Varainja Stock

Co-President of the board & Indie Donor

 

What motivated you to join the Board of NDG Arts Week?

I have a bad habit of excessive volunteerism. Since moving to Montreal last year I have been in awe of my new home community in NDG, we are a vibrant neighbourhood with a plethora of grassroots led art and political initiatives. I have always placed a high level of value on arts in communities, so when I was approached to join the Board of La Semaine des Arts, a festival that provides and promotes free arts programming for and with the community, I jumped at the opportunity.

Which events are your favourite?

Favourite events… there were so many! Sherbrooke Forest was one of my favourites this year. They held a vernissage by candlelight after the storm took out our beloved park and many people’s (including theirs) electricity. The artwork was phenomenal and by local NDG’ers, and many of the artists were there to talk about their art. Some other favourites were our new event Sunset on Somerled, an event that brought music out onto the street and extended Arts Week into new parts of NDG; Off the Wall, which showcases our neighbourhood in film; and another new event, Comic Camp, a free event specifically for kids.

If you could meet any artist (here or gone) who would it be and why?

Frida Kahlo. Hands down. When I saw her exhibition with Diego Rivera at the AGO in Toronto a few years ago I was in awe of her paintings. Rivera’s work was alright, politically interesting and stylized, but her work pulled me in and I could have spent an entire day just soaking up the richness of her paintings. Her work is also political, even though it isn’t as obviously political in the way that Rivera’s work is. She was fierce and beautiful and you experience that when you come face to face with her paintings.

Why should people become an Indie donor with you?

Arts week is about bringing art to the community, making it accessible to everyone, so that we can all enjoy a rich quality of life. We strive to bring arts week to more of the community by increasing programming and entering previously neglected neighbourhoods. I volunteer as a board member because that is the way that I can personally help ensure that arts programming is available and accessible, and I think that we all strive to contribute in ways that we are able to keep our community vibrant for everyone.

 

To donate and become and indie donor visit our campaign page: https://fr.ulule.com/semaine-arts-week2017/description/


Matt Aronson

Board Member & Indie Donor

#5GforNDG Interview with Matt Aronson, NDG Arts Week Board member and donor. 

What motivated you to join the Board of NDG Arts Week?

Having been involved with Arts Week as a volunteer, I wanted to ensure that the organization continued during a time of change and growth. After 7 years, the original team which founded and grew Arts Week wanted to step back, and as a local entrepreneur and lawyer with a sub-practice in NPOs and charities, I though I could make a meaningful contribution to an organization which has made a real difference in my community.

Which events are your favourite?

I love the Art Walk and the Belle Lettres events – Art Walk because I enjoy seeing all the local talent in the visual arts being on display, and Belle Lettres because I love literature and aspire to be a writer (when have some free time… one day…)

If you could meet any artist (here or gone) who would it be and why?

Only one? Ok, well, I’m going to go with one of my childhood heroes, and a local boy – William Shatner. While most people know him primarily as an actor, Mr. Shatner is also a musician and a writer. He’s done some amazing things! I would want to meet him because he has accomplished an extraordinary amount over his lifetime, and bounced back from disappointments, near misses and failures that would stop most people in their tracks. Talk about chutzpa! This guy never gives up. And he grew up on Marcil, so I’d live to hear about his childhood and inspirations here in NDG…. (I’ll bet you a dollar he used to go to the movies at the Empress!).

Why should people become an Indie donor with you?

Because it feels good to know that your donation – big or small – goes directly to sustaining and developing arts and culture programing which is free to the public, and showcases the amazing talent that calls NDG home!

To donate and become and indie donor visit our campaign page: https://fr.ulule.com/semaine-arts-week2017/description/


Rebel Will

Rebel Will is an up and coming singer-songwriter born and raised in Montreal. He first discovered his passion for music when he learned to play piano as a child.  Considered a simple hobby in the beginning, he took music more seriously as it is the only connection to his father.

Photo Credit: Thomas Bock Photography

Today, he performs under the name Rebel Will and creates music inspired by the artists he admires: Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and Janet Jackson. His debut EP is a mixture of different sounds, including R&B, hip hop, urban, and soul music.

Photo Credit: Thomas Bock Photography

Rebel Will manages to balance music with other parts of his life; he is able to create, practice, and perform his songs all while attending school. He will be performing during the 14th edition of Street Vibes on August 24th for the 8th edition of NDG Arts Week.


Chef Angelo Ruscitti

Photo Credit: Thomas Bock Photography

Chef Angelo Ruscitti learned to love Porchetta sandwiches. After being taught the recipe and receiving the blessings from Johnny Pedicelli’s father, he’s been tabbed t carry the torch for Porchetta sandwiches at Porco.

Photo Credit: Thomas Bock Photography

Of Italian descent, with Montreal tattooed on his skin, Chef Angelo claims he will never get lost. Born and raise in Montreal, he pursues his passion for the love of Italian food and for the love of the city that raised him, Montreal.


Nicolina Servello

Photo Credit: Thomas Bock Photography

Alongisde Johnny Pedicelli and Johnny D’Amico, Nicolina Servello is part of the Porco family. Pedicelli, D’Amico partnered with Nicolina to introduce the Porchetta sandwiches.

 

Photo Credit: Thomas Bock Photography

For Nicolina, giving back to the community is essential. Being a part of the NDG Food Depot and a big supporter of the arts and culture, she gives back as much as she can to the community to see it flourish and become full of life.

Photo Credit: Thomas Bock Photography

Already running a succesful Limonata stand, Servello, Pedicelli, and D’Amico, opened the Porco stand and immediately found success during 3 years at the Monkland streetfest, which led to the opening of the brick and mortar located in the Monkland village.


Ms. Holmes

Photo Credit: Thomas Bock Photography

Raised in Victoria, British Columbia, Athena Holmes is a gender non-binary singer, songwriter, and guitarist based in Montreal. They grew up surrounded by stories about their uncle’s jazz and R&B club in Vancouver, where many musicians of colour would go play, including the well known Little Richard.

Photo Credit: Thomas Bock Photography

Inspired by artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Ani Difranco, Prince, and Tina Turner, Athena now has their own band, Ms.Holmes, where they play roots, blues, and folk music with bandmates Kento Kataoka, Fernando Gelso, and Alex Lefaivre. After releasing TEN, their band’s first LP, in 2015, Athena Holmes went on to participate in the fifth season of the canadian edition of The Voice in 2017, where they got to work with Pierre and Éric LaPointe and meet many other Canadian artists.

Photo Credit: Thomas Bock Photography

Although they enjoyed their experience performing on TV, they prefer doing live shows where they get to connect with the audience and express themselves through their own music.

The band Ms.Holmes will be performing at Samedi in the Park, on August 26th during Arts Week NDG.