November 23, 2012 ─ This couch isn’t for zoning out in front of the TV, or for getting your head examined. It’s orange, it’s on lively Saint-Laurent Boulevard, and it’s the exact opposite of inert; it’s a nerve centre for new music in Québec.
Opened in 2004, this 150-person venue today presents more than 700 shows a year, from first concerts by new artists to shows by famous musicians looking for a more intimate venue. The owners describe its mission as being “a musical laboratory in which artists can gain experience and renown, but also a source of new blood in the music industry.” A laudable goal if there ever was one.
And for a small venue, it has a mighty reputation. In 2008, after just four years, it received the prize for best live show room at the Québec Indie Music Awards (Gala alternatif de la musique indépendante du Québec, GAMIQ). The next year it was named by CBC Radio 3 as one of the best venues in North America.
To get an idea of its importance, just look over the list of its partners. The Divan works with large-scale promoters such as Pop Montréal, Blue Skies Turn Black, Evenko, Dare to Care, and Bonsound. It is also associated with festivals such as Coups de cœur francophones, MEG, and Suoni Per Il Popolo. With so many big-name organizations and events as partners, this divan is clearly not for lounging around, but rather the perfect place to discover tomorrow’s top artists.