Features

Victoriaville music festival: Organized, improvised sound
Features

Victoriaville music festival: Organized, improvised sound

Normally placid Victoriaville becomes a musical Mecca May 16, as musicians and fans from across North America gather for the 29th edition of the Festival International de Musique Actuelle. With 20 concerts over four days, it offers a panorama of musical territories and sonorities, expanding the possibilities of organized and improvised […]

Folk diva Judy Collins’ life an open songbook
Features

Folk diva Judy Collins’ life an open songbook

In the pantheon of musicians who emerged in the late 1950s and 1960s during the folk revival, holding a prominent place alongside Bob and Joan and Joni is clear-as-honey voiced Judy Blue Eyes. Listening again to the five LPs she recorded during that era, I was transfixed by Collins and […]

Photo: Gar Lunney, 1961, Library and Archives Canada
Features

Musical theme: Feminism and labour rights go hand in hand

Two very important things happen each May: Mother’s Day (May 12) and International Workers’ Day (May 1). While labour activism has always been a monumental part of Quebec life, in the 1960s women burst onto the scene by forming groups that raised awareness of women’s issues and led to demands […]

Retiring teachers’ union leader: ‘Easy-peasy it was not’
Features

Retiring teachers’ union leader: ‘Easy-peasy it was not’

Union leadership usually begins on a voluntary basis, when none of your colleagues wants to accept the challenge of standing up for a worker’s rights, in the office or on the shop floor. It puts you in conflict with management, marks you as “the enemy within” and exposes you to […]

Painting by Debrah Gilmour
Features

Photos: Montreal artist Debrah Gilmour inspired by nature, travel

Debrah Gilmour is a Montreal artist specializing in landscapes and portraiture. She graduated from the fine arts program at John Abbott College and continued her studies in education, literature and art at Concordia University. Gilmour’s works are in private collections across Canada, with four images published as greeting cards by […]

Controversial professor Norman Cornett sees his classroom as a laboratory
Features / What's Happening

Controversial professor Norman Cornett sees his classroom as a laboratory

A group of 25 adults gather around a table in a church hall on a Sunday afternoon to engage with a Montreal professor and his guest. Norman Cornett, 62, has convinced the usually private novelist Rawi Hage to attend a third session in what Cornett calls dialogic learning. It is […]

Chubby Checker in Montreal: The Twist ignited ’60s dance floors — that fire’s still burning
Features

Chubby Checker in Montreal: The Twist ignited ’60s dance floors — that fire’s still burning

Since Chubby Checker’s performances of Hank Ballard’s The Twist ignited the dance floor in the early ’60s on American Bandstand, the artist, the song and the dance are still with us, compelling us to move. And no one can do The Twist without a big smile on their face, no […]

The wrong cheese for manicotti. No raisins for the bran muffins­—and did anyone add the bran? (Photo by Melani Litwack)
Features / Food

Potboilers collective kitchen specializes in friendship

It’s 9:30 on a Wednesday morning and I’m standing, somewhat bleary-eyed, outside a big kitchen as five women prepare for a very busy morning. By noon there will be a huge pot of orange-carrot soup, pans of manicotti, containers of bran muffin batter and two huge apple crisps cooling on […]

Montreal SPCA: Cats traumatized by hoarding incident need a second chance
Features

Montreal SPCA: Cats traumatized by hoarding incident need a second chance

Last summer, the Montreal SPCA was called to a 4½-room apartment in the Plateau that had been suddenly vacated by an elderly tenant with health problems. When they arrived, the rescue workers were met with one of the worst cases of animal hoarding they had ever seen. “We confiscated 90 […]

Courtesy of stock.xchg
Features

Montreal’s linguistic geography nothing to ‘strahss’ over

As a fledgling journalist in 1964, I was assigned to cover federal politics for United Press International in Ottawa and it was a tremendous learning experience, including linguistically. As I worked with an older crowd of top-notch reporters on Parliament Hill, I realized I did not speak English the way […]