Pop Montreal’s Happening in New Space

sculpture June Barry sculpture. Port Royal Happening. Photo Angelique Koumouzelis

Photos Angelique Koumouzelis

Pop Montreal brought together fans of art and music in its new Ahuntsic location Port Royal. The sold-out event started with a charming vernissage of room-sized installations while DJ Andy Williams spun ambient vibe music. The pieces included a June Barry’s full room installation. This work reflected beams of light off shards of glass attached to organic sculptural works that hung from the ceiling. The dust in the room gave the light beams body, so that even they felt physical.

June Barry’s installation at Happening at Port Royal. Photo Angelique Koumouzelis.
June Barry’s installation at Happening at Port Royal. Photo Angelique Koumouzelis.

Just outside sat Junko’s installation piece which combined the remains of a race car with parts of trees and weeds. The result was an anthropomorphic vehicle that seemed otherworldly as it was bathed in a green light. Not far off was another zoomorphic beast covered with burrs for armour.

Junko at Happening at Port Royal. Photo Angelique Koumouzelis.
Junko at Happening at Port Royal. Photo Angelique Koumouzelis.

Equally eye-catching was Kezna Dalz’s mural filled with Matisse-like female bodies, mostly nude. The curvilinear lines, Sud-France-bright colors, animals, and flowers of the work, gave the space a much appreciated delightfully naive and playful touch. It should come as no surprise that lots of those in attendance posed in front of it for group shots and selfies.

Kezna Dalz’s painting at Happening at Port Royal. Photo Angelique Koumouzelis.

One corner of the space was transformed into a red-lit mock-Japanese zone by Louis Letters. It took a moment to realize that this was not Kanji, but simply a stylized fonts. Entering the corner, it was hard not to feel like a Sam Spade-type sent on a mission to track down a murderer in the seedy alleys of Tokyo.

Louis Letters at Pop Montreal Happening. Port Royal Space. Photo Angelique Koumouzelis.

As the vernissage began to wrap up, more and more people rolled in. Bodies began to dance as. DJ Elle Barbara picked up the pace. Soon, most but not all migrated into a second back performance space where Newfoundland duo CO/NTRY took the stage. The band combined synths with everything from noise music to stripped down punk, making for an appealing set of garage meets punk chaos.

CO/NTRY. Photo Rachel Levine.

Hearts really began to swell with Fernie. The warmth and talent of this soulful singer backed by a young multi-piece band delivered R&B worthy of any 90s singer. The marriage of this charismatic LGBTQ+ with the more macho world of R&B and disco calls to mind Prince as well as Queen. And oh can he sing from the heart. Keep an eye out for these Montrealers, because they have got that it.

Fernie at Pop Montreal Happening. Photo Rachel Levine.

The night continued on with appearances by Lydia Kepinski, CFCF, and others, ending with Bambii. All in all, it felt like for at least one night, Montreal’s artsy loft-party loving scenesters had a party moment between waves of covid variants.

Pop Montreal hosts many musical and artistic events, including Puces Pop, a flea market. For details on their offerings, click HERE.

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About Rachel Levine

Rachel Levine is the big cheese around here. Contact: Website | More Posts