Borders were opened wide during this 6th edition of Mundial Montreal, from the 15th to the 18th of November. With more than 30 artists, including a dozen international groups, and upwards of 350 industry delegates (including 100 presenters!) joining us from the four corners of the world for 4 days of meetings and musical discovery, Mundial Montreal lived up to its reputation as North America’s key world music industry gathering. With an unbroken string of breathtaking performances, intense networking activities, and panel sessions that explored many of the major concerns of the music industry, this year’s edition was the most successful to date.
Mundial artistic director Derek Andrews, summarizes the goals and success of Mundial Montreal 2016:
“Edition six of Mundial Montreal continued to deliver excellent talent and networking – and two powerful topics emerged as well. Our Aboriginal Sounds programming resonated throughout the meeting beckoning an era of “post-Truth and Reconciliation awareness. Similarly, Laura Hassler’s poignant commentary on a world that needs to embrace “Music Without Borders”. Ms. Hassler’s Amsterdam-based Musicians Without Borders became a touch stone for many delegates seeking inspiration at a time of troubled global politics.”
A MUSICAL TOUR OF THE WORLD
In this voyage beyond borders, Coreyah brought the house down with their first North American performance (a big thank you to Korea Arts Management Services) before making way to the delirious dancing energy of the Iqaluit-based The Jerry Cans, who brought a huge, smiling crowd of Northerners to Cabaret Lion d’Or.
We were also put under a spell by the magnetic personality of Mehdi Cayenne (Canada) on Wednesday afternoon, then on Thursday night with the socially conscious dance party of Beny Esguerra & New Tradition (Canada) and the magical and powerful performance by Iskwé (Canada). Friday night, La Yegros (Argentina) and Las Cafeteras (United States) brought an incredible tropical ambiance to a packed Le National.
Special mentions also go to the charismatic, powerful voice of Stella Gonis (Martinique), Estonian supergroup Trad.Attack! and the emotional intensity of Nick Sherman (Canada).
AN INDUSTRY WITHOUT BORDERS
Music travels beyond borders, and in these tumultuous times, it brings a message of tolerance and openness. Mundial Montreal built its musical program around these values, and brought them into our series of panels, including the highly inspirational talk given by Laura Hassler, who founded Musicians without Borders, and spoke about her work building bridges and helping communities heal the trauma of war and division. The Idle No More panel got delegates talking about how to break down barriers with indigenous artists.
The Mentor Café and Speed Schmooze gave participants the chance to discuss their work, make connections and build professional relationships that create opportunities to develop artist careers. The World Routes Network meeting was a fruitful discussion allowing Canadian presenters to share their experiences, challenges, and successes. A return on the road is planned for APAP in New York in January, and Folk Alliance International in Kansas, MO, in February.
TRANSATLANTIC BRIDGE PRIZE AND STINGRAY RISING STARS AWARD
For the last few years, Mundial Montreal has been collaborating with Babel Med Music in France and Stingray Music to celebrate local talent thanks to prizes aimed at helping Mundial showcasing artists to develop their career. This year, the Stingray Rising Stars award was given to Boogat, who will benefit from enhanced visibility as well as a cash prize of $2000.
The collaboration between Mundial Montreal and the French event Babel Med Music has given birth to the Transatlantic Bridge Prize. Created to increase the circulation of talent between Europe and North America, this prize is given to two groups, one from each event. Awarded during showcases, the award allows artists to access new markets and build their career on both sides of the Atlantic. This year, the prize was awarded to Betty Bonifassi.
Please save the dates! Mundial Montreal will be back for its 7th edition, November 14-17, 2017.