FIMA 2012: Born in the Village
The Festival International Montréal en Arts (FIMA) is back for its 13th edition, filling Ste-Catherine Street with artists from June 27 to July 1. The event’s director, Stéphane Mibilais is counting on some new and innovative art to attract a new generation of art lovers and is ecstatic to see Montréal’s gay Village fostering artists and creatives.
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2B. What’s new in this edition of FIMA?
Stéphane Mabilais. For the first time, we are launching “my first art gallery”, which is geared towards children. We want to initiate them into art collecting. They will have a true gallery experience: an art opening with orange juice served in glasses; pieces of art for ten dollars that they can treat themselves to. Artists like Zilon have agreed to participate in the project. The Fondation Jasmin Roy [organisation that works to fight bullying in schools] will receive 50% of the proceeds.
2B. In what ways is the event geared towards the LGBT community?
S.M. It is not a gay event in and of itself, but it was born in the Village and it’s still alive and well today. FIMA celebrates a domain that is of interest to the community. During the first years, we prioritized selecting LGBT artists. However, we realized that the media sought above all to promote erotic gay works. We have nothing against that, but we could not let this aspect take over the event. We wanted diversity, but the journalists were not interested. The event was called “Festival des arts du Village” at the time. We changed the name.
2B. In previous years, you were disappointed that the space used for the festival has shrunk over time. Are you happy now with its size?
S.M. The problem remains the same. Due to the pedestrianization of the Village, the police require us to leave extra space for the delivery trucks. This removes between 30 and 40 spaces. This lost dynamic was partially found again after our discussion with captain Gagnon of the SPVM. As for Place Émilie-Gamelin, the Quartier des Spectacles, which manages the park, still refuses to let us occupy the space because of the commercial aspect of FIMA, where the money collected for the artwork goes to the artists and not to the festival.
2B. FIMA is above all a street event. The streets, including in the Village, are presently occupied by students and those opposed to the law 78. Are you planning any initiatives in the guise of support?
S.M. No. We thought of making a gesture when we will be handing out the awards on Thursday June 28, with a small group who will play something with ‘’casseroles’’. After having discussed it together, we realized that it was not a good idea.
2B. These past few years, with Aires Libres and the pedestrianization of Ste-Catherine Street, is the Village becoming more artistic? What do you think of this evolution?
S.M. I like the approach. Denis Brossard [president of the board of directors for the Socitété de développement commercial (SDC) du Village, who started Aires Libres] really likes the festival. I think that FIMA has influenced him. We were the first ones to close off the street to traffic, even before the Outgames. They’re on the right track. Even if FIMA finds itself hindered by the general pedestrianization, on the whole it is advantageous, notably for safety reasons and for funding.
June 27 – July 1
Ste-Catherine Est – Aires Libres
Image: TRIO MANGUS, (Toronto) who will be part of Totem Urbain with Cease It and En masse, June 29 + 30, 2-8pm. The works created will be auctioned July 1st with 20% of the funds going to the Fondation Jasmin Roy for LGBT youth.