This weekend I attended a few free events of the Blue Met Festival, mainly situated at Hotel 10 in Montreal. This is a beautiful place. Maybe one day, after I return to Vancouver, I’ll take a vacation in Montreal and stay here–modern/chic/marble/nice lighting/pink logo-ed wonderful. I took some notes for the, how else should I put it, noteworthy points.
Playwrights Guild of Canada: 40th Anniversary Retrospection:
- When I asked why the attendees or most plays are either young or old, and less frequently the in between, Rahul Varma commented on how people want to watch people that represent them. I can’t agree more. Have the young people on the stage, have some people of minorities carry bigger parts. (On a related note, this reminds me of the Spoken Poetry Cho Chang Youtube video.) I think if they knew the answer, there’d be more “in betweens” attending their events though. Personally I think people who don’t seek the events don’t ever know about them. I’m constantly on tourism sites and I look at newspaper ads, free and very accessible sources, but whenever I bring up events with my friends they haven’t heard of the event. Like when I saw a giant ferris wheel in the middle of downtown for Montreal en Lumiere. Sometimes students just don’t have the time, I suppose.
- Johanna Nutter said that for the French, it’s engrained in their culture that they attend plays no matter their age. “Live theatre is a responsibility” and they’ve got to protect their culture and support their own. I’m pretty sure these are her words. Anyway, I’ve found that there are more plays and opportunities to see them in Montreal. In my first month in the city, I found free plays to attend (create a new habit attracting people who love free…). In Vancouver, the only plays I heard about were at the local school drama productions or very expensive theatre troupes. Back to Johanna’s point. I do feel like it’s a responsibility, though a very enjoyable one, to go out and support any young Asian female that I see in the public sphere. But for me, instead of supporting this long-standing cultural event, it’s supporting the growth of Asians in portrayed in the public arts or in media. I also enjoy immensely these sorts of events. Stay in and watch TV vs. attend an event that someone’s spent hours/days/months/years toiling over to plan and put on.
- (This is how I feel about voting too. If someone cares so much about a subject that they’ll dedicate their lives to it, it’s worthwhile discovering or paying some attention to.) Apathy is not cute.
- Maybe I’m not their target audience, but I think they’d rather see a full house than an empty seat. I found that for most of the events,
- I actually almost left the venue because I was intimidated by all the older, more sophisticatedly dressed attendees. I went all the way there so I went in. Always, always, always. I have gone to places and been too shy to go into the room. I just need that nudge, you know? Granted, the staff paid me no attention or hello so that kind of got me rethinking it
- Sometimes I wonder if they won’t want me there because I’m not their target audience, because they assume I won’t contribute to their paid events, or if I’m not dressed the part. I found out about the event via 24hrs newspaper (every Friday is best to look through the ads for events) and the library (BANQ is superb for picking up flyers of city events aka taxpayer-funded events!) so I assumed it’d be people of all ages attending. I also saw the book with the full schedule at Indigo.
- It was sunny but I still don’t understand why there was a lack of younger people. Besides my friends that I’d brought the day before, I saw 1 couple today that was in the same 20-something age range. C’est tout! I was surprised. Maybe they were in the other events or caught up in finals…
- Sometimes I’m at events with a “multicultural” attendance but I have to remind myself to see multicultural in a different way. Like when there’s a large group of Caucasians, they’re of European descent but I forget how they’re probably from different countries within the continent. For me, I can’t tell the difference from their facial features, choice of words, or whatever else creates any differences, and in my mind I tend to categorize them all as the people that make up the “majority” of Canada.
- The host Stephen Orlov said something I really liked. The playwrights didn’t carve their own path. You don’t do that when foundations for your industry don’t exist. You carve your own doorway.
The number 1 thing Montreal beats Vancouver for is their plethora of public spaces and the public’s willingness to congregate everywhere. You’ll see people at the park, the swings that are placed by Place des arts just because, the steps by the metro, the fountains by Place des arts, and the terrasses. Amazing place to grow a family and ensure they value culture, family time, and hellos from strangers.
Music comes from the colourful part on top
so many families
It got busier later
Free salsa lessons at the metro (subway) station
Playing in fountains
Yesterday, there was a lovely poetry session. I’ve never been one to understand poetry so much that I’m inclined to buy a collection of them in a book. But it happened. Julie Bruck was reading her poems from her latest collection and her topics were so relateable, but written in such a unique perspective and read in a such a soothing voice, I was sitting there thinking, “She didn’t even need to be introduced as a winner of all those awards or an author of all those poems published in reputable pieces. Her works speaks for itself.” There was one other one that I really liked. Stephanie Bolster wrote about animals in zoos. Again, it was so nice to hear about commonplace things in such a unique perspective. I didn’t realize poets researched. I don’t know why but I always thought poets just wrote whatever they felt, no fact-checking required (sorry for my ignorance) and when she said that she went to zoos around the world, it made me pause a bit.
Anyway, that concludes my weekend. I was going to post the pictures on Facebook but I realized I never caption them or write down all my thoughts there. The focal point is always the photos and never my thoughts. So that’s all!
Filed under: life, Montreal, blue met, life, literary festival, montreal