You’d think that several independent artists performing on a rare Vaudeville-era thrust stage and keeping alive a tradition that dates back over a century in a historic building in the heart of an emerging entertainment district is the sort of thing that warrants promotion. Or, at the very least, a listing.
Unfortunately, until yesterday, Le partenariat du quartier des spectacles, an organization dedicated to harnessing “the neighbourhood’s lively energies to promote community development” denied both to the artists who perform on the second floor of Café Cleopatre. That has now changed.
Le Cabaret Cléo is listed on the Quartier des Spectacles website as are the shows, or at least some of them, in the site’s calendar. It wasn’t a sudden realization of the organization that they had made a huge oversight that prompted the change, but rather a letter by STELLA‘s Ä’milie Laliberté sent on February 15th.
To put things in perspective, it took the partenariat, an organization with considerable funding, a few days shy of two months to make a small addition to their venue and event listings. This is the type of web update would take Forget The Box, an organization with no funding whatsoever, no more than an hour.
This means that either their website updates are severely backlogged or it was a conscious decision to not list le Cléo. The good news is that the appearance of the listing could mean that the tides are turning.
Unfortunately, le Cléo still isn’t on the official walking tour of the area and if you have a look at this promotional video, which, ironically, mentions community and focuses for a bit on the history of the area, you won’t see Cabaret Cléo, but you will see, briefly, a drawing of developer Christian Yaccarini‘s QuadrilatÃ¨rre, which both he and Mayor Tremblay want to replace this venerable institution:
It’s possible that when the video was made, the people behind it thought, as some in the media did, that the project was a foregone conclusion. It’s also possible that now, thanks to the efforts of the Save The Main Coalition and others, it’s become apparent even to the partenariat that le Cleo has no plans to go anywhere and wants very much to be a part of the lower Main and the QDS’s future, so they changed their listings to reflect the new reality.
It’s clear that Tremblay and Yaccarini don’t plan on singing a different tune, despite public opposition to their office tower project. The partenariat, however, hasn’t officially released a statement on where they stand on Café Cleopatre’s refusal to leave.
Despite their silence on the subject, their video and website spoke volumes about their allegiance. Now, hopefully, this small change to their site signifies a change in attitude on the role le Cléo plays in their project.