Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Spring Travels 2016, Part 2 - Montreal, QC

After one week in Kelowna I headed back east but made a 5 day pit stop in Montreal. Scott was in Montreal for business and the company put him up in the Sofitel. I didn't mind staying with him at the Sofitel at all ;). It was the first time in almost 4 years that I had returned to Montreal. And it was a bit of a strange experience. I am generally really good at having a map of a place internalized. So when I arrived I automatically tried to use this internal map, except I had forgotten most of the street names, and some places that I know were fuzzy on my mental map.  Or could picture places from memory but had the distances between them wrong. We calculated that in the 5 days I was there I walked close to 50 kms around town, some of which happened because I miscalculated walking distances and probably should have taken the metro instead. By the time we left my internal map was complete again.
This visit was filled with seeing old friends and acquaintances, telling the same stories (summary of the last 4 years) many many times over, trying to convince everyone to leave Montreal and come for a nice vacation on the Nova Scotia coast. And of course I also had the chance to see a few exhibitions. 

Because of Scott's schedule we had breakfast in the morning 
and then didn't see each other until late at night. 

The view from our hotel room, not bad at all. 

Of course I had to have a bunch of Bubble tea. 

Spent a really nice evening with Armeno & Louis eating amazing food,
 catching up and walking realllllllly far for about 3 hours. 

Stroll in Parc La Fontaine in the evening. 

Checking out all the changes at Place des Arts. 
Amazing how much the Quartier des Spectracles has changed in 4 years!

Thanks to my dear friend Francois Morelli and a free ticket I went to see the Pompeii Exhibition at the Musee des Beaux Arts. During my Italy trip in 2005 I visited Pompeii, and it was a really interesting experience. I figured that this exhibit wouldn't really give me much new insight. I have to admit that I was wrong. It is a beautifully curated exhibition, the curator is setting the stage for the viewer to experience and imagine all the details of their every day life and then trying to bring across the intensity of the Mount Vesuvius eruption through video, animation, sound and of course the plaster casts of the victims capturing their last breaths. This portion of the exhibit gave me goosebumps and had even the groups of highschool students, coming through the exhibition, go silent.  

I strolled around the Museum exploring other exhibits as well and quite enjoyed the etchings by Luigi Rossini. 

This installation piece was one of my favorites. These textile prints turned into a small room that the viewer can walk into were created by Mary-Claude Bouthillier. The piece is called "In the Belly of the Whale" and is part of the exhibition Elle Aujourd'hui (Her Story Today). 

On Wednesday I drove up to Val David to spend the afternoon with my dear friend Nicole Davidson. She proudly gave me the tour of her house (that entire yellow portion of her house is new.) What a magnificent home she has made for herself! Beautiful. I quick visit into Atelier de l'Ile revealed that only the technician Paul was there to give me a quick tour of any changes to the place. I have many fond memories of printing and working at the Atelier when the lovely Yolaine Lefevbre ran the place. Unfortunately I didn't get to meet the current Director Marcel Archand. 

Thursday I meet with Francois Morelli at Atelier - Galerie Alain Piroir. Primarily a masterprinter printshop focusing on Intaglio, there are also two very large and bright gallery walls. Francois Morelli showed me the current exhibition of prints that him and I worked on together through doering editions between 2010-2014. 

Seeing these prints again was like visiting old friends. 

Francois Morelli and I in front of the large Belt heads, 
we hand-printed all of these oversize prints. 

An art installation of logs called "560km" by KANVA

Before we left we had the opportunity to see our good friend Asima! Come visit soon, woman! 

On Friday I stopped at Wawel, the polish bakery in our former neighbourhood for a jelly donut (Ponki) and at Shaika cafe for a soy mocha. 

Our visit to Montreal was such a trip down memory lane. We stocked up on tea from China town, much more affordable art supplies, red relish (weird I know, but impossible to find in Nova Scotia at the moment), but more importantly we recharged on the positive energy of the city and the many wonderful people that we left behind when we moved.
Final assessment. Montreal is an excellent place to visit again and again! 
Nova Scotia is a better place to live.

Next Stop: Ottawa! 

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