SING, STRIP & SLOWDANCE: YOU HAVE A DATE WITH THE MONTRÉAL “QUIRK SCENE”

Posted on March 10th, 2010 by .

A trilogy of awesomeness will be rockin’ The Main on the last weekend of March.

March 26: Strip Spelling Bee

March 27: Slow Dance Night

March 28: Crowd Karaoke

These parties are part of the quickly evolving “Quirk Scene” in Montreal. But what in tarnation are these events? And how can you participate?

Participation is easy! But first let’s examine how events like these happen.

One of the best descriptions of Montreal that I’ve heard of in the past 12 months goes like this:

“Montreal is the cool kid on the playground; the one with some stylish jeans and a mischievous smile. S/he is friendly with the other kids, but still, there is something enigmatic going on.”

But why are we often described as cool? Well it’s a complex equation of style, seduction and sinfulness, but most importantly, it’s because we do cool things.

For instance, we don’t just have “spelling bees.” We have a literary event with real consequence – the people who make mistakes have to take off their clothes. We have a party where you get to cozy up n’ slow dance with people all night long. We have karaoke evenings where everyone sings together, uniting in harmony.  We are quirky.

The brainchild of the Montreal Quirk Scene is the fabulous and creative Sherwin Tjia. I spoke with him about his upcoming hip events…

Daniel: How did you come up with these funky festivities?

Sherwin: I always wanted to throw the kinds of events that I myself would want to go to, where the audience had a chance to participate, and that were slightly quirky. One of my favourite things to do is play with ideas, to try to come up with new ways for people to enjoy each other’s company.

What has the reaction been?

People find the events really charming. The last strip spelling bee was sold out quite quickly, and we regularly get over 100 people out to Slow Dance Night. Crowd Karaoke is new, so it’s early days yet. I have a lot of ideas – more than I could ever manifest. Crowd karaoke I believe in because it’s actually a tonne of fun. I think there is a hunger to go to an event that is a nice change from the usual kinds of outings, like seeing a band, or hanging out at a bar, or the club scene. This is the quirk scene.

Who is attending these events?

We get a lot of hipsters. Hipsters make up the lion’s share of the audience. But we also get some very random people. My events are high-concept and low-fi. They’re intimate, and odd. Consequently, we get a lot of curious people, who are bemused.

If you were a Celine Dion song, what song would you be?

My heart Will Go On. I am one of those people who was delighted and enthralled by Titanic. I only saw it years after it was in theatres, when CTV showed it one Sunday night. But even interrupted rudely by commercials, I was captivated. A lot of my friends hate that film, but I am a big fan of crowd-pleasers, and entertainment spectacles. I see nothing wrong with trying to make the maximum number of people happy. I guess throwing these events is my way of doing it.

March 26: Strip Spelling Bee

March 27: Slow Dance Night

March 28: Crowd Karaoke

Insider Tip: If yer a bad speler like me, I sugest whereing plentie of laiers to the strip speling be.

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