In the land of women

If you subscribe to early ‘90s gender theory, men and women hail from different planets (Mars and Venus, respectively). But when it comes to leaving their mark in the arts, there’s no disputing that the recognition goes two ways. Whether it’s Clara Bow gracing the silver screen in her cupid-lipped glory, or the works left by Sylvia Plath—which, after the oven debacle, made her the first poet to win a Pulitzer posthumously—women have, through history, shaped the arts in ways that are embedded in our subconscious. They are the reason why we can’t look at a subway grate without also picturing a white dress (Marilyn Monroe), have a single name at our lips at the sight of a unibrow (Frida Kahlo), or look at a cone-shaped bra and not complete the image with astoundingly toned arms (Madonna). Immortalized through their works and achievements, the women below took Helen Reddy’s words (“I am woman, hear me roar”) to heart and for this year’s International Women’s Day on March 8, we are honouring them.



An artist among artists, Orlan considers the operating room her studio. She deconstructs our ideas of beauty by serving herself up as the canvas—having volunteered her body for many unnatural alterations. A self-described neo-feminist, she had nine plastic surgeries
in the early ‘90s, which referenced beauty in traditional western art. Some of her alterations include implants to mimic the Mona Lisa’s protruding forehead, changing her mouth to look like François Boucher’s The Rape of Europa, and modifying her chin to look like The Birth of Venus by Botticelli. Born in 1947 in Saint-Étienne, Loire, Orlan first engaged in this form of surgery-art when she was preparing to speak at a symposium in 1978 but had to be rushed to hospital. She almost died because of an ectopic pregnancy (where the fetus is outside the womb and cannot survive), but while the surgeons were removing the fetus to save Orlan’s life, she insisted that she remain conscious and that the film crew she brought with her be able to film it. The images on film inspired her career. Orlan is a well-known multimedia artist in France and her work questions whether what we project is a reflection of our real selves, or a fabrication based on what is seen in the media. Her interest in cosmetic surgery has seen her labeled as anti-feminist by some, but the unique product of her alterations are clearly only cosmetic in name.

– Elysha Del Giusto-Enos


Patsy Montana

Patsy Montana was the first woman in country music to sell a million records with her 1935 single “I Want to be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart.” But, with that face and that yodeling, who wouldn’t want to be her sweetheart? The single also became a mainstay on the National Barn Dance on Chicago radio station WLS for many years, station of which she was a cast member in the early ‘30s. She was influenced by the music of “America’s Blue Yodeler” Jimmie Rodgers, and as a child she learned to yodel and play organ, guitar and violin. Montana was also a star of the stage; she appeared in numerous western films, including one with the “Singing Cowboy” Gene Autry. Her success in the music and film industry encouraged the traditionally male-oriented country music business to welcome and respect the female performers that followed her. She was known for making extensive tours and played many radio engagements during the ‘40s. Women in those days weren’t supposed to travel alone without their husbands or a male family member, but this was not going to stop this cutie from moving forward. She did it anyway and broke some ground by doing this. Yes, she was that badass. Montana’s intricate yodeling inspired many other female singers throughout the years and she was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1996, the year she passed away and became a yodeling angel.

– Giselle MacDonald


Phoebe Greenberg

Phoebe Greenberg is an innovative force behind the arts in Montreal. Not only has she founded the DHC Gallery, the theatre company Diving Horse Creations and the PHI Centre, but she is also a film producer, most notably working on the 2010 Oscar-nominated Incendies. Greenberg studied theatre at Concordia University before moving to Paris to study under Jacques Lecoq and work with LEM (Laboratoire Étude du Mouvement). On her return to Montreal in 1990, she started Diving Horse Creations, which offers parody-based theatre that is quite unique, integrating visual art, theatre and the great classics into original productions. She founded the DHC Gallery in 2007 and it has since become, according to tourism website The Montreal Buzz, one of the city’s go-to destinations for contemporary art. The gallery aims to provide a platform for young Canadian artists, but also attracts works by world-renowned artists such as Marc Quinn and Jenny Holzer. Greenberg’s current project is the PHI Centre, which will open its doors in the spring of 2012. The PHI Centre’s purpose is dedicated to fostering, producing, promoting and distributing original, artist-driven projects. Greenberg’s passion and dedication to serving all of the different facets of Montreal’s artist community make her a true woman of the arts.

– Amanda L. Shore


Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren’s life makes the scandals and achievements of modern-day stars pale in comparison. After all, how can a coke-induced breakdown compete with being involved in a bigamy scandal, rejecting a marriage proposal from Cary Grant and racking up 50 international awards for your acting in the process? Breaking out in the ‘50s, Loren quickly became the most famous Italian actress in the world, making heads in Hollywood turn with her wit and exotic beauty (in her earlier films, her name appeared as Sofia Lazzaro because people said her looks could raise Lazarus from the dead). Her strong chemistry with actor Marcello Mastroianni gave way to 14 films together, making them one of the most realistic couplings ever captured on camera. Yet she was devoted to her husband, film producer Carlo Ponti, who was 22 years her senior—they met when she was 14 and he was a judge in a beauty pageant she’d entered—and whom she married twice because of the aforementioned bigamy situation. She stayed with him until he died. If the names of her contemporaries are delicately written in the history of cinema, Loren’s is positively gouged in. Whether she’s portraying a prostitute to Mastroianni’s commitment-phobe player in Marriage Italian Style, a protective mother in the harrowing Two Women, or a countess in Charlie Chaplin’s last film, A Countess from Hong Kong, Loren’s screen presence is powerful and unforgettable, with her fierce gaze practically being seared into your mind. After all, what else could you expect from the woman who famously credited her body to spaghetti?

– Sofia Gay


Brie Neilson

The lovely and talented singer-songwriter and painter Brie Neilson does not have to do much to make an impact on the musical community as her creamy alto voice does it for her. One lady with a guitar is not a new musical formula, though Neilson has managed to make it a category of her own. Unlike the angst that can sometimes accompany a woman going solo, Neilson’s music resonates with thoughtful lyrics and beautiful melodies that allow the listener to enjoy her music without feeling obliged. Beyond her solo work, which you can now hear backed by her band, Brie Neilson and Her Other Men, Neilson also lends her voice to the 10-man gypsy-circus-folk band (never ordinary!) The Unsettlers. It was her friend B.W. Brandes, the frontman of The Unsettlers who, long before the band had come to be, encouraged Neilson to nurture her songwriting talent. But why stop at voice? Neilson is also a talented painter. Her interest in art began during childhood after finding she was not as adept at sports as she would have liked. Expressing herself in other activities such as finger painting and choir, the artist inside had begun to bloom. After attending the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver, she supported herself by selling oil paintings of flowers for a commission. Never one to be ordinary, Neilson’s floral paintings go beyond what the average eye sees in a flower: “My interest in taking familiar objects and examining them in a new way, allowing the viewer to re-encounter them—close up, out of context and re-framed—is an ongoing objective in my painting.”

– Sara King-Abadi


Gertrude Stein

To the American ex-pats living in Paris in the ‘20s and ‘30s, she was an editor and a mentor; to emerging and innovative painters like Picasso and Matisse, she was a midwife who helped to shape and guide their artistic ventures; to those across the globe who read her works and were intrigued or disgusted by her non-linear, non-grammatical experimentation with the English language, she was a literary curiosity. Pop history might venture to call Gertrude Stein something akin to a “tastemaker” for a generation, but although the modernist works she produced and encouraged are now part of widespread taste and considered classics, Stein is perhaps best described as someone who helped the artists around her realize their capacity to move forward into a new moment in art, take risks and explore the limits of their self-expression. Working from her Paris salon, where she bought Picasso and Matisse pieces long before they were worth millions of dollars, she edited and mentored such greats as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. With her partner, Alice B. Toklas, she amassed an art collection that showcased the best of modern art, and which will be shown in an upcoming exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, entitled The Steins Collect. She was an artist in her own right as well, penning, among others, the poem Tender Buttons, the experimental written style that plays on the musicality and tonality of language, as well The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, written from Alice’s perspective, but providing invaluable insight into the history of one of the most exciting moments in 20th century art and literature history. Although editors of her anthologies often joke about the pervasiveness of “Steinese” in modern artistic expression (think of sayings like “a rose is a rose is a rose”), the truth is that Gertrude Stein shaped the art of a generation, and the tastes, attitudes and culture which arose with and after it.

– Rebecca Ugolini


Mayim Bialik

Actor, writer, neuroscientist, spokesperson, mother, certified lactation educator counsellor, co-founder and chair of the youth branch of the Jewish Free Loan Association are just a few of the labels Mayim Bialik can be headed under. Best known for starring as Blossom in the 1990s sitcom of the same name and currently as Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory, Bialik is a highly regarded member of the arts community. Her first book comes out March 6, and when she’s not busy writing or acting, she’s taking care of her two boys. The horrible tales of what happens to child actors after their shows end have been assuaged slightly by Bialik’s amazing success story. Not only is she an exceptional actor, but she represents the myriad of possibilities available to women, proving that you don’t have to stay within a label, and that you can do virtually anything you want. Bialik currently holds a PhD in neuroscience and is consistently getting involved in new projects. She represents a woman who not only wears many hats, but excels in everything she’s involved in.

– Amanda L. Shore


Patti Smith

Where does one begin to describe Patti Smith? You could list the many endeavours she’s taken on—artist, poet, singer, playwright, author, actress, music critic—or maybe name drop the famous individuals she’s rubbed elbows with, including Salvador Dali, Jimi Hendrix, Allen Ginsberg, Janis Joplin, Sam Shepard and dozens more. But even that wouldn’t quite cover it. Smith’s story is riveting, from her exodus to New York City in the ‘60s after giving up her child for adoption and promising Joan of Arc’s statue in Philadelphia that she’d make something of herself, to touring the world with her band as The Patti Smith Group, earning the moniker “Godmother of Punk” for her unique hybrid of poetry and rock. She had an intense relationship with controversial photographer Robert  Mapplethorpe—which she recounted in 2010’s Just Kids—and was a presence in legendary ‘70s New York City landmarks, such as the lobby of the Chelsea Hotel and CBGB. An artist through and through, her decades-long career led her to an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the title of Commander from the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the highest honour France bestows to artists. Her debut album Horses—for which Mapplethorpe photographed the iconic cover—has been featured prominently in many “greatest albums of all time” lists, including Time magazine and Rolling Stone. Perhaps what makes Smith such a remarkable artist is her dedication. The ‘80s saw her with a husband and kids, away from the spotlight. But when she came back, she did so by touring with Bob Dylan, putting out more albums and scribing more poetry. Needless to say, Joan of Arc would be proud.

– Sofia Gay


Aretha Franklin

You’d be wise not to mess with Aretha Franklin. She demanded R-E-S-P-E-C-T in the ‘60s, a less-than-idyllic era for African Americans. Poet Nikki Giovanni called Franklin “the voice of the civil rights movement, the voice of Black America.” “Respect” remains her biggest hit and solidified her spot as the original sassy sister. She was the first woman to be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987; she is the winner of 18 Grammy Awards and the recipient of two honorary Grammys, the Legend and the Lifetime Achievement. Forty-five of her singles have reached the Top 40. Her influence on the industry and artists who have followed in her pioneering footsteps cannot be ignored. There would not have been a Whitney, a Mariah, a Mary J., to name a few, if it weren’t for Aretha. In the No. 9 spot, she is the highest-ranked female on Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest artists of all time list (the next woman on the list is Madonna at No. 36).  What makes Aretha a super special woman, though, is that her career started as a girl at age 14 in 1956. She is pushing 70 and released an album in 2011 through her own record company, Aretha Records, which she launched in 2004. In the immortal words of Ms. Franklin herself, sisters are certainly doin’ it for themselves.

– Chris Hanna

Graphics by Maya Pankalla


It’s a beautiful world

The city is subtly splattered with his delectable images promoting Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal. Metro stations and billboards throughout the city are adorned with the product of his vision and search for beauty. His photographs are deep, sensuous images full of movement, flow and sentiment. They succeed in proving that beauty is all around us, even where we least expect it.
Beauty is an aging man or woman. Beauty is a straight, gay or transsexual person. Beauty is respect and understanding towards difference. Beauty is drama and a story as it unfolds. Beauty is transforming negativity into positivity. Beauty, for Damian Siqueiros, is omnipresent.
“When you treat beauty not as commercial beauty, as what a top model would look like, but beauty in the sense of having a positive view on things and transforming negativity into happiness; for me, that’s beauty,” said Siqueiros. “And finding that beauty in people or in places […] that’s what moves my work.”
With both art and photography as part of his education, Siqueiros doesn’t consider himself merely a photographer, but a blend of a photographer and painter—a photopainter, as he calls it. Painting is an essential part of his process; he pays close attention to makeup, set designs, lighting and retouching. He compares his work with that of a Renaissance painter, applying several transparencies and layers to his photographs, almost like brushstrokes. The final product is a photographic image with the aesthetic of a painting.
“I would say that even though I have both, as a photographer and as an artist, the aesthetic is always a very clear view of where I wanted to be as an artist,” said Siqueiros. “It’s strange because I think that’s one of the hardest things as an artist: to find your own voice.”
Siqueiros comes from a close, science-driven family from Baja California, Mexico. In 2009, he moved to Montreal with the hopes of starting a new life in a city where topics such as gender equality and gender diversity were being discussed regularly. In fact, these are two things Siqueiros speaks about a lot; one of his goals is to motivate people to be respectful and understanding with other people and with other people’s differences.
“Gender diversity is an intrinsic part of the identity of every person,” said Siqueiros with a thick but charming Spanish accent. “But it’s not the person. There can be good or bad people that are straight or gay or transsexual and it really doesn’t matter that much.”
Siqueiros, who specializes in artistic and editorial photography, is fascinated with movement. It’s no mystery why his favourite subject to photograph are dancers. He says movement inspires him because of the drama; not drama in the sense that something negative is happening, but that something is happening.
He seeks to tell the story behind a person as it develops through his work, and for him, movement and emotion are the perfect combination to do that. He tries to portray emotions that make people feel alive and connected to his work, even if they may be sad ones. He compares the feeling to the aftertaste of listening to an Adele song—although it is sad, it doesn’t make you feel bad, it makes you feel good and alive.
His latest series, part of this year’s Art Souterrain, is called The Journey of Flowers. Siqueiros draws a parallel between the life of a flower and the career of a dancer, both significantly short.
He aims to connect with his public on an emotional level rather than an intellectual one, something he thinks contemporary art has forgotten how to do.
In the series, Siqueiros also exposes the limits people feel they have when they age or if they suffer from a chronic illness. He wants people to overcome the preconception that being old or ill means not being able to be active or fulfilled and not being able to contribute to society.
He photographed renowned Quebec dancer and choreographer Margie Gillis, and Bobby Thompson, Montreal’s well-known Argentinian tango dancer, both in their fifties and still very active and popular, in order to exemplify how he would like people to see life when they hit that age.
”If tomorrow I can’t walk as fast as I used to do, then it means that I have more time to look at my environment and the place where I live and contemplate more,” said Siqueiros. “I want people to take this seemingly bad thing as an opportunity to become better people.”

Art Souterrain runs until March 11. Siqueiros’ work will be exhibited at Square Victoria metro station. For more information on Art Souterrain, visit For more information about Damian Siqueiros, visit


Colouring outside the lines

Using the right side of their brains, Syn Studio students’ senses mingle as they create.

The class is getting ready to start. The students get comfortable, they take out their drawing pads and pencils. The teacher puts on a bossa nova tune and proceeds to arrange the still life. The space is small, but charming and cozy. The walls are covered with paintings and drawings by the students and the teachers. In Syn Studio, art is all around.

Blending traditional art education with modern teaching methods, Galerie Synesthésie, now being shortened to Syn Studio, proves that anyone can learn how to draw, and is becoming one of the fastest-growing art schools in Montreal.

Syn Studio was born four years ago when Anthony Walsh was pursuing his master’s in psychology. When he found out about new teaching methods in art education inspired by recent psychology research, he became fascinated. He met art teachers who taught with these techniques and in 2007, decided to open an art school that embraced these discoveries.

“What we kind of decided upon was that the philosophy of the school would be this idea of drawing on the right side of the brain, which is the idea that anyone can draw,” said Walsh. “It’s not really about talent; it’s about being in the right stage and using the right side of your brain.”

Walsh started beginner classes and was impressed to see the breakthroughs the students would make as they would switch to right-brain mode. With experiments such as getting them to try a left-hand drawing or putting the model in uncommon positions, he realized that anyone can learn to draw and that art is really about looking at the world in a different way and using your brain differently.

Walsh says when people focus too much on technique, it takes them more time to do things because they have to fight with what they know and with what they’re already used to seeing and doing.

“We’re not really looking at the world until you’ve been trained to see the world for what it really is. But in fact, we’re just looking at our own mental representations of the world, and that’s what you have to break people out of to really teach them to draw,” said Walsh.

The name Galerie Synésthesie comes from these psychological breakthroughs. Synésthesie is French for synesthesia, which is a psychological or neurological condition where your senses mingle together. Famous artists are eight times more likely to have this condition than the rest of the population, but as children we’re all synesthetes. Babies’ senses are mingled together, and as we get older, we learn to inhibit this, which is exactly what Walsh wants to either avoid or bring back in students.

Besides teaching students how to colour outside the lines, the art school also offers classes that are hard to find in Montreal. In addition to drawing, painting and illustration, classes on comic book making, digital art, and video game environment design are also offered.

As if that weren’t enough, Syn Studio also provides a high quality art instruction with teachers such as Meinert Hansen, who is the senior concept artist at Warner Brothers Games, and Geof Isherwood, a highly renowned name in the comic book world, having drawn for Marvel and DC Comics since 1985.

And even that is not enough. Walsh also has a side project called Sketch and the City, a classy and sexy drawing event for bachelorette parties and a completely different concept than the one we’re used to thanks to movies like The Hangover and Bridesmaids. It basically works like this: it takes place either at Syn Studio or the girl’s venue of choice. A male model is hidden and nobody knows he’s there except for the girl who booked the event. Strawberries and champagne are given, as well as charcoal or coloured pencils. Guests are given drawing pads and they warm up a bit with some fun exercises, maybe using their left hand or doing something that suddenly activates the right side of their brain.

As they’re trying to sketch their friends’ faces, the left side of their brains is shutting down and the right side is activating. They start giggling at how silly they make each other look. Now, they’ve got some champagne in them, and as soon as they are really warmed up, the male model comes out and takes his robe off. The girls get shy and giggly, but then they sketch him and they start being amazed at how good their sketches become, and by the end of it, they’ve had a fun, sexy and artsy event.

“You have to walk this line between being kind of naughty, sexy and giggly and being innocent, artistic and classy,” said Walsh. “That’s the fine line where we always stay on.”

Walsh has big plans. With Sketch and the City, which has already reached Toronto and is currently being launched in South Africa, he wants to continue expanding into other countries, solidify their base in the United States, and eventually in the U.K. He’s aiming for the whole English-speaking world.

As far as the art school goes, he wants to focus even more on the video game classes and eventually move to a bigger space where they can run simultaneous classes, and maybe someday offer a full-time program. He expects to have 120 students next semester and about 300 students a year from then on.

“I think that Montreal, which is such a game and film industry and is such an artistic city, lacks a really good place for people to learn from industry professionals,” said Walsh. “And that’s really what I want to offer.”

Syn Studio is located at 94 Ste-Catherine E., # 7. To learn more about Syn Studio and the classes it offers, go to To find out more about Sketch and the City, visit:

Hit me up before you go, go

A handful of Montreal music venues and record stores await you to step in and pamper your ears with fierce tunes. This hit list names some that might catch your eye… or, in this case, your music taste. Check them out!La Sala Rossa – 4848 St-Laurent
Whether it’s jazz, breakdance, good ol’ rock ‘n roll, folk, poetry readings, reggae, DJs or even film screenings, La Sala Rossa’s got it all. With its whimsical vintage stage and perfect size pit to dance your shoes off, La Sala guarantees you a hell of a time. Soon to play here are Mudhoney, Color Violeta, and The Necks.

Casa del Popolo – 4873 St-Laurent
Some might say it’s hipster heaven while others agree there are too many mustaches for their taste. But Casa del Popolo offers much more than quirky fashion statements – it gives you a chance to indulge yourself in underground music for fair and affordable prices. Playing soon at Casa is Le Grand Nord, New Apple Taste, and Chad Valley.

Club Soda – 1225 St-Laurent

Plenty of well-known Canadian artists that have secured a spot on today’s music scene, such as The Tragically Hip and Barenaked Ladies, performed for the first time in Montreal at Club Soda. The shows here are a bit pricier, but damn well-worth it! Matisyahu, Mord Fustang, Two Door Cinema Club, and The Planet Smashers will be rocking at Club Soda soon.

Corona Theatre – 2490 Notre-Dame West
Located in the heart of St. Henri, the vintage looking Corona Theatre accommodates phenomenal live performances. Its old-school vibe and vigorous sound quality will make you feel higher than you might be already. Awaited shows include Twin Shadow, Laura Marling, and Girls.

Le Divan Orange – 4234 St-Laurent
Recognized as an important joint for Montreal’s music culture, Le Divan Orange participates actively and ambitiously in the development of music in Quebec. So if you feel like being surrounded by funky orange lighting and sprinkling your night with a bit of local sound, Le Divan might be the right place for you! Soon to perform here are Emma Baxter, Tako Tsubo, and Hobo Outlaws.

Upstairs Jazz Club – 1254 Mackay
If the chill mode kicks in and you just feel like laying back on an elegant wooden chair while smooth jazz notes tickle your ears, Upstairs is waiting for you and your refined music taste. The cozy semi-basement counts with music 52 weeks a year to quench your musical thirst, and delicious drinks to quench your university student thirst.

Record stores hit list

Beatnick Music – 3770 Saint-Denis
CDs or vinyls, old or new, top 40 or under the radar. In this rare and obscure record shop, you’ll find whatever tickles your fancy. Take your pick!

Atom Heart – 364 Sherbrooke East
Offering an exceptional service and an extensive variety of independent rock and electronic music, Atom Heart will make you want to go all out and buy everything off the shelves.

Paul’s Boutique – 112 Mont-Royal East
This charming full-of-personality shop might be small, but what it lacks in size it makes up in fun, personalized service with the owner himself… who is actually named Paul (No shit, Sherlock!) It’s like Alice’s trip to Wonderland minus an LSD trip and up a great selection of rock and punk records and posters.



Catch him if you can

Saxophonist Colin Stetson is aware that his music is hard to fit into one musical category, but that doesn’t bother him.

“I won’t apply a genre to [my music] ’cause then immediately you’re talking about it in its relationship to something else and not in terms of just its relationship with you and the moment that you’re experiencing it,” said Stetson.

“I haven’t heard anybody having any issue with what I do. But I’m sure I can imagine that happening. I mean, you’re gonna hear sometimes from people about how this doesn’t sound like a saxophone the way they would know what a saxophone sounds like, and so they don’t like it.”

Regardless of what category his work fits into, critics are receptive of his work. The Los Angeles Times praised his last album as “undeniably compelling.” The New York Times, for its part, described it as varying from “fluttery, funky” to “unexpectedly serene.”

After studying music at the University of Michigan, Stetson moved to Brooklyn to pursue his musical career. There, he crossed paths with Arcade Fire, and after recording with them for a bit, he started playing with the Montreal band during their Neon Bible tour.

Stetson also encountered Justin Vernon, his current Bon Iver bandmate, in the Big Apple. They met at a show one night, performed another gig together, and then started to collaborate.

“That was what sealed the deal: us working together,” said Stetson. “I played my solo set, he played his solo set, which I loved, and then he contacted me about coming out to Wisconsin for the new record.”

Stetson has lent his talents to performances by other musical heavy hitters like TV on the Radio, The National, Feist, Tom Waits and LCD Soundsystem.

In 2007, Stetson travelled to Montreal, fell in love with the city, and stayed.

“Montreal is a great town for music,” said Stetson. “It has allowed me to work on a lot of ideas that would’ve taken me longer to get to if I was still in the constant hustle of New York.”

A year later, Stetson released his debut solo record New History Warfare Vol. 1. It showcased his skills on saxophone and clarinet, but its reach was limited. By contrast, his followup, New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges, released last February, succeeded in touching a broader audience.

“I was surprised that so many people in a more mainstream context were even listening to it because whatever type of music that I make usually ends up being something that inhabits a more avant-garde or experimental music.”

Vol. 2: Judges was nominated for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize, and made the album shortlist alongside Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs and Braids’ Native Speaker.

“It’s a pretty spectacular honour to be recognized on that level,” said Stetson. “I think for me it worked on a couple of other levels more being that I recently moved [to Canada], so it’s like the welcoming into the community of musicians on a whole that is really special to me.”

Colin Stetson performs Sept. 2 at Il Motore , 179 Jean-Talon St. W.

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