Archive | July, 2013

October 8, 2013 – CULTURAL OUTING – Mount Royal Cemetery

See the blog for more photos.

From Co-ordinator Suzy Charto:

“A group of 34 women and 1 man had a wonderful tour of the Mount Royal cemetery. It was a beautiful day – the sun was shining and the leaves were colourful. Myriam Cloutier is the Director of Heritage Programs at the Mount Royal Cemetery and she  walked us up and down the mountain for 2 hours.  We learnt about artists, benefactors, the golden mile, and a lot about the history of art in Montreal. Myriam even showed us some artistic head stones.  It was a wonderful, educational day and we are grateful to Myriam for the large amount of research that she did.”

WASM Oct Cemetery tour 1


September 17, Tuesday. McCord Museum 1.30 – 2.30 Surkalen – Chilean Folk Music Group

PRESENTING  ‘ESSENCE DE LUMIÈRE’ – “Always look upwards towards the light”   1.30 – 2.30 pm

We are opening our season with a magical journey – a musical performance by the trio of  native Chileans Sandra Ulloa, Claudio Rojas Dávila and Rony  who will lead you on a poetic voyage of ancestral and modern rhythms recognizable in many cultures today.     SURKALÉN merges the musical inheritance of the South American culture with African, Asian, European and Middle Eastern music. Such a musical mixture gives rise to a unique and eloquent music that they call ethno-fusion.

The group’s members  met in 1995 in Valparaíso, Chile.      They travelled separately in Europe for some years and finally met up in Montreal, Canada.    In 2008, they formed the group “SURKALÉN TRIO“.     In 2009, the Russian-Canadian violinist, Maria Demacheva, joined the trio to form the current quartet.   The group was renamed “SURKALÉN“.

In 2012, they were nominated for the Canadian Folk Music Awards as the best in the World Group and won the Best 2012 CD for Essence de Lumière.     The instruments you will hear today are the cuatro, guitar, tabla, violin, bass, percussions, darbouka, cajon and more.

The name of the group “SURKALÉN” was not randomly chosen;   “Sur” stands for the South American roots of three of the members of the band and “Kalén” means «different» in the Selknam language. (Selknams are the ancient inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego, a small Native American community, which disappeared in the middle of the 20th century).
Most of the band’s music is strongly influenced by different kinds of world music with  South American rhythms being very present in their compositions.

Check out their website HERE.


September 24, 2013 – CULTURAL OUTING – Montreal Amphi-bus Tour

September 24, 2013:   The Montreal Amphi-bus Tour, the brainchild idea of Deanne Habeeb ,  was a really unique fun way to see Montreal.  Here’s proof that members and friends of WASM did indeed go on a beautiful fall day and had a great time discovering parts of our city we don’t normally see every day, from the water……..  Photos courtesy of Suzy Charto.

Amphibus Tour 2013

tour3 tour1




October 1 – MEET & GREET LUNCH for members, guests & friends UPDATE



2700 Rufus Rockhead, Montreal, across from the Atwater Market.  Free Parking available at the Super-C across the street.    Metro:  Lionel Groux    Bus: 108.

TIME:   11.30 – 3 pm

A light lunch of sandwiches will be available courtesy of the Women’s Art Society of Montreal.    Here’s your chance to meet other artists, some of our presenters and art lovers so come with your friends.


Everyone is  invited to take the microphone and speak for ONE MINUTE  to tell us what you do or to promote an upcoming activity.  Bring your cards or brochures to leave on a special table set up just for you.

Membership application forms and membership cards will be available so please bring your cheque book to join immediately.    No cash please.

Cardboard templates, shown below,  for the decoration which will go on the Christmas tree at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, will be handed out to paid- up members to be painted and returned with your own unique art creation in early November.   THREE  per member.  This year the templates are in the shape of a canvas on an easel to celebrate our very special 120th anniversary year of the Women’s Art Society of Montreal with the theme ENLIGHTEN, ENRICH, INSPIRE.   The tree will become a veritable miniature art gallery to be admired by visitors to the museum.

Here’s a sampling of the back and front on Arches watercolor paper.  You can cut your own too – canvas size 3.5 x 6 inches.  Use a hole-puncher as in the image.

Templates art canvas easel for wasm
Here’s an update on our  successful MEET & GREET which was held on October lst :    In addition to the glorious sunshine, we had a record attendance of over 80 and were happy to welcome many new faces.

We had a membership table where new members signed up and collected their membership cards ( designed to serve for three years.) and templates for the Christmas tree decoration at the Museum of Fine Arts.

It was a first in the sense that everyone, new members, seasoned members and guests were invited to speak for a minute to share their stories and we salute the 34 women  who told us their capsuled stories.    We all sensed the wealth of talent in our midst and were inspired by each and every one.

McGill University’s department of Social Equity & Diversity Education offered their assistance with six students from their Community Engagement Group who helped us set up.

At 11 am,  the 6 students led by Co-ordinator Anurag Dhir conducted a  Round-table discussion with about 15 of our members.    The half-hour inter-generational dialogue was engaging, provocative and enlightening as we discussed the role of art in the lives of women in 2013 and how it has evolved within the Women’s Art Society of Montreal.    The insight from our members and from the students was especially helpful.  We hope we can continue the dialogue at a later date.

The McGill “Hidden Gems” project (where seniors are interviewed and their life stories recorded)  was mentioned and some of our members expressed an interest in participating.  The first meeting was to take place on October 18.    Martine MacDonald is the Co-ordinator.

A light lunch of sandwiches, samosas  and cookies accompanied by coffee and tea was served by our Hospitality Committee after which we  spent the next few hours chatting and getting to know each other better.

The event ended at 3 pm.  We thank everyone for their help and participation.

Meet & Greet - McGill Volunteers - October 1, 2013    Meet & Greet, Oct. 1, 2013

Meet & Greet, October 1, 2013    Meet & Greet October 1st, 2013

Meet & Greet participants    Meet & Greet October 1, 2013

Meet & Greet Nov. 1, 2103


October 15, Tuesday. McCord Museum 1.30 – 2.30 David Sherman – Playwright


David Sherman has enjoyed a career in journalism, going back to when papers were actually newspapers. He has also worked as a documentary filmmaker – his film on Mordecai Richler won a Gemini Award.  He was playwright-in residence of Centaur theatre under Gordon McCall, where they produced his play Have a Heart and is now playwright-in-residence at Infinitheatre.  Artistic director Guy Sprung has produced three of his plays: The Daily Miracle, a dark comedy about the destruction of the newspaper industry, a story culled from his nights working the news desk at The Gazette; Joe Louis: An American Romance, a story of celebrity and race in America, and Lost & Found, a musical with his partner Nancy Lee, about how two older folk musicians meet and fall in love through music.

Their slogan: Old folkies folk better. Today David performs in and around Montreal and out of town with Nancy, playing their original songs – David has a recording contract with Montreal label Big Fat Truck Records, who produced his first CD, If I Could Run, and is now working on a CD with Nancy, called Lost & Found.    He writes often for the Ottawa Citizen, the Gazette, Toronto Star and National Post and is leading a playwright workshop at the Quebec Writers Federation this fall.



October 22, 2013 – CULTURAL OUTING – Botanical Gardens – Gardens of Light

Chinese Lanterns at the Botanical Gardens

For photos, see our blog.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22:     If you’d like to fill your evening with magical color, then we suggest joining us at the Botanical Gardens of Montreal to witness the GARDENS OF LIGHT which opened last year and includes the Chinese Lanterns and the Japanese Gardens.       Hospitality Board member Josette Wecsu suggests that we rendez-vous at 4 pm at the Botanical Gardens cafeteria for coffee.   The tour  begins at 6 pm.

From their website:  “For Charles-Mathieu Brunelle, Executive Director of the Space for Life, “Gardens of Lightexpresses the very essence of what the Space for Life is creating: a place where every visitor is invited to get closer to nature through striking and meaningful experiences appealing to the senses. This kind of otherworldly experience in the heart of the city is truly exceptional.”

“With Gardens of Light, we wanted to reveal the colours, textures and shapes of the plants and cultural symbols at the Botanical Garden after dark. We are very proud to welcome people from near and far to this fabulous celebration of light, and we’re sure they’ll be amazed,” says Gilles Vincent, Director of the Botanical Garden.

The cost is $14 or $10 with an Access Card.

Click here for a complete description and details  .   THE GARDENS OF LIGHT AT THE BOTANICAL GARDENS 

Email Josette Wecsu at the  to leave your name if you are interested in joining the group.


October 29 – The Sweet Adelines – Women’s Barbershop 1.30 – 2.30 pm & DAVIDs TEA until 3.30 pm

We are delighted to welcome The West Island Sweet Adelines, a choral group  dedicated to the promotion of women’s barbershop harmony through education and quality performance. Together its members aspire to achieve musical excellence while creating a spirit of unity, enthusiasm and fun, in which each individual can realize her greatest potential within the organization.

Wondering about barbershop, well,  it’s  a unique four-part close harmony style, most often performed a cappella, based on performance practices common in the American south during the late 1800s and early 1900s.    Today, the word ‘barbershop ‘   covers many different musical forms and repertoire but still adheres to key  characteristics of harmony, structure and style.   The Sweet Adelines are dedicated to the preservation and promotion of this wonderful art form.

For more information and if you wish to audition to join the group:

After the  performance, instead of meeting for coffee at Van Houtte as we usually do,   DAVIDsTEA will be on hand in the theatre, offering free cups of their delicious teas.   Stay awhile and feel free to go up and talk to the singers who will be happy to share their musical stories with you.  The McCord is extending our time in the theatre to 3.30 just for this event.

DAVIDsTEA (or “David’s Tea” as we’re often searched) is a premium tea retailer devoted to uncompromising customer service and the proliferation of the world’s finest teas.

The latest count puts us past 150 different teas, with more popping up all the time whenever we find something new. We are here to bring the best teas from all over the world into your life, one delicious cup at a time. 



November 12 – Doreen Lindsay – J’existe – my life in images. 1.30 -2.30 pm

DOREEN LINDSAY – J’existe – my life in Images


The London, Ontario native first came to Montreal in the late 1950s to study painting at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts under the tutelage of Group of Seven painter Arthur Lismer, and earned her Masters’ degree in Fine arts at Sir George Williams University.

After meeting and marrying her husband, Hungarian photographer Gabor Szilasi, the couple settled in Westmount, where Lindsay quickly became a fixture in the artistic community.

Lindsay helped to run a women’s art gallery, the POWERHOUSE GALLERY on St. Lawrence Blvd in the 1970s, and from 1983-1993 she was one of the directors of ARTSWESTMOUNT, a group which brought artistic productions to the city.  She also served on a cultural committee that encouraged the city to create a permanent art gallery, hire a cultural administrator, and renovate Victoria Hall.

Today, Doreen specializes in combining painting with photographs and early photography processes.



November 26 – Joe Schwarcz on ART & HEALTH 1.30 – 2.30

Joe Schwarcz is Director of McGill University’s “Office for Science and Society.”  He is well known for his informative and entertaining public lectures on topics ranging from the chemistry of love to the science of aging.  Professor Schwarcz has received numerous awards for teaching chemistry and for interpreting science for the public and is the only non-American ever to win the American Chemical Society’s prestigious Grady-Stack Award for demystifying chemistry.  He hosts “The Dr. Joe Show” on Montreal’s CJAD and has appeared hundreds of times on The Discovery Channel, CTV, CBC, TV Ontario and Global Television.  Dr. Schwarcz also writes a newspaper column entitled “The Right Chemistry” and has authored a number of books, “Radar, Hula Hoops and Playful Pigs,” “The Genie in the Bottle,” “That’s The Way The Cookie Crumbles,” “Dr. Joe And What You Didn’t Know,” “The Fly In The Ointment” “Let Them Eat Flax” “An Apple A Day,” “Brain Fuel,” “Science, Sense and Nonsense,” “Dr. Joe’s Brain Sparks,” “Dr. Joe’s Health Lab” and his latest, “The Right Chemistry, ”all of which have made it on to the best seller list.  He is also an amateur conjurer and often spices up his presentations with a little magic.  Dr. Schwarcz has been awarded the 2010 “Montreal Medal” which is the Canadian Chemical Institute’s premier prize recognizing lifetime contributions to chemistry in Canada.  In the spring of 2011 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Cape Breton University.  He also hold a previous honorary degree from Athabasca University.  In November of 2011 the McGill Office for Science and Society received the largest gift ever in Canadian history ($5.5 million) from philanthropist Lorne Trottier to further its work in promoting scientific education and critical thinking.

Click here for more information.

With all Joe Schwarcz’s many titles after his name,  I was hesitant to invite him to present for the Women’s Art Society of Montreal until I remembered the excellent and provocative lecture he gave at McGill many years ago on artists, their paints and subsequently, their health.   When I asked if he would be willing to do a repeat performance for our Society,  he graciously and generously accepted.    We are very grateful.    Cheryl Braganza


December 10 – Deepali Lindblom – Indian Classical Dancer 1.30 – 2.30 pm

Deepali Lindblom performs “THE HALL OF SHAME”.    She is a Montreal based professional Bollywood and Bhangra dancer. Trained in Kathak, an Indian classical dance, she is also an Actor and a Choreographer.

Deepali’s artistic work consists of

- Theatrical production
- Dance class/ workshop for individual or a group.
- Dance performance with her troupe Mix Masala at weddings, festivals, corporate events etc.
- Creating or collaborating for projects that impact communities in a positive way.



DECEMBER 15, SUNDAY: The Lyric Theatre Singers at the Rialto Theatre

December 15 – SUNDAY  special matinee performance of the Lyric Singers at the beautiful renovated art deco Rialto Theatre , 5723 Avenue du Parc.     A  Holiday Concert with The Lyric Theatre Singers- to benefit our very own and worthy  MONTREAL CHILDREN’S LIBRARY. Starts at 2 p.m.  Regular tickets : $25, Seniors and students: $23, Children 12 and under: $12.

Tickets and info: 514-743-3382 |

Go ahead, members of WASM and plan your group of 8 now and the Women’s Art Society of Montreal will probably get a wink and a nod from Musical Director Bob Bachelor on stage.  Let us know at if you are going – there may be some of us who might like to join you.  

October 7:    Member Linda Merlin has  just reserved a table of 8 for this event.    Keep inviting other members and do the same before tables get booked up.    If you’d like to go and need to fill up a table, don’t be shy to write to us.




February 11, 2014 – Katherine Waters – Literature Professor 1.30 – 2.30

TOPIC:  GERTRUDE BELL, “Queen” of the Arabian Desert & Shaper of Iraq

A Montrealer, KATHERINE WATERS has degrees from McGill and Oxford.  She has taught at Carleton University and as an Associate Professor for 35 years at Concordia where she specialized in Modern British Literature, in particular, Virginia Woolf.   For the last 7 years she has been involved teaching and learning at the McGill Centre for Lifelong Learning. 

She will speak about Gertrude Bell (1868-1926)  who made seven archaeological journeys to the Middle East before World War I,  became a British spy and established the borders and governance of Iraq, all the while dealing with the challenges of being a woman.   

February 25, 2014 – Stacey Zhang, Fashion Designer. “Art, Business & La Mode in Montreal – Fast Fashion vs. Local Design”

“Art, Business and La Mode in Montreal –  Fast Fashion vs. Local Design”

Born in bustling Shenzhen, raised in leafy-green Jamaica, schooled in frosty Montreal… Stacey completed a degree in Design and went to work for a large fashion company.

A short time later, Stacey became Head Designer for a renowned junior line, then finally Creative Director for a prestigious contemporary collection. But all along she had something else in mind.

So in 2007 she started her own company and launched the first Stacey Zhang collection: Silk, Linen, Organic Cotton… sustainable fabrics, ethical production and chic limited run clothing with a focus on beautiful coats for all seasons.



March 11, 2014 – Gabor Szilasi – Photographer 1.30 – 2.30 pm


Documentary photographer, GABOR SZILASI was born in Hungary but immigrated to Canada in 1957.  He is renowned for his humanitarian vision, social realism and exploration of the traces we leave on our environment, whether through photographs of people, urban cityscapes, architecture or interiors.  A self-taught photographer, he has had more than 30 one-man shows in various parts of Canada and Europe and participated in 60 Canadian and international group shows.  He has received grants from the Canada and Quebec arts councils.  He taught at the Cégep du Vieux-Montréal, Concordia University, the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow, Poland and Stanford University in California.  

“My main interest has always been people and their environment, including portraits, interiors and architecture, ”  says Szilasi.


Photos from the event:

IMG_3846   IMG_3848

IMG_3850   IMG_3851


March 25, 2014 – Sheila Kindellan-Sheehan – Writer


Sheila Kindellan-Sheehan has published a memoir and seven novels. Her work has been featured in theGlobe and Mail, read on CBC Radio, Radio One, CBC Montreal and CJAD, and seen on CTV and Global TV. Her latest mystery, The Courier Wore Shorts, was released in September.


Town of Mount Royal, Town Hall; Stewart Hall; Quebec Authors’ Association; St. Patrick’s Society; West Island University Women’s Club; Delta Kappa Gamma, Quebec Chapter; and the retired teachers of Greater Montreal.


April 8, 2014 – Susie Arioli, beloved Montreal jazz singer tells us her story – Note date change. BUSINESS MEETING from 1 to 1.30 pm will precede this event.

Nominated for three Juno awards, Susie Arioli lives in the city, sings at the Montreal International Jazz Festival and is a favorite of many Montrealers.  She will talk about her life and tell us how she got to where she is now.

Susie Arioli sat and gave us a run-down on her life, her music, her inspiration, her neighborhood, did a sing-along and sat a few ditties for us in her inimitable style.  Thank you for this sharing Susie.

CIMG0835 Susie Arioli



April 22, 2014 – Stefan Jovanovich – Fashion & Modernism (date change)



Stefan will be speaking to us about Fashion and Modernism and how it pertains to the early 20th century.

 Jovanović is a PhD candidate in Art History in the Département d’histoire de l’art et études cinématographiques at Université de Montréal, where he received a Doctoral Research Fellowship from Fonds québécois de recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC).  He is completing a dissertation that deals with questions of subjectivation and ethics in photography theory and criticism.  The thesis compares recent statements on the definition of photography (arguments as to its identity, historicity, referentiality and ideological efficiency) with concurrent claims relating to the ethics of contemporary photography practice and criticism, focusing on several exhibitions of archival, documentary and fine art photography. He has also published a number of essays on the relation of cinema to modern and contemporary art.  His essays and reviews have appeared in Parachute, Offscreen and in the catalogue for the exhibition Timelength (Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery, 2004).



May 6, 2014 – ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – 1 – 1.30 pm. Donna McGee 1.30 – 2.30 pm

Donna McGee


Donna McGee did her B.A. at McGill in Literature and her M.A. at Concordia in Art History while working at the Canadian Centre for Architecture. She has published articles in academic journals and wrote a gallery review column while at McGill. As well as being an artist in her own right, she also teaches art (drawing, acrylic and watercolour) and continues to do research and give talks on art-historical subjects.


Lecture:  “Changing Perceptions.  Paintings of the Baroque Era through the lens of a painter & researcher”