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MONTREAL – Summer in the city at the McCord Museum is all about music – and museum officials have nicknamed their latest exhibition the “soundtrack of Quebec.”
The exposition, called Music: Quebec from Charlebois to Arcade Fire, illustrates how Quebec culture has changed over the years.
“Music and singers in Quebec have been very closely linked to the sense of identity to Quebecers and also linked to some major social changes in our society,” said Suzanne Sauvage, the president and CEO of the McCord Museum.
It’s not just a musical story, but also somewhat of a history lesson.
“It is our mission to bring this to visitors and to Montrealers so they can understand the influence of their own life and their own history,” said Sauvage.
The goal is to explore some of the province’s most iconic music starting in the 1960’s and going all the way to the present day.
“It’s basically showing how much musicians and songs and music have been linked to the history of Quebec,” said Sauvage.
The exhibit showcases some of Quebec’s most unique artistic talents, including a few icons who have blurred the lines between then and now.
“We built our own local stars that became very important in our culture,” said Sauvage.
The tour takes about 90 minutes, but some admit that by the end, they’ve completely lost track of time.
“It’s history too because you connect a song to an era or a year in particular,” said Louise Ziliani, a Montrealer who was walking around the museum.
“It’s good memories when I was maybe seven or eight years old starting to watch Jeunesse d’aujourd’hui and other programs so it’s great memories and it’s a great exhibit.”
For many, music has always been the answer to a bad day – or even a good one.
“I think music is always very emotional for everybody,” said Sauvage.
“It always reminds us of some very personal memories but also some memories of our global history so I knew we could be an emotional exhibition. That’s what we wanted it to be.”
Sauvage admits walking through the over 200 musical artifacts, including guitars, records and costumes, is just like talking a stroll down memory lane.
“I think for people like baby-boomers like me, you go to this exhibition and you relive your youth and it’s quite emotional,” she said.
“You can see people dancing in front of some of the artifacts because they’re listening to good music.”
From Leonard Cohen to Arcade Fire, this exhibit really does encompass everything people need to know about Quebec’s musical history.
Music: Quebec from Charlebois to Arcade Fire is on until October 13.
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