Art Matters 2016 Kicks Off

Opening Show Features Nancy Pants, Hand Cream, Organ Mood and DJboyzclub

Art Matters 2016 opens tomorrow across Montreal. Photo Jonathan Caragay-Cook

There isn’t a live countdown for Concordia’s annual student-run arts fest, but there is a party.

The 16th edition of Art Matters kicks off March 4 with the festival’s first of a dozen gallery openings marked by a concert of local musicians and performances.

“We tried to show different scenes,” said Roxane Halary, Art Matters outreach coordinator, referring to the different musical styles of the opening party line-up.

The event will feature lo-fi rock group Nancy Pants, synth-heavy garage punk Hand Cream, immersive audio-visual artists Organ Mood, and DJboyzclub.

“With this line-up, people can come at the beginning or the end and have a really different experience,” Halary said.

The launch party poster campaign was part of a scavenger hunt, including a free ticket which has been found, though organizers don’t know by who yet. The event itself is in the Centre-Sud.

“We kind of wanted to take things out of the Mile End a little bit,” said Fannie Gadouas, the festival’s exhibitions coordinator. “It is kind of a central place for Concordia students, but there are people who don’t live in the Mile End.”

The neighbourhood switch was also a way to work with a new venue. Lion d’Or is a cabaret that dates back to the 1930s.

But the event never stays in the same spot. Previous opening parties were held at Piccolo Rialto in the Mile End, Founderie Darling south of downtown, Théâtre Plaza in Petite-Patrie and Bain Mathieu in Centre-Sud.

The opening party follows last-week’s prom-themed Nuit Blanche event at the Mainline theatre. This event launches two weeks of student-directed gallery shows and one-time performances by Concordia students.

“It’s kind of just a way to start off the festival,” Gadouas said. “It’s a big bang.”

“Art Matters Opening Party”: // March 4 at 9 p.m. // Cabaret Lion d’Or (1676 Ontario St. E.) // $10 presale, $12 door