Posted on September 29th, 2010 by .

Pop Montreal is primarily a festival devoted to music. But in the nine years they’ve been around, their mandate has expanded to include some of the other areas whose paths intersect with that of the musical arts.

Though they have yet to take me up on my proposal to start Dog Pop (perhaps because I have not advanced my idea beyond filling a huge room with dogs and seeing what happens), the other Pops have slowly become attractions of their own. They explore the relationship between music and film, fashion, art and more. They also make for nice breaks in your busy, busy concert schedule. Let’s look at some highlights…



I’m putting Film Pop at the top to make sure that you catch Look at What the Light Did Now, a documentary about Feist and friends, which airs on opening night. Director Anthony Seck looks at the recording process of her monster album “The Reminder” and, by all appearances, it looks to be as fun as the artist herself. Another must-see is Toumast: Entre Guitare et Kalashnikov, which enters the world of the nomadic Tuareg people and their truly incredible connection to music. And finally (and do check the schedule for other ideas), Dry Wood – Les Blank, takes a look at the food and music of French Louisiana, with a focus on the legendary Creole musicians “Bois Sec” Ardoin and Canray Fontenot.



The Pop Montreal Symposium has become one of the most important parts of the fest, some mid-day food for thought to intersperse all that late-night show-hopping. Free industry panels, listening sessions and keynote presentations, all presented with Pop’s relaxed and intimate je-ne-sais-quoi. Must-attends here starts with Songwriting & Arranging with Van Dyke Parks, which will function as conversation between him and CBC Radio 3’s Vish Khanna. Wondering if might learn something? Check the resume. Another great convo will be between Carole Pope and writer Carl Wilson, whom you might recognize from his writing on Montreal’s (sort of) beloved Celine Dion. Let’s wrap up this quick preview with a mention of the Bounce Class with Big Freedia and friends, which may even teach you something about female empowerment as you learn how to get low.



First off, if you’re into fashion, crafts and all things DIY and happen to be one of those people afflicted a Twitter addiction, go add @Pucespop now. Make sure to check out their fashion show made up of local designers and models. The big draw every year is their massive craft fair, the perfect place to buy your loved ones (ps- one can love themselves) a non-boring present. And for the music lovers out there, their 2-day record fair is an absolute must-browse.



As far from stuffy as you can be, Art Pop showcases local and international artists with equal parts style and substance. They join forces with the Yves Laroche Galerie D’Art to present a range of paper goods created by graphic designers and artists, as well as a show of some of the revelatory art of Montreal-based graffiti artist Other. Other events tackle public spaces, online life and, most interesting to me anyway, concert posters.



As friends (and myself, apparently) get older, I’ve noticed something special about Montreal: this is not a city that feels the need to keep children and cool separated. Kids Pop gets this and has a series of events for the hip kids in your life- from art workshops to an on-air DJ session to two concerts from the one and only Fred Penner. PS- the events are mostly 6 and up but make no mention of a maximum age cutoff…


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