Third time’s a charm?

Being always the bridesmaid in back-to-back finals, the men’s rugby squad kicked off camp with one goal in mind: win the championship.

Each year the roster shuffles. Despite a promising rookie class, this year’s group will need to dig deep in order to fill the gap left from the losses of last year’s split captains Jimmy Bang and Jonathan Dextras-Romagnino

“Losing the leadership of two captains is huge,” said head coach Clive Gibson. Luckily for them, new team captain Dario Pellizzari has been “stepping up in a big way,” said Gibson. “He’s done many positive things that will make team unity very strong this year.”

“Championships are made through overcoming failure and adversity,” said Pellizzari. “The guys know what it feels like to lose two years in a row and now we know what to expect.”

For the majority of the student body, the last weeks of August are the last grasp at summer freedom. But for the Stingers rugby team, it’s the beginning of training camp and this means the fall season is just around the corner.

“Everyone’s looking at you for inspiration,” Pellizzari explained. “I was able to instill my values in the team this winter: work ethic, accountability and respect. If we stick to these values throughout the year, we’ll see great results.”

Along with this common set of values, a ‘no excuses’ attitude has been adopted by the veterans down to the rookies of this year’s team.

While Gibson was adamant about keeping his coaching strategies off the record, he did mention that he, along with his coaching staff, are not practitioners of the traditional rugby game. This is one of the many reasons for their success as of late.

“As a coaching staff, we are extremely committed to what we’d like to consider innovation,” said Gibson. “We are not traditional rugby minds. We’re always looking for that new angle or new approach. I think we may have found it.”

This year marked a very progressive time for the Stingers for the team has hired someone to recruit players on CÉGEP teams. This will allow the coach, who used to take on this role, to focus more on his team.

“I think it might be our year,” admitted Gibson. “There are still some key elements that need to be sorted out, but we’ve got time.”

The Stingers open their season at home on Friday, Sept. 7 at 9 p.m. against Sherbrooke.



Pop Montreal 2012 expected to be better than ever

Photo courtesy of Pop Montreal.

This September, Montreal’s premier indie festival Pop Montreal will return for their 11th anniversary, with arguably the biggest and most exciting lineup yet. Dozens of artists, members of the media and fans were packed in the PHI Center on Wednesday morning to attend a press conference to preview this year’s festival.

Pop Montreal will take place Sept. 19 to 23, opening the door for many acts to be discovered and heard. Pop Montreal is not just a music festival, for it also embraces film, art, fashion, music discussions, and even children’s activities.

After host Nick Cabelli warmed up the attendees alongside the enigmatic Donzelle and producer/DJ Kid Koala, Pop Montreal’s creative director Daniel Seligman and the curators and directors spoke about the numerous activities happening this year. The festival has grown immensely with widespread appeal throughout the city, not to mention the increase of general interest among Canadians.

“It’s very nice to see a lot of artists here,” explained Seligman. “I think we’re keeping the spirit of our roots. We’ve always had a grassroots festival and we’re going to follow this mandate for all upcoming editions.”

With over four hundred artists gathering together in a span of five days, this year’s festival could be the most exciting event to hit the city all year. The roster for this year’s edition is

interesting to say the least, as stages will be graced by Lil’ B, Grizzly Bear, Chilly Gonzales,  Ariel Pink, Deerhoof, Laetitia Sadier, The Beatnuts, Gotye, K’Naan and even a special evening featuring David Byrne and Annie Clarke, better known as St. Vincent.

There will be more partying than ever as well, with numerous electronic and dance acts like Brooklyn’s Gang Gang Dance, Nicky Da B, Big K.R.I.T., Canada’s own Peaches, Cadence Weapon, A Tribe Called Red, Boogat, and Prison Garde.

The festival excels in delivering some of the best local talent the city has to offer and this year is no exception. The homegrown talent includes Montreal temptress Grimes, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, Lunice, TOPS, Parlovr, Sheer Agony, Tim Hecker, Radio Radio, Doldrums and Purity Ring, among countless others.

Art Pop curator Johanna Heldebro spoke on the importance and the direction of art in the festival.

“My goal has been to bring together some of the most exciting and dynamic artists working today,” said Heldebro. She also mentioned that one of the most exciting elements about this year’s art instalment is that it examines “the relationship between the individual and mass-culture, in particular personal relationships.”

One of the most exhilarating things about Pop Montreal is the amount of free shows in the city. This year boasts quite a few mouth-watering freebies, including DAM-Funk, Austra, and Hot Snakes. Montreal darlings Stars will also headline an intimate evening on Sept. 19 at La Tulipe, presented by SiriusXM radio. There will also be plenty of complimentary film screenings, art shows, and fairs.

The anticipation for this year is overwhelming, especially with the announcement of Pop vs. Jock, the charity basketball game that takes place on Saturday, September 22, where proceeds will go to Montreal’s DJ Sports Club, a non-profit organization that offers programs in sports and education to kids aged 7-17. The half-time show will be hosted by Arcade Fire’s Win Butler and Régine Chassagne alongside Kid Koala. The game itself will feature Win, and his brother and fellow Arcade Fire member William, Freaks and Geeks’ Martin Starr, professional basketball player Luke Bonner and Nikolai Fraiture, the bassist for New York rockers The Strokes.


Pick up a Pop booklet or visit for more information on all the events and everything that will be happening in the course of the five-day festival.


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