Montréal Guardian showcases the city’s arts and culture

With merged cultures and a large, diverse population, the city of Montréal has everything from passionate artists who draw inspiration front the bustling city around them, to comedians who feed on the energy of the spirited city. Montréal is also home to a variety of historical attractions due to its rich history as a major metropolitan centre of Canada. This guide will direct you to some of Montréal’s best visual artists, comedians, and historical photos.

MONTRÉAL ARTISTS

Juliet Mackie is a Métis artist and Ph.D. student at Concordia University, originally from Vancouver Island, BC, studying her research topic, “Reconstituting Indigenous Identities through Portraiture and Storytelling”. Mackie’s passion for fine arts first began as a child while taking art classes throughout elementary and high school, and in 2015 she moved to Montréal to study painting and drawing at Concordia University where she received her BFA. In 2019 Mackie ventured into beadwork and has since utilized the medium to connect with her Métis culture.

Kaia Porter is a Montréal-based dancer and choreographer, whose dance career began at the age of 3 years old. Since then Kaia has studied styles ranging from ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, and has begun to create and choreograph her own pieces as she took to learning new styles. Currently, she is in her third year at Concordia University studying ‘Contemporary Dance and Choreography’, while also training outside of school in commercial hip hop/jazz-funk styles.

Ola Volo is a Montréal-based artist and a trailblazer as one of the few female giant mural artists across the world. Since Volo graduated from Emily Carr University in Vancouver, BC and traveled the world to gain inspiration, her aim has always been to illustrate and conceptualize stories. Volo’s work mainly focuses on captivating images that engulf the sides of buildings and add vibrancy to the communities that they are in, however throughout Volo’s pieces there exists an undercurrent of Eastern European artistic influence, which is likely attributed to her Kazakhstani origin.

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MONTRÉAL COMEDY

Monica Hamburg is a Montréal-based comedian who has performed in a variety of shows, including a burlesque variety show, entitled Lunacy Cabaret in Toronto, Otakuthon in Montreal, and at a swinger’s club. Currently, Hamburg is producing and hosting shows including Pornomedy and Craigslost, as well as MomOFF in collaboration with fellow stand-up comedian Peter J. Radomski.

Elspeth Wright is a comedian specializing in storytelling coupled with her charmingly awkward style. She frequents the Diving Bell Social Club and The Comedy Nest both of Montréal, and recently performed at the Monument-National as part of ZooFest. Recently her comedy game show Battle of Wits celebrated its 2-year anniversary at The Diving Bell Social Club, and she recorded a set for the Just For Laughs Originals album which was released in November.

Will P.-Amaral is a Montréal comedian focused on authentic storytelling, and honestly detailing the events of his life with a comedic flair. To date, he has performed with great success at MTL COMEDY CLUB, and will be going on a stand-up comedy tour in the near future in hopes to provide the best shows possible for his audience. Additionally, as an actor, has worked with a production company in Toronto on the film entitled We Did It, which was released recently.

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MONTRÉAL HISTORY

Montréal’s World Expo was erected in 1967, commemorating Canada’s centennial. At the centre of the attraction is a spherical structure entitled the Montréal Biosphere, which later was transformed into an interactive water museum in 1995, aiming to bring awareness to environmental issues and climate change. The attraction has been at the top of tourist locations for many years, with a variety of both traditional and newly added attractions, holding a special place in the hearts of Canadians. Click here to visit a collection of photos encapsulating the excitement and vibrancy of one of the highest attended world fairs in history.

Overlooking Montréal, Mont-Royal has remained one of the best vantage points for a view of the city since its inception. Mont-Royal was first named by colonizer Jacques Cartier in 1535 and later gave rise to a variety of attractions within the city, such as the Mont-Royal Park in 1876 and the Beaux-Arts Mont Royal Chalet in 1932. The site also acted as a venue for a cycling event during the 1976 Summer Olympic Games and remains a popular site where locals enjoy sledding, tobogganing, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing in the wintertime. Click here to visit a gallery of historic photos of Montréal’s beloved Mont-Royal dating back to the 1800s.

The Montréal Biodome was originally fashioned from a velodrome, a cycle racing track arena constructed for the 1976 summer Olympic games hosted in Montréal, defying the common dilemma of building growing obsolete after the games. Only 4 years after its conception, the Biodome opened its doors in the Spring of 1992, aiming to create an engaging experience for visitors and infuse wildlife and flora into the city. Today the Biodome is home to natural history galleries such as Space for Life and Montréal Botanical Gardens, as well as animal habitats and the flora and fauna that emulate the ecosystems of North, Central, and South America. Click here to visit a collection of photographs of the Biodome, both during and after its construction.

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About Joel Levy 2239 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography