Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thursday: Colm Toibin and Histoires Berlinoises

As usual, I hope I can write every day from the Festival front-line but as usual I underestimate how busy things are and how I have little time for anything other than putting out fires.

That said our first few days have been booming. Starting with Etgar Keret events on Sunday (both
Michel Labrecque
sold out) we were off and running: the opening cocktail on Monday was packed and lots of fun. We gave away two homage prizes to Sheila Fischman and Judith Mappin, in addition to welcome the Quebec Ministre of Culture, Maka Kotto who charming and lovely.

Tuesday we had a smallish but very devoted and enthusiastic crowd at our launch party to celebrate our first year of publishing on the Jewish arts of Montreal. Made some great connections and we discussed some interesting ideas for our second year.

Wednesday was slower though we had two events which stood out: Straphangers with Taras Grescoe and Michel Labrecque (of the STM) was really fascinating: two experts on transportation, one Francophone, one Anglophone, discussing the future of Montreal`s public transportation system and what it means for us, commuters. The affinity between them was really lively and interesting because though the come from different backgrounds, have different agendas and live with different assumptions in certain ways, both agree on core issues in regards to the best way to let our city develop and change into the future. What happened after this event is the kind of thing I always hope for: a small group of enthusiasts stayed over, stood in the corner and continued debating the topic for a long while.
At the Grande Bibliotheque tonight at 6:30 pm
The other event was our Perfume Stories event which had almost 200 people, a band, models, readers and a lovely hostess introducing excerpts from books which feature perfume. Definitely a highlight of our Festival this year and the smiles on everyone`s face as people made their way out of the event: priceless.

Today, day four, is about Colm Toibin at the Grande Bibliotheque. There are about 17 tickets left (in a space for 300) so it`ll definitely sell out...this will be a conversation on stage between the Irish writer of Brooklyn and The Master and Eleanor Wachtel. Then it`s off to dinner to honor Mr. Toibin, then back to the hotel to welcome all the arrived authors into the authors` suite.

Tonight we also have Histoires Berlinoises at Hotel 10. This one is in French and will be a discussion between Regine Robin, Eric Dupont (La fiancee americaine), director Daniel Briere. Hosted by Manfred Stoffl of the Goethe Institut. This starts at 6pm.

To win tickets to Colm`s event (there are only a handful of tickets left) and the big event with Edmund White on Saturday at the Grande Bibliotheque, check out the Blue Met Facebook page in a little while: you could win four tickets!

Busy day but I look forward to what is in store...

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