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MEET A MONTREALER: SANTA CLAUS

Many people don’t realize it, but Mr. Christmas himself is a Montrealer. Each year, to get his fix of culture and fine dining, Santa Claus spends July and August in his Montreal summer home in the trendy neighborhood of Mile End, where he goes incognito in traditional Hasidic Jewish garb. Despite the über-busy time of year for Santa, he made a bit of time for The Montreal Buzz to chat over eggnog lattes at juliette & chocolat last weekend.

MEET A MONTREALER: MICHEL RABAGLIATI

Michel Rabagliati is a graphic novelist born and based in Montreal. He has written several semi-autobiographical comic books featuring the life and times of a fellow named Paul. In 1999, his first publication, Paul in the Country, earned him a Harvey Award for Best New Talent. We feel this is pretty darn neat. And we think you should meet Michel.

DAVID USHER ON MUSIC, MILE END & MONTREAL

David Usher is many things: musician, humanitarian, artist and father. He’s rocked around the country with his band Moist, won a handful of Junos (the Canadian ‘Grammy’) and has had radio hits on three continents. And we love him for all those reasons. But he remains especially near and dear to our hearts because he’s a Montrealer.

MEET A MONTREALER: JEAN-AYMERI DE MAGISTRIS

Meet Jean-Aymeri. He’s a man-about-town; his Facebook and Twitter accounts vibrating with the tales of a man on the move. In fact, he’s so connected and “on the scene” that I hope he doesn’t steal my job. I’m watching you De Magistris! Anyway, between his projects in art, design and fashion, this man’s got his fingers in multiple pies! But, you’re wondering, how can you get Jean-Aymeri’s fingers in your pie? Read and find out.

MEET A MONTREALER: ROBERT RUTLEDGE

Dr. Robert Rutledge is a hunky associate professor in the Department of Physics at McGill University. His work is primarily in observational high energy astrophysics, studying the behavior of neutron stars and black holes. Dr. Rutledge recently participated in the discovery of the most distant stellar object ever found, a gamma ray burst that occurred when the Universe was only 625 million years old. Which, believe it or not, is the exact same age as Celine Dion’s husband, René Angélil. But Dr. Rutledge isn’t all soft-gamma repeaters and quiescent low-mass x-ray binaries, he’s also an expert on our national dish — Poutine! Keep reading to discover the delicate relationship between astrophysics and poutine…

MISSTRESS BARBARA TALKS JAZZ FESTIVAL (AND GOES ACOUSTIC)

Misstress Barbara wants you to know that she is not simply pushing buttons. After 14 years as an internationally renowned House/Techno DJ, the queen of the turntable is exchanging her vinyl records for guitars and keyboards. And she’ll be proving her nouvelle stage personna  again this weekend at the Montreal Jazz Festival. Miss B is now a certified band performer. And if last year’s sold out show was any indication of the potential that Misstress Barbara has to rock out sans “hiding-in-a-DJ-booth,” then we have much to look forward to this second time through.

MEET A MONTREALER: ANDY NULMAN

Meet Andy Nulman. He’s the brains, and clearly the good looks (see below), behind the massively successful Montréal comedy festival “Just For Laughs.” “In 1985, Andy Nulman joined the festival’s staff and introduced Anglophone events as well; under Nulman’s stewardship, the festival increased to a full month, with French-speaking performers during the first half, and English speakers in the second half. International and non-verbal acts (acrobats, pantomimes, etc.) are scattered throughout the program.” (Wikipedia) The Just For Laughs is the largest festival of its kind in the world. It has brought many comedians to Montréal, such as Jeff Foxworthy, Tim Allen, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, Russell Peters, Dame Edna Everidge, and Bill Cosby. But enough about those jokers! Let’s meet Mr. Nulman!

MEET A MONTREALER: SUGAR SAMMY

Meet Sugar Sammy.  He’s that Montrealer of Indian background who makes a living telling jokes in English, French, Hindu and Punjabi (unfortunately, I can only attest of his funniness in the first two languages).  Although he’s always on tour somewhere in Canada, the United States or soon in France, Sugar still deeply loves his hometown – Montreal – where he still lives with his parents (!) in the colourful Côte-Des-Neiges neighbourhood.  We met him in Jeanne-Mance park to hear about his favourites city spots… and incidentally get a flirting lesson Sugar Sammy Style.  You’ll soon understand that this ladies man doesn’t take himself too seriously.

MEET A MONTREALER: JULIEN SMITH

Meet Julien Smith. He’s that hip NYT bestselling author who wrote the book “Trust Agents” with Chris Brogan.  Long before that, he was that avant-garde podcasting kid who knew (and still knows) much more about the web than both you and I. According to the Montreal boutiques where he shops (see video for Julien’s fashion confessions), I decided to make the assumption that Julien is now rich. But don’t be fooled. The Twitter fame and designer plaid don’t mean that Julien is migrating to glamorous LA. In fact, Julien loves Montreal so much, it only made sense I ask him about his favorite spots in the city. You’ll find all his answers in the video, with links and addresses below.

MEET A MONTREALER: VAL DESJARDINS

She’s called Smack Daddy for a reason. A star Roller Derby player and visual performance artist, Val Desjardins is a playa in every sense: sportswoman, competitor, performer, thesbian and artiste. Oh and did I mention she knows how to get around – the derby rink, women, and Montreal!