Montreal Musicians Head West for ‘Quebec in Hollywood’

September in Los Angeles is shaping up to be a lot like spring in Montreal, thanks to the Quebec government. For most of the month, Quebec In Hollywood has been taking Tinsletown by, er, blizzard. Those clued into this particular brand of Canadian awesomeness will be treated to films, events and concerts presented by our neighbors up north.

While a lot of the events are over (The fest began on September 9), the music portion of Quebec in Hollywood is just heating up, with several concerts scheduled for this week.

Last night, for example, singer, composer and filmmaker Elisapie Isaac (pictured) dazzled those who caught her intimate set. “There’s a really cool vibe here,” said Issac, who is also playing on Thursday at Piano Bar. “It’s so down to earth,” she added. So is the freckled Montreal resident, who also sings in Inuktitut and French, worried about Americans not understanding her words? Not necessarily. “We use words that are useful, but not exactly poetic,” she said of her native Inuit language (Isaac has played everywhere from Igloos to concert halls). “It’s a day-to-day, kind of language, but I try to put more dreamy elements into my music,” she added.

Tonight, a massive showcase of Montreal-bred talent will be on display at the El Rey theatre, where Patrick Watson, Malajube, the Barr Brothers, and the Besnard Lakes all perform in a gig co-promoted by local heavyweights Goldenvoice, the company behind Coachella. And while it’s no secret Montreal produces some of the best bands in the world, few people in Southern California seem aware of Quebec’s unlikely alliance with Hollywood. According to Quebec Government Representative Yanick Godbout, “around 10,000” Québécoise live and work in L.A., part of a greater estimated 100,000 Canadians who live, work and play in the greater L.A. area.

Proof of Quebec’s influence in SoCal can be seen later this month, when IRIS, the new show by Québec’s very own Cirque du Soleil, gets its world premiere at the Kodak Theater, in what is expected to have a successful run to rival similar shows in Las Vegas.

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