OPTIMISTA: CINÉCONFERENCES FOR A HOPEFUL TOMORROW
Saturday, February 11 @ 7 PM
QUAI 5160 – Verdun Cultural Centre
THE THIRD IN A UNIQUE SERIES OF MULTIDISCIPLINARY CULTURAL EXPERIENCES FEATURING WORLD-RENOWNED KEYNOTE SPEAKERS, AWARD-WINNING FILMS, AND EXHIBITIONS & PERFORMANCES BY LOCAL ARTISTS
Yellow Pad Sessions (YPS), a Montreal non-profit arts organization whose mission is art for social change, is delighted to present Love, the third of four instalments of its latest cultural event: OPTIMISTA, an ambitious multidisciplinary art project intended to inspire and encourage during uncertain times through a celebration of the human spirit.
On Saturday, February 11 (7 PM) at QUAI 5160 at the Maison de la Culture Verdun, Love will screen Call Me Human (Je m’appelle humain), the acclaimed Quebec documentary about award-winning Innu poet Joséphine Bacon. Audiences will also be treated to a heartfelt poetry recital by Bacon while accompanied by acclaimed vocalist, musician, and actress, Laur Fugère, a Cirque du Soleil collaborator and a creative contributor to Les Misérables and Cats, among others. Additionally, Canadian painter Hannaleah Ledwell will be on site to present works from her latest series, Anthropomorphe. The event will be preceded and followed by a cocktail party with signature OPTIMISTA cocktails & mocktails.
The evening begins with Laur Fugère whose work and performances have been described as ethereal and she sings with an angelic voice that transports souls and raises spirits. Having worked over 25 years with Cirque du Soleil, Fugère will create a profound, dreamy experience with a stage blanketed with countless oversized candle-lit bowls, and world instruments, all of it bathed in sound. Following her solo performance, she’ll accompany Joséphine Bacon during a recital of her poems curated expressly for OPTIMISTA and the evening’s theme of Love.
Innu poet from Pessamit, Quebec, Joséphine Bacon has won numerous awards, including the National Order of Quebec, Prix des libraires du Québec, Indigenous Voices Awards, and the prestigious Champion of the Order of Arts and Letters of Quebec, as well as being a finalist for the Governor General’s Award. Her extensive works, books, and filmography has led to her often being called the voice of Innu arts & culture. Clearly a national treasure, Bacon will engage and enthrall OPTIMISTA audiences of all ages and cultures.
The evening continues with the acclaimed film, Call Me Human, directed by Kim O’Bomsawin, a touching portrait of Joséphine Bacon that merited four Prix Gémeaux in 2021 (Best Documentary, Best Direction, Best Sound and Best Original Music.) Terre Innue writes: “When elders leave us, a link to the past vanishes along with them. Innu writer Joséphine Bacon exemplifies a generation that is bearing witness to a time that will soon have passed away. With charm and diplomacy, she leads a charge against the loss of a language, a culture, and its traditions. On the trail of Papakassik, the master of the caribou, Call Me Human proposes a foray into a people’s multimillennial history, in the company of a woman of great spirit who has devoted her life to passing on her knowledge and that of her ancestors. In her language, Innu means human.” Optimista and YPS cannot but agree.
In keeping with OPTIMISTA’s unique multi-disciplinary program, Love will present works from Canadian painter, Hanneleah Ledwell. She’ll be showcasing five of her striking works, compelling paintings which intimately explore the multiple languages of love and depict physical manifestations between lovers or with oneself, and explores the visceral experience of touch. The meditative works invite the spectator to reflect on vulnerability and the expression of love.
DATE – February 11, 2023
KEYNOTE SPEAKER – Recipient of the National Order of Québec, Innu poet, author, and advocate, Josephine Bacon.
FILM SCREENINGS – Call Me Human (Je m’appelle humain) about Josephine Bacon, directed by Kim O’Bomsawin. Original version w/ English subtitles.
PERFORMANCE – Laur Fugère, vocalist for Cirque du Soleil, Les Misérables, Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, and many more. Josephine Bacon will also recite her poems on the love of her culture, her language, and the next generation of Innu youth.
EXHIBITION – Visual artist Hannaleah Ledwell will present oil paintings that explore different languages of love and its visceral experiences.
COCKTAIL PARTY – With signature OPTIMISTA cocktails & mocktails.
Doors at 7 PM / Events at 8 PM
QUAI 5160 – Maison de la Culture Verdun
5160 LaSalle Boulevard, Montreal, QC H4H 1N8
$15 → Regular (1 evening)
$13 → Students & 65+ (1 evening)
Special considerations for those in need with a ‘pay it forward’ program