The Harvester

In a light-hearted evening of persuasion, the players of Fringe had the chance to impress the audience in a succession of preview performances. Vying for the audience members’ attendance in their upcoming shows, each performance group was granted two-minutes of stage-time to entice, persuade and promote.
These condensed, preview versions give fest-goers the opportunity to praise and appraise and to start shortlisting their must-sees. As a new friend of the Fringe, overwhelmed by the sheer scope of the festival, I was very pleased at the chance to sample what is to come. Personally, the night functioned as a sort of test. In preparing for the upcoming weeks, I shortlisted a few shows, based mostly on hearsay and the flyer-filled press package…

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Pheobe Greenberg, founder of the DHC/ART foundation for contemporary art, backs another remarkable project: Old Montreal’s smart building for art, thePHICentre. The four-floored, redefined historical building opens its doors as an interactive and collaborating centre for the arts. With the technology and capacity to house a variety of events from film screenings, to music concerts, to artist talks, the space presents itself as helping to “make Montreal a global hub for arts and creativity”.

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From June 4th to 24th, the Plateau Mile-End area will be overrun with more than 500 local and international artists, performing an array of music, theater, comedy and dance. By determining the line-up through lottery and keeping ticket prices low, the festival presents itself in the pursuit of wholly autonomous, uncensored and accessible art. But this vast and unrestrained collection can leave someone newly-acquainted with with the festival with an overwhelming sense of beginner’s block…