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Entertainment + academia = POP!

POP Montréal and Concordia forge partnership for upcoming festival
September 4, 2013
By Tim Forster

To some, academia and pop rock may not seem the most natural fit. A new partnership between the Concordia University and POP Montréal is setting out to change that perception.

From September 25 to 29, POP Montréal is scheduled to showcase 400 independent musicians in an array of venues across the city. The festival — now in its 12th year — also runs a sizeable visual art component (Art POP, coordinated by Concordia alumna Johanna Heldebro); a film festival (Film POP); and a music and arts conference (POP Symposium, coordinated by alumnus Jared Leon).

This is where Concordia comes in: the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Film POP and the POP Symposium are collaborating with Los Angeles writer, director and producer Allison Anders (Gas Food Lodging, Things Behind The Sun) on a free film master class.


Over the course of her versatile 25-year career, Anders has explored feminism, underground music and questions of social justice in six features, while also calling the shots on high-budget television like The L Word and Sex and the City.

On Saturday, September 28, at 4 p.m., she’s bringing this expertise to the J.A. DeSève Cinema on the Sir George Williams Campus (1400 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.). Anders plans to share her experiences with DIY filmmaking, presenting an entertaining, informative class that takes into account both theory and practice.

Lit POP and artist talks

The Concordia-POP Montréal connection doesn’t stop at Allison Anders. This summer’s Lit POP literature competition, a joint venture with Matrix Magazine, is aimed at unearthing up-and-coming young fiction and poetry writers across North America.

Furthermore, POP and the Fine Arts Student Alliance (FASA) are setting up shop in the Abe and Harriet Gold Atrium of the Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex (1515 Ste-Catherine St. W.) for much of the first week of September to promote upcoming events to Concordia students and the broader community.

These include artist talks by Dan Graham and Turner-Prize-winner Elizabeth Price, workshops on arts grants, and even a discussion about composing video game scores.

The electro pop duo of Kara Keith and alumna Jen Reimer called UN. The electro pop duo known as UN is composed of Kara Keith and alumna Jen Reimer. | Photo courtesy of POP Montréal
Yamantaka//Sonic Titan Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, a group that combines rock, pop, opera and experimental visuals, features two former Concordia students. | Photo courtesy of POP Montréal

Top Concordia picks

From September 25 onwards, a whole lot of alumni will be on site at POP Montréal.

Our favourites are former fine arts students who go by the name Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, who combine rock, pop, opera and experimental visuals to stunning effect (September 27, 8 p.m., at Breakglass Studio), and UN, featuring alumna Jen Reimer — cold but catchy new wave at 1 a.m. the morning of September 28 (Club Lambi).

Here’s hoping that many more Concordians follow in their footsteps!

The POP Symposium is mostly free and will take place in the École des beaux-arts de Montréal (3450 St-Urbain St.) from September 25 to 29, concurrently with POP Montréal. View the full schedule on the POP Montréal website. 

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