COVID culture

Work by Jiyang Zhang from Ignition

COVID culture: Film & poetry contests, Montreal band stream & more

PLUS A dystopic podcast, a comedy record and quarantine tips from the vault.

What day is it?! Take solace in reading this piece from The New York Times about exactly that. Good thing some cultural institutions are keeping track of things like “days” so you don’t have to. 


The British Film Institute (BFI) has a huge selection of free, mostly older films available online. Much of the free selection consists of shorts, including diverting gems of particular contemporary relevance like Cheese Making From Home (1918) and Tracing the Spread of Infection (1949). You can only stream BFI films from the U.K., but a “friend” told me you can set your “VPN” connection to someplace in England and voila, the links all totally work.


COVID culture

The Fonderie Darling is presenting Wendel’s Institution: The Live Podcast, a dystopic work about “post-neo-conservative America” by Michael Eddy and his uncle Alex Kreger. The performance will be broadcast from Twitch on April 30, 5:30–7 p.m.

The Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery have also turned their focus, now that their space is closed, to highlight the work of the nine artists who would otherwise have been featured in IGNITION, the gallery’s yearly show of graduate student work. This is not necessarily an “online exhibit” but certainly an excellent way to discover new artistic voices.

Submit, submit, submit!

If you’re a Canadian actor or filmmaker with newly nagging spare time, consider making a three-minute video before May 6! The Isolation Short Film Festival is inviting you to create a film in isolation, but not necessarily about isolation. The first prize winner gets $500 and will be announced May 9. Alas, no nudity, ergo one assumes no home porn, but I’m sure other narrative possibilities abound. Surely.

It may be $20 to enter the Montreal International Poetry Prize, but the prize itself is a hefty $20,000 for one poem of 40 lines or fewer. A jury of 10 working poets will collectively select 50 poems to advance to a final stage, judged this year by Pulitzer Prize winner Yusef Komunyakaa. The deadline is June 1st. 

The art duo Eva and Franco Mattes, who recently exhibited at the Phi Foundation, are for the second time in their careers searching for someone to sell them their phone (and all their phone’s photos and videos) for $1,000. The phone and its contents will become part of the permanent collection of the Fotomuseum Winterthur, in Switzerland, and part of the Mattes’s exhibit “addressing issues of privacy, exhibitionism and voyeurism in our hyperconnected society.” Apply here for a chance to hand over your personal life in the name of art.

Tunesdays with Caveboy!

Caveboy COVID culture
Caveboy. Photo by Kelly Jacob (COVID culture)

Starting April 28 at 7 p.m., Montreal dream pop trio Caveboy will begin a series of live Instagram streams called Tunesdays with Caveboy, where each Tuesday the band will play a song off of their new album Night in the Park, Kiss in the Dark.


Nick Nemeroff COVID culture
Nick Nemeroff (COVID culture)

Finally, the strange deadpan Canadian comedian I had the pleasure of seeing at Montreal’s own Squad Laughs last summer, Nick Nemeroff, is releasing his debut stand-up album, The Pursuit of Comedy Has Ruined My Life, today, Monday, April 27. ■

See last week’s COVID culture recommendations here.

For more coverage of the Montreal art scene, see our Arts section.

To read the latest issue of Cult MTL, click here.

Vote for your favourite Montreal people and things in the Best of MTL readers poll here.