The series started three years ago as a series of "sporadic parties" that aimed to "showcase local and international artists that would... push the limits of musical exploration in a fun and intimate environment." Though Made In Montreal was originally conceived as a way to help promote local artists, it has since featured international DJs alongside Montreal staples. The anniversary event will be headlined by Montreal native Vincent Lemieux, a local export who also helps program MUTEK festival. He'll be supported by organizer and promoter HEAR.
We spoke with Sary Sehnaoui (HEAR) over e-mail to discuss the party's history and future.
Why did you think it was necessary to have a local-themed party at the time?
We named our parties Made in Montreal because we wanted to create a platform that celebrates and unites the multiple artists that form the local musical scene as well as the international talents that we liked and looked up to. We also felt that outside [of the] big festivals and venues, there was still a sound to explore and to discover, that is unique to the city.
How has Made In Montreal evolved over the years?
The parties started in small venues with friends in close circles. We then started inviting international guests, sometimes with the collaboration of other promoters. The nights were in different, more adapted locations and clubs, often followed by legendary afterparties where our guests would play marathon sets. This is why, for our 3 year anniversary, we invited two local artists. Vincent Lemieux, a veteran and pillar of the Montreal local scene, the program planner of MUTEK, and the co-founder of the label Musique Risquée, as well as our resident DJ HEAR, who will soon be releasing on Pheek’s Montreal-based label Archipel.
What's been the milestone for the party so far?
Proudest moment was last year's Halloween. We wanted to do something very different, and so we organized an all-night loft party with Move D [not at a nightclub]. The party was private and was limited to 150 people, which sold out very quickly... We spent several days decorating the loft to make it similar to a haunted house. The result was striking, people got lost in the space and the party was unprecedented. As a matter of fact, we are already organizing the next Halloween party with Move D again, as it's becoming a tradition. We are really looking forward to this one!
Are you happy with the musical climate in Montreal? Do you think it's still open-minded, and what kind of music do you think dominates it right now?
We are very happy with the musical climate in Montreal. It's actually getting more open-minded than [it was] before as well as more eclectic, with increasingly more international artists being showcased in the city. With the contribution of government-funded festivals such as MUTEK, Piknic Electronik and Igloofest, the scene is not based on nightlife but rather on the arts, which keeps the standard extremely high. The music that dominates is a very eclectic blend of minimal techno and deep house.