Summer ends at Laval Songs with Festivals, while Diabassoon, Mosaique and LVL UP take place from August 5th to September 19th. Opportunities to celebrate culture in El Jesús have multiplied in recent years, as people want to make art a unifying tool. Step into the municipality that doesn’t want anything to envy in Montreal.
We want people to know Laval. There may be a negative connotation for Laval, but we are as cool as Montreal! A smile in her voice, Diabasson Festival programmer Laurence Perrault, doesn’t take half measures to talk about the region where the event is taking place. This year, the music festival, which was canceled in 2020, settled again in the Sainte-Rose district, north of the city.
From Thursday through Sunday, Patrick Watson, The Franklin Electric, Matt Holubowski, Elliot Maginot, Naya Ali, Les Deuxluxes, Émile Bilodeau and more take turns on the three stages of Diapason.
Journalism I went there on Thursday. The audience was there, St. Rose comes alive these days. The atmosphere was festive, but village festival style, in a nice sobriety. At Old Sainte-Rose, beautiful Gabrielle Shonk’s strings bounced off the buildings walls.
With her pink hair as shiny as Crocs’ yellow shoes, the singer-songwriter performed an hour of music for a full, happy audience. The fantastic group followed The Franklin Electric after dark.
Meanwhile, a few minutes away, at the Bois de l’Équerre, Ghostly Kisses were playing for 150 privileged people who had made it to the first concert of the Under the Stars series. After passing the residential area, after a shuttle ride and about a kilometer, we arrive at this secluded scene in the woods, which is one of the great successes of the festival.
Then Patrick Watson took charge of closing that first evening, in this magical place, in the middle of the woods. Alone on stage, but surrounded by a piano and all his acoustic instruments, he was very happy to give an impromptu half show, a little offbeat and very charming.
Diabasson celebrates the sound 12NS Anniversary this year. The festival is one sign of a growing bubble movement that wants to put culture at the fore at Laval.
We may be lesser known, but we’ve been active for a while. It will be more and more.
Steve Marco, music programmer at [co]Motion – the Laval company behind LVL UP – remembers arriving at Laval in 2017 after working for years on the Montreal scene. “There were things to come, a desire on the part of the organizations to carry out awareness projects, but nothing was clear so far,” he says. Everything had to be built, but there was acceptance. ”
The first edition of the LVL UP Rap and Digital Arts Festival was held in 2019 and the second edition will kick off on September 16th. When it came to building what would become LVL UP, “there was momentum to build on culture in the city’s development,” says Steve Marco.
This momentum has served the project well and is reflected in many other initiatives. Among these, the new village of Laval, also designed by [co]Movement – suggestion. The idea? Give more “liveliness” to the Montmorency square quadrant, as LVL UP is already preparing its quadrants.
The goal is to create a cultural space, a place where people can gather, have a drink, and a stone’s throw from the metro. We want to bring together different actors [culturels]and work with them.
Steve Marco, music programmer at [co]movement – suggestion
“And not only this year, we like to live in a quadrangle all summer long [dans l’avenir] Steve Marco explains.
So other cultural events were invited to come and settle there. The Mosaic Festival, which will make its first attempt from August 26-29, has responded. “It’s a strange year to launch a festival,” agrees Carl Eric Heddon, the programmer for Central Artists who designed and produced the event. The draft of the festival, born of an idea generator that brought together several organizations, dates back to before the pandemic. The project received the support of the City of Laval and the organizers did not shy away from the challenge of launching it within the constraints of the health situation.
Mosaïque will give concerts for TEKE::TEKE, Sarahmée, Elisapie and Afrikana Soul Sister at the end of August. It’s primarily a musical programme, Carl-Eric Heddon agrees, and it’s not as multidisciplinary as the festival’s mission requires.
Once again, COVID-19 has changed the rules of the game, but it’s just a postponement, because the event is here forever, I hope the organizers.
If Diapason and LVL UP have fairly broad goals in terms of their audience, inviting Laval residents as well as Montreal residents and North Shore residents to their event, “Laval is the audience we’re trying to attract” in Mosaic. Everyone is welcome, of course, but accessibility for Laval residents, above all, was an important check box in the development of the festival.
Make Laval Shine
At the Diabassone Festival, visitors’ animals come mainly from El Jesus and the North Shore, but also from Montreal and elsewhere. He is also very much in favor of discovering the ubiquitous Sainte-Rose, restaurants, shops and bars.
According to Laurence Perreault, as in the eyes of programmers LVL UP and Mosaïque, this is only the beginning of something beautiful about Laval. “There are as many different tastes as people are in life, so it’s good to have a lot to offer different things,” says programmer Diabasson.
Steve Marco says: “We all develop events with a beautiful unique character. Events that make no apologies for being in Laval, who are aware of their environment and work to enhance it. We want to continue to be rooted in the community and get as many people as possible. There is a way to make Laval shines through with its culture.”
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