In this issue:
- A word from our new President, Kevin Wright
- Recap of our celebration of James Joyce’s birthday
- First tentative schedule for our 2020 Festival!
- Events around town
- A blog post on Finnegans Wake’s Multifractal Structure
A word from the President
James Joyce at 138!
February 2, besides being Groundhog Day, was also the birthday of James Aloysius Joyce. To mark the occasion, Festival Bloomsday Montreal held a birthday party at the Westmount Public Library to honour the 138th anniversary of the event which took place at Brighton Square, Rathgar, Dublin.
Cake, coffee, tea, and other edibles were elegantly presented by Pat Machin and Mary Marsh.
Extracts from works by Joyce and some of his contemporaries followed. Two pieces of writing which were unfamiliar to most people were letters written to his four-year-old grandson, Stephen Joyce: The Cats of Copenhagen, and The Cat and the Devil.
Thanks for the success of the event are due to Robert Graham, Pat Machin, Clive Brewer, John Donahue, Patrick McLaughlin, Peggy Curran, and Colleen Curran, who graciously used their voices to entertain a delighted audience. Mélissa Denis-Daigneault facilitated the event on behalf of the library.
Top photo: David Schurman and Miles Murphy share a handshake at our February 2nd celebrations of Joyce’s birthday at Westmount Public Library.
Below, clockwise from top: readers for Joyce’s birthday celebrations Patrick McLaughlin, John Donohue, and Pat Machin. Photos by Jordan Gerow, Feb 2nd 2020.
Festival Bloomsday Montreal 2020!
The schedule of events for the ninth edition of Festival Bloomsday is quickly filling up!
- June 5 to 16 – An exhibition of Joycean caricatures by Craig Morriss will be presented at the Atwater Library. Craig will also be present to speak to visitors on June 12.
- June 12 12:30-1:30 PM – A presentation by Danny Doyle, an Art Conservator with Parks Canada and an Irish-language teacher, about the persistence of the Irish language in Canada, sponsored by the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN) with Bloomsday Montreal at the Atwater Library.
- June 13 1:00 PM An Irish-themed walking tour of Montreal with Donovan King. More details about the starting point will follow.
- June 13 7:15 PM Film: The story of Mary Travers, La Bolduc, the enterprising Irish-Quebec singer-songwriter who forged a path for women in the entertainment business during the 1920s. The film will be presented at the De Seve Cinema of Concordia University.
- June 14: 11:30 Bloomsday Brunch at The Burgundy Lion Pub, 2496 Notre Dame Street West.
- June 14: PM The Midnight Court by Brian Merriman, a satirical presentation about what happens when an unmarried poet is summoned by a monstrous female envoy from the fairies to the court of Queen Aoibheall to answer charges of wasting his manhood when plenty of Irish women are dying for the want of love. Performed by Kathleen McAuliffe and others. The venue is to be determined.
- June 15: 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM The Annual Bloomsday Academic Panels on Irish Culture and Literature. Presentations will be held in the McEntee Room of The School of Irish Studies of Concordia University, 10th floor.
- June 16: Bloomsday 2020 11:30AM –4:30PM Dramatic readings from Ulysses by local actors and readers will be staged in The Westmount Room of The Westmount Public Library. This will be followed by the annual reading of extracts from Molly Bloom’s soliloquy by Montreal actress Kathleen Fee.
Ciné Gael Montréal Irish Film Series
Friday March 6th – The Man Who Wanted to Fly (2019)
Saturday March 28th – An Evening of Irish Short Films
Friday April 17th – Making the Grade (2018)
Wednesday April 22nd – Rosie (2019)
Friday April 3rd, 7:15pm – The 34th: the Story of Marriage Equality in Ireland (2017)
May 1st – A Bump Along the Way (2019) + the Ciné Gael Montréal closing gala!!
“Games I Don’t Want to Play” at the Museum of Jewish Montreal
The Museum of Jewish Montreal is hosting a one-night-only performance of a newly devised theatre piece called Games I Don’t Want to Play created by Joseph Glaser and Michelle Soicher. It stages several rounds of game show style engagements with challenges faced by young contemporary Jewish Canadians in different facets of our culture. The event makes explicit note that NO AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION IS REQUIRED so come sit back and relax while Soicher and Glaser let the games begin!
“Just like the glass at our weddings, these games are broken, mournful. Joyous, and hey, TRADITION!”
Thursday, March 19th 4040 blvd. St Laurent from 7 pm-9 pm, pay what you can!
The Montreal Chapter of the Ireland-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) was founded in 1991 to facilitate opportunities for research and development. The ICCC membership is open to public and private sector organizations of all sizes. It is non-sectarian and non-political and offers opportunities, both formal and informal, for the community to meet and network.
One such well-attended event occurred recently in the McEntee Room of The Concordia School of Irish Studies, at which Jim Kelly, Ireland’s ambassador to Canada, was present. After a brief presentation, a question and answer period followed. Among the topics raised were the effects Brexit might have on political institutions in Northern Ireland, customs rules, and trade between Ireland and Canada. The consensus was that trade relations between Ireland and Canada were key to diversification.
The School of Irish studies Celebrates 10 Years at Concordia University!!
When: Every Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., beginning January 16.
Where: Shaughnessy Café, 1455 Rue Lambert Closse, Montréal, QC H3H 1Z5 (one block east of Atwater Metro)
Cost: Nominal drop-in fee of $5.00 to cover the cost of the space.
“The Heidi Chronicles” at the Mainline Theatre
The Liberal Arts College Theatre Society proudly presents their upcoming production of W. Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles. Running March 5th to the 8th at Montreal’s Mainline Theatre. Composed of a series of vignettes, The Heidi Chronicles traces the coming of age story of Heidi Holland, an accomplished art historian, as she tries to find her place in a rapidly changing world. The plot, encompassing three separate decades, details a gradual distancing from her friends: she watches them turn from idealistic young radicals to the materialistic executives that they originally sought to reject. Winner of the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the play, addressing issues on feminism, maturity, and idealism, is a thought-provoking tragicomedy in two acts.