New Theatre in Saint-Jérôme
Jan. 18 was a day of celebration in Saint-Jérôme. Residents of the city and neighboring municipalities were eagerly awaiting the opening of the 3,540 square-metre Gilles Vigneault Theatre, which has 860 seats on a floor level, mezzanine and balcony. The construction of the largest concert hall in the Laurentians was realized with the support of the Quebec Ministry of Culture and Communications ($14.6 million), the city of Saint-Jérôme ($7 million) and the Department of Canadian Heritage ($3.6 million) – a total public investment of over $25 million.
Designed by Atelier TAG and Jodoin Lamarre Pratte architects, the theatre was built by Construction Demathieu & Bard. The infrastructure uses energy efficient strategies and sustainable development (LEED) practices. Two open houses were held on Nov. 25 and 26. The Gilles Vigneault Theater is located in the heart of downtown Saint-Jérôme, near the train station. www.theatregillesvigneault.com
$2.5 million more for CAM
The first budget of the new Plante-Dorais administration grants a $2.5-million increase to the Montreal Arts Council (CAM). “This significant increase brings us substantially closer to the goal of $20 million,” said CAM chair Jan-Fryderyk Pleszczynski. CAM supports more than 400 Montreal art organizations and artistic collectives.
CAM plans to invest nearly $2.2 million of this extra money straight into its programs. The organization believes that this increase allows it to finance various elements of its strategic plan. “Particularly, we will be able to promote the inclusion of Aboriginal creators, English-speaking artists and culturally diverse artists,” says Pleszczynski. Part of this investment favors a greater presence of companies and artistic collectives within the boroughs and municipalities of the island.
Culture exempted from TPP
The Trans-Pacific Partnership forged by 11 countries in Tokyo will include a cultural exemption. “This cultural exemption is very strong,” says Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly. “This is the first time that we have explicitly recognized that we can protect our culture on the web.” The cultural exemption allows signatory countries to adopt programs and policies that protect or enhance their culture, despite the trade liberalization expected in the agreement.
“We have managed to maintain our flexibility to support the creation, distribution and development of Canadian films, television and music, especially in the digital environment,” Joly adds. Protection of intellectual property with the help of a law specific to Canada is one of the measures that Ottawa wishes to maintain.
Hewitt Show Goes On
Two hours before a Jan. 24 recital in Oxford, Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt fell down a flight of stairs and twisted an ankle. Hewitt was brought onto the stage in a wheelchair and performed Book I of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier using just one foot on the pedals. Two nights later, she played in Wigmore Hall. Only then did she go for a full medical assessment, which revealed a broken bone in her foot.
The #metoo movement has also affected the classical music community. James Levine: On Dec. 2, the New York Post broke the story of sexual impropriety followed by the New York Times. The fallout: suspension from the Metropolitan Opera, Ravinia Festival, Boston Symphony, etc. Levine has denied the allegations. Charles Dutoit: On Dec. 21, the Associated Press reported that four women had accused Dutoit of sexually assaulting them between the late 1970s and 2010. A second AP article on Jan. 10, 2018 detailed six more women. The fallout: cancellations and severed ties with Royal Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra (which also removed his title of conductor laureate), the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Dutoit has denied the allegations.
Janine Lachance, 1932-2017
Vocal coach, pianist, soprano and singing teacher Janine Lachance passed away on Dec.16 at the age of 85. Originally from Quebec City, she studied at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Québec (CMQ) and then went on to study singing in Milan in 1954. Back in Canada, she became a CMQ rehearsal pianist and later worked as a rehearsal coach assisting conductors. She obtained the position of singing teacher at the Conservatoire in both Quebec City and Montreal (1977-1989). Janine Lachance was awarded the Order of Canada in 2004 and inducted into the Canadian Opera Hall of Fame in 2007.
- Israeli-born Avner Dorman is the winner of the 2018 Azrieli Prize for Jewish Music. His composition will be performed at the Azrieli Music Prize Gala Concert in Montreal on Oct. 15, 2018 with the McGill Chamber Orchestra.
- Soprano Megan Miceli, first prize winner of the Toronto Mozart Vocal Competition and Master Class Series.
- CALQ, Organizational Mission Support: Feb. 1
- Montreal Arts Council, General Grant Program: Feb. 15
- Canada Council for the Arts, travel and international touring: Feb. 20
- LOJIQ, Professional Development: Feb. 6, March 20
- SODEC, Song Awareness and Dissemination Program for the Collegiate Community: Feb. 26
- SODEC, Varietal Release Assistance Program: March 10
- TELUS, Community Investment Committee: March 10
- SOCAN Foundation, Music Education, Publishing and Broadcasting of Canadian Music: March 15
- SOCAN Foundation, Grants for the Presentation and Dissemination of Canadian Music: March 15
Translated by Viviane Reid