West-Island hosts Arts Alive! Québec season finale

Event offers music, theatre, visual art, dance, workshops and family fun

By Janis Kirshner

Arts Alive! Québec (AAQ) heads into the final event of this creative and fun summer festival series as it travels to the West Island and Point Claire’s St. John Fisher Junior School for a packed weekend. The free two-day event, on September 23 and 24, features local West Island artists presenting live music, theatre, displays of visual art for sale, the ever-popular Teddy Bears’ Picnic, and a wide variety of craft and visual art workshops for both children and adults.

For AAQ West Island Coordinator Deirdre Potash, what really matters is family, friends and simple pleasures and the 2017 edition of Arts Alive! Québec West Island offers all that, and more: “I’m so looking forward to the upcoming event; I’m sure people will be filled with unlimited happy memories of shared times. This is also an opportunity for artists, both professional and amateur, from young to young at heart, to have a stage and share their passions.” She quips, “The weekend is a huge delicious buffet, but with zero calories.”

… an opportunity to celebrate multiculturalism, including henna tattoos, an Islamic geometric drawing workshop, a Syrian artist’s photographs and foods of the world.

Deirdre Potash

ELAN Executive Director Guy Rodgers has been enjoying the various regions’ take on this cultural extravaganza. He is looking forward to the terrific events on the final stop of the AAQ circuit: “The West Island activities will have a strong community feel when St. John Fisher Junior School hosts a full weekend of performances and workshops for the entire family. This summer, thanks to generous Canada 150 funding, all the activities are free.”

Potash adds, “In this year of Canada 150 and Canada’s belief in valuing individuality and uniqueness, AAQ West Island provides an opportunity to celebrate multiculturalism, including henna tattoos, an Islamic geometric drawing workshop, a Syrian artist’s photographs and foods of the world.”

AAQ West Island offers a combination of all the arts. Highlights include live beat box battles, classical music, fairy tale theatre, a variety of creative outlets including printmaking workshops, and of course, the adorable Teddy Bears’ Picnic.

All events take place at St. John Fisher Junior School, 87 Belmont, Pointe Claire from 11 am to 4 pm and are free!

Also, there will be dozens of kiosks with artists from across the West Island selling their work and giving demonstrations.

Montreal City Voices - WestmountMag.ca

Montreal City Voices

On stage

Saturday, September 23

11 am – Jamie Lee Saucier sings Canada 150
11:30 am – Teddy Bears’ Picnic with Shady West (5 and under with their adult)
Noon – Christopher Pennington from the Hello! Hello! Show (toddlers to five years)
12:45 pm – Wake Up Sleeping Beauty
1:45 pm – Exciting choose-your-own-adventure workshop (6 to12 years)
2 pm – Break City Street Dancing & Party Groove performance
2:30 pm – Judy Hung and her instrumentalists play classical music
3 pm – Jabbour, foot-stomping two-steps, steady swing, waltzes and enchanting melodies from Bill Collier, Carl Rufh and Guillaume Jabbour, collaborators in this song writing bilingual ensemble.

Sunday, September 24

11 am – Flashback Rock Band. This energetic group of 10 year olds do it all.
11:30 am – Teddy Bears’ Picnic with Shady West
Noon – Who’s afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf? musical by Gleams Theatre (4 years + and their families)
1:15 pm – Montreal City Voices. This spirited chorus sings gospel, modern and 60s music, all a Capella!
1:45 pm – Barbara Lewis, well-known singer-songwriter celebrates the 150th with favourite Canadian songs.
2:15 pm – Beat Boxing Battles with Malcolm Humes and Collective. Hear the sounds and learn the techniques.
3 pm – Antidote, contemporary Québec folk music by Pauline Tidbury, Daniel St-Jean and Ed Masseau.

Barbara Lewis - WestmountMag.ca

Barbara Lewis


Saturday, September 23

11:30 am – Creative Stitchery (6 years +)
Noon – Writing (11 years +)
12:30 pm – Islamic Geometric Art (8 years +)
12:45 pm – Wake Up Sleeping Beauty
1:45 pm – Exciting choose-your-own-adventure workshop (6 to12 years)
2 pm – Kite Decorating (6 years +)
2:30 pm –The Basics of Rug Hooking (6 years +)

Sunday, September 24

11:30 am – Lantern Making (10 years +)
2 pm – Creative Stitchery (6 years +)
3 pm – Printmaking with Recycled Materials (5 years +)

About Arts Alive! Québec

Arts 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—Knowlton, Quebec City, Hudson, Huntingdon, Wakefield and Montreal’s West Island—produce six individual festivals to showcase Quebec’s diverse cultural communities and innovative artists with activities and performances for the entire family!


Bouton S'inscrire à l'infolettre – WestmountMag.ca

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


Feature image: Jabbour
All images courtesy of the artists.

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