Our 2022 Festival was a roaring success! Click on the links in the program below to rewatch a selection of our events.
Bloomsday 2022 Festival Schedule of Events
Friend of the Festival Craig Morriss once again exhibited his brilliant and delightful caricatures of Joyce and his modernist milieu for our festival via a special page on his website. Click here to view!
Saturday June 11
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM: A walking tour of Haunted Old Montreal, on the theme of Ripples.
Old Montreal is the city’s most haunted neighborhood. Since colonial times, the area has witnessed countless horrors – genocide, warfare, plagues, disasters, heinous crimes, tragedies and shocking deaths.
These dark episodes ripple through time, leaving deranged legends, haunting history – and a plethora of ghosts and paranormal activity.
Irish-Montreal tour guide Donovan King, founder of Haunted Montreal, led us through the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal on this new ghost walk!
2:00 PM: Opening event: We hosted a discussion led by His Excellency, Eamonn McKee, Irish Ambassador to Canada, and international Joyce scholar, Dr. John McCourt, moderated by Dennis Trudeau. CLICK HERE TO REWATCH THIS EVENT!
Sunday June 12
11:30 AM: Brunch at the Burgundy Lion (2496 Notre-Dame West). Hungry for food and lively conversation? Our popular brunch returned, where Bloomsday friends meet fellow Joyce enthusiasts.
8:00 PM: Music and Words! We were delighted to stage a gala concert featuring Thomas de Hartmann’s song cycle to text from Joyce’s Ulysses and Debbie Wiess’s humorous one-act play featuring James Joyce and Marcel Proust in conversation. CLICK HERE TO REWATCH THIS EVENT!
Monday June 13
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Morning academic panels at McGill, entitled Joyce: Tantalizing the Mind’s Ear, featuring scholars Benjamin Wenzelberg (joining us remotely from Boston), Geraldina Mendez, Andre Furlani, and Peter Stockland (all in-person). CLICK HERE TO REWATCH THIS EVENT!
1:30 PM – 3:30 PM: Afternoon academic panels at McGill. entitled, Many Minds Make Light Work: Ulysses Reading Groups Around the World, featuring Elizabeth Salerno (joining us remotely from New York), Kevin Wright, and Jamie Salomon (both in person). CLICK HERE TO REWATCH THIS EVENT!
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM: Inspire your inner Joyce – a creative writing exploration led by Louise Cauchon, at McGill.
Tuesday June 14
2:00 PM: The Cutting Edge: Creation, Innovation, Carving a Path
Wednesday June 15
7:00 PM: Music of yesteryear with a contemporary twist: a concert with the violin and fiddle duo, Archetype Trad (Kate Bevan-Baker and Émilie Brulé), at the Westmount Baptist Church. CLICK HERE TO REWATCH THIS EVENT!
Thursday June 16
11:00 AM – 12:35 PM: Readings from Ulysses, hosted by Kevin Wright, in the Westmount Room, Westmount Library. CLICK HERE TO REWATCH THIS EVENT!
1:35 PM – 4:00 PM: We convened for more readings, including our annual closer, Molly Bloom’s reverie, read by Kathleen Fee, in the Westmount Room, Westmount Library. CLICK HERE TO REWATCH THIS EVENT!
To rewatch our previous events from February, see the following links:
Or read on about our previous programming, below!
Flesh and Other Fragments of Love
A Dramatic Reading
An original literary event celebrating Irish culture in Montreal: the team behind the award-winning production of Une vie pour deux: La chair et autres fragments de l’amour presented a reading of the play Flesh and Other Fragments of Love.
Inspired by the novel Une vie pour deux by Marie Cardinal, Governor General’s award-winning playwright, Evelyne de la Chenelière, and director, Alice Ronfard, created a theatrical gem. Revived three times at Montreal’s Espace Go, the play went on an extended tour throughout Quebec moving audiences with its tender, brutal, heart-wrenching lyricism.
The critics say:
“Truly compelling. … reminiscent of the Irish playwright J. M. Synge, whose language was poetic and unnatural, yet strangely honest.” –Istvan Dugalin, Mooney on Theatre
“A beautiful, poetic piece. The writing is in equal parts sophisticated, sensitive, and ironic. ” —Marie Labrecque, Le Devoir
“Evelyne de la Chenelière’s play is magnificently well-written, triggering deeply-felt emotions. A superb piece… as troubling as it is moving. ” —Louise Bourbonnais, Journal de Montréal
On the coast of Sligo, a vacationing couple find a drowned woman washed up on the beach. Pierre and Simone project the anxieties, jealousies, and dashed hopes of their 20-year marriage onto the corpse. As they weave fact and imagination to piece together Mary’s story, her presence insinuates itself into their lives. The play evolves into a kind of autopsy of romantic love.
The text is dotted with sly nods to Ireland’s great writers, Synge, Wilde, and Joyce as well as Sligo’s own W. B. Yeats. Mary even compares herself to Molly Bloom. The masterful translation more than does justice to the original.
Playwright Evelyne de la Chenelière’s work has garnered a Governor General’s Award, a Les Masques Award, and an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Picture. One of her most popular plays, the deceptively frothy romantic comedy, Strawberries in January, has had over 50 productions on stages across North America and abroad. In recent years audiences have been enthralled by her intensely researched collaborative works exploring the edge of consciousness. Also in demand as an actor in theatre, film, television, Evelyne originated the role of Mary in the first production of this play at Espace Go in 2011.
Translator Linda Gaboriau is a member of the Order of Canada. She has translated over 125 literary works including many of the Quebec plays best known to English-speaking audiences at the Stratford and Shaw Festivals and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Her deft linguistic artistry has earned her numerous Governor General’s Awards for translation. Linda served as the founding director of the Banff International Literary Translation Centre.
Alice Ronfard has directed over 30 plays and won shelffuls of awards in Canada and abroad, tackling the great classics and brand new works with equal verve. Whether the text is by Euripides, Molière, Shakespeare, or de la Chenelière, Alice brings a depth of curiosity and inventiveness to the creative process. A consummate, visionary artist, she directs operas and circus productions, curates museum installations, writes and collaborates on scripts, and, whenever she can, teaches directing, production, scriptwriting, and acting to new and emerging theatre artists.
Violette Chauveau has acted in more than sixty plays, giving life to the words of Michel Tremblay, Evelyne de la Chenelière, and Steve Gagnon, to name a few. She has worked with renowned stage directors including André Brassard, Alice Ronfard, Sébastien Harrisson, Michael Delaunoy, and Serge Denoncourt. She has also appeared in many television and film productions, including L’âge des ténèbres, by Denys Arcand, Laurence Anyways by Xavier Dolan, and Miraculum by Podz. She won the Prix de la Critique for her acclaimed performance in Une vie pour deux, the original French production of this play.
A National Theatre School of Canada alumnus (class of ’86), Normand Bissonnette has devoted most of his career to the theatre. He has performed in over 50 productions, including at Théâtre du Bois-de-Coulonge, Théâtre le Trident, Théâtre français de Toronto, and Théâtre la Bordée. He also worked as an actor and writer in several Robert Lepage shows and projects, including The 7 Streams of the River Ota and Tectonic Plates.
Ève Gadouas comes from a long line of actors and musicians and knew from an early age she would follow in their footsteps. Since graduating from the National Theatre School of Canada in 2005 she has established a career working with such notable directors as Normand Chouinard and Brigitte Haentjens on stage, Sophie Lorain and Marc Labrèche on television, and household names, Denys Arcand and Denis Villeneuve, in film. She is also in demand as a narrator.
History of the Project
Novelist, Marie Cardinal, was born in Algeria. She and her actor-director-teacher husband, Jean-Pierre Ronfard, moved to Montreal from France in the 1960s. The incident—finding a body on a beach in Sligo—really happened. Years later Cardinal used it in her novel, Une vie pour deux. Decades later, Quebec actor and writer, Evelyne de la Chenelière, used it as the focus of her play, La chair et autres fragments de l’amour. She brought the project to theatre director, Alice Ronfard, who happens to be the daughter of the original couple. Alice gave Evelyne access to some of her mother’s personal papers which helped fill in the blanks. Once the play was written, Alice assembled her cast: Violette Chauveau as Simone, Jean-François Casabonne as Pierre, and playwright Evelyne de la Chenelière herself as the drowned Mary. Workshops followed, leading to a full production at Montreal’s Espace Go. The organic, simple staging was a big factor in the play’s success. It proved a perfect backdrop for the actors’ deep, rich character work. In 2012, Violette won the Quebec Theatre Critics’ Association Best Actress Award for her performance as Simone. The play proved so popular that, in a move virtually unheard of in Canadian theatre, Espace Go remounted it twice for a multi-week run. Alice then partnered with Luc Bourdon to make a film of Une vie pour deux, which included an archival interview with Marie Cardinal from when her book was first published. The film was released in cinemas in 2014. Also around that time, acclaimed wordsmith, Linda Gaboriau, translated the play into English and created a sadly neglected masterpiece. For some years, Violette and Alice have been seeking a way to bring the magic of their original production to an English-speaking audience. We, at Festival Bloomsday Montreal are proud to provide a platform to move the project a step forward. Hearing this superb text read aloud will be a treat in itself.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of James Joyce’s groundbreaking novel Ulysses, Festival Bloomsday Montreal presented two events live online:
At noon, a lively hour of words and music in French hosted by Louise Cauchon, featuring readings from Ulysses by actors Jean Marchand and Kathleen Fee, and with music by fiddler, Kate Bevan-Baker, PhD.
At 7:00 PM, we donned our party hats and toasted James Joyce in English on his 140th birthday! Featuring a world première of the Ulysses Suite by Geraldina Mendez: Joyce’s words set to music in a cycle of five miniatures, and Kevin Birmingham, award-winning author of The Most Dangerous Book, in conversation with veteran broadcaster, Dennis Trudeau.
Original promotional material for these two events follows:
2 Fev. 2022, 12:00
On s’entend qu’Ulysse a 100 ans
Pour célébrer le 100e anniversaire de la publication d’Ulysse de James Joyce, le Festival Bloomsday Montréal présentera une présentation enlevante des mots de Joyce et d’une musique irlandaise sera animée par Louise Cauchon. Les deux lectures seront données par M. Jean Marchand et Mme Kathleen Fee, et la musique par Mme Kate Bevan-Baker.
Publié à Paris le 2 février 1922, ce roman rocambolesque raconte l’odyssée d’un certain Léopold Bloom à travers la ville de Dublin. Qualifié de « cathédrale de prose », il est considéré comme l’un des romans les plus importants de la littérature moderne. Rigolo, extravagant, touchant, brillant, érotique, vulgaire, diffamatoire, humain, il mérite d’être lu à haute voix.
Soyez des nôtres pour une heure de plaisir, à midi. Les comédiens Jean Marchand et Kathleen Fee liront des extraits du livre et la violoniste Kate Bevan-Baker jouera de la musique irlandaise traditionnelle. Laissez-vous transporter dans les rues pavées de Dublin et dans la chambre de M. et Mme Bloom par une chaude nuit de juin.
Jean Marchand, acteur de renom, est de tous les plateaux. Il a joué dans plusieurs séries télévisées, notamment District 31, Unité 9 et Les filles de Caleb. Il a participé à des douzaines de films : Aurore, Mouvements du désir et Jésus de Montréal, entre autres. Que ce soit pour interpréter Shakespeare, Molière ou un auteur contemporain, Jean est parfaitement à l’aise sur plusieurs scènes à travers l’Amérique du Nord, en langue française ou anglaise. Il mène en outre une carrière parallèle de pianiste, en tant que concertiste et accompagnateur.
Kathleen Fee se spécialise en doublage et voix de composition à Montréal. Directrice artistique du Festival Bloomsday Montréal, elle y présente le monologue de Molly Bloom de Ulysse, en anglais, tous les 16 juin depuis 2011.
Kate Bevan-Baker est une violoneuse et chanteuse en plus d’être une violoniste de formation classique. Elle a déjà fait des concerts dans tout le Canada et ailleurs. Elle a joué sur plusieurs CD et a aussi interprété de la musique de fond pour des jeux vidéo et des films. Elle est récipiendaire 2018 du Prix de Défense de Thèse doctorale offert par l’Université Concordia de Montréal.
Published in Paris on February 2, 1922, Joyce’s sprawling masterpiece, Ulysses, is the story of Leopold Bloom’s odyssey through Dublin. Called “the most prominent landmark in modernist literature” and a work “of unequalled linguistic and stylistic virtuosity” it’s hilarious, insightful, mad, brilliant, moving, earthy, sacrilegious, erotic, and intensely human–best appreciated read aloud.
Join us for a one hour romp—a nooner! Actors Jean Marchand and Kathleen Fee read excerpts from the book and fiddler Kate Bevan-Baker brings her musical magic. Let yourself be transported back to the cobblestone streets of Dublin and into the perfumed bedroom of Molly Bloom on a hot night in June.
Award-winning performer, Jean Marchand, is a familiar face, noted for hit TV series like District 31, Unité 9, and Les filles de Caleb, as well as acclaimed films like Aurore, Mouvements du désir, and Jésus de Montréal. Whether it’s Shakespeare, Molière, or a contemporary playwright, Jean is at home on stages throughout Quebec and beyond in French and English. He also has a parallel career as concert pianist and sought-after accompanist.
Kathleen Fee specializes in narration and character voice work in Montreal. Artistic Director of Festival Bloomsday Montreal, she has been performing Molly Bloom’s monologue from Ulysses every June 16 since 2011.
Kate Bevan-Baker is a fiddler, classical violinist, and singer. She has concertized across Canada and abroad and can be heard on numerous CDs, video games, and film soundtracks. Kate won Concordia University’s Doctoral Thesis Defence award in 2018.
Feb. 2, 2022, 7:00
Joyce’s Birthday Celebration!
Click here for a program for this Ulysses 100th Anniversary Celebration, and here for bios of our readers and performers!
At 7:00 pm don your party hats and toast James Joyce on his 140th birthday!
(Fascinated by numerology, Joyce insisted his books be published on his birthday.)
This 90-minute tribute is not to be missed.
Bloomsday Montreal president, Kevin Wright, gathers a group of local notables to read a delightful selection of pithy pieces by and about Joyce.
A world première of the Ulysses Suite by Geraldina Mendez: Joyce’s words set to music in a cycle of five miniatures. Singer, pianist, and composer Geraldina obtained an MFA from the Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of the Ukraine. A passionate Joycean, she leads an online Ulysses reading group in Spanish. She has been involved with Festival Bloomsday Montreal for several years as a performer and host of our academic panel.
An exclusive interview with Kevin Birmingham, award-winning author of The Most Dangerous Book, in conversation with veteran broadcaster, Dennis Trudeau.
“Kevin Birmingham has been named a Public Scholar by the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities. He received his PhD from Harvard. The Most Dangerous Book won the 2015 PEN New England Award for Nonfiction and the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism.