The Blue Metropolis literary organizers really know how to vary the program so there’s something for everybody in the community of readers.
The festival welcomes famous and emerging writers from Quebec, Canada, and from all over the world.
There are lots of happenings for students and benefits and activities to promote literacy at all levels. There’s storytelling for kids and all sorts of games and spontaneous conversations that go on between writers and their readers. A lot of the events that happen during the festival will be broadcast on CBC stations across the country.
This year, the Blue Met will be paying special attention to writers and artists behind comic strips comic strips, an event that I’m especially looking forward to because when I read, I like pictures!
There’s lots of other cool stuff going on: This year, events will be happening in several languages: English and French, naturally, as well as in Spanish and Inuktitut.
One of the festival’s biggest events will welcome Norman Cohn, the producer of Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, the first aboriginal-language feature movie ever made in Canada. It was shot in 1999 up in Igloolik and is the first film that was written, directed, acted in and shot by Inuit. Atanarjuat will be screened at Montreal’s Cinema du Parc and will be accompanied by a reading from the script in English and Inuktitut by Ruth Avingaq. Atanarjuat won the Camera d’Or at the world-famous Cannes Film Festival: it has been called, among other things, “the most erotic film ever made in Canada.” If you haven’t seen this movie yet, it’s worth the trip down to Montreal just to see it on the big screen as it will be presented at Blue Met. (The film will be screened with commentary on Saturday, April 5 at Montreal’s Cinema Du Parc. Tickets are $5. The script reading takes place on Sunday, April 6,7 pm at the Hotel Renaissance du Parc) (3625 Ave. du Parc, and tickets are $5).
Another special guest at the festival will be Gerald Taiaiake Alfred, the influential Mohawk writer. Alfred was born at Tiohtia:ke and now teaches social philosophy at the University of Victoria. He is the author of Heeding the Voices of our Ancestors, a book about militancy in Mohawk nationhood, and Peace, Power, Righteousness: an indigenous manifesto and writes strident columns on his website at www.taiaiake.com. (Watch this space for a possible interview with Taiaiake after the festival!)
Next weekend, Alfred will also host a workshop called “Reading and Writing the Indigenous World” with a new generation of Mohawk writers: Teyowisonte Deer, Aiana Goodleaf, Kanentokan Hemlock, Greg Horn, and Audra Simpson. They will discuss the meaning and uses of the written word in the traditional oral aboriginal cultures. Admission to this event, on Saturday, April 5th at 7:30 pm, is at 3625 Parc Ave, and it’s free!
There are lots of writers and readings that are worth a look at the Blue Met festival. You can find more information by calling 514-937-bleu or going on the website at www.blue-met-bleu.com
If you’re looking for tickets (most of the events are free or 5$, call toll-free 1-800-361-4595 for tickets.