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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!

MEET A MONTREALER: CHUCK HUGHES

Meet Chuck. He’s a bad boy chef who loves Montréal, who recently opened a new restaurant called Le Bremner. To give you a sense of the buzz that Chuck is receiving, I went to YELP and found the most recent quote about his restaurant, Garde Manger… “Excellent service. Rarely do you see an owner behind the bar and one in the kitchen these days unless you are at Garde Manger. Food is rich and tasty. Vibe is excellent. No pretension. You’ll love it.” Chuck is quickly making a name for himself with his cooking show, Chuck’s Day Off, that will be airing soon internationally. Due to his chutzpah, friendliness and success, Chuck is a Montréaler who you need to meet.

MEET A MONTREALER: RICHARD BURNETT

As Michael Musto is to New York City, Richard Burnett is to Montréal. Equal parts cuddle-icious cartoon character and fierce, loudmouth bitch, Richard Burnett is undeniably a Montréal gay icon. His nationally syndicated column, Three Dollar Bill, has been keeping queers in Montréal and across the nation au courant for 15 years. Burnett knows this city like a drag queen knows a cosmetics counter. This makes him a perfect choice for this edition of MEET A MONTRÉALER.