinda CatchloveA BilinGUAl CitYin A frenChproVinCe in AnenGliSh Continent... Nowhere is this more evident gner Renata Morales and artist than along St-Laurent Boule- Carlito Dalceggio. vard, the street that dividesMontreAl’S lAYerS Montreal into East and West, where all the disparate ele- ments that create the city’s Speaking in tongues “I’ve never thought about the issue of two languages in res-of CUltUre CAn character intersect. Bustling with youthful hipsters, debo- pect to creative potential,” says Reeves, who is distinctly Que-Be peeled BACK to nair artists, tattooed musicians becois even if born in upstate and the street’s original Eastern New York. “But it’s clear that European immigrants and their the interactions between thereVeAl worldS children, St-Laurent is home to two cultures create zones of both tradition and innovation. friction, zones of tension, and Ex-Centris, Daniel Langlois’ that tension can in turn createBoth reAl And paean to new technologies and creation, contrasts with the traditional Jewish businesses, an energy which can potenti- ally develop in creative ways.” He also points to Montreal’siMAGined where and chic restaurants and trendy boutiques that sit cheek-to- Allophones—immigrants who- se mother tongue is neitherthe pASt And cheek with gritty dives. Sid Lee English nor French—as a rich sat down at Schwartz’s Delica- source of cultural renewal and tessen, the home of Montreal’s vibrancy. Renata Morales, her-fUtUre exiSt famous smoked meat sandwich self an immigrant from Mexico since 1928, to discuss Montreal via France, can speak directly as a creative city with UQAM about coming to live in a bicul-SiMUltAneoUSlY. professor Nicolas Reeves, cho- reographer Manon Oligny, desi- tural city. “I found the prospect of adapting to two cultures dif- WORLDS WITHIN WORLDS WORLDS WITHIN WORLDS - 16 - - 17 -
ferent and very interesting. It’s the language, it can have a very integrates diversity and formsreally very rich as a city and as stimulating effect on your level of communication, is central to MANON OLIgNya culture.” of creation.” Montreal’s creative and acade- Artistic director and choreo- Carlito Dalceggio, a native mic communities. But for cul- grapher Manon Oligny explo-Montrealer who embodies the Creative contamination ture to be effective, for meaning res and exalts intimacy in hercity’s bohemian aspects and “Even if the act of creation is and memes to contaminate and work with a direct and carnaldraws upon a global palate of solitary,” the location is impor- spread, it must travel beyond excessiveness that saturates hercultures in his work and many tant, asserts Reeves, who be- the context of the laboratory. dance with drama, intensitycollaborations, sees this ability lieves that the fluid nature of All agree that travel and inter- and raw physicality. She oftento speak in many tongues as a Montreal society allows for a national exposure are crucial; engages in cross-disciplinarymeans to access deeper cultural special fusion and collaboration not only to survive as professio- collaborations and has wor-conduits. “I think every lan- between disciplines.“Because nal creators but also to ensure ked with writer Nelly Arcan,guage brings its own channel of the social structure here is that Quebec’s artists rise to an as well as Wajdi Mouawad,creation,” he says, tapping into much less hierarchal and com- international caliber of excel- Claude Poissant, Jean Salvy,the mystical and magical aspects partmentalized than Paris or lence. They point to how Mon- Pierre Bernard, Serge De-of the city. Conversely, Manon London, it permits transdis- treal’s current creative vibrancy noncourt and Denis Bernard.Oligny—who is also a native of ciplinary practices to develop is a result of investment in the Her residencies have takenMontreal—finds inspiration in much more easily.” arts, public and private support, her to Tunisia and Portugal.being alone in a context where With artists and academics and the recognition of the socialshe can explore the many as- supported by private and go- and commercial importancepects of communication that vernment investment for colla- of culture. RENATA MORALEsexist beyond words. “Creation borative research, Montreal has In this crucible of time, ton- A fashion designer and visual ar-is a personal act, a solitary act become a laboratory where art, gues, territory and technology, tist renowned for her innovativefor me wherever I am,” she ex- science and philosophy fuse. Montreal’s culture burns bri- use of fabrics and techniques,plains. “In my work, I often seek The idea of cross-cultural ghtly. “There’s a passion for life Renata Morales creates clothesto put myself in contexts where contamination and openness transmitted here that’s hard to that are simultaneously elegantI don’t understand the langua- to innovation, of an organic quantify,” concludes Dalceggio. and confrontational. Her Mon-ge. When you don’t understand evolution that embraces and It is this ineffable and intangible treal boutique is a riot of color aspect of Montreal, this passion and texture, with fabrics wo- that contaminates everyone and ven, pleated and constructed in everything, that makes Mon- unconventional ways to beau- treal into a grand cultural expe- tiful effect. Morales’ paintings riment quite unlike anywhere also reflect this fusion of the else in the world. pretty and the shocking, and ex- press a powerful femininity that asserts its originality with a de- CARLITO dALCEggIO ceptively naïve sophistication. A painter and nomadic crea- tive shaman, Carlito Dalceg- NICOLAs REEvEs gio’s flair for the dramatic is as An architect, physicist and artist, evident in the construction of Nicolas Reeves busies himself his own colorful character as inventing the art of the future. in his work. Rich in references Scientific Director of Hexagram that range from Modernism to and Vice President of Société des Ancient Egyptian art, his large Arts Technologiques, he’s also a canvases are an explosion of vi- professor at the department of de- brancy and movement that cap- sign at the Université du Québec ture the pure romance of pain- à Montréal, where he heads the ting. Equally renowned for his NXI GESTATIO laboratory for “happenings” —mesmerizing, research and creation in computer chaotic rituals incorporating science, architecture and design. music, dance and visual art—he Reeves creates sculptures that frequently collaborates with explore complex systems and the other artists and companies territory where art, science, natu- such as Cirque du Soleil. re and technology converge. WORLDS WITHIN WORLDS WORLDS WITHIN WORLDS - 18 - - 19 -
deVelopped in pArt At the SAt, the Cyclorama iS An AppArAtUS for CreAtinG iMMerSiVe AUdioViSUAl enVironMentS on A lArGe SCAle.thiS one iS ArS nAtUrA, A perMAnent interACtiVe inStAllAtion in the SQUAre ViCtoriA Metro StAtion. it offerS VirtUAl ACCeSS to MontreAl’SSCienCe MUSeUMS: the BiodoMe, inSeCtAriUM, BotAniCAl GArden, And plAnetAriUM. DIGITAL ARTS THE some filming was taking place on the first floor. Upstairs, a soCIETy group of diligent worker bees fOR were parked at their computers. In a closed room, some teena- ARTs gers in for a summer session were learning the technologies ANd used by VJs and DJs. At the TECH- back of the building, artist-in- residence Yan Breuleux was fi- NOLOgy ne-tuning an installation of six plasma screens for the 400th anniversary of Quebec City. plUGGed into the fUtUre Next to him, Luc Courchesne teChno CirCUS / was working on his 360-de- diGitAl GAMeS gree Panoscope, an immersive screen that had just come back BY Sarah Lévesque from a museum in Beijing, China. The creation of the Ask a devotee of the Society for Panoscope recently prompt- Arts and Technology (SAT) to ed Virgin Galactic to order a describe the organization and Panodome, which simulates you could easily get lost in the voyages through space and was sea of words that ensues. “Abo- presented at the Espace Louis ve all else, we are a centre for re- Vuitton gallery in Paris. search and creation in the field Although the SAT serves of digital art,” explains its dyna- Montrealers in a million differ- mic founder and general mana- ent ways, it was created in the ger Monique Savoie. The SAT’s wake of an international fo- physical space is an enormous rum, the International Sympo- open play area that extends over sium on Electronic Art (ISEA), two stories in which its creative in 1995. “For many people, this staff use new technologies, then event was the beginning of a produce and broadcast their movement. Montreal got on work. The reason for this is ob- board immediately by bringing vious. “It’s a lot easier to see or people together from all over hear digital art than to explain the world that very year. We it. That’s why the SAT is open are in constant contact with to the public, and presents ins- different partners in Finland, tallations and shows — so that Sweden, Catalonia and the east digital art can be experienced coast of the U.S., with 30% of first-hand.” our clients in New York and In total, 240 events, eve- Boston. V2, a centre for uns- ning performances, launches table media, is on the verge of and avant-garde expositions opening in the Netherlands. take place at the SAT each year. In other words, the place is hopping. When we were there, www.sat.qc.ca THE SOCIETY FOR ARTS AND TECHNOLOGY THE SOCIETY FOR ARTS AND TECHNOLOGY - 20 - - 21 -
fuRNI Furni creators are shifting their focus more and more and exploring and creating their own designs in wood. They are still very hands-on, from picking the rough lumber all the way to staining, finishing, boxing and shipping the final product. BY Rupert Bottenberg FASHION & DESIGN - 22 -FASHION & DESIGN innoVAtion And CrAftSMAnShip. deCor theY BUY—not to Mention ACCeSSorieS, fUrnitUre And hoMe flAShCArd looK At SoMe MontreAl CreAtorS MAKinG wAVeS with their SoMe people liVe to worK, BUt Mon- Be VerY SeleCtiVe ABoUt the fAShion, treAlerS worK to liVe. And SinCe theY thoSe theY deSiGn. here’S A rApid-fire, liKe to liVe in StYle, MontreAlerS CAn - 23 -FASHION & DESIGN Harakiri philippe dubuc Sometimes with cruel shapes, this designer’s creations express a soft ag- Montreal’s fashion designer Philippe Dubuc redefines what it means gressiveness, but are always surprisingly soothing on the skin, as if their to be urban. At the core of his thinking is that clothing should reflect vibrations could emit an elusive energy, reminding us of the magic from the soul and always play on individuality. Rather than impose a look, which we all come. Philippe Dubuc proposes it.
periphere samare Thien and My express their personal vision of furniture. Their new Comprised of four architects and designers, Samare is a young collec- ideas reflect their interpretation of what furniture could, should or tive that revisits national cultural emblems and translates them into ought to be. contemporary objects that are transplantable globally. - 24 -FASHION & DESIGN - 25 -FASHION & DESIGN spyder suCC Spyder motorcycle, by Bombardierr, brings the active riding style com- Every day, countless work hours are wasted in endless meetings. Louis- monly associated with off-road vehicles to the road. The result is an en- Thomas Pelletier and Gabrielle St-Pierre’s solution is SUCC: a Slightly tirely new riding sensation on pavement. Uncomfortable Chair Collection, for shorter and more efficient meetings.
VIDEOGAME CAPITAL The Montreal touch MontreAl: ubI- For all employees of the Montreal studio, the spirit behind their bilingual city was in part responsible for this success. “There’s a Mon- QUite the sOfT treal flavour to most of our games. Yesterday, a prominent Japanese video game design studio came to visit,” said storyboard artist Wayne A. plAYGroUnd Murray. According to him, “Our games have so- One simply has to list the number of video game mething North American and European about studios in Montreal to see how this industry has them.” Patrick Désilets added that his latest grown in the city. There’s the American Electro- life iS liKe project, Assassins Creed, which was one of the bestselling Playstation 3 games in 2007 (more nic Arts and Javaground, the British Eidos, the French Ubisoft and Cyanide, in addition to the A Video GAMe: than six million copies in six months), takes pla- ce during a complete medieval crusade, with an A2M offices. In the industry, reference is openly made to a new El Dorado, a true North American MiSSion expert assassin as the main character. “I think hub. In October 2007, the French newspaper Libé- only Montrealers could come up with such a sce- ration wrote a highly praising headline that read: nario based on religious war, given the current “Montreal, Video Game Capital.” A few facts ex- ACCoMpliShed context.” Nearly 300 employees worked on the game for four years, during which period a king- plain the creation of a favourable environment for multimedia publishers and design studios. BY Sarah Lévesque dom, three cities, 200 characters and 10,000 “We were the first to arrive in Montreal in animations were designed. the gaming universe,” said Patrick Désilets, Crea- At the end of the very lively Saint-Viateur Street is Montreal’s Ubisoft studio moves to its own tive Director at Ubisoft. But the introduction of a five-storey building. A simple, strong, yet natu- rhythm and its own habits, according to the ci- new players makes the industry even more dyna- ral presence. In bright letters: Ubisoft. Although ty’s bohemian lifestyle. For example, having the mic and competitive.” We have to say that the when it opened in 1997 the French video game de- interview run over into lunchtime was not an op- Quebec government played an important role by sign studio – the headquarters are in France – took tion. At precisely 12 o’clock noon, Saint-Viateur creating a tax credit program to encourage jobs in up only one of the storeys in this brick building, Street, which already attracts a variety of artists, this field. Many had a sense of this growing busi- things are no longer the same today. From 10 em- is bursting with programmers and animators ness as early as the year 2000. And given Ubisoft’s ployees in its first week of business, Ubisoft Mon- making their way to sandwich shops other ca- success, no one ever questioned the existence of a treal now counts 2,000 staff members, which is fés to grab a bite to eat. This close relationship qualified and creative workforce. The city’s dif- 1,500 more than its second largest office, located with Mile End is so important to Désilets that, ferent universities also met with Ubisoft in order in Shanghai. Today, every inch of this high-securi- in 2007, he organized an outdoor event to ce- to offer a specialized curriculum adapted to the ty building is inhabited by the company. How can lebrate Ubisoft’s 10 years of existence. The re- job market. such success be explained? sult? With the Pop Montreal music festival, the Let us recall that two companies greatly fa- “Let’s just say there was a before and an af- Fantasia film festival and the help of local mer- voured the presence of programmers, computer ter Splinter Cell,” said Patrice Désilets, Creative chants, Ubisoft closed Saint-Viateur Street on 5 specialists and expert creators. Created by Que- Director and employee since day one of Ubisoft blocks and offered a variety of activities during beckers in the 1990s, Discreet and Softimage Montreal. At the beginning, the Montreal stu- the entire day. Another success, given the 25,000 marked this era by creating an innovative digital dio developed only children’s games. In 2001, the people who attended. technology. Founded in 1986 by Daniel Langlois, launching of Splinter Cell, an infiltration game ins- This success has enabled the company to Softimage revolutionized the industry by crea- pired by Tom Clancy novels, revealed the studio’s always see bigger, to go further beyond. The new ting 3D animation software that facilitates the abilities. “We designed a very realistic and organic challenge? With the acquisition of Hybrid Tech- creative process while decreasing production military spy game, with plays on lights and sha- nologies in the summer of 2008, the company now costs. In 1994, when Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic dows, qualities which had never before been seen wants to specialize in special effects and to get in- Park propelled the company into the top position on the market. And our timing was good, too. For volved in the film industry. “Developing this type worldwide, Langlois sold Softimage to Microsoft. the first six months, Splinter Cell worked only on of technology will enable us to get ready for the It is now owned by Avid Technologie. Discreet, the new Xbox. People were buying it to show their new generation of game consoles.” But don’t ask now called Autodesk, was also sold to a US firm in friends the capabilities of the game console.” Mis- any more questions, Désilets and Murray are wor- 1999. Today, in 2008, Montreal continues to reap sion accomplished, since Splinter Cell’s success king on projects that will remain top secret until the benefits of all those years of research and ex- was both critically and commercially acclaimed. their launch date. pertise, making it a unique playground. Altair iS the MAin ChArACter in ASSASSin’S Creed, CreAted BY MontreAl’S UBiSoft StUdio. More thAn 7 Million CopieS hAVe Been Sold SinCe itS releASe in noVeMBer 2007.NOM DE LA SECTION UBISOFT - 26 - - 27 -
URBAN ART Montrealers are pretty blasé Cans Festival in the UK. He’s also their show on the road and re- about the art and advertising realized commissions for Cirque present Montreal’s writers on an that vividly vies for our attention du Soleil, Earth Day ’06 and ’07, international level (and to also on the vertical surfaces of the ur- Darling Foundry, Ecole Lambert work within the realms of fine ban landscape. It took art appea- Closse and, of course, Sid Lee. art). HVW8 artists include the ring literally on the streets over- Roadsworth’s art continues to brilliant Gene ‘Starship’ Pen- night to stop us in our tracks. surprise, delightfully provoking don, Dan ‘DSTRBO’ Buller and Suddenly a yellow crosswalk thought about public space that Tyler ‘Ty G’ Gibney (who holds was transformed into a row of are both pedestrian and para- down the fort in LA). candles or a giant footprint, traf- mount. “Personally, I feel that fic lines mysteriously morphed public space should reflect the www.HVW8.com into heartbeat monitor rhythms people who occupy it,” explains or a gigantic zipper. These cheeky public works were all created by Gibson. “There’s much more to people occupying a city than di- dARE-dARE Dare-Dare is a Centre de dif- Roadsworth (aka Peter Gibson), rections and advertising.” fusion d’art multidisciplinaire de a Montreal-based artist/activist/ Montréal, meaning they get up musician who started using spray www.roadsworth.com to all kinds of strange and arty paint and stencils to subvert the things all over the place. From orderly iconography of Mon- public interventions like gue- treal’s roads in 2001 (initially by creating guerilla bike paths gRAffITI rilla camping to creative colla- around the city). REsEARCH borations that take art out of “There’s a community spi- LAb MONTREAL the gallery and onto the streets, Dare-Dare is an artist-run cen- rit that’s possible here,” says Gib- GRL’s motto is “urban commu- nication for urban commandos,” tre that supports the city’s art- son about Montreal. “Because and they’re on a mission to tag ists who refuse to be contained it’s on a more human scale, you the cities of the world with li- by four white walls. feel more of a personal attach- ment than in a bigger, more im- ght. Using video projections, the Montreal cell uses the city’s www.dare-dare.org personal kind of city. You feelwALk THIs wAy you have a right and the space surfaces as a canvas on which to is as much yours as it is the project ephemeral graffiti. To uNdER city’s.” Even though Montrealers achieve their mission they’ve built a “Weapon of Mass De- pREssuRE were delighted by Roadsworth’s Montreal’s International Graf- aesthetic interventions, city of- facement,” aka a custom bike fiti Convention, Under Pres- ficials frowned upon such public trailer complete with integra- sure, first hit the streets (and the ted sound system, video projec-BY the tiMe hiS CASe went to triAl mischief and illicit roadwork. walls) in 1995 and has been going Caught “yellow handed” in 2004, tion and FM broadcasting (and full blast ever since. The festival Gibson faced monumental fines powered by a deep cell batteryin 2006, pUBliC SUpport for hiS worK hAd and possible incarceration but, by the time his case went to trial in system). GRL bomb the city with eye-opening light! attracts writers from the US and Europe, and serves as a yearlyleft An indeliBle MArK on CitY hAll. nexus for local hip hop artists 2006, public support for his work (from writers through DJs and had left an indelible mark on City www.graffitiresearchlab.ca breakers, and stretching stylisti-SUrpriSinGlY, the ArtiSt wAS ordered Hall. Surprisingly, the artist was ordered to undertake 40 hours of cally from hip hop into dubstep Hvw8 and beyond).to UndertAKe 40 hoUrS of CoMMUnitY community service doing exactly what had gotten him into trou- pROduCTIONs underpressure.comSerViCe doinG exACtlY whAt hAd Gotten ble—creating public art. Since making peace with HVW8 is a design house, a crew of promotional gurus and all- round stylin’ peeps around town subv bOuTIquEhiM into troUBle - CreAtinG pUBliC Art. City Hall, Roadsworth has stee- red his creativity along more legal (that would be both Montreal This store/gallery sells toys, art avenues to increasing internatio- and LA) that was founded in and gear for and by aesthetically nal acclaim. Last May, he exhibi- 1998 (the LA gallery opened in advanced street artists.roAdSworth pAVeS the wAY 2005). They were the first crew ted alongside Banksy and Shepardfor pUBliC Art Fairey, giants of street art and art of local graffiti artists to take www.subv.netBY Lucinda Catchlove world darlings, at the London WALK THIS WAY WALK THIS WAY - 28 - - 29 -
PHOTOGRAPHYCarlFrom the eye ofLes- French musicals of the past 30 years, such as Starmania and Notre-Dame-de-Paris. He has Luc Plamondon - Author and songwriter Luc Plamondon has created some of the bestsard worked for numerous internationally acclaimed artists such as Celine Dion.ask photographer carl lessard todescrIbe hIs style, and he’s got oneword for you: tImeless. sure, youmIght raIse an eyebrow over theterm, whIch ImplIes aspIratIonsbIgger than nature Itself, but amere glance at hIs photos wIlltake you through tIme, beyond thedecades and ages. orIgInally frommontreal, thIs InternatIonallyrenowned photographer has morethan 20 years of experIence wor-kIng In dIfferent areas, IncludIngcampaIgns (such as lancôme),fashIon photography and humanportraIts, whIch always reveala unIque sIde of hIs subJects.some of the people he’s photogra-phed are the dalaI lama, nelsonmandela, luc plamondon, celInedIon and robert lepage. NOM DE LA SECTION NOM DE LA SECTION - 30 - - 31 -
Robert Lepage - Quebec native Robert Lepage is equally talented as a director, scenic artist, playwright, actor and film director. His creative and original approach to theatre has won him international acclaim and shaken the dogma of classical stage direction to its founda- tions, especially through his use of new technologies. Contemporary history is his source of inspiration, and his modern and unusual work transcends all boundaries. He works and lives in beautiful Quebec City, but is a frequent contributor to the cultural landscape in Montreal. - 32 -NOM DE LA SECTION - 33 -FROM THE EYE OF CARL LESSARD Louise Lecavalier - One of the most brilliant and tragic dancers of our time, Louise Lecavalier pushed back the boundaries of modern dance. Principal dancer of La La La Human Steps for 18 years, she is an emblematic figure of modern dance in Canada and has gained international recognition.
Kent Nagano - Kent Nagano has established an international reputation as a gifted inter- preter of both the operatic and symphonic repertoire. In 2006, he chose to lead the highly respected Montreal Symphony Orchestra. One of the reasons he gave was to join the creative community of the city, which he feels combines the best features of North American and Euro- pean cultures. - 34 -FROM THE EYE OF CARL LESSARD - 35 -NOM DE LA SECTION Armand Vaillancourt - Iconic sculptor and social activist in Quebec, Armand Vaillan- court uses symbolic figurative elements in some of his work. His unique sculptures made of unusual materials can be seen around the world and are a fundamental part of Quebec’s contemporary art history.
GASTRONOMY jOE what we’re doing, tell Monet stories,” grins Mc- Millan, making light of restaurateurs whose me- nus are clogged with details about the history of bEEf every carrot they serve. Frankness is a key word for the pair who run Joe Beef, so much so that they won’t hesitate to come back at clients who lack respect. McMillan once had words with a Vancouver woman, a food critic, who sniffed that the skillet-seared foie gras wasn’t warm enough. “With us, the custo- mer isn’t always right. But if they’re willing to adapt, we’re ready to give them our all.” In 2006, SiMplY And frédériC Morin dAVid MCMillAn CooKinG American magazine Gourmet published a special edition on Montreal, and in its wake, a horde of publications—Maclean’s, Saveur, Food&Wine Magazine—set down in town and heralded the BY Sarah Lévesque quality and affordability of its restaurants. Nee- dles to say, Joe Beef received its fair share of the At the urging of patrons and clients, in 2005, Da- spotlight. vid McMillan and Frédéric Morin rented a locale in Little Burgundy, an emerging neighborhood off the beaten paths of downtown and the Plateau “with US, the district. Their challenge was to establish a small dining room for about 35 patrons, charming and CUStoMer iSn’t AlwAYS riGht. BUt intimate, somewhere between a pub, a bistro and a neighborhood restaurant. “It was a risky ven- ture for Montreal. We were the very first to open a little space like that. Now, of course, there are plenty around.” if theY’re willinG The name they chose for this first restaurant of their own was Joe Beef. An icon of the 19th cen- to AdApt, we’re reAdY to GiVe tury, the surly yet generous Irish Montrealer ran a legendary tavern, the basement of which housed a menagerie that included foxes, bears and cougars. The story of this simple and honest man seemed the ideal emblem for a cuisine without fanfare, theM oUr All.” straightforward and tasty, avoiding at all costs The story continues—to the left of Joe Beef, the artifice of nouvelle cuisine, the blending of the pair have opened a sandwich shop and wine improbable ingredients. Their specialties would bar, the McKeirnan. On the right side, they ope- be meats served rare, fish and shellfish. During ned last year another restaurant in the spirit of their interview, the two men answer the phone to Joe Beef, the Liverpool House. Its name recalls take reservations themselves while snacking on Joe Beef’s direct competition in the 1800s, a Pro- avocado and cubed beef, aged for tenderness and testant establishment which served the captains cooked rare, ready in a flash. of the English boats, while Beef served his fellow “We’re cultivating an informal aesthetic. Catholics. Behind the three spaces, a scaled-down Fred and I, we like it up north, in Bas du Fleuve, garden and a patio for summertime. “We can going to the chalet. We hand-built our restaurant, have, in the same room, a table of Italians, two finding chairs here and there. I like greeting peo- Jews from Côte-St-Luc over there, French-spea- ple in my everyday clothes, without a table d’hôte king Quebecois next to them, some West Island on the menu. We always serve quality products, Anglos in running shoes and musicians from New healthy food, but we don’t brag about where the York who are passing through. You have the be a food we cook comes from. For us, it goes without chameleon to run a dining room like that. That’s saying. Above all, we don’t want to romanticize Montreal. It’s beautiful.” JOE BEEF NOM DE LA SECTION - 36 - - 37 -
GASTRONOMY Mon- Martin Picard, owner of the restaurant Au Pied de Cochon, Stelio Perombelon at Les Cons treaL, Servent, Frédéric Morin and David McMillan at Joe Beef and the Liverpool House are stand- outs among the many who’ve come from learn- Culinary ing with Laprise. The result is, since 2000, an abundance of neighbourhood restaurants of- fering highly original fare. The whereabouts capital? of a number are treasured like tightly-held secrets, as much for their menus as for their wine cards, places like Pop, Le Bouchonné, Bu, La Montée de Lait and Les Cons Servent. While some, like American magazine Gourmet, This fondness for regional foods, from Lac believe that to be true, others will highlight a Brome duck to Le Pied de Vent cheese from thousand and one spots in the city without the Madeleine Islands, has started several mentioning any evident culinary identity. The chefs on a return to the source, a revisiting of city’s menus have changed dramatically in the typical Quebecois cuisine—something that last 15 years, and to hear many young chefs say would have elicited howls just a few years ago. it, one man is largely responsible for the re- newal. Normand Laprise and the kitchens of his restaurant Toqué! were a unique school due to the exceptional skills, creativity and bounty CUlinArY CApitAl of quality local foods found there. For Frédé- ric Morin, now chef at restaurant Joe Beef, it or not, MontreAl was illuminating. “Laprise showed us a way of doing things. All of us who worked at Toqué! hAS SUCCeeded know our local products, can preserve them, can prepare fish and meats, and know how to in itS tASK— season them.” Irrefutable proof of Toqué!’s gastronomic standards lies in its placing among AttrACtinG A fol- lowinG froM hoMe the select club of the chain Relais & Château’s Relais Gourmands. norMAnd lApriSe And ABroAd for And the KitChenS itS AUdACioUS And of hiS reStAUrAnt diVerSe CUiSine. toQUé! were A The standard bearer in this realm is doubt- lessly Pied de Cochon’s Martin Picard, who’s UniQUe SChool dUe brought the dishes of grannies and regional diners back into favour. Thus poutine—the to the exCeptionAl emblematic junk food of Quebec, composed of fries, curd cheese and gravy—is refashio- SKillS, CreAtiVitY ned with foie gras and wine sauce at Pied de Cochon, or with lobster and white sauce at the And BoUntY of QUA- chic Garde Manger. The idea had enough im- pact to grab the attention of the international litY loCAl foodS press, including the New York Times. Culinary capital or not, Montreal has succeeded in its task—attracting a following from home and foUnd there. abroad for it s audacious and diverse cuisine.NOM DE LA SECTION MONTREAL, CULINARY CAPITAL? - 38 - - 39 -