POP Montréal is one of our favourite festivals to visit – if you love la ville de Montréal, sunny/breezy late September weather, great music, good food, cool art, historic venues, and excellent-looking people, then it’s the place for you. If you haven’t been yet, we’ve got none other than festival creative director Daniel Seligman here, with a guest blog to give you five reasons to visit POP, besides practicing your lousy français. Over to you, Dan…
5 reasons to visit POP Montréal
by Daniel Seligman
Little known fact: I grew up in Toronto. I went to Huron Street Public School in the Annex. The neighborhoods around Bloor, Bathurst, Spadina, College, and Dupont were my playgrounds. But I’ve lived in Montreal for half of my life now. I’m not sure if it’schildhood sentimentality kicking in, or the ’80s nostalgia of watching Stranger Things, but part of the reason I fell in love with Montreal, started the festival, and continue to love this city, is that Montreal hasn’t leaped into an anesthetized modern world. It remains sort of indignant, rough around the edges, and falling apart. And some of what we celebrate at POP is that underbelly of history and culture that connect us to the visceral components of humanity. The following are 5 places at POP that will envelop your senses.
1. POP Quarters, aka EBAM, aka the old École des Beaux Arts. It’s a four-floor former arts school that we take over to host our registration, symposium, art shows, films, BBQ, cocktails, and general hangs. Explore all the nooks, spill beer on the floor, but please do not clog the toilets with paper.
2. The Ukrainian Federation is hosting such stalwarts as Colin Stetson’s performance of Gorecki’s 3rd Symphony and a rare appearance by legendary synth/piano pioneer Annette Peacock. The venue was built as a Methodist church in 1907, became a synagogue, then the Ukrainian community hall in 1958. Take some acid, sit in the decrepit theatre seats that were taken from one of Montreal’s storied turn of the century cinemas, and get lost.
3. Our famous PUCES POP craft fair is in the basement of Église St-Denis. Montreal still has many many Catholic churches. POP Montreal keeps half of the Plateau’s churches alive with community events.
4. The second year of POP, we used a venue called Pasylamanys on the corner of Bernard and Parc Avenue. We did one of Malajube’s first shows.there. You could still smoke in bars back then, and it was pretty much a front for crack selling. That placed closed down a while back, but just down the street, there’s a sweet new place called Mademoiselle that will have shows there this year. It’s in our old favourite Korean restaurant Chingu, right beside Bar Exxotica.
5) Cinéma L’Amour. Google it.