Archive for March, 2007

End of a Montreal Era

This coming week is the final week of CBC Radio 2’s Brave New Waves. BNW was an indie rock institution that has been on the air now for over 22 years. Produced and aired out of Montreal and on the air from midnight until the wee hours of the morning, was, for many, many years, the only place to get to hear new cool music.

With the advent of the Net and now Satellite Radio and Podcasts, indie rock is much more available.

When I was a student, back when Jesus was still a cowboy, I would stay up late, late studying and listening to Brent Bambury interview all kinds of indie weirdos who just seemed like some of the most interesting people on earth. Personal favorite was Jim Rose of the famed circus juggling chainsaws over Bambury ‘s head.. on the air in the studio! Not only where the interviews fantastic, but the music even better so. Where else where you going to get to listen to New Order, Joy Division, Dinosaur Jr, Pixies and the rest of those bands that defined my generation.

It’s a shame that BNW is going, but I like to think it created a movement that allowed for better access of great indie music. Listen to this CBC Radio 3 Podcast. It’s gotta be the best 90 minutes of Canadian Indie music I have ever heard. Truly fantastic listening..

Subscribe to their podcast. It might help take the pain away of losing a Montreal institution: BNW.

Communities Flourish On The Web

The Internet is a great support for community development. The Montreal Gazette points out one burgeoning community this morning. Apparently on March 13th, the QCGN launched the Greater Montreal Community Development Initiative (GMCDI).

The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) is a not-for-profit organization bringing together 24 English-language community organizations across Quebec for the purposes of supporting and assisting the development and enhancing the vitality of the English-language minority communities, as well as to promote and support the use of the English language in Quebec.

The article also mentions a somewhat related community. That’s the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network.

QAHN is an umbrella organization whose membership includes historical and cultural societies, museums, archives, research groups, and individuals who are passionate about the history of Quebec. Their focus is the province’s English-speaking communities, a subject that is of considerable interest to Francophones and Anglophones alike.

Community leaders, academics and local historians are preparing to gather at the McCord Museum on Sunday, April 1st, 2007 to explore and celebrate Montreal’s multicultural English-speaking heritage.

Sponsored by the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN), the Montreal Mosaic heritage summit aims to foster greater understanding of the diversity of Quebec’s English-speaking communities, by inviting representatives from cultural minorities to share stories and exchange views on such topics as urban conservation and the changing identity of Montreal’s historic Anglophone population.

Members of the public who are interested in attending the Montreal Mosaic summit should contact QAHN by email at home@qahn.org or call toll-free 1- 877- 964-0409.

Both communities would seem to be most admirable groups to get involved with.

St. Patrick’s parade

Yesterday was the 183rd edition of the St. Patrick’s parade. if I’m not mistaken, it’s the oldest running (St. Patrick’s) parade anywhere (please correct me if I’m wrong).

I attended the second half of the parade, having missed the first chunk due to a breakfast I helped prepare for upwards of 30 plus people, which was a lot of fun in itself. The crowd at the parade was pleasant and cheerful, everyone seemed to be having a grand ‘ol time.

If anyone is interested, I have a Flickr photoset of a bunch of pictures I took. Granted, most are of my friends and such, but it’ll give a good indication of the spirit of the day and what St. Patrick’s celebrations are like in Montreal.

Anyone else have photos or a story they’d like to share about the day? Say it in the comments.

Apathy

The one thing I’ve noticed about this election is that, the media not withstanding, there’s a huge amount of apathy in the population. I think I have a good chance to sample views, mostly from white collar workers who commute to work from the suburbs, and the overall theme is that “it doesn’t matter, they are all undesirable”. So people are either going to vote for the “least undesirable” candidate, or get to know their local deputé candidates to make their decision. I’ve noticed that people have great dissatisfaction with Charest, no confidence for Boisclair, and a sort of “underdog” phenomenon happening with Dumont. Still, the majority of my students (I teach adult Francophones English) are undecided. Sure this isn’t scientific, but might inform some of the speculation out there. Not much else to talk about in Montreal today. We’ve got snow, the St Patrick’s day parade (looks like a beautiful day for it – snicker) and the election. It’s going to be an interesting 8 days coming up.

“A vote against Montreal”

With polls showing that the outcome of next week’s provincial election is too close to call, an interesting trend has emerged. According to today’s Montreal Gazette, the campaign has divided voters along regional lines, pitting the disgruntled inhabitants of rural Quebec against the urban elites of Montreal. According to political scientist and ADQ supporter Guy Laforest:

Mr. Charest is seen as being part of the Westmount/Outremont/Sherbrooke politico-business elite. Mr. Boisclair is more connected to the media/cultural elite of the Plateau Mont-Royal. Mr. Dumont appears more like a champion of the regions.

What I find worrisome is that the split is based less on linguistic concerns than on broadly cultural ones–immigration and ethnicity, for instance, which both Tornwordo and Laiya have written about here, as well as Mr. Boisclair’s sexual orientation, which certain commentators have endeavoured to make an election issue.

If the pundits are right, the Quebec split mirrors the ideological boundary between America’s “red” and “blue” states, across which the so-called culture wars are endlessly fought. In both cases, cities are viewed as a source of undesirable ideas and values that are imposed upon non-urbanites against their will, often at the expense of issues that are important to them.

I’m curious to know what Metroblogging Montreal readers think about this. Is there a fault line between the city and the regions? If so, can it be bridged, and how?

Books, beers and Yulblog

It all started seven years ago with this very simple invitation. A lot has changed since then, only two of the “First Ones” are still blogging and they have moved on to Ottawa or Internet stardom. Nevertheless, Yulblog has grown and even now it is still evolving.

Yesterday’s get-together started very early, at 5 PM, with book releases by three of our own and by 8 PM it slowly morphed into our seventh anniversary party. The venue was certainly original, with a nice view into the Belle Gueules bottling factory, but tho whole thing kinda felt like a wedding reception where you don’t know half the people in the room.

Although the party was well attended, I only made a half-asses effort into creating a list of participant…ok, maybe a quarter-asses effort. The paucity of the list was compounded by the fact that we had to split way too early, Friday night and under-16 teenagers meant that I had to play my own version of “Un Taxi la nuit”. If you come back later, the list will certainly have grown; Jean-Luc and Christelle had promised to keep gathering names.

The question of the night was: If you ever wrote a book, what would be its title? We’ll start, of course, with the stars of the night:

Caroline: Chroniques d’une mere indigne.
Sof: Lucie le chien
Pierre-Leon: Un taxi la nuit

Moukmouk: Histoire du nord
Marie & Michael: Envolez-moi
Johanne: Je suis la parce que Vanou aimerait y etre
Eric D.: C’est hipplocampe. Sinon c’est juste pas drole
Debbie: My life’s design
Francois: L’histoire d”une famille mafieuse racontee par le chat de la famille, Fageoli
Benji: Y’en aura pour tout le monde
Josh: Comment je suis redevenu Dieu
Artemisi: Reseau-Patate, ca marche pas; mais les blogs oui
Stephane: Si j’etais Mario Dumont
Sylvain: Blog Dinosaur?
miss-lelektik (bad address): De l’autre cote du miroir
Jean-Luc: Que?
Sandra: Fuego est en feu
Laurent: Nuit noire sur un feuille blanche
And me: Last of the Mohitos

…a suivre / to be continued

Équiterre- Organic food basket season is coming

Community Supported Agriculture is an excellent way to get to know your food both in the context of receiving tasty food baskets as well as being able to help out on the farm itself or stopping in to hang out and dig in the soil.

With roughly 77 farms that sell their organic veggies and meats to consumers, roughly 7,500 applications for weekly food baskets resulting in over 20,000 happy fully bellies here in Quebec.

For more information, check out this link

Oui, M. Boisclair, c’est raciste

I normally don’t like to talk politics but this latest issue on the campaign trail hits too close for comfort. André Boisclair, leader of the Parti Québecois, refuses to apologize for referring to asians as those with “les yeux bridés”. Il prétend que “yeux bridés” est une expression acceptée et utilisée habituellement par les gens. He sees absolutely no problem with referring to people by one physical characteristic and does not believe this to be a racist act. Laissez-moi vous dire, M. Boisclair, étant une “Québecoise”, d’origine asiatique, née içi, au Québec, je trouve que votre choix de mots est en fait, extrêmement rasciste et offensif. It’s too bad that all the education in the world isn’t enough to enlighten small minds.

Si on se demande pourquoi le Parti Québecois n’attire pas le vote des immigrants, le vote “éthnique”, il ne faut pas penser trop pour trouver une raison. Comments like “slanted eyes” hurt. They hurt as much as they would to a small child in the school yard as they would to a fully grown adult. Si on ne peut pas vous appeler “une tapette”, M. Boisclair, qui vous donne le droit de référer aux gens commes des “yeux bridés”? Calling you a fag is as insulting as calling me slanted eyes.

Tant que le Parti Québecois continue à avoir cette mentalité de “nous” (les vrais Québecois blancs pur laines de souches) et les “autres”, le Parti Québecois n’atteindra jamais son but de bâtir une nation Québecoise. There is no room in André Boisclair’s vision of Quebec for “others”. Pour ma part, peu importe mes efforts, je ne me sentirai jamais acceptée comme étant Québecoise. Je m’identifie comme Montréalaise certainement, cosmopolitaine, mais malheureusement, pas Québecoise.

André Boisclair can claim to have many asian friends and be fascinated by asian culture but that doesn’t make him any less of a moron than those men who approach me with lines like “ni hao”, assuming that my being asian automatically makes me Chinese and madarin-speaking. Afterall, we all look the same and we must all be the same right? Tous les asiatiques sont les mêmes n’est-ce pas? André Boisclair’s vision of Quebec will never be able to compete with the global economy if he persists in his tunnel vision. Maybe one day, we will be able to live in a society that considers itself as one human race and not just races distinguished by big noses or big lips or slanted eyes.

All this at the start of Quebec’s Action Week Against Racism (March 15 – March 25). Incroyable.

Crazy Weather

crazy weather

Intéressant comme climat. On vient d’avoir de belles journées avec des températures au dessus de 0oC où tout le monde portait la même chose qu’ils portaient quand ils faisaient -10oC. Je ne vais jamais comprendre ça.

Aujourd’hui, le froid est revenu avec beaucoup de neige cette nuit. Ce qui rend les choses encore plus intéressantes, c’est le vent qui accompagnera toute la neige demain.

Et lundi, on va retrouver des températures au dessus de 0oC. Mercredi s’amène avec un écart de température de 22oC.

Ce n’est pas partout sur la planète qu’on trouve les quatre saisons à tous les jours ou à toutes les semaines.

Get a tax credit for riding your bike to work, petition

Normally, I’m not so big on these online petitions, but this time, given my love for bike commuting, I think it’s worthwhile. So sign it and let’s see if we can’t get ourselves a few bucks back for doing our part.. Ride your bikes to work!

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