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There is a cemetery at the edge of the village.

Carpathian Mountains,
field of sunflowers.

By the river Maros, Kisjenö.
Gilded icon guards white-washed farm house.
Mud-brick fireplace. Stone benches.
Spinning wheel, bed, table, and chairs.

Accordion with violin,
cimbalom, the zither.

Great-grandmother Victoria wears a párta diadem,
woven of gold and silk and crystal glass beads.
Embroidered linen blouse, cashmere skirt.
Calla lilies and white roses bridal bouquet.

Three sons and one daughter.

Grandmother Mariska
has no memory of her mother.
Not to know her mother's hands.

Green gooseberry of a thorny shrub.
Tree trunks limed against the codling moth.
Peach tree and pear. Cackling hens, geese.
Close to the house, stables.

Great-grandfather György deserting his wife.
The year was 1897. Victoria farmed out
her daughter. Kept her three sons at home.

Faded homespun, knee-high boots.
Four years of grade school. A servant girl at nine.

Tallow candles and oil burning lamps.
On the oak table, bean soup with dumplings.
Maize bread baked in outdoor clay oven.


Palascinta filled with ground walnuts and sugar.
Served with warm apricot marmalade.

Ilona Martonfi is the author of three poetry books,
Blue Poppy, (Coracle Press, 2009.) Black Grass,
(Broken Rules Press, 2012). The Snow Kimono,
(Inanna Publications, 2015).

Image courtesy of Wikicommons.

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How many dispossessed?

"Enemies of the people"

for many long years

labour camps in the Ural taiga

white sun, white sky


uninhabited.


"You have 15 minutes!"

pack a bag, sepia photographs.

Grandfather's sister, Lia,

brother Yaakov, deported

accused of being a kulak

owner of lands

in Sudilkov village


windowless cattle cars

for one thousand versts around:

Where to? For how long?

Wolf carcasses

earth dugouts and huts

ragged, lice-ridden.

Logging timber

rye bread rations

thin, watery soup

barbed wire of the camp.


But how long can a song last?

Smuggled out with prison letters

sphagnum, bog cranberry


steppe wildflowers

buried beyond the river.


Ilona Martonfi is the author of three poetry books, Blue Poppy, (Coracle Press, 2009.) Black Grass, (Broken Rules Press, 2012). The Snow Kimono, (Inanna Publications, 2015).


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In honour of trees
leave a blank page


at the site on behalf of Inuit.
This is for you
aligning holes between rocks
in likeness of a person
its extended arms


a flock of ravens
leave Inukshuk stone carving


almond­shaped openings
in honour of Cpl. Cirillo
sacred katajjaq --
throat singing
other side of the hill
ominously reply
issue ultimatums
as parliament returns
day after shooting
direction markers
constructed as memorial


a soldier's final journey
along Highway of Heroes:
keep people silent
still frame taken from video
hearse procession.
That dividing line,
humbleness to that man
burden only he can carry
cross-shaped cairn


keeps vigil over the land
not the caw of a seagull
I heard no sound.

(Nunatsiaq News: Staff with Inuit, Tapiriit Kanatami, laid a card and an Inukshuk carving at the granite cenotaph National War Memorial in Ottawa in honour of Corporal Nathan Cirillo, who was killed there October 22 2014).

Photo courtesy of ITK.


Ilona Martonfi is the author of three poetry books, Blue Poppy, (Coracle Press, 2009.) Black Grass, (Broken Rules Press, 2012). The Snow Kimono, (Inanna Publications, 2015).

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If you're a veteran in the Montreal comedy scene then chances are you've heard the name Joe Avati. He's the Australian-Italian comedian who's been touring around North America, England, and his native of Australia for almost 20 years! With his charming accent and ability to perform in both English and Italian, it's no wonder Joe continues to fill up venues all over the world and has been called "the greatest comedian you've never heard off". I caught up with Joe back in June, right before he hit the stage for his Back To Basics Tour show at the Leonardo Da Vinci Center to discuss the tour, upcoming projects, and all other things comedic. The evening also marked his 67th show at the LDV Center proving how Montrealers just can't seem to get enough of this wonder from down under.

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They speak French. Some of them send their children to French schools to preserve their language. They have their own flag, their own culture, and their own history.

They also live in Saskatchewan.

The Fransaskois may not have the numbers that the Quebecois or even the Franco-Manitobans, but they are still an important part of Saskatchewan's history. The province has small settlements and hamlets that are entirely francophone as well as towns and cities that have sizeable, sometimes majority, Fransaskois populations. Everywhere the Fransaskois are, they celebrate their language and unique origins as proudly as any Quebecois.

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Photo cred: www.montrealfolkfest.com

Can we avenge "The Avengers" ? - Montréalités Comics

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I can't believe it has already been three years since Marvel unleashed its cinematic monster, The Avengers, onto the public. I still remember how excited I was after having seeing all of the buildup and connections that were teased in the previous, standalone films (ie: Iron Man, Thor, etc). Naturally, Marvel was aware of how big of a fan I was, so it was no surprise that they happened to release it a week before my birthday and you can bet your bottom dollar that I was going to see it. You can imagine my equal amount of excitement when I realized that Marvel was set to do so again, this time with the sequel, The Avengers: Age of Ultron! With my fiancée, brother, and old roommate in tow, we embarked on what I would have thought would be another successful chapter in the Marvel line-up, but did it meet our standards?

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Je suis un oiseau.

Ni l'abeille, ni la baleine.

Il mange une abeille.

I'm not sure when I'll be using those phrases, but if Duolingo is trying to make learning French memorable, it has succeeded. When I picked up the app, I wasn't expecting much--there was no way an iPhone app could teach me a language I had no knowledge of. Two months of using Duolingo later, I'm willing to admit I was wrong. While it's not a substitute for classroom learning, Duolingo is a useful way to start learning a language on your own time and at your own pace.

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Fundamentally, all writing is about the same thing; it's about dying, about the brief flicker of time we have here, and the frustration that it creates- Mordecai Richler

Fans of famed Montreal author Mordecai Richler will be thrilled to see his popular novel, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz appearing live on stage in a musical number at the Segal Centre. The tale is being brought back to life by award winning composers Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, A Christmas Carol) and David Spencer (The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables). Prior to the stage, the novel was adapted into a 1974 film starring Richard Dreyfuss and Randy Quaid. Originally published in 1959, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz continues to be a must read novel, whether you're from Montreal or not. Those familiar with the novel (like myself) will notice the differences and similarities between the play, film, and novel.

Since the early history of the National Hockey League (NHL), and of professional hockey, the Montreal Canadiens have dominated the city's headlines, been front-page news for decades, and dominated the league winning 24 Stanley Cups between 1915 and 1993. On April 29th 2015, the Montreal Impact lost the second match of the CONCACAF Champions' League Final, 4 to 2, against one of North America's richest, most followed, and dominanting clubs Mexico's Club America. Yes, at the end of the day they lost, but at the same time the acheived the milestone of gaining access to their first major final. This has also contributed to the ever-rising popularity of football (or soccer if you wish) in Montreal, the province of Quebec, and because it was a nationality televised event, Canada.

Since the tender age of 8 I have been in love with cheese. My adoration for it began at a Christmas supper, after the main course had been served. My father's family had always been strong supporters of apéritifs and cheese before dessert. My brother, cousins, and I would always see them conversing and laughing over a few bottles of wine and a large cheese platter. Many cousins often made funny faces and held their noses when this tray would come out of the kitchen which confused me some because my father, his siblings, and my grand-mother swore by cheese. How could the adults be so passionate about cheese and the kids so revolted? I needed to get to the bottom of this!

A beginner's guide to comic books - Montréalités Comics

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You've seen the movies and you've seen the TV shows, but now you want to start reading comics and don't know where to start? Well look no further! In this article you will find ­some easy to follow pointers, which will help you enjoy comics to their fullest.

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I've been a fan of legendary director Alfred Hitchcock for years and believe that he is an icon in the world of cinema. Hitchcock, known as the "master of suspense", was quite ahead of his time. He wasn't afraid to push the envelope and make movies that were unique from anything else. His actions were at times questionable, such as his infatuations with the women in his movies and his ill treatment of actress Tippi Hedren in The Birds. Despite his flaws, Alfred Hitchcock has influenced many directors: Steven Spielberg, Brian De Palma and David Fincher to name a few.

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Recently this article was published and it got me thinking: what is wrong with our government? The person in question was found guilty of tax evasion for working with a prostitution company in the 1980's. Who in their right mind would believe that people would openly and willingly admit that they are earning money illegally and that they should pay their taxes on it? The whole point about doing illegal activities is to make more money in a shorter amount of time. Things like drug or weapon selling, money laundering, and prostitution do not typically show up on income tax papers. The person in this article was found by a judge to have evaded tax and is required to pay back all that is owed, including penalties.

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1. A separate date

Easter is one of the two biggest Christian holidays worldwide, but it originated long before organized religion, as a celebration of spring, joy and rebirth. There's no fixed date in the calendar for it: in Western Christianity (the Catholic and Protestant denominations), according to the Gregorian calendar, Easter always falls on a Sunday between March 22nd and April 25th, following the first astronomical full moon after the spring equinox; Eastern Christianity, on the other hand, bases its calculations on the Julian Calendar, which is currently behind the Gregorian one by 13 days. Orthodox Easter therefore varies between April 4th and May 8th, so it rarely overlaps with the Western one, and mostly falls later in the year.

While we've been assaulted for weeks now by images of chocolate eggs and bunnies in store window displays, few Montrealers for whom Easter is a religious holiday seem to care much about the religious aspect of it - they just enjoy their day off, eat a lavish lunch and spend time with families. On the contrary, for Orthodox communities (mostly Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Greek and Coptic) in the city, this is the most important holiday of the year. It seems fitting that they would have a separate date to celebrate it.

NDG Breakfast Review - Montréalités Habitat

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They are our morning coffee, our weekend brunch, and our saviors the morning after a few too many glasses of wine. Whether solo or social, 8am or 2pm - breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day, and NDG is spoiled for its many options. This unbiased reviews of five of NDG's top breakfast spots will be sure to get your mouth watering as I evaluate each on the food, the price, the service, the atmosphere, and the overall experience.

All That Glows... - Montréalités Film

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Alan Rudolph's Afterglow (1997) strives to be the alt-romcom for people who look down on romcoms. It burns slowly, ends unhappily, and camouflages its trusty clichés under arch manners. Tinged with sepia and laden with flat ironies, it's a film to which datedness has been preemptively disallowed, but in its cultural context of nineties knowingness, the derivations and unsophisticated sexual politics make it feel immediately stale. Caught between voguish indie sensibilities and well-worn romcom quirks, it's a half-baked product that fails to rise.

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Photo © 1997 Sony Pictures Classics/Sandcastle 5 Productions

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(Photo Credit: Jogg In)

Although not technically a mountain, Mount Royal is rarely or never referred as anything else by the locals. Nestled between the Plateau, Outremont, Côte-des-Neiges, Wesmount, and downtown Ville-Marie, Mount Royal offers a perfect escape from urbanity. It boasts three summits, a man-made lake, two cemeteries, countless trails through the forest and toward the summits for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing, vast green spaces, a sculpture garden, and an interpretive centre, not to mention seasonal and cultural events. Mount Royal has something to offer for everyone who just needs some time away from the busy city schedule.

Just an Afterthought: Quebec's Jutras - Montréalités Film

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Winner of 9 Jutras on the award's inaugural year
(Photo Credit: impawards.com)

The Jutra Awards (La Soirée des Jutras) just turned 17. They aired on the 15th of March, from the Monument-National in the Quartier des Spectacles. The awards are not hugely popular, but the promise of prodige Montréalais Xavier Dolan in competition with--wait for it--himself surely drove viewership from all over Québec. The Jutras, after all, our film award: the highest honor our small but formidable film industry has to congratulate the talents through which it is sustained. Sadly, despite the fact that Québec Cinema has risen on the international scene, its Jutras have not, by association, gained in any measure of global status.

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The Island of Montreal is a wonderful cultural capital, harboring a multitude of centers, groups, institutes and special events organized around the medium of film. Montreal's vast film-cultural arena, favorable to the cause of cinephilia, can be entered into from any number of venues. Those looking to mingle among the cinematically inclined can join the Cinéclub Film Society, which meets at Concordia University's downtown campus. Those eager to experience classics as they were meant to be experienced can attend revivals at the Cinéma du Parc, one of the city's arthouse theatres. Those with an empiric's curiosity about the production of film can take guided tours of La Cité du Cinéma, our country's largest film production facility. Those with a taste for the fresh and exotic can obtain a "passeport" and arrange to see new releases at our annual International Film Festival, which is held in late August/early September. The list goes on and on.

A Chat with Pat - Montréalités Film

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Multi-threat Patricia "Pat" Dillon-Moore has led one of the most interesting professional lives this side of the Atlantic. Diversely experienced, with a repertoire of skills that includes writing and performance, Pat Dillon-Moore is a shining example of passion, prowess and personality. She has carried a film (1986's Sitting in Limbo, directed by John N. Smith); racked up notable theatre credits through the Black Theatre Workshop; founded a company (Black Arts Production); co-founded another (Amanda Jackson Communications); written and acted out a humorous monologue series (Clemmie Is Mi Frien'); and, in 1990, was appointed as station manager of CKUT 90.3. In her long-held position as a publicist for the National Film Board of Canada, she has inspired a great deal of admiration, and has even been hailed as one of the geniuses in the field by esteemed writer Christopher Moore.

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Sam and Simon

The thirties are a strange time, a sort of limbo between not being old enough to be considered middle-aged and not quite young enough to be considered...well, young. However, they are thought to be the time when an individual attains maturity and stability in most areas of life, or so we like to think. Ces gars-là, roughly translated as "Those Boys," follows the lives of two quirky bachelors in their thirties as they chase highs and experience lows in the metropolis of none other than Montréal. The show has been a surprising hit on the relatively minor V network, attracting 500,000 viewers in its first season, and was renewed for a second season which debuted last February. It breaks ground in Quebec television through its realistic representation of life in Montreal, such as the pervasive use of anglicisms in everyday French speech, as well as the evident presence and influence of multiculturalism and bilingualism throughout the city. Despite its raunchy and occasionally over-the-top brand of humour, the show is nonetheless thoroughly entertaining thanks to its original characters, plot and dialogue.

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Montreal native Jean-Marc Vallée is held in un certain regard. A member of what has informally been termed the Quebec New Wave, which consists of French Canadian filmmakers on the ascendant,1he has a special talent for making films that resonate with audiences. Those resonances have carried through the global film industry and secured him a place on the map. What first put him there was the high-water success of LGBT-themed family saga C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005), a labor of love that he developed in collaboration over several years.2 Through precision filmmaking, he presented a somewhat grey-tinted perspective of Revolution-era Montreal, and conveyed a relatable sense of bildungsromanesque angst (authenticated by his own experience). However, contrary to popular perception, C.R.A.Z.Y. was not his first notable effort. In the nineties, his short films garnered him prizes from the Jutras, the Genies and the Yorkton Short Film Festival. In the mid-nineties, the now obscure legal thriller Liste noire also brought him a measure of distinction.2 At present, he merits of a closer look.





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