Shows at La Sala Rossa

Doors open at 7:30 pm.

February 11

8:30 pm

Les Délices de la langue

A show featuring eight playful and sincere artists presenting their poems, stories and songs. In French.

Opening show hosted by Élizabeth Gagnon, who brought us our musical roots for many wonderful years on Radio-Canada’s now defunct Chaîne culturelle.

The evening will feature this year’s guest of honour, Chloé Sainte-Marie, singing a number of songs accompanied by her guitarist, Réjean Bouchard, who worked with her on the show Je marche à toi. Also performing will be the charming Ginette, a singer who travels between city and country, plays the piano, guitar, and accordion, and raises goats; young storyteller Renée Robitaille, who tells her delightful, touching and poetic stories with wit and finesse; poet-singers Charles Guilbert and Guylaine Coderre, who are united by a multidisciplinary approach and a shared commitment to craftsmanship; and three great poets: Paul Chamberland, Denise Desautels and Martine Audet.

To accompany these wordsmiths, three musicians, all virtuosos and improvisers: Bernard Falaise, a pillar of the Festival, on guitar; the energetic Rémi Leclerc on drums; and Patrick Hamilton on bass.

We are grateful to La Paryse for sponsoring the show.

February 12

8:30 pm

Un Ouragan d’air frais

A show featuring young artists. A gust of fresh air. In French.

For a great ending to a day devoted to new voices, new publishers and new production houses, the FVA has invited 13 young poets, performers and writers to shake the cage: Jade Bérubé and Éric Dupont, whose work is published by Marchand de feuilles; “poètes de brousse” Alexandre Faustino and David Wormäker; Àlain Farah, Renée Gagnon and Daniel Canty who publishes with the Éditions du Quartanier and the poetry magazine C’est Selon; Claudine Vachon and Stéphane Surprenant from Les Éditions Rodrigol; Patrick Brisebois from L’Effet Pourpre; the discerning Mathieu Laliberté and l’Ensemble Camp; and the eclectic free-noise duo of A_dontigny and David Turgeon.

To add a bit of anarchy and keep things moving on stage, the FVA will bring in none other than the sporty Abdigradationnistes as hosts for the evening.

February 13

8:30 pm

Poetry Riddim Memory

Hosted by:
Kaie Kellough
Stephen Thomas
BLU Rva (Roen Higgins)
Odessa “Queen” Thornhill
Jason “Blackbird” Selman
Josephine Watson
and special guest:
Lillian Allen (Toronto)

Zibz Black Current
Neil “Bassone” Benskin

La Sala Rossa, Montréal, Québec


Show featuring some of Montreal’s finest performers from the black community.

Recorded by CBC Radio One.

These performers from the Montreal black community work in and around the great Kalmunity Vibe Collective and the Ark of Infinity. They make their texts “groove” with cosmic connections and their work is shaped by their convictions, which recognize that artistic creation can serve as a tool of social and political activism.

If you have never seen them perform at the Sablo Café or Coco Café or in one of the Kalmunity shows, this is an opportunity to discover the powerful and sensual voices of young women like BLU Rva (Roen Higgins), Odessa “Queen” Thornhill and Josephine Watson who can let fly with improvised songs; dynamic performer Steven Thomas; and the versatile Jason “Blackbird” Selman who can deliver his lines as well as blow his trumpet. With the sensual and organic music of Jahsun (drums), Zibz Black Current (percussion) and Neil “Bassone” Benskin (bass).

Special guest: One of the most eminent dub poets in Canada, Jamaican-born performer Lillian Allen (who also appears in Body and Soul 2).

The show will be taped for later broadcast by CBC Radio One. Producer: Meredith Dellandrea.

February 14

8:30 pm


Chloé Sainte-Marie

Réjean Bouchard
Gilles Tessier
Gilles Bélanger

La Sala Rossa, Montréal, Québec


in poem and song, Chloé enters her plea
on behalf of those who are in need
on behalf of those she loves
on behalf of the caregivers
in a show like none other
with courage, sincerity, compassion
with steely determination and conviction…
and soft sweet songs

A platform for our guest of honour. In French.

An original show by this year’s guest of honour Chloé Sainte-Marie, accompanied by three musicians and a chorus of caregivers.

Chloé Sainte-Marie will offer a uniquely moving show, a gift from the heart to mark Valentine’s Day. She will speak about her life and sings songs and poems by Gaston Miron, accompanied by her musicians-guitarist Réjean Bouchard, the versatile Gilles Tessier (guitars and other instruments) and Gilles Bélanger who plays the accordion and harmonica and composes most of Chloé’s songs. A chorus of caregivers will join her on stage as the poetic voice of a reality we have too long ignored.

For love and because it is also her reality, Chloé Sainte-Marie is making common cause with caregivers (those who care for a loved one, former partner, or parent), seeking to help pass legislation to get assistance for them from society. It was in 1991 that the first symptoms of Parkinson disease appeared in Gilles Carle. This illness attacks the motor skills with devastating effect. Gilles Carle currently requires assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year-yet the existing services offer no help. This is the situation for 2.5 million caregivers in Canada. It would cost the government $170,000 per patient per year to give hospital care to these patients. It would cost about $140,000 to care for them in a home setting. But at present, there are no programs to help caregivers.

Chloé Sainte-Marie grew up in rural Quebec and had a difficult childhood, far from the artistic milieu. Her meeting with filmmaker Gilles Carle, her life partner for the past 22 years, brought a profound change to her life. In 2000, Chloé released the CD Je pleure tu pleures which caught the public and the artistic milieu by surprise. The album earned seven ADISQ nominations and the world discovered that behind the actress was a singer with a magnificent voice and great sensitivity. On her second album, Je marche à toi, Chloé Sainte-Marie brought together her authentic creativity and poetic texts with great lucidity, to public and critical acclaim.

February 15

8:30 pm

Body and Soul 2

Hosted by:
D. Kimm
• from Toronto, the powerful
Motion in Poetry
and the groundbreaking
Lillian Allen
• from Calgary, the spirited
Sheri-D Wilson
• from Montreal, the fabulous and effervescent
Karen Young
in partnership with dancer
Lin Snelling
• accompanied by bassist
Éric Auclair

La Sala Rossa, Montréal, Québec


these are not harmless girls
these are women with powerful spirits and talents to match
who have cut their paths through the world with their words
in their own inimitable ways

Five inspired and inspiring women who are all in their own distinct ways dazzling on-stage.

The FVA loves women who bring a certain intensity, power and generosity to the stage. After the enormous success of last year’s show, the second Body and Soul features five inspired and inspiring women.

Don’t miss Jamaican-born activist dub poet Lillian Allen, who’s back in Toronto after a stint in New York. With her rhythmic and declamatory vocal style and her strong personality, she is the embodiment of the artist. Also on the lineup are the powerful Motion in Poetry from Toronto, a dynamo who balances irony and wry observations with great emotion; the fabulous Sheri-D Wilson from Calgary, poet, playwright, performer, director, producer, and artistic director of the Calgary International Spoken Word Festival: nicknamed “The Mama of Dada,” Sheri is internationally known for her free spirit and jazz approach; Karen Young, with her amazing voice and a life that has been guided by curiosity and boldness; and dancer Lin Snelling, another great Montreal artist, who will join Karen Young for the first time, accompanied by bass player Éric Auclair.

February 16

8:30 pm

Full bilingue

Hosted by:
Danette MacKay + Harry Standjofski
Susie Arioli + Jordan Officer
Norman Nawrocki
Claude McKenzie
Thomas Hellman + Olaf Gundel

La Sala Rossa, Montréal, Québec


A bilingual show with verve and wit for a city whose head spins with language. Vive la difference! In English, French and Innu.

Recorded by CBC Radio One.

Cabaret hosted by actors Danette Mackay and Harry Standjofski, who can play with words in French as well as in English!

A get-together for singers and an anarchist performer who grew up or work in more than one language. A typically Montreal duality, n’est pas?

Susie Arioli, with a wonderfully unique voice, and Jordan Officer, guitarist and talented arranger, explore jazz from the 30s, 40s and 50s with elan and audacity, switching back and forth from French to English. A Texan on his father’s side and French on his mother’s side, Quebec-born Thomas Hellman is one of the top young singer-songwriters, whose first album Stories from Oscar’s Old Café has been called a major musical discovery by both French and English critics. He will be accompanied by pianist Olaf Gundel. The Innu singer Claude McKenzie met with great success as part of the duo Kashtin and he is finally back on the scene after a seven-year absence. Performer and anarchist violinist Norman Nawrocki is one of the pillars of the underground scene, an activist who has founded numerous bands and made many albums featuring his wild political and anti-sexist music.

February 17

8:30 pm

Combat contre la langue de bois, premier round

Spectacle animé par le grand manitou de «Macadam tribus»:
Jacques Bertrand
Michel Garneau (poète)
Ève Lamont (vidéaste)
Ève Cournoyer (chanteuse)
Hélène Pedneault (écrivaine)
Michel Faubert (conteur)
Stanley Péan (écrivain)
Loco Locass (performeurs)
Pol Pelletier (femme de théâtre)
François Patenaude (Zapartiste)
interventions musicales et mise à mort des discours trop longs:
Olivier Langevin + Fred Fortin

La Sala Rossa, Montréal, Québec


… telling it like it is
we give the floor to people with something to say
who aren’t shy about saying it
a boxing match against inertia, laziness, indifference…
6 minutes to deliver the knockout blow

One soap box, ten people, six minutes each, two crazy musicians and Jacques Bertrand to crack the whip. No right of reply. No second chance. Don’t miss it. (Unfortunately for us anglos, this year in French only.)

Hosted by the great manitou of Macadam Tribus, Jacques Bertrand, and with house band Fred Fortin and Olivier Langevin, whose job will be to cut off anyone who tries to go on and on and on…

This is an opportunity for those who want to quit complaining and take action. Do something. Get moving. Be quick. Face the great challenge in an evening of intellectual danger. The FVA has invited exceptional artists, great talkers, sincere and committed performers, who will speak frankly from the gut, with wit, to say what they want to say about a subject that is near to their heart. Each performer has six minutes. With clear and direct words. This isn’t a round table or a debate. No right to reply. No second chance. It’s a boxing match against inertia, laziness, meekness and indifference. And it’s just the first round!

In the ring will be poet Michel Garneau, independent producer and documentary maker Ève Lamont, writer and feminist Hélène Pedneault, storyteller Michel Faubert, the versatile Stanley Péan (newly elected president of UNEQ, congratulations and good luck!), the petulant Loco Locass, the lively singer Ève Cournoyer, the powerhouse of Quebec theatre Pol Pelletier, the brilliant Zapartiste François Patenaude and Pierre Allard and Annie Roy of the indispensable ATSA (Action terroriste socialement acceptable).

With such strong personalities on the stage, we needed to bring in the great manitou of Macadam Tribus, Jacques Bertrand, to host the evening’s mayhem. We have also invited the fabulous musicians Olivier Langevin and Fred Fortin to cut off anyone who dares to go beyond their allotted six minutes. Those with sensitive ears and temperaments are asked to tune out!

To give this magnificent event reach beyond the room, Radio-Canada’s nationally broadcast Porte ouverte will be on hand and will prepare a special program on the Combat and the Festival for the following Thursday, with host Raymond Cloutier (another great speaker famous for saying what he thinks). Producer-coordinator: Christine Germain.

February 18

8:30 pm

Une fanfare qui parle

Fanfare Pourpour
special guest:
Chloé Sainte-Marie

La Sala Rossa, Montréal, Québec


Meet the people behind the famous Fanfare. Hear their stories and their original works.

No need to understand French or English. Just follow the beat.

The festival will wrap up with La Fanfare Pourpour in an original show that will be both poetic and theatrical. The members of the fabled Fanfare speak in words and song about their life and work in one of Montreal’s most amazing musical ensembles. With musicians ranging in age from 24 to 69, the group functions as a true collective. Their music inspires, delights, and makes your feet move and your body sway… Also featuring the Festival guest of honour Chloé Sainte-Marie.

And the Festival ends with a dance to the music, of course, of the great Fanfare Pourpour.