Culture – It’s Not Just a City Thing

We are fortunate out here in the Chateauguay Valley to have a rich cultural life, and no, I don’t mean that we get HBO on cable. This is a rural community that takes culture seriously, and not just imported “city” culture, but local culture. Besides our sizable population of cows, we also have a large number of professional, high calibre artists of virtually every type: writers, theatre people, all manner of musicians, and visual artists. And the really nice part is that, as a local artist, you can put on a show, or a concert, or an exhibition, and people will actually come out to see or hear your work and support you. I went to a vernissage last weekend for a local painter and the exhibition space was absolutely packed. I’ve seen Montreal galleries with smaller crowds at the opening of a show. So, all you city people, don’t be fooled by our laid-back rural ways. Interesting, stimulating things do go on beyond your crowded streets and highways. There is definitely some culture out here in the heart of agriculture.

Photo courtesy of MRC du Haut-St-Laurent

One of our little jewels is the exhibition space in the old “Chateau” hotel in the town of Huntingdon. Salle Alfred Langevin (above) is an elegant, open and beautifully lit gallery space which is administered by our MRC -a sort of association of rural municipalities. Every year the cultural committee accepts proposals from artists looking to mount exhibitions. This year I am getting the exhibition space from March 14- April 4 and I will be showing my collages. The MRC prints your posters, invitations (and mails them), supplies the food and drink for the vernissage, and sends out all the press releases to the media. OK, so it’s not Berlin or New York, but the space is free and there is no commission on sales. From an artist’s point of view, it doesn’t get much better than that!