From July 21 to July 25, the heart of Montreal will beat to the pulse of Haitian rhythms as Haiti en Folie, the biggest multidisciplinary Haitian festival outside of Haiti, kicks off for a 4th edition of infectious grooves and bewitching energy! Retro Haitian music, jazz, gospel, vaudou and reggae are on the menu for these 5 days of celebration, but so are theatre, dance, cinema, litterature and gastronomy!
Chances are you might perceive Haiti as a place characterized by post-earthquake tragedy, but thankfully, Haiti en Folie is here to pay tribute to Haiti’s incredibly rich heritage and remind us why the Pearl of the Antilles got its name in the first place.
Here are a some festival recommendations!
1) RETRO NIGHT WITH BOULO VALCOURT
Shine your dancing shoes! Haitian troubadour, Boulo Valcourt, is taking us on a trip to the past as he performs the greatest hits of the late Carribean Sextet, a group made of world class musicians who long were the crème de la crème of Haiti’s popular music. The music in itself is high art but nothing out of reach for the visitor ready to move his hips to some well-crafted kompa. Where: Telus Theatre, 1280 St-Denis Street, (514) 764-2680, Berri Metro tickets When: Thursday July 29, 7pm
2) HAITIAN CRAFT FAIR
Head to the outdoor Haitian craft fair at Lafontaine Park to get your hands on beautiful photographs, paintings, sculptures and vaudou objects. Many sustainable Haitian products will also be on sale in addition to live music and traditional dances to entice the crowds. This activity is free and probably my favorite part of the festival as you get to meet new people and simply enjoy a beautiful stroll in the park. Where: Lafontaine Park When: Saturday July 24, Sunday July 25, 10am-10pm
3) A TASTE OF HAITI
I’ve often claimed the way to my heart was through my stomach and oh is my heart happy at the thought of savory Haitian cooking! Gastronomy being an important component of this year’s festival, there’s a very strong possibility you spot me elegantly licking my fingers to the bone at Lafontaine Park this weekend. Where: Lafontaine Park When: Saturday July 24, Sunday July 25, 10am-10pm
4) TRADITIONAL CREOLE AND VAUDOU RYTHMS WITH BOUKMAN EKSPERYANCE
Nominated at the Grammy Awards for their album Voudou Adjae, Boukman Eksperyance is the most popular roots group to emerge from Haiti. They sat the dancefloor on fire at last year’s Haiti en Folie and we expect nothing less from them this year. Where: Telus Theatre, 1280 St-Denis Street, (514) 764-2680, Berri Metro When: Saturday July 24, 9pm
July 21 – July 25, 2010
Visit Haiti en Folie for the full program, including shows, theatre and cinema!