Our local World Music

October 19, 2015

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For the last five years, the Vision Diversité organization has helped Montreal-based artists bring their music, influenced by the sounds of the whole world, to new audiences through a showcase of local world-fusion music called the Vitrine des musiques locales métissées. From October 23 to 25, 18 acts will be invited to play for audiences loaded with professionals from the recording and concert promotion industries. They all share a common goal: helping Quebec’s music scene be as representative as possible. But this isn’t just an industry event – everyone is welcome to check out these shows and their amazingly diverse roster of artists.

We met Paméla Kamar, Vision Diversité’s artistic director.

How did the Vitrine des musiques locales métissées come into being?

In 2011, Arometis, a compilation album featuring 17 Montreal-based artists with a wide variety of musical backgrounds, demonstrated that artists with very different influences could work together, regardless of their roots. Cross-pollination was enough to bring them together. Based on that experience, we realized the artists and their music needed to be introduced to venues, labels and institutions. These artists have a place on our artistic landscape, but there was a need for an event to promote them. So we had the idea to launch a showcase, the Vitrine des musiques locales métissées. The Vitrine is now in its fifth year, and there are still plenty of new talents to introduce.

In a nutshell, how would you describe the Vitrine?

It’s a trip you can take within a single venue by listening to local artists who are an integral part of the local world-fusion music scene – artists who are based here, who may originally come from elsewhere and whose musical influences echo every part of the world. And it’s very affordable ($7 for one night or $15 for all three nights). It’s also a chance to show just how creative and prominent the world-fusion music scene has become in Montreal.

How important is the event for the 18 bands performing this year?

It’s important for them to have the chance to play for industry professionals, who will see that they’re doing high-calibre work and deserve to get more local exposure. Festivals and concert venues need to reflect Montreal’s diversity. It’s also important to us that the event take place under excellent technical conditions, which is why it’s at the Astral, in the Quartier des Spectacles, in Montreal’s cultural heart.

After five years, can you say “mission accomplished”? Have artists from the Vitrine become fixtures on the cultural scene?

There’s still work to be done, but there are some nice success stories. Ilam, who will close this year’s showcase, was last year’s audience favourite at the Vitrine and appeared at this year’s Francofolies. Since the last Vitrine, his career has really taken off. The event allows artists to make direct contact with 19 partners (such as Radio-Canada, ICI Musique, Place des Arts, Mundial Montréal, La Fabrique culturelle, etc.) who have representatives in the house for every show on all three evenings.

Who is performing at this year’s 5th annual Vitrine?

Quebec-based artists who make world-fusion music. Whatever their origins, what matter most to us is the mix of their music and rhythms. This year’s artists include African Guitar Spirit (winners of the Prix de la diversité 2015), Solawa, Jully Freitas and Carine, who all come from completely different musical backgrounds. There are up-and-coming artists, and some established ones. They are professionals, our role is to give them some help making industry connections. The 19 partners will be there to discover them and present awards to their favourite groups, helping them take the next step in their careers in terms of promotion, recording and getting a start in Canadian and international distribution and performance networks.


One of the artists will have the chance to perform on one of the public spaces in the Quartier des Spectacles during the summer.

Vitrine des musiques locales métissées

October 23 to 25, 2015, 7 p.m.
L’Astral, 305 Sainte-Catherine St. W.