Remembering a friend of the local scene

Winnipeg show promoter Jonah Nepon moved to Montreal in 2010 and quickly fell in with the music scene. The 29-year-old recently succumbed to brain cancer, and this afternoon, a bunch of local bands are gathering at Casa to play a free show in his honour. Ahead of this event, Passovah Productions’ Noah Bick and Jonah’s brother Adam Nepon shared their memories with Cult MTL.

Jonah Nepon

In 2010, Winnipeg show promoter Jonah Nepon moved to Montreal, bringing his Ghost Town Manitoba company with him. He quickly fell in with the local music scene, working closely with Pop Montreal, Blueskiesturnblack and Passovah Productions. And when those local colleagues learned that the 29-year-old had died of brain cancer in his hometown just over a month ago, they assembled some local bands to play a memorial show, happening today at Casa del Popolo. Here’s what Passovah’s Noah Bick and Jonah’s brother Adam (who’s in town today) had to say about him.


Noah Bick

Jonah truly cared about supporting local talent. After years of doing events in Winnipeg, he moved here, while on a tour that he booked, and started promoting shows. He also released records on his own record label.

I like that he didn’t only support local music, but also visual art. He worked with Mitch Dixon, who did the poster for Saturday’s event, on a number of posters and then took the time to print them and put them up himself. Aside from the shows that he did for local and touring artists, he began a solo series that showcased the individual talent of different performers. He continued doing these sorts of shows when he returned to Winnipeg. His two showcases at the 2011 Pop Montreal went well, and featured some great artists: Snailhouse, One Hundred Dollars, Jennifer Castle and David MacLeod, and Each Other, Freak Heat Waves, Cotton Mouth and Holobody in 2012. I’m glad that he worked for Pop Montreal as a venue manager these past two years and that Hilary (from Pop) and I got to see him in Winnipeg this summer at the Lo Pub when the Pop Off tour came through.

I think our city and the rest of the country will always benefit from positive-minded promoters and artistic/event curators like Jonah. In Winnipeg, he was not only involved in music but also had a radio show and worked at the cinemathèque. Who knows what he would have got up to had he come back to Montreal. Jonah was a caring person, and the world could always use people like these. I hope that his memory lives on through the lives of the people that he touched.


Adam Nepon

Jonah had an appreciation for all forms of life, whether it be people or animals. To him, everyone had a story to tell and if he had the time he would sit and listen. Sometimes he didn’t have the time but still stayed to listen.

One of Jonah’s strongest characteristics was the empathy he felt for people who were less fortunate or those going through tough moments in their lives. He truly sympathized with what they were going through and it was as if he felt their pain.

Jonah had an ability to relate with children and form an instant bond. He was the guy at birthday parties and functions playing with kids even if he had no idea who they were or sometimes even not knowing who their parents were. During high school he did volunteer work with a boy named Robert who benefited greatly by having someone like him in his life. His ability to connect didn’t stop with children; he was able to connect with people of all ages. He was an old soul in a young man’s body. ■

Play Guitar, Adam and the Amethysts, Asthma Camp, Alden Penner, the Sin and the Swoon and Wax Mannequin play Casa del Popolo (4873 St-Laurent) today, Saturday, April 6, 2–5 p.m., free (donations for the Montreal Neurological Institute will be collected)

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