Mural Fest 2015 started yesterday— that 2 week transformation of the Main into a real live art gallery is something that gives our city its unique flavour. And, yes, there will always be that little niggling beef with Under Pressure, but I don’t really care. There’s talent and walls enough for both.

There are some sick muralists on this year’s roster. I was really pleased to see MTL graf scene veteran MONKE finally get the nod. The dude’s murals are top notch. Also, Toronto’s JARUS will do a wall this year— as far as large scale realistic work with aerosol is concerned, JARUS is holding it down.

Of course then artists are not all aerosol based, there are different mediums in effect— The melding of medium and style is what makes street art so interesting and identifiable. And by saying identifiable I don’t mean it’s easy to spot, I mean with such a wide aesthetic it’s easy to find a resonance within oneself.

NYCHOS, AXEL VOID, EARTH CRUSHER – like yo, it’s gonna be a good festival this year. I’ll be down on St. Dominique and Maisonneuve in the gravel lot with mad all city chilleurs if you’re down.

Many things happened in the Montreal arts scene in 2013 and Forget The Box was there! Let’s take a look at some of the highlights:


Early February, Cabaret 87 at Sala Rossa celebrated the 25th anniversary of AIDS Community Care Montreal. It was a very successful evening hosted by Antonio Bavaro and Ryan Ghinds with performances by artist Danny Gaudreault and friends.

edgy lucha 2
Edgy Lucha (photo Chris Zacchia)

March brought us the 20th edition of the Edgy Women Festival, a celebration of feminist art. This year featured events at a gym, on an ice rink and finished up with Edgy Lucha, a sexy boxing evening covered by Keltie.

Summer came around and so did full coverage of the 10th edition of the Montreal Infringement Festival featuring a multitude of awesome events including a haunted mountain walking tour that Bianca reported on and plenty of music goodness and stage performances which Jason (also a performer this year) covered.

It also brought the Fringe Festival. Jerry, Chris and Stephanie checked out quite a few events this year including the Hopegrown Productions debut at the festival, Jon Bennett’s Fire in the Meth Lab was also a must and Jerry checked out Peter ‘n Chris exploring their bodies in an improv comedy which almost gave him a spleen injury due to so much laughter. Also Forget The Box teamed up with Yelp for their annual party Yelp Helps during the fest.

aint misbehavin
Aint Misbehavin’

Then it was time for Zoofest! Jason and Chris went down to Café Cléopâtre to check out an unforgettable Burlesque show with the Bad Ladies and Detective while Jon Bennett’s show Pretending things are a Cock  gave Bianca a new understanding of dick jokes.

The summer also gave us Fantasia and Just For Laughs and many more music-specific events that Bianca will cover in our Year-In-Review music.

In early fall, Stephanie reported on Ain’t Misbehavin’, a great production at the Sadie. Later, in November, Jordan checked out Pure, an incredible dance performance by Charles Koroneho from New Zealand at MAI.

Meanwhile, Halloween was definitely sexy this year thanks to Tales from the Crotch, a burlesque play produced in 24 hours, another awesome project by Glam Cam production with the participation of our awesome Jessica!

Visual Arts

A different type of event happened at Café Zosha early this year. Music for 12 Domestic Lamps was an interesting installation and performance using lamps and sounds reviewed by the lovely Naakita! She also went to discover the new exhibit at the DHC Art Foundation where artist Thomas Demand filled up the gallery with an installation of animations and photographs.

nuit blanche outside

Taymaz shared his thoughts with us on photography as well as the art of love for Valentine’s day. He also reviewed The See by Jessica McCormack, a beautiful book with great artwork and covered Chinese art and it’s importance in today’s art world.

March brought us Nuit Blanche which is always packed with interesting things to do. Naakita took a look at what was happening in the streets while Stephanie reported on her night at the museums.

The 13th edition of the Art Matters Festival also happened in March. The Human Error paintings at the VAV Gallery really impressed Taymaz and Naakita checked out the MAC for their exhibition on abstraction.

Summer came around and brought us a new festival, Mural, a celebration of street art. Local and foreign artists covered a few walls along the Main and its neighboring streets during the St-Laurent Street Festival.

Under Pressure (photo Iana Kazakova)
Under Pressure (photo Iana Kazakova)

Meanwhile, the original graffiti festival Under Pressure had it’s 18th edition in August. This self-funded event run by an amazing team of volunteers is still going strong. The Fresh Paint Gallery, run by the same team, moved to its new location and still showcases great work by many different artists.

More Festivals

A new festival started this year, the Pitch Fest, a celebration of the soccer culture, it happeneed just a few weeks ago. Luminotherapy, the light festival is on until next year so make sure to check out the awesome installations all over the Quartier des Spectacle area.

Looking forward to what 2014 has to bring us, be ready for some more awesome coverage of everything that matters on Forget The Box.

Wow! How much fun was the MURAL Festival!

What a success for a first edition, everything was well set up and everyone looked very happy. St-Laurent was packed with people Friday and Saturday, a beautiful sight. A sight which is one of the reasons for the festival, to evelop and upgrade the Main by bringing people back to it.

The SDBSL (Société de développement du boulevard Saint-Laurent) has a five year plan with the MURAL Festival which is very exciting! It’s great to see new concepts and innovative ideas such as this one and to also see the support from the city and the shop owners. There are a lot of empty walls all over St-Laurent and many talented artists out there so it won’t be hard to do it again.

So what happened during the Festival?

20 murals were painted by international and local artists
Many activities on the street and random live music acts
Spotlight on an underground culture, street art, for the general public
A rare opportunity to see artists paint in the daylight and in front of the public
A chance to observe incredible techniques and the progression of the pieces over the days
4 days of no cars on St-Laurent, always a pleasure to walk in the middle of the street with no cars around and so much more

mural fest montreal

Friday night was the vernissage at Station 16 gallery featuring festival artists. There were some very interesting pieces.  The art is still up and well worth checking out!

On Saturday afternoon I joined the walking tour given by urban artist Cam Novak. What a great tour, full of information. It was nice to find out about the different artists, their styles, the street art scene in Montreal and so much more. Finding out about the inspiration behind some of the walls was probably my favorite aspect of the tour. Check out Cam’s Facebook page for more tours coming up this summer.

What’s great about the Mural Festival is that the work from the different artists is available to everyone all the time, the new museum of Montreal is open-aired along St-Laurent.

All of the murals are between Sherbrooke and Mont-Royal, starting South with Reka One (from Australia) who painted the back of the Hotel 10. As you go up St-Laurent you will find eight murals around the parking lot just before Prince Arthur, a massive one by Montreal’s collective En Masse as well as a very interesting 3D mural by Montrealer Jason Botkin and many others.

phlegm mural montreal

Escif from Spain painted a very precise lock with the word Barré (locked) as his first mural in North America on St-Dominique just up from Sherbrooke. The idea behind it is a political reflection on the fact that we are all in a hidden jail without real liberties.

If you keep going up, you will see A’Shop’s wall at the corner of Des Pins. The collective is one of Montreal’s most respected and have been doing graffiti for 25 years. You can see some of their work in NDG as well. On this wall, there is a grandmother with a paint can, showing  that street art and graffiti is accessible to everyone and all can enjoy it! A great message as graffiti is too often judged negatively by some.

This is followed shortly after by Omen’s on the left hand side on St-Laurent and then Phlegm’s very detailed and precised murals. The bar Frappé is now covered by Ricardo Cavolo’s colorful art. The very trippy wall by collective WZRD GNG is at the corner of Bagg street.

On the East side of the street, you’ll find Other’s wall with the Paria Crew’s wall at the corner of Duluth. The face on Other’s wall (mural on Napoleon corner St-Laurent) belongs to a homeless man he met in Ottawa who asked him to bring him back with him to Montreal as he’d been stuck in the capital for too long. Other told him he couldn’t take him back but took some photos of him and brought back his face to the city! Other is a well known and respected street artist who’s been doing graffiti in Montreal for about 25 years.

Stare, Montreal’s King of graffiti since 1996, is on Marie-Anne on the North side, straight across is an interesting piece by A Squid called Sebastian.

The last two murals are some of the largest of the Festival:

roa mural montreal


Roa, a world renowned artist from Belgium is inspired by animals from the country where he is painting. His mural on Clark between Rachel and Marie-Anne is of a Buffalo. It’s his way of bringing an animal that used to be all over this part of the world to the people of the city.

On top of the buffalo, he painted a polar bear, an endangered species as well. Maybe he’s sending a message that if we are not careful, the polar bears will disappear as well. 

Also on Clark just before Mount Royal is Pixel Pancho’s amazing robot.

Along the way, you can also take detours through the many alleyways and see more work by a big variety of street artists. Check out the walls behind Greenlight Gallery, beautiful stuff!

Montreal is really lucky to have had this Festival, can’t wait for next year’s edition!

The past few days on St-Laurent have been amazing! Beautiful weather and great artists expressing themselves on many walls along the Main which will leave an outstanding legacy!

My two favorite walls are off the Main on Clark Street, Pixel Pancho is just behind Mont-Royal and ROA’s is just below Marie-Anne, well worth checking out as the size of the work is astounding!

The street artists started painting on Wednesday taking advantage of the beginning of the sunny weather. A lot of the Montreal artists participating in the Festival have been around the scene for many years and are very well respected for their own style and innovations in their work.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMural Festival in its first edition is definitely a success, I haven’t seen so many people on the the Main in a while. The organizers of the Festival have a 5 year plan with the SDBSL (Société de développement du boulevard Saint-Laurent) to help increase the traffic on the street.

Many events were on daily as part of the Festival, a great vernissage at Station 16 on Friday night. Friday evening brought multiple colors in the streets with the Corona paint party, it was entertaining to observe people full of paint afterwards walking around.

The Osheaga block party yesterday afternoon was pumping and a lot of people were enjoying the beats and sunshine!

Saturday afternoon I did the walking tour with Cam, it was a great and very informative. Lots of details about the different artists participating as well as general info on the street art scene in Montreal. Explanations were given on the different styles and mediums used.

The walking tour is on again today, Sunday at 2pm and 4pm and I definitely recommend it! A voluntary contribution of $10 is appreciated. It departs from the info booth at the corner of Mont-Royal and St-Laurent! Don’t miss it.

If you would rather bike, there is also a bicycle tour starting from St-Laurent metro at 2pm and 4pm.

Today is the last day of the Festival, the weather is a bit less on the sunny side but it’s  till worth getting out there! A few events are on tonight for the closure of the Festival, the Beauty of Tragedy at the Atrium of the Conseil des Arts on Sherbrooke will be on from 8 until 10 pm followed by the Fresh Air closing party at Ballroom!

Will be writing more about the Festival this week!

Montreal was once the most bombed city in North America and by bombed I mean there was graffiti all over the place.

Next week will be the beginning of a 4 day festival dedicated to street art in Montreal, MURAL ART FESTIVAL organized in collaboration with LNDMRK.  From June 13th to the 16th, 35 local and international artists will be featured and paint close to 20 unique murals around the Main!

Montreal was once the most bombed city in North America and by bombed I mean there was graffiti all over the place.

muralist_cavoloAll the activities will be happening on St-Laurent boulevard between Sherbrooke and Mont-Royal, the street will be closed during the event which will give you a chance to wander the street freely.

The quality of the artists that are taking part in the Festival is quite mind-blowing! Montreal has its share of amazing artists such as Omen, Jason Botkin, Labrona, A’Shop, Paria Crew, WZRDS GNG, Stare, Chris Dyer and super crew En Masse, who will be covering up some 3 story walls! Other Canadian artists and some well known international artists will be joining the fun with names such as ROA from Belgium, ESCIF from Spain, Pixel Pancho from Italy, Phlegm from England and Reka One from Australia and many more.

During the festival, Omen and Reka One will be doing their biggest walls yet! It will also be ESCIF’s first wall in North America!

Twice a day at 2pm and 4pm on June 13th, 15th and 16th, you will have a chance to go on a guided walking or bike tour to discover the other urban art in the area! Every night will also offer some entertainment at different venues along the street.  

The official vernissage of the festival will be happening at Station 16 on June 14th from 7pm onwards. The closing of the MURAL festival will be curated by Alan Ganev at the Atrium of The Conseil des Arts de Montreal on Sunday June 16th.

Check out the many events that will be happening during the Festival and more about the featured artists at

Looking forward to seeing the murals that will make the city even more beautiful!