Monday, March 20, 2017

Balkan Party MTL

I was invited by DJ Touski to attend the monthly Balkan Party MTL (next one is March 24th) at Divan Orange, the last one on Feb. 17th, 2017 hosted the local band Shukar Roma. I was very impressed, very spirited and energetic, these extremely talented musicians kept the listeners on their toes dancing.

 Friday the 17th of February, 2017. Dan Armeanca - Sukar Roma

Shukar Roma is comprised of Dan Armeanca, Sergiu Popa  & Mohamed Raky. Shukar Roma means ‘le superbe gitan’. In Romania Dan Armeanca is a famous musician and known for writing his own music. His songs are used in films like Gadjo Dilo. I am told Mohamed Raky is the best darbouka player from Canada (he has lived here for many years) but is originally from Morocco.

 Sergiu was kind enough to answer a few questions I had about their performance.  I asked about what made them decide to make Montreal their home base, as opposed to their home countries?

Sergiu Popa  & Mohamed Raky

"Montreal is a very rich city in different communities & musicians, so seems more like a factory of artists, and that attracts lots of musicians from around the world. In my case, I arrived in Montreal in 2002. There is quite an interesting story on my website:"

I was very interested to know more about the music played that night. It was explained to me that it was a mixture of composed songs, traditionals and music created live on the spot. The language they were singing in is of the Roma People, which Sergiu was quick to clarify is not to be confused with Romans or Roma Italy, or with Romania. The roots of Roma language is hindi & sanskrit. The Roma are also known as Gypsy, Gitane, Cigany, or Gipsy but Sergiu said that the correct name is Roma.

Most of the music they played on Feb. 17th at Balkan Party MTL was very spontaneous, with alot of music being composed live. "....its mostly based on traditional music which already exists, but its cooked and baked on the spot, the speed, the arrangement, the interpretation, the beat can be changed on the spot, regardless the original tune."

Of the songs they played, some were chosen because of the powerful symbolism, & are well known music in the Balkan countries. Their set included Sao Roma song, (know also as Erderlezi) Chayoriye Shukariye which means "nice girl" (this is a famous song in their home countries), Gelem-gelem which translates to "lets go, lets go!" (describing hitting on someone, an invitation). 

"....lots of these tunes retell a story of course! Chayoriye is about a beautiful girl with dark eyes. Gelem gelem is about Roma people who passed through the holocaust and many other tragedies, discrimination, etc. We did some of Dan Armeanca's compositions which are : Zale Dumbale, Zale Dumbale, Yag Bari, etc. Dan's most popular songs would be : Sao Roma, Chayoriye Shukariye."

"In Roma Community most of the music its made on the spot. Often this could be the way musicians are feeling, or it could be well known music, but in a different style, or beat. Roma musicians will change it on the spot, so this is very typical to Roma musicians, they manipulate the musical instruments very well." - Sergiu Popa

Every Balkan Party MTL hosts a live  band followed by dance sets & visuals provided by DJ Touski & DJ Khalil. The next Balkan Party MTL is March 24th, 2017, not to be missed! Come out and shake your booty! Find them on facebook!

BALKAN PARTY MTL avec Roma Carnivale



Vendredi le 24 mars prochain, le Balkan Party MTL reçoit le groupe ultra festif Roma Carnivale!!! Ces bêtes de scène nous reviennent avec leurs rythmes déchaînés comme tu les aimes! Dj Touski et Dj Khalil vont s’assurer que tu passes une soirée des plus festoyantes avec leurs meilleurs beats venus de l’Est.

VENDREDI 24 MARS – 21:30


Gypsy- Folk

Roma Carnivale joue la musique Gitane dans la tradition Serbe inspirée du punk et du jazz. Leur énergie brûlante sur scène a captivé des publics du Québec jusqu’à New-York. Ils ont joués dans le cadre de plusieurs festivals prestigieux comme le Festival de Jazz de Montréal, le New-York City International Gypsy Festival et le Festival du Bout du Monde. Mené par le chanteur/compositeur d’origine Serbe Dusan Dukic, leur ensemble insolite comprends un tuba, un ukulele, un accordéon, un violon, une trompette, un trombone, une guitare, une batterie et 3 chanteurs/chanteuses! Leur objectif avoué: célébrer la beauté de la vie et vous faire danser!

Roma Carnivale plays Gypsy music in the Serbian tradition, inspired by punk, jazz. Their blisteringly energetic live performances have captivated audiences across Quebec and New York. They have played at prestigious festivals such as Montreal International Jazz Festival, The New York City International Gypsy Festival and Festival du Bout du Monde. Led by Serbian-born singer/songwriter Dusan Dukic, their unconventional lineup includes a Tuba, ukulele, accordion, violin, trumpet, trombone, guitar, drums, and 3 singers. Their goal is to celebrate the beauty of life… and make you



DJ Touski est le fondateur et DJ résident des soirées Balkan Psrty MTL qui enflamment Montréal depuis maintenant plus de 6 ans maintenant. Il propose un mélange explosif de la meilleure musique Gypsy des Balkans et au delà. Il a participé à plusieurs évènements culturels dont le festival international de jazz de Montréal, Festival Pop Montréal et Coup de Coeur Francophone, Les Rythmes du monde de Saguenay, L’Écho fête de TroisPistoles, Musiques du bout du monde de Gaspé, Le Festif de Baie St-Paul, Les nuits festives au Palais Montcalm à Québec et autres évènements à travers le Québec. Il a également joué avec certains des plus gros noms de la scène Balkan Beat Européenne. ( Balkan Beat Box, Mahala Raï Banda, Slavic Soul Party, Max Pashm, Dunkel bunt, Al Lindrum..) DJ Touski promet de faire danser les plus résistants sur ses beats venus de l’Est.

Co-fondateur et dj résident des soirées Speakeasy électroswing Montreal, Sidi Khalil est maintenant un incontournable Dj du world 2.0 à Montréal. Participant à plusieurs événement et fesitvals depuis plusieurs années, il ne te laissera aucun répit durant cette soirée et ce, à ton grand plaisir!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Exposition de la Canadian Society For Art Of Imagination

This past wednesday I attended a beautiful and inspiring exhibition at the Écomusée du fier Monde, close to Sherbrooke Metro. I caught the tail end of the opening night, and didn't get a chance to finish looking at all the art, but I definitely plan to go back, it was fantastic. There is another week left to see the original works which come from both local and international artists.

Photography by April-Anna

Art on the far left on the back wall is by Chris Dyer of Positive Creations.
Sculpture by Zeerka.
Photography by April-Anna.

Écomusée du fier monde 2050, rue Amherst, Montreal, Quebec H2L 3L8

Cette exposition réunira des artistes de partout dans le monde tels que H.R.Giger, Brigid Marlin, Miguel Tio, Robert Venosa, LAURIE LIPTON, Jean Pronovost et plusieurs autres d'ici et d'ailleurs. Le lieu : l'Écomusée du Fier Monde du 7 au 17 octobre 2015.

This exhibition will unite artists from around the world as well as local talents. It will be held at the Écomusée du Fier Monde from the 7th to the 17th of October 2015.

Voici l'horaire des 10 jours de l'exposition
Here is the shcedule for the 10 days of the exhibition:

Mercredi 7 Octobre : 17h à 23h (VERNISSAGE)
Jeudi 8 Octobre : 9h30 à 16h
Vendredi 9 Octobre 9 : 9h30 à 16h
Samedi 10 Octobre : 10h30 à 17h
Dimanche 11 Octobre : 10h30 à 17h 
Lundi 12 Octobre : FERMÉ
Mardi 13 Octobre : FERMÉ
Mercredi 14 Octobre : 11h à 20h
Jeudi 15 Octobre : 9h30 à 16h
Vendredi 16 Octobre : 9h30 à 16h
Samedi 17 Octobre : 10h30 à 17h

Wednesday October 7 : 5 PM to 11 PM (GRAND OPENING)
Thursday October 8 : 9:30 AM to 4 PM
Friday October 9 : 9:30 AM to 4 PM
Saturday October 10 : 10:30 AM to 5 PM
Sunday October 11 : 10:30 AM to 5 PM
Monday October 12 : CLOSED
Tuesday October 13 : CLOSED
Wednesday October 14 11 AM to 8 PM
Thursday October 15 : 9:30 AM to 4 PM
Friday October 16 : 9:30 AM to 4 PM
Saturday October 17 : 10:30 AM to 5 PM

Photography by April-Anna

Graffiti Artists, or (should we be saying) Mural Artists?  

Many people know Chris Dyer through the alternative fine art world, visionary art world, skateboard scene, and in some cases, some people know his graffiti art & sticker art best. On Thursday I dropped in and out of the street art jam that was in progress between four artists. Apparently what they were doing is called "bombing" which in their case they were bombing their old art. Being as I don't come from that subculture (I know Chris through more of the hippie scene), I am not familiar with the terms. I know Chris as another professional artist, so I consider what Chris & the other artists are doing to be free mural art. The city & local businesses are lucky when artists choose to do their work for free (even if it is an ally-way, we don't have to have seedy gross allies) and should really at least be paying for the supplies. This provided of course that the graffiti is good quality and not just a bit mess or something stupid.

 If you want to check out the art, you can see it in the ally way between St.Laurent & Clark, a approx. one block below Duluth on the plateau. 

Chris Dyer of Positive Creations
Photography by April-Anna


Photography by April-Anna


Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Humans Rights & Happening Map

Friendlyness & The Human Rights
Last night I worked the door for The Human Rights, at Bobards in Montreal, a really talented reggae band from Toronto. They knew how to engage their audience (note worthy because alot of bands don't know how to do this, or come across as pretentious or fake) as much as express their music. Their music is positive, intentional, aware and intelligent. Now I wish I had taken some photos since I spontaneously decided to mention them in my blog but this video will have to suffice. If they come to your neighborhood, they are absolutely worth the money to go see live.

Happening Map

I was recently contacted by HappeningMap, a new website artist directory intended to target visitors to Montreal whom are looking for an accessible way to tap into local culture & underground talent. Whether you are looking for an artistic adventure such as what I can offer (body painting in your hotel room for your photoshoot or night out at a special event) or original paintings to take home, this new website is destined to become a great resource for anyone looking to tap into the underground creative culture hub that Montreal is. Often visitors will come to Montreal unsure of how to find the cool events or hidden artists and often end up at the very mainstream, well promoted events or bars that don't really demonstrate what makes Montreal unique, so this is now one resource to help bridge the gap. HappeningMap is still in it's infancy and is looking for more artists (apply here: to represent as well as is looking for more Hosts to regularly receive & promote HappeningMap's newsletter & website.

Halloween is coming! 

Are you hosting a Halloween event either on the 30th, or 31st? Do you have your Halloween Make-up Artist booked yet? I am looking for more bookings, especially for the 30th, so please let me know if you need Halloween Make-up help either for yourself or your guests! 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

What are friend's for?

So I am trying to get back into a regular habit of blogging about the randomness that crosses my life path.... Last week I spent approx. 30 hours helping a friend out with preparing her new home and moving. My friend has a young friend staying with her for a few months while she attends McGill University. Said young friend decided to "help" us with painting.... I was in the living room scrubbing dried paint splashes off the floor when I suddenly hear this wicked cackling coming from the other room, I walk in and discovered it had been "graffiti'd" on the wall I was about to go in and start painting..... Goodness we all need a sense of humor, what's a week of intensive painting and moving without a bit of comic relief, right?

Haha for a while though, we started wondering how many paint coats we'd have to put on before the graffiti would disappear.... LOL

Monday, December 8, 2014

Exhibition, Art Sale & Mini-Concert Series

Vente et Exposition d’Art (English follows)
April-Anna: Artiste Multimédia
Au Café Pi: 3 Déc jusqu'au 10 Jan
4127 Boulevard Saint-Laurent
Peintures originales, impressions sur toile, cartes et affiches
Vernissage: Samedi le 6 Décembre, 16:00
Art Live & Série de Concerts:
14 Dec, 16:00 - Lilah Woods
17 Dec, 20:00 - Projet AEolia
Art Sale & Exhibition
April-Anna: Multimedia Artist
Exhibit At Cafe Pi: Dec. 3rd - Jan. 10th
4127 Boulevard Saint-Laurent
Original Paintings, Canvas Prints, Greeting Cards & Posters.

Vernissage: Saturday, Dec. 6th, 4pm

Dec. 14th, 4pm Lilah Woods
Dec. 17th, 8pm Projet Æolia

Cover: By Donation (Pass the Hat)