MCAF Takes Over Saint-Denis Street
Montreal, June 3, 2022 – The 11th annual Montreal Comic Arts Festival, presented in collaboration with the Journal de Montréal, took place from May 27 to 29 on Saint-Denis Street. The SDC Rue Saint-Denis and its merchants warmly welcomed the Festival and the public to Saint-Denis Street for the first time ever. This change of location was received with enthusiasm by the more than 80,000 people who came out for the occasion! It was a real celebration of comics and the MCAF team can’t wait for next year. Here is a non-exhaustive report of this successful weekend.
Making Connections: Unique Encounters
Over the course of three days, MCAF offered a completely free program of over 50 activities for youth and adults alike.
Kids had many opportunities to see their favourite creators at work. More than 180 youngsters and their parents were in the audience for the live drawing session with Mr. Tan and Diane Le Feyer, the cartoonists behind the hit series Mortelle Adèle, and the French duo also participated in a funny conversation with Alex A., the creator of the equally beloved series Agent Jean. Julien Paré-Sorel, the creator of Aventurosaure, and Sacha Lefebvre, the illustrator of U-Merlin, performed a live character battle in front of the astonished eyes of over 120 young people. The Festival’s many live drawing events were presented by the Caisse Desjardins du Plateau-Mont-Royal.
The Festival hosted a wide range of programming in both French and English which tied in directly with this year’s theme: “Making Connections.” For the first time, the Festival hosted a series of one-on-one conversations between star creators, including meet-ups between Julie Doucet (recent winner of the Grand Prix d’Angoulême) and Jessica Campbell, Michel Rabagliati and Cab, Marcelo Lelis and Thom, and more. Other round-table discussions explored diverse ideas such as “Living Cities” which included Swiss creator Jared Murault and American illustrator R. Kikuo Johnson, and “Working in the Comic Book Universe,” with comic book stars Marguerite Sauvage, Yanick Paquette, and Juni Ba.
The FBDM also offered several workshops such as fanzine making, manga drawing, character creation and several reading workshops in collaboration with Communication Jeunesse. The Festival even launched a brand-new manga creation contest in collaboration with O-Taku!
In the coming weeks, the festival will post the videos and audio recordings of the round table discussions and creator conversations on its YouTube page.
Along the full 1.5 km stretch of Saint-Denis Street between Roy and Gilford, visitors could visit five exhibitions dedicated to the comic arts: Montréal in Comics and Québec in Comics showed off the many representations of the city and province in comics from near and far, while the expos Itaï Doshin et Chilean Women in Comics showcased work from abroad. The educational expo How to Make a Comic gave visitors a closer look at the range of creative work that goes into the making of a comic book, from writing to dressing to colour and beyond.
MCAF 2022 by the Numbers
With more than 80,000 visitors, the Festival’s first-ever appearance on Saint-Denis Street was a huge success, surpassing the expectations of the MCAF team and the SDC Rue Saint-Denis. The Festival also boasted more than 240 creators and 124 exhibitors, as well as over 50 free activities.
New Podcast: Ligne de fond
The Festival also launched its newest venture at the event: Ligne de fond, a new six-episode podcast hosted by Catherine Emmanuel Brunet featuring stimulating conversations between comic book creators from Quebec and international guests. The first two episodes are now available on the website of the Fabrique Culturelle.
New Book: Rencontres
Les Presses du FBDM | MCAF Press released its newest annual anthology at the Festival, Rencontres, which brings together new stories by creators including Alex A., Jean-Sébastien Bérubé, Sylvie Rancourt, Tania Mignacca, Olivier Carpentier, Jean-François Laliberté and international artists such as Héloïse Chochois and Elisa Echeverría Parra. This is the third annual album in the series, celebrating the work of creators who have participated in the Festival over the years.
The Winners of the Bédélys Awards
The 23rd annual Bédélys Awards were presented on Friday, May 27 in a ceremony hosted by Jean-Michel Berthiaume. The winners are:
- Bédélys International: Écoute, Jolie Marcia by Marcello Quintanilha (Ça et Là)
- Bédélys Youth: Snapdragon by Kat Leyh (Kinaye)
- Bédélys Independent Francophone: Tuer le peintre by Étienne Poisson and Olivier Robin
- Bédélys Independent Anglophone: ARC Twenty-Nine #4.1, 4.2, & 4.3 by Marc Michaud
- Bédélys Québec: Football-Fantaisie by Zviane (Éditions Pow Pow)
This year’s Bédélys Québec Award, honouring the best French-language graphic novel published in Québec, was presented by Planète BD and included a prize of $1000. It was given to Zviane for her book Football-Fantaisie. The winners of the Bédélys Independent Francophone and Bédélys Independent Anglophone also received a prize of $1000 each. All of the winners also received a one-of-a-kind trophy created by the artist Karl Dupéré-Richer.
Until Next Year!
The Montreal Comic Arts Festival will return on May 26-28, 2023. The coming year will mark the debut of the Festival’s new Executive Director, Mélanie La Roche, who has worked closely with outgoing Executive Director Johanne Desrochers for this year’s Festival. The new team is already hard at work on next year’s event, which is sure to be bigger and better in every way.
For the past 11 years, the Montreal Comic Arts Festival has provided a platform for exchanges and encounters between comic book creators and publishers and the medium’s ever-growing audience. Through its annual spring event, MCAF promotes Quebec and Canadian comics locally and internationally, while contributing to the development and dissemination of knowledge about the “9th Art.” MCAF has also recently stimulated and supported the work of comic book creators with its annual publications under the banner Les Presses du FBDM | MCAF Press. To learn more about MCAF, visit fbdm-mcaf.ca.
The Montreal Comic Arts Festival, in collaboration with Le Journal de Montréal and the SDC Rue Saint-Denis would like to thank its partners for their collaboration in this year’s Festival: The Canada Arts Council, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Patrimoine Canada, the Conseil des arts de Montréal, SODEC, Caisse Desjardins du Plateau-Mont-Royal, Service de la culture – Ville de Montréal, Emploi Québec, ProChile, and Ruba Ghazal, Member for Mercier.
Special thanks to Michel Rabagliati for creating the poster for this year’s event.
Sincere thanks to outgoing Executive Director Johanne Desrochers for her devotion to the Festival for over eight years. Without her hard work and passion, the Festival just wouldn’t be the same.
Finally, the Festival would like to note the dedication of the many volunteers who made the event a success, the MCAF team, and the Programming Committee.
About SDC Rue Saint-Denis
A non-profit organization created in 2010 and representing more than 270 members, the Société de développement commercial Rue Saint-Denis brings together all the businesses located on Saint-Denis Street from Gilford to Roy. Its mission: To contribute to the evolution, dynamism and attractiveness of Saint-Street as a quality commercial, cultural and tourist destination, in order to make it an exceptional and distinctive living environment. To learn more about the SDC Rue Saint-Denis, visit ruesaintdenis.ca.
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