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Hallelujah! 4 great ways to pay homage to Leonard Cohen

NOV. 6-9: Join Concordians for a singalong, freshly painted murals and more
November 6, 2017
By Karly Beard

Photo by Old Ideas, LLC, courtesy of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal Photo by Old Ideas, LLC, courtesy of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal

His music, poetry and novels resonate with people all over the world, but Leonard Cohen had a special relationship with Montreal. Born and raised in Westmount, he was a long-time presence in the city’s artistic scenes.

This week, to mark the one-year anniversary of his death, several local events pay tribute to his life and work. Check out a guide to our top four, and find out how Concordia students past and present are honouring Cohen’s legacy.

1. Hallelujah video walk and singalong

Looking for a way to participate in a tribute? The Hallelujah Video Walk and Singalong with grad students from Concordia’s Film Studies Program could be the event for you. Join a procession down Saint-Laurent Boulevard, surrounded by others carrying handheld projectors playing filmed recordings of Cohen’s famous song “Hallelujah.”

When the procession reaches Parc du Portugal, where Leonard Cohen kept a home for many years, participants will be joined for a singalong by a community choir led by Kathy Kennedy. 

WHEN: Tuesday, November 7 at 6 p.m.
WHERE: The Van Horne Viaduct, Saint-Laurent Boulevard and de L’Arcade Street. 

Photo by Claude Guassian, courtesy of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal Photo by Claude Guassian, courtesy of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal

2. Une brèche en toute chose / A Crack in Everything exhibition

This exhibition at the Musée d’art contemporaine de Montréal promises full immersion in the world of Leonard Cohen. It’s suited for both superfans and newcomers in need of a crash course in the artist’s work. Though the show was in the works before Cohen’s death, it now serves as a memorial to the beloved artist.

With 40 artists of all different media exploring and responding to Cohen’s work, Une brèche en toute chose / A Crack in Everything showcases a massive collection of installations and artworks, archival material and musical offerings.

A public artwork by famed American artist Jenny Holzer will light up the iconic Silo No. 5 in Montreal’s Old Port. Alumna Mouna Andraos (BA 00) and Melissa Mongiat, as well as the Sanchez Brothers, Carlos (BFA 01) and Jason (BFA 01), also feature in the exhibition.

Alongside the show are live concerts scheduled throughout the winter. Each is dedicated to a particular Cohen album and many feature Concordia graduates and former students like Martha Wainwright, Little Scream (Laura Sprengelmeyer, GrCert 02) and Katie Moore (MA 16).

Contributing US artist Michael Rakowitz will deliver the Wild Talks lecture at Concordia on November 21. 

WHAT: Une brèche en toute chose / A Crack in Everything
WHEN: Opens Thursday, November 9
WHERE: The Musée d’art contemporaine de Montréal.

WHAT: Jenny Holzer installation
WHEN: From Tuesday, November 7 to Saturday, November 11
WHERE: Silo No. 5, Montreal’s Old Port

Find out more about concert information and listings


Photo by Olivier Bousquet Photo by Olivier Bousquet

3. MU Mural tribute to Leonard Cohen

By now most Montrealers are familiar with the enormous mural portrait of Leonard Cohen that towers over Crescent Street downtown. Taking a moment to admire this work is an instant way to remember the city’s most beloved artist.

The large-scale painting, which features an image of Cohen wearing his signature fedora, was produced by MU and created by Concordia alumnus Gene Pendon (BFA 94), noted muralist El Mac and aided by a half-dozen current fine arts students: Corinne Lachance, Nicole Kuentzle, Marie Lemieux, Claudia Persechino-Morin, Annie Provençal and François Sarrazin.

The completion of the project will be celebrated during a private event at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts this week, attended by former Montreal mayor Denis Coderre and members of the Cohen family. 

4.  Leonard Cohen: Rituels d’absence / Rituals of Absence exhibition at the Museum of Jewish Montreal

Interested in understanding how Montrealers responded to Cohen’s passing? The images included in photographer Morgane CG’s show Leonard Cohen: Rituels d’absence / Rituals of Absence are not scenes from Cohen’s life or work. Instead they contemplate the aftermath of his death, particularly focusing on the memorials and tributes that surrounded Cohen’s home in Montreal.

It’s the first exhibition in the museum’s new Rituals // Fragments series. This is the last full week that the show will be on display, so get there while you can!

WHEN: Until Thursday, November 12
WHERE: The Museum of Jewish Montreal, 4040 Boulevard Saint Laurent

Learn more about Leonard Cohen’s ties to to Jewish Montreal from Concordia professor Norman Ravvin. 


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