Two festivals that take place in settings that are rather… unusual!
When you think of a festival, you often think of a gigantic stage erected somewhere in Montreal’s Quartier des spectacles or on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City. Some of the most memorable festivals are held in unusual places in the middle of a forest in the Montérégie region, for example, or in a church basement in the Charlevoix region. Here are two festivals that make a point of presenting their events in unusual locations.
The FAR Festival des arts de ruelle
Does Léa Philippe have funny ideas because she happens to be a clown by trade? To celebrate the atmosphere and solidarity that reigns in Montreal’s back alleys, Léa had the genius idea of creating a festival in 2017 that is fully dedicated to these friendly little streets. The artists get quite close to their audience as FAR takes place in people’s backyards! According to Léa, each back alleyway is unique, but obviously, these little passages were not designed to host performances.
“We often end up in people’s houses because there are no dressing rooms in the alleys. People’s homes serve as our backstage. We also have to ask people if we can use their electricity because there are no outlets in the alleys! Every time we start knocking on people’s doors, asking if we can plug in, someone has already thrown an extension cord from the third floor,” says the FAR’s director with a laugh.
Laval’s MOSAÏQUE Festival
What better way to celebrate living together than to go directly to where people live? This year, the second edition of Laval’s MOSAÏQUE Festival will be held in the heart of the residential neighbourhood of Saint-François, because it is quite far from downtown Laval (which is more or less the area around the three metro stations) and the neighbourhood has few opportunities to host major cultural events, except for the annual run of trick or treating on Halloween.
According to Valérie Dezelak, who is in charge of communications and cultural mediation activities for the event, “when we looked at a map of Laval and followed up on our experience in the downtown area last year, this neighbourhood seemed to us to be the best choice for hosting an event that would showcase the richness of cultural diversity. Like many Laval neighbourhoods, Saint-François is multicultural, but its remoteness makes it something of a cultural desert.”
After speaking with the festival organizers, we realized that many of them are themselves from Saint-François. It is therefore a festival designed for Laval residents and set up by Laval residents!
If these unusual settings inspire you, feel free to add these two events to your festival agenda. They’ll be sure to satisfy your curiosity!
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