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Reflecting on Montreal’s art scene

by Lorenza Mezzapelle February 11, 2020
Reflecting on Montreal’s art scene

Panelists at the Concordi’ART conference discuss creative innovation

There is no doubt that the Montreal art scene has a unique charm. From street art to an overwhelming amount of art festivals, such as Papier, a contemporary art festival, and International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA), a film and digital art festival, the city’s bustling creativity is key to its personality. But what do the major players in the Montreal art scene have to say about the city’s success and where it’s headed?

The Concordi’ART club’s second annual conference took place on Feb. 3. With a focus on technology and interactivity, the main topic of discussion was Digital Creativity in the Arts Industry.

Concordi’ART is a student club that aims to bridge the gap between art and business by offering students opportunities to understand the art industry. They offer conferences, workshops and guidance for students interested in artistic entrepreneurship.

“Am I going to be able to live with my art?” said Yan Cordeau. This question inspired him and his team at MURAL to create a platform for artist collaboration.

“The challenge is always, am I going to be able to live with my art?” said Yan Cordeau, co-founder and curator of Lndmrk, a creative marketing agency, and MURAL, an urban art festival. Having started off his career as an artist, this age-old struggle shaped his and his team’s mission. This inspired them to create a place where they could offer work and pay to the artists they had collaborated with in the past.

However, it is not that simple. While the idea of starting a business may seem enticing, where does one start?

“[I] try stuff until I’m sick of it, and this is the truth,” said Pauline Loctin, an artist and founder of Miss Cloudy. She creates large-scale origami installations. “I have an idea in my head and I don’t know how I’m going to do it most of the time. So I try. And I fail. I try and I fail. Until I get something I really like.”

Doing what you like becomes a challenge, particularly in creative fields where finding a source of income is a primary concern. Collaborations and advertising are not always in the budget for small-scale businesses and artists. In a rapidly growing industry, what can companies do to ensure they don’t stray from their mission?

“Make sure [the company] is growing without losing its soul and values,” said Catherine Turp, creative director at Moment Factory, a multimedia entertainment studio known for their immersive multimedia shows. “The naïveté that existed in the beginning, when we started off, is still living; we’re still passionate, curious, multidisciplinary artists, and creative technologists from around the world.”

Be it through Moment Factory’s light shows or Montreal’s Art Souterrain, an annual festival aiming to promote accessibility to art, Montreal’s art scene brings people together to live and experience emotions, through multimedia experiences. “I think Montreal has an interesting recipe for events,” said Cordeau. “I think we can benefit from that and create something really unique.”

While determination, innovation and artistic integrity are among the key ingredients that contribute to the city’s charm and recognition, the root and driving-factor of Montreal’s artistic success lies, ultimately, in its sense of community.

Further information about Concordi’ART and upcoming events can be found at www.facebook.com/ConcordiARTclub/.




Photos courtesy of Concordi’ART

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