Presenting the Arts Alive!
Québec Library Series

AAQ caps off with inaugural Library Series in Brossard, Montréal West and Beaconsfield

By Janis Kirshner

Offering dynamic literary readings and music

Arts Alive! Québec comes to the Montréal area for the final events in this successful roving arts festival. The English-Language Arts Network (ELAN), in collaboration with the Quebec Writers Federation (QWF) and the Association of English-language Publishers of Quebec (AELAQ), is proud to present the inaugural edition of the Arts Alive! Québec Library Series.

This dynamic literary and music event takes place in libraries in Brossard on Saturday, September 8, in Montréal West on Wednesday, September 26 and in Beaconsfield on Saturday, September 29. Admission is free.

Working together, QWF, AELAQ and participating libraries selected the eclectic list of authors while ELAN curated the musicians. These intimate events showcase three authors and a “bookend” musical performance by a solo or duo act. The Baie-D’Urfé Library kicked off the first of the series on August 15 at the historic Fritz Farm Community Centre, featuring writers Leila Marshy, Marcela Huerta and Cora Siré, with music by Jabbour.

Working together, QWF, AELAQ and participating libraries selected the eclectic list of authors while ELAN curated the musicians.

“ELAN is pleased to add a literary volley to this year’s Arts Alive! Québec, advancing the goal of mixing artistic genres and bringing together diverse partners. Along with the libraries, the input from the Quebec Writers’ Federation and the Association of English-Language Publishers is invaluable, and the musical interludes offered by ELAN’s musician members are inspiring. We hope this format sets the stage for much future collaboration,” says Guy Rodgers, ELAN Executive Director, who has been enjoying touring the various regions for this cultural extravaganza. He is looking forward to the enriching events on the final leg of the Arts Alive! Québec circuit.

Each collaborator is 100% behind this latest project

Lori Schubert, QWF’s Executive Director, is thrilled to partner with ELAN, and to have so many talented QWF members featured in this new Arts Alive! Québec series. “I was especially happy at the eagerness with which four libraries outside of the downtown core jumped at the opportunity to highlight the recent accomplishments of Québec’s English-language authors. And, pairing the readings with local musical acts is a great way to generate even more interest!”, she said.

“Libraries are hubs of creative exchange that are welcoming to all. This Series is a unique opportunity for local writers to share their work in a relaxed setting, surrounded by books and book-lovers,” says Anna Leventhal, AELAQ’s Executive Director. She adds, “Most Montrealers are likely aware of the big names in Québec lit, but they may not know that there’s a working writer living around the corner from them. These events contribute to a portrait of literature that’s not exclusive or rarefied—instead, it’s vibrant, engaged in the community, and very much alive.”

‘Midsummer means delicious local fruits and vegetables, many grown right here in Québec. Now we all get a chance to savour local food for the soul.’

Giuliana Pendenza, Montreal West Public Library

Michèle Tibblin from the Brossard Library (September 8) is delighted to host this Arts Alive! Quebec event, “We love to meet and discover our Anglophone Québec authors and introduce them to the public. Libraries strive to offer a variety of services and cultural activities to all members of their community. ELAN’s generous offer to bring this event to our library enriches our cultural program.”

Beaconsfield (September 29) Librarian, Julia Gilbert, is aware that many people go to their public libraries for books or a quiet place to work/read/study/be, away from the distractions home so often presents. “The public library’s role has evolved from a place that only houses books, to a place where people can attend conferences and workshops, learn new skills, meet new people, and feel like they are playing a part in the betterment of their community. People rarely expect to be able to meet the authors of their favourite books. This series offers the chance to meet not one, but several local authors in a laid-back, open environment, for free,” she said.

Arts Alive! Québec Library Series programming

Events are free and take place at Brossard, Montréal West and Beaconsfield libraries, times vary.

Claire Holden Rothman -

Claire Holden Rothman

Saturday, September 8

1 to 3 pm – Bibliothèque de Brossard Georgette-Lepage, 7855 San-Francisco

1 pm: Doors open
1:15 pm: Musical performance by Dmitry Babich & Olga Mizyuk (classical cello)
1:30 pm: Featured writers reading from their work:
• Jocelyn Parr, author of Uncertain Weights and Measures
• Claire Holden Rothman, author of Lear’s Shadow
• Phyllis Rudin, author of My True and Complete Adventures as a Wannabe Voyageur
2:30 pm: Musical encore

Jocelyn Parr -

Jocelyn Parr

Wednesday, September 26

7:30 to 9:30 pm – Montreal West Public Library, 45 Westminster S.

7:30 pm: Musical performance by Sin & Swoon (old time country singer/songwriters)
7:45 pm Featured writers reading from their work:
• Jocelyn Parr, author of Uncertain Weights and Measures
• Cora Siré, author of Behold Things Beautiful
• Phyllis Rudin, author of My True and Complete Adventures as a Wannabe Voyageur
8:45 pm: Musical encore

John Farrow -

John Farrow

Saturday, September 29

2 to 4 pm – Beaconsfield Library, 303 boul. Beaconsfield

2 pm: Doors open
2:15 pm: Musical performance by Carolyn Fe Duo (blues)
2:30 pm: Featured writers reading from their work:
• Helen Antoniou, author of Back to Beer… and Hockey
• John Farrow, author of Perish the Day (Émile Cinq-Mars crime series)
• Sheila Kindellan-Sheehan, author of In the Shadows
3:30 pm: Musical encore


For general enquiries about a specific library, check the AAQ page on the ELAN website at

General enquiries about Arts Alive! Québec at arts.alive@Qué

About Arts Alive! Québec

Arts Alive Quebec logo – WestmountMag.caARTS ALIVE! QUÉBEC is a moveable feast of music, theatre, dance, visual arts, film and so much more. Initiated by ELAN (English-language Arts Network) in 2015, six dynamic regions – Hudson, Huntingdon, Knowlton, Québec City, Wakefield and Montréal – produce six individual festivals to showcase Québec’s diverse cultural communities and innovative artists with activities and performances for the entire family! Visit ELAN’s AAQ page at and stay connected for the rest of the summer.

About ELAN

ELAN (English-Language Arts Network) is a not-for-profit organization that connects, supports, and promotes Québec’s English-speaking artists and arts communities. Its members include artists and organizations representing a multitude of artistic disciplines and regions of Québec. ELAN’s philosophy is inclusive, encouraging an evolving Québec identity that recognizes French as the public language and celebrates social, cultural, and artistic diversity. To find out more about ELAN’s various programs, visit Qué

Bouton S'inscrire à l'infolettre – WestmountMag.caFeature image: Dmitry Babich & Olga Mizyuk
All images courtesy of Arts Alive! Québec

Read also: Arts Alive! Québec festival returns for fourth year

Janis Kirshner –

Janis Kirshner is a respected theatre publicist. She was also co-founder of TITTERS (a female sketch comedy duo) and has co-written and performed numerous hit shows at a number of Fringe Festivals including Montreal, Halifax and Seattle, as well as the Vancouver Int’l Comedy Festival. Janis spent years on the radio as a traffic reporter, entertainment reviewer, and host of open-line talk shows.

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