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NORMAN LALIBERTÉ: ODE TO JOY

Wow! What colour. What energy. What zest. Norman Laliberté’s show at Galerie de Bellefeuille is full of joy. This American artist with French-Canadian parents is famous around the world for his exuberant use of colour. He not only paints, but has produced beautiful banners – the most famous were for the Vatican Pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. His wonderful work at the gallery is sophisticated, yet childlike. The bright shades almost make you smile. So if you are having a bad moment, pop over to Westmount, and add some cheer to your day.

GLASS KISSES ON MONTREAL’S GOLDEN MILE

Montreal’s 2010 City of Glass event has great stuff all over Montreal.  I wandered into the Canadian Guild of Craft to see some cool lips by internationally-renowned glass artist Astri Reusch. Her show is aptly named Mémoires glaciales. Her sculptural pieces are all in glass – gleaming and seductive. Solid glass life-size heads are lit from within. You glow girl! One of her pieces is a huge ‘cloud’ of glass lips. Is this sensual reference to internet cloud…the lips symbolic of communication?  In any case, just enjoy looking at them. They are smooth …and sexy.  Many big kisses!

FASHION SUCCESS: HELMER’S GLASS DRESS

260 hours is a lot of time. That’s 520 episodes of Sex and The City, but since there’s only 94 episodes, 260 hours would mean that you could watch all episodes from every season almost 6 times. 260 hours is also the amount of time fashion designer, Helmer, spent creating his latest hand-made creation, a stunning dress made of bristle, metal, beads, crystals and mostly….8000 glass tubes. That’s right, 8000 glass tubes! I haven’t seen such an impressive piece of couture in a long time. Because yes – I’ve seen it! Exclusively for the Montreal Buzz, Helmer kindly accepted that I get a sneak peek of the dress (thank you Helmer!) during a private fitting with his muse, model Sarah Jordan.

A PERFECT DAY IN GRIFFINTOWN

A perfect day in Montreal’s Griffintown neighbourhood starts with a walk from the Old Port along the Lachine canal, continues with an antique and vintage shopping spree on Notre-Dame street and ends with a comfort food dinner at Griffintown Café (reservation strongly recommended), listening to the live music of Dan Livingstone and The Griffintown Jug Addicts.

EXHIBIT: ISABELLE HAYEUR REFLECTS ON URBAN LANDSCAPES

Isabelle Hayeur is one of my favourite photographers.  Her large photos are now showing at Pierre- François Ouellette’s gallery  in the Belgo building, the downtown Soho-style space full of great emerging artists.

EASTER ISLAND: AN EPIC VOYAGE

Travel, people and culture : my ultimate three favorite things on Earth – and the reason behind my excitement for the Rapa Nui exhibition happening at Montreal’s Pointe-à-Callière museum. What? You don’t know Rapa Nui? Don’t worry. It is, after all, one of the most isolated places on the planet. Thanks to the Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History Pointe-à-Callière though, I’m about to satisfy my thirst for knowledge and learn all about this distant land and people.

ELEKTRA, A FESTIVAL OF THE DIGITAL ARTS

Montreal’s Elektra Festival, which runs from this Wednesday to Sunday, has been exploring some of the coolest things in the world of digital arts for 11 years. I recently interviewed Edwin van der Heide, the artist behind one of the fest’s more interesting presentations……

MONTREAL’S MUTEK: MATMOS, MOUSE ON MARS AND MORE!

In a city overflowing with festivals of all sorts, the fact that Montreal’s Mutek is now in its 11th year says something important about the electronic music and digital culture meet-up. That their overall attendance was up by 70% last year speaks to the same point. Let’s look at why that might be…

MONTREAL ON THE CHEAP

Montreal is the perfect destination for anyone living in North America looking for a significant change of scenery without having to travel to the end of the world.  It is only an hour flight from New York or Toronto, yet feels a lot more like a trip to Europe. On top of saving on plane ticket fees and jetlag ramifications, you’ll be happy to hear that Montreal is also a very affordable city. With its vibrant cultural scene and bountiful summer festivals, Montreal has all it takes to offer you a memorable time without breaking the bank. Here are some ideas for a sensational Montreal trip on the cheap!