How did everything started? Well, the idea was born in 2006 during an informal meeting between Sebastien Nasra and Martin Elbourne (who was previously a concert programmer and agent for The Smiths and New Order) in a London pub. Both liked Montreal for its diversity and affordable living, but also because it’s the source of some of today’s best musicians, like Arcade Fire and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. They set out to spread the word about the Montreal music scene while creating a buzz about the city’s arts and culture heritage.
The music industry meets one weekend every year in November, taking over two stages at one club. So you can see non-stop performances from local bands, ready for export. You’ll see journalists, producers, musicians in audience, as well as Montrealers and tourists who want to be a part of this annual celebration of the Montreal music scene.
M for Montreal also holds performances throughout the year, with names like Martha Wainwright, Melissa Auf der Maur, Patrick Watson, The Besnard Lakes, We Are Wolves and Duchess Says. Several bands have even achieved international fame thanks to the event. One day they’re touring Plateau venues, the next they’re off to play for the world. M for Montreal also curates special events in the city, such as M on the Quays, which features young musicians performing in the Old Port over the course of one weekend. In addition to the Montreal shows, M for Montreal also hosts a touring event that hits destinations like the UK and Texas with parties and gigs featuring Montreal artists.
You can also catch monthly events at Foufounes Électriques, on Ste. Catherine Street, called Mini-M. These series of events showcase growing artists who are on the first steps of launching their career. Two bands or musicians display their potential every month, and there’s an after party to keep people all together and party until late in the morning. Check out M FOR MONTREAL’S WEBSITE for complete programming and full details.
PHOTO: SOPHIE SAMSON