L’Imagier presents two new artistic events at Parc de L’Imaginaire
In the spirit of uniting people from both sides of the Ottawa River with the joy of music, the Centre d’Exposition L’Imagier is preparing to put on a series of free outdoor concerts at Parc de L’Imaginaire this fall.
Thrilled with the gallery’s varied programming for the fall, including a vernissage for a new photography exhibit that took place on September 4, L’Imagier’s Director Leonore-Namkha Beschi told the Aylmer Bulletin that activities are finally rolling after being considerably dormant for many months.
Hoping to reintroduce one of the gallery’s well-appreciated traditions, Beschi said that, in previous years, before the pandemic, L’Imagier held outdoor jazz and international music concerts at Parc de L’Imaginaire in the summer.
Intending to bring them back for good, in the fall instead, she said the gallery also plans to expand its diversity of artists and musical genres on showcase.
“We’ll see in the future how things go,” Beschi said, stating that the gallery’s music programming was delayed slightly due to Covid-19. “But we like the idea of September because it’s a way of announcing our programming for the beginning of the season in some sort of way.”
Collaborating with local music producer Quest, L’Imagier plans to showcase eight well-known hip hop and spoken word artists from the National Capital region this month, as part of a new series called Cultivé Ici – Homegrown – Festival, a new musical generation.
Beschi said the festival will be all about celebrating the creativity of local emerging artists and recognizing the importance of musicians’ role in the world of visual arts.
“We want this festival to take place every year, and that every year, new artists will be part of the program,” Beschi said. “We’re not axed on particular styles of music … the idea is to put on an inclusive event that is representative of current musical representation in Gatineau and Ottawa.
Taking place over two straight weekends at Parc de L’Imaginaire, the event will include four shows all starting at 7 pm, including Noushka and Kimya on September 10; LeFLOFRANCO and D-Track on September 11; Timal and Jacqui Dutoit on September 17; and Mischa and Dominique Gorley on September 18.
In the hopes of building anticipation for the festival in good style, L’Imagier also collaborated with local brewery 5eBaron to create a limited supply beer can titled Cultivé Ici - Homegrown crafted with locally sourced ingredients which includes a Spotify playlist composed of songs from the artists featured in the concerts.
On September 12 starting at 2 pm, the gallery will inaugurate another concert series underneath the outdoor pavilion at the park titled Impromptus – Musique de L’Imaginaire, featuring a performance from a duo of local classical music virtuosos called Musicalement Fleet.
Putting an emphasis on storytelling through song, the group – composed of violinist Brigitte Amyot and her daughter Jessie Fleet - is known to experiment with a variety of music styles collectively known as chamber music, Beschi said.
“The idea is to talk about one’s experience,” Beschi said, stating that it also promotes the accessibility of classical music with great historical value. “We want to show that music has its place in visual arts … it’s very family-friendly, spontaneous, and down to earth.”
Musicalement Fleet will also stream the show on its Facebook page and its YouTube channel.
The event was supposed to begin with a show from the group on August 29. But it was postponed due to rain, and may be brought back in October – weather permitting.
Local caterer La Femme à Marier will be on hand at all the concerts to provide food and refreshments.
Beschi said it’s very important for the gallery to continue collaborating with local artists and businesses to keep the local cultural community thriving.
“We need to keep encouraging people to go out and encouraging what we’re offering them,” Beschi said, also pointing to the importance of providing a diverse variety of arts in its programming to satisfy the most people. “We’re creating links between the gallery’s programming and our outdoor programming that reflects our vision of inclusion, diversity and reaching more people. For the community, the impact we want to stimulate curiosity … What's important is maintaining and nourishing that curiosity, having an open spirit, and an open heart.
Digital or paper proof vaccination passports are required for admission to all shows.
Due to Covid-19 public safety measures, people must reserve tickets for the respective concerts in advance and are encouraged to bring along chairs and refreshments. Spots are limited.
People aged 16 and up encouraged in volunteering for L’Imagier’s ticketing and entry management and customer service duties are encouraged to apply by emailing the gallery at email@example.com or to call (819) 684-1445.
A brief volunteer training session is planned to take place this fall where participants who complete the program will receive certificates recognizing their importance to the organization.