The Friends of the Empress
Hi, I’m Tom. I started out and had a ballistic career in civil engineering consulting and project management. In hindsight, it all went by so fast, because I was so young. But, I learned so much, about people, projects, pressure and responsibility. A move to Montreal with my family in 2011 changed all that. Plain and simple, urban Montreal and rural Quebec, people and places, inspired me to dive headlong into photography. I had always been into the arts and the music, theatre and photography scenes, and this became my chance. And also a chance to learn again…there are amazing people doing amazing things, and I want to meet them! So, I’ve started from the bottom again, like I did when I was 21…now hustling for web design and photography projects and taking the opportunity to be active in the local creative community. I am currently making a go at it as an independent with thomasbockcreative.com. I am also working to develop an online magazine featuring NDG creatives called indiendg.com
Adrienn Lukács was an instrumental part of piloting the watershed 2017 Arts Week edition as programming director. Adrienn holds two Master’s degrees, including one for cinema. As a strong believer that arts and culture can create a dialogue and open us up to different perspectives she has been working with various arts, events and cultural organizations as a programmer, curator and event organizer since 2005. For over seven years, she coordinated the programming of the human rights festival, Movies that Matter, in the Netherlands and for two years collaborated with Cinema Politica in Montreal. She offers a great experience in the development of young audiences, cultural programming, and in logistics. She is a proud NDGer since 2014 and is entirely vested in the community.
Barbara Bedont is an artist, a nomad, an Italo-Canadian, an anarchist feminist, and a general troublemaker. After living in Europe, the U.S. and Africa, she settled in Montreal, first in the Plateau and eventually in NDG. She earns a living as a renovation project and property manager but her real work includes writing, filmmaking, and occasionally organizing political protests. She is an active member of the NDG community as Board member of the NDG Arts Week and as frequent complainer to the borough’s Road Maintenance Department.
Matt Aronson was born and raised in NDG, and is deeply rooted in the community. A lawyer and social entrepreneur, Matt’s background includes degrees in Classics, Post Modern Studies (University of King’s College & Dalhousie), Communications (Concordia), and both Civil and Common Law (McGill). Matt’s particular interests are in developing mentoring and capacity-building opportunities for local artists and creative entrepreneurs, as well the launch of co-working and makerspaces in the neighbourhood.
Paul Scriver has been involved in the creative arts as a musician, producer and teacher for over three decades. Since moving to NDG in 2009, Paul has participated in the creation of many arts-oriented community events. As a founding member of the community-building charity Notre-Dame-des-Arts, Paul has been engaged in community organizing for the arts for over eight years. Paul is the former president of the Empress Cultural Centre and has extensive knowledge of the history of community activism to rehabilitate the Empress Theatre. He is the current president of Notre-Dame-des-Arts and is a teacher of Electroacoustics in the music program at Concordia.
Dan Webster is the founder of Montreal-based Greenland Productions which has produced over 4000 concert events in Montreal since the early 1990s. His experience has delved into the creative areas of artist and product development, festival development, digital distribution, marketing, and sales. Dan worked with many Canadian and international artists of renown and has played a lead role in the launches of Pop Montreal, Osheaga, and `77 Montreal. Dan has recently launched the TIXZA ticket network for music and events venues.
Developer of cultural events since 2000, Luca Palladino led the Reading Town festival which transformed cities into storybook neighbourhoods. In 2015, he co-founded the charity Notre-Dame-des-Arts, an organization aiming to promote and support the next generation of artists and authors in NDG. In 2017, he helped take the NDG Arts Week to the next level by expanding the festival to new territories and creating a full time position. He brings a strategic vision to event planning, experience in fundraising, a bold artistic direction, and a strong network in the world of arts and culture.
Jérôme Glad co-founded La Pépinière | Collective spaces, a self-managed urban planning organization that draws on a multidisciplinary team to develop collective placemaking projects, from the design phase to business plan development, programming, and site management. As head of development and creation, Jerome Glad has developed a range of expertise that includes project design, production, operation, and facilitation for public spaces.He was behind such projects as Village au Pied-du-Courant, Les Jardineries at the Olympic Park, la Marina St-Roch in Quebec, la Place du Marché, and the winter project La Petite Floride.
John McKay has a passion for short-form videos developed in his 40-year teaching career at the CEGEP and University levels. Combining this passion with the one he has for his neighbourhood resulted in the creation of a popular annual event called NDG Off the Wall. This annual outdoor screening has been an anchor event in NDG Arts Week for 8 years, showcasing videos that have a connection to NDG through the content, the cast, or the crew. This event has shown over 100 videos and helps NDG celebrate its wide range of creativity.
Marlo Turner Ritchie
Over 17 years of leadership through volunteering and employment in the non-profit, co-op and public sectors in Montreal has equipped Marlo Turner Ritchie to inspire and support dynamic, multidisciplinary teams through opportunities of growth and change. Her management approach is based on empowerment and collaboration. Marlo is passionate about doing social economy work and community development with a diversity of people. She has a solid background in organizational development, facilitation, fundraising, strategic partnerships and citizen mobilization.
Our Friends – organizations
Through placemaking, the creation of participatory events and the use of fiction, planet B improves people’s well-being and has a direct impact on communities, local economies and the environment.
planet B creates original engaging events that re-imagine public spaces as meeting points for the community. We highlight locally produced and sustainable agriculture or food, locally crafted arts and cultural goods and services. planet B spaces are built out of consultations with the community to reflect the needs and aspirations of citizens. planet B practices radical inclusion, and breaks down social isolation through events that are open to all and offer intergenerational activities. planet B has an unconventional pedagogical approach, offering the dissemination of ideas and open workshops as part of its activities. We integrate recycled materials, clean energy and promote zero waste at all our events.
Pépinière et Co.
La Pépinière is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the revitalization of underexploited urban sites by giving them a cultural and economic vocation while engaging the local community.
La Pépinière wishes to inject more spontaneity in urban spaces, foster community appropriation of spaces and transform the city into a unique experience, bringing creativity on a daily basis.
La Pépinière develops collective self-managed spaces. Through the economic impact of its activities, the organisation acts as an investment engine for new initiatives.
Greenland is a Montreal based concert and event promoter active in producing thousands of events since 1993. Known for its affinity with up-and-coming local talent Greenland maintains the goal of assisting regional artists to grow to larger audiences, tour, and play to theater, and festival venues. Greenland has worked in tandem with all major promoters in Montreal and is a major supplier of events to many Montreal venues.