Montreal is where my grandparents went on their honeymoon 60 years ago. I always remember my grandmother talking about it with stars in her eyes. Now that I’ve been here, I can see why. Just a six and a half hour drive from Buffalo was worth it, I fell in love with this city instantly.

It is a place full of quirky wonderfulness, freedom, beauty, oozing with art and randomness. There are so many festivals going on at once it’s almost overwhelming! Last year was my first time. I came up for the Montreal Infringement festival, started by Donovan King as a protest against censorship and corporate sponsorship, especially the Fringe Festival. Infringement festivals are about true art and causing a stir, not about money, more about politics and revolution. The Car Stories interactive street performance is always my favorite part of the Buffalo Infringement Festival, it is the reason for everything.

I loved the red light district tour I went on last year, it really moved me. Knowing that people fought/are still fighting to save an important piece of their history. I performed at the historic Cafe Cleopatra with the Candyass Cabaret. The lovely Velma Candyass welcomed us with open arms and gifts. We met our current host, Nat King Pole, at this same event. It’s incredible to think that a whole year has passed and, now, Fifi Laflea and I are back and treated as if we were family. Make sure to check out their world class monthly burlesque show!

fresh paintMy kitty porn art (collages of cat heads on hardcore porn bodies) was ripped off the wall of the venue by a staff member for being too lewd, people painted on me, I performed burlesque during the day, and took a walk in my underwear for a Forget the Box interview in old Montreal. That is actually how I landed the sweet gig of writing this very blog. All in all I felt bad ass and privileged to be part of this incredible festival.

Montreal is an artist’s dream. I was astonished by the incredible street art and the Fresh Paint Gallery. The busking musicians were plentiful and fantastic. All the food was cheap and delicious. Every person I met was good looking and so incredibly nice. I felt like Montreal loved me.

A year later I am back in Montreal, this time not performing because well I dropped the ball. Unfortunately we arrived late and missed the night of radical anti-establishment poetry at Cafe Jarry but I look forward to checking out the night of folk music tonight. The Soirée Folk is happening at Kafein at 8:30pm and I wouldn’t miss it for the world! Check out the June 18th programming.

Even though the Infringement happenings were missed, we caught dinner at an Irish pub called McCarolds, where we had the cutest tattooed waitress and some great burgers and beers. After the feast we headed over to Cafe Cleopatra. The strippers were so much fun! Nothing better than some beautiful and confident women strutting their stuff. I was happy to see a variety of women dancing, not just the plastic stereotypes. I even felt like a couple of strippers’ buttholes winked at me. It was glorious.

After we left the club I witnessed several cop cars stop in front of another adult establishment, the officers left their cars, hugged each other, and went inside. One lady cop was even wearing pink camouflage pants! It was amazing. I found out that the police have been donning camouflage pants and jeans for almost a year to protest changes in their pension plan. This city is just so cool, even the police are protesting injustice and hanging out at strip clubs.

I am so inspired by every breath of Montreal. I already wish I was staying longer. For those of you that will be around all weekend I urge you to check out the remainder of the Infringement Festival, it will change your life or at least inspire the hell out of you. Check out the schedule at

Featured photo by Chris Nautics from last year’s Candyass Cabaret.


Following my latest article on volunteering, I must now write about my favorite volunteer experience so far which is at the Fresh Paint Gallery!

The Fresh Paint Gallery is an alternative and self-financed project managed by the Under Pressure festival’s team of volunteers. The first gallery opened up in 2011 and was located in an old building on Ste-Catherine which used to host French newspaper La Patrie. The gallery was open in that location for quite a few months, getting as much as 3000 visitors monthly. The gallery is now upstairs at 221 Ste-Catherine E. at the corner of Ste-Elisabeth!

What is this gallery, you wonder? The purpose is to fill in empty spaces along Ste-Catherine and give a chance to artists from Montreal and beyond to fill it up with their art. From the moment you walk up the stairs, you are welcomed by art by Adida Fallen Angel on one side and by Delphine Delas on the other side. The art changes regularly in a very organic fashion as in it will not necessarily change all at once but one room or one wall at a time. It makes it well worth checking out regularly. You might even witness artists in the middle of taking down or putting up some art. The challenge for the artists is really to use the space fully, not just hang a painting on the wall. Most of the exhibits are inspired by graffiti and the street art movement.

The gallery runs by donation, there is a minimum $2 per person required. If you give $5, you will get a CD or a magazine and by giving $10, you will get a poster. There’s also a shop where you can get some prints. Also available is awesome Montreal streetwear with merchandise from the Under Pressure Festival as well as from Artcore.


The gallery also hosts conferences on a regular basis. The first one happened during the Under Pressure festival and was about women in Hip Hop culture. The next conference is this Friday, October 18th at 6 p.m. featuring artists such as Emmanuel Laflamme and Shawn Davis, who will discuss learning art in the streets versus art school education. More info here.

Another upcoming event at Fresh Paint Gallery is Beaux Dégâts, an art mashup evening. It started at the old location but is now hosted by Foufounes Electriques due to lack of space at the new location.beauxdegats

Six teams of two to five artists have two hours to paint a canvas after being given a theme and some restrictions. At the end, the public votes by putting their empty beer can in a garbage in front of their favorite piece. The winning team gets to destroy the others’ work! Wednesday, October 23rd will be the 13th edition. Don’t worry if you can’t make it this time, the next one will be Wednesday, November 27th. The event starts at 7 p.m. and there is a $5 entrance fee.

Go check out the gallery whenever you have some free time for some awesome art! If you are interested in volunteering, check out the recruitment page on their website and get in touch with the team or just come say hi!

Fresh Paint Gallery is open from Wednesday to Sunday, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.