In the Shadows Of the Floodlights: DARE-DARE at Quartier Des Spectacles

In June 2012, at the height of the Maple Spring demonstrations, ten or so individuals wearing identical t-shirts sat down on the edge of the sidewalk in front of Brasserie T! at Place des festivals to eat sandwiches. When they were asked by technicians from Équipe Spectra1 1 - Équipe Spectra is one of the major players in terms of cultural production in Montréal, as it is responsible for three festivals (Jazz, FrancoFolies, and Montréal en lumière) and the owner of the concert venues Métropolis, L’Astral, and House of Jazz. Its vice-president, André Ménard, sits on the board of directors of Quartier des spectacles. to explain their presence, one of them handed over a card on which was written: “Using public space is a privilege and not a right.”2 2 - The sentence is taken from the Partenariat du Quartier des spectacles website (our translation). A series of tense telephone calls between Équipe Spectra and the administration of Quartier des spectacles ensued, finally reaching DARE-DARE, which was coordinating the performance: the administration ordered it to immediately stop these “political” acts. With Anne-Marie Ouellet’s Secondes zones project,3 3 - Anne-Marie Ouellet, Secondes zones, an intervention project hosted by DARE-DARE from May 18 to June 27, 2012. Project website: the relationship between DARE-DARE and its new host, Quartier des spectacles, began in an atmo­sphere fraught with suspicion.

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