Alternative concert venues in Montreal?
September 7, 2007 10:03 AM   Subscribe

Alternative performance spaces in Montreal?

I'm wondering whether the Montreal MetaFilter hivemind has any ideas for places where a concert could take place, where concerts don't usually take place. Somewhere that doesn't put you in the gig- or theatre-going frame of mind. I am organizing a show but we would like to make it somewhere special, and have already exhausted most obvious answers. Have you ever been to a strange historic building, a vast library, an underused synagogue, social club or dungeon? Anything special, strange or magical is welcome. If you end up suggesting a space we use I will definitely offer up free passes to the event in question (which is for the moment sort of under wraps).


+ show is on the legal up-and-up, with licenses etc, so must be somewhere where city OK is possible (ie, no underpasses)

+ holds 100-200 people

+ will be ok in October

+ entrance is controlled (ie, we can check tickets)

+ show is night-time (9pm-1am)

+ relatively close to downtown/plateau/mile end

+ not a normal/regular/obvious show space (eg: bains st-michel, portuguese assoc, ukrainian fed, friendship cove, casa, sala, theatres, churches where indie rock gigs regularly happen [though more obscure church/mosque/synagogue ideas welcome])

thank you so much!
posted by Marquis to Media & Arts (2 answers total)
I thought the Ukranian Federation was a pretty awesome venue when I saw shows there at last year's PopMontreal. I know you mentioned it as an obvious one, but have you looked into other ethnic/national gathering centres? It seems pretty obvious, since they're made to accomodate big events but are off the beaten hipster track? Maybe some of the Greek ones on Parc?
posted by ITheCosmos at 1:06 PM on September 7, 2007

Suggestion 1:

Call the fine folks at Blue Skies Turn Black. These guys are young, original, specialize in booking shows in the 50-500 peeps range, have a great indy vibe and a solid reputation.

Suggestion 2:

One venue that is not used often and might be right up your alley is one of the many armouries located on the island of Montreal.

I used to be the chief clerk for the largest armoury on the island and most people didn't know that you could rent them (or parts of them) for pretty cheap. We used to rent out either our gym, riding rink (we had horsed up until 1950, the rink has similar dimensions/feel to a hockey rink) or men's mess to various functions such as bar mitzvahs, music concerts (the Marylin Manson concert there was famously canceled), stamp shows, etc. However, in the past few years things have changed a little bit, now you usually need to be able to demonstrate that other viable alternatives are not available in the area, but it really depends on the regiment and the officer coordinating things. Costs are usually really cheap for the location, plus additional money for a couple of reservists to stand guard, lock things up, and paying their barman for service. Also, to get access to the messes you usually need someone who belongs to the regimental association to help you out, but it can usually be arranged.

Anyhow, there are several armouries that might fit into your criteria, you could try:

The Canadian Grenadier Guards (CGG, corner of Esplanade and Rachel)
Les Fusiliers Mont Royal (FMR, 3721 Henri-Julien, corner of des Pins)
The Black Watch (Bleury, corner of President Kennedy, although the White Stripes did one of their cross Canada peekaboo shows there a few months ago)

Suggestion 3:

Montreal Science center. Although when I tried booking an event there I had a real hard time getting an answer back from them.

Seriously, try suggestion 1, you might save a lot of time and trouble.
posted by furtive at 6:42 AM on September 9, 2007

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