COVID culture

VR at Phi Centre

COVID culture: VR headset delivery, film & club nights at home, DIY drone

PLUS bleak Swedish cinema, remote vernissages, urban scholars discuss social movements during a pandemic & more.

COVID culture picks for week eight of pandemic lockdown include initiatives by Montreal art centres Phi Centre, Never Apart, Cabaret Berlin, the National Theatre School, Cinéma du Parc and artexte.

Bergman, baby!

COVID culture
The Seventh Seal (COVID culture)

Quick, before the sun and blossoms make you less depressed, shovel some Ingmar Bergman into your brain. You would be amazed how much Bergman you can find on YouTube. Perhaps begin with the devastating Winter Light and then migrate to the slightly more uplifting The Seventh Seal. Make that algorithm reconsider just how spring-y it feels, too.

Montreal balcony drone!

Make a reverberation in the key of D from your balcony Fridays at 9 p.m. The organizers point out that there are online synths if you don’t have one!

VR to GO!

COVID culture
VR at Phi Centre

Phi Centre is renting (and don’t worry, sterilizing) VR headsets. If you live anywhere on the island of Montreal, they will bring an oculus GO helmet and a catalogue of 10 films to you. $43.25+$19 delivery & pick-up.

The Phi has also announced the artists selected for its virtual residency based on the idea of “being alone together.” Check out the artists here

Cinéma du Parc online!

If there’s a first-run feature that appeals to you right now, you can buy a ticket through Cinéma du Parc to watch it at home. It may be on a smaller screen, but you’ll be helping a local cinema to survive once the world eventually returns to us. Check out their line-up here

Never Apart!

COVID culture
Art at Never Apart (COVID culture)

The lovely Mile Ex gallery whose name now resonates with new poetic irony is bringing its spring exhibitions online. Every Thursday from now until June 27 at 6 p.m., join their team for a Facebook Live vernissage. Free. 

Take the city!

This Thursday, May 7, from 1–2:30 p.m., listen to urban scholars Margit Mayer, Kazembe Balagun and Norma Rantisi discuss the “challenges facing urban social movements amid the global pandemic.”

80s New Wave dance party!

COVID culture
Coffin Joe (left) at Cabaret Berlin (COVID culture)

Join the folks over at Cabaret Berlin for another ZOOM dance party on Friday, May 8, from 9 p.m.–12:30 a.m. DJ Davidé will be providing the set, with visual accompaniment by Bunnyguts and “virtual barman” and host Coffin Joe.


E-artexte is “an open access digital repository for full-text documents about contemporary Canadian art” and a “catalogue of Artexte’s collection of publications on contemporary art from 1965 to the present.” The perfect place to take a deep art-historical dive, or to plan that thesis you might be able to complete someday.

Free theatre classes and a show!

The National Theatre School of Canada (NTS) is offering 10 free courses of particular interest to theatre artists. Meanwhile, as part of the New Words Festival put on by the graduating English section of NTS, the school will be presenting i am entitled to rest, written by Kalale Dalton-Lutale and directed by Murdoch Schon, on YouTube May 4–6. ■

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.