Since both of this week’s entries relate, either directly or indirectly, to Nuit Blanche, it’s probably a good idea to start by briefly explaining what Nuit Blance is, for those who don’t know.

In a nutshell, one night a year, most museums and galleries, some other businesses and the Montreal Metro stay open all night. There are parties, events in Quartier des Spectacles and the Old Port and even the Biodome gets involved.

This year, it’s not possible for most people to be out of their homes after 8pm due to the curfew, let alone on the metro at 3am, but some of the key Nuit Blanche events have found their way online.

Let’s get started:

Art Souterrain Festival is Back Online and in Physical Space

Every year, the Art Souterrain Festival is the highlight of many Montrealers’ Nuit Blanche. This event normally sees several artists fill Montreal’s Underground City with installations and perform live art shows.

This year, of course, will be different. Roughly 30 artists will take part in the festival’s two parts:

From tomorrow (Friday) until April 30th, you can take in free online activities such as recordings of performances, podcasts, round table discussions and artist portraits (with quite a few of them happening next Saturday, aka Nuit Blanche 2021). Then, from April 10th to 30th, the regular public installation part of the festival will take over the Underground City.

The 13th Edition of Art Souterrain begins online Friday, February 19th on the Art Souterrain website

Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything from the MAC is Now Online

Speaking of Nuit Blanche, Back in 2017, that’s when we covered (and very much enjoyed) the Leonard Cohen exhibit A Crack in Everything at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC). It was an immersive and impressive multimedia experience and a fitting local tribute to our legend who had passed away the year before.

Now, while the MAC is open once again to the general public for in-person visits, they have decided to bring back the Cohen exhibit for anyone (in Canada, that is) at any time with a free virtual version of it. It obviously won’t be the same as exploring the exhibit in person, but given the amount of recorded video and audio content in it, it should transition well to this format.

Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything Virtual Exhibit is available online for free until February 22, 2024. You can explore it on the MAC website

Last Wednesday night, I was invited to participate to my first Sociale event with a lovely group of ladies at the Musée d’Art Contemporain. The event was called Wine, Cheese and Art Evening, a great mix of some of my favorite things in life. I was intrigued to discover what Sociale was all about and excited to check out the Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture exhibition.

Sociale was founded eight and a half months ago. It is a family affair, started by two sets of sisters who are cousins. Kara, Katrina, Tasha and Olivia are the brains behind the company.

The concept is to create events for women of all ages to network and learn new things. Their motto is “Learn, Socialize, Network” which sums it up pretty well. The venture has been very popular so far, hosting 28 events and welcoming about 400 people. The feedback has been very positive and participants are always asked for suggestions at each event to ensure their needs are fulfilled.

Katrina told me that the variety of activities is enormous and the possibilities are endless. Everything from cooking lessons, to wine tasting to one on one make-up sessions just to name a few.

Sociale is affiliated with a lot of partners as well. There was delicious cheese from Bio Bio, wine from Vin Parfait and Beringer and my coup de coeur Grok, pure parmesan baked cheese, beware as it is very addictive! At the end of the evening, there was a draw from another sponsor, Lush.

Most of the events cater to women only, but there are a few with men as well, such as the upcoming Spice Up November à la Sociale on the 28th at New City Gas. A perfect occasion to mingle after a hard day’s work while listening to beats by a DJ and enjoying a cocktail.

social signAfter enjoying some cheese, wine and great new company for an hour in one of the ateliers of the museum, it was time to go on a private tour of The Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture with two guides. The exhibition started in Vancouver and has been travelling through Canada and is in Montreal until January 5th, so make sure to check it out as it’s well worth it.

It brings together the work of 48 artists from all over North America using different media, such as painting, sculpture, installation, performance and video to express the current realities of Aboriginal culture. Hip Hop is very present in Aboriginal communities and its influences mixed in with Aboriginal traditions brings out very innovating and original artwork.

The museum was bustling as entrance is free on Wednesday nights. We all had a great time walking around and learning interesting facts about the different pieces in the exhibition. I was particularly inspired by the wall spray painted by Corey Bulpitt and Larissa Healey with Haida culture colours and style. There was a lot to see and I definitely will be going back to observe it all more deeply.

There was a nice discussion going on in the group as the guides would ask us our opinion on the artwork and not just give us information. I learned where the word rap came from, Rhythm And Poetry!

Once the visit was over, we went to atelier 2 and met up with Vincent for a graffiti-inspired workshop. After a little demonstration with a big red Sharpie and black ink, it was our turn to become creative.

It was a very relaxing activity and many of the ladies commented on how long it had been since they last did something this creative and how good it felt. The hour in the workshop flew by and before we knew it it was time to pack up and leave.

What a fun and interesting evening I had at this Sociale event. I definitely learned new things, socialized and networked in these few hours. Check out and find out more about future events and join the fun!