by Amy Lynn Nicols
FEATURES WINTER 2015
SMOKE MEAT PETE’S Discovering an off-the-beaten-path icon.
INTO THE WOODS An outsider’s firsthand account of a traditional sugar shack
CRAFT IN MILE-END Well-made goods find a home at Clark Street Mercantile
PAINTING THE TOWN Meet the man behind the sign.
LAMBERT & FILS Shedding light on beautifully made lamps in Mile-Ex.
FRESH PAINT GALLERY Exploring the visual culture of Montreal
cover photo by Kate Mada
EVERY ISSUE 2 Map 11 Editor’s Letter 12 Contributors 68 Stylish Streets 70 Style Profile 80 City Guide 83 Sister City
TEAM WONDERFILLED KELLEY ENGELBRECHT Founder & Editor-in-Chief JULIA ENGELBRECHT Founder & Creative Consultant SPECIAL THANKS: Emily McGowan, Rachel Hoffstetter, Hillary Buchanan, Jen Monroe, Erica Taffany & Mike Stempler.
I am so excited to welcome you to Wonderfilled Magazine. This little publication grew out of an insatiable curiosity about the world around us and the desire to learn more about every corner of the globe.
I’ve always loved other cultures. When I was in my early twenties, this translated into lots and lots of travel. It was exhilarating and life-changing, but when I found myself a little more stationary years later, I still craved those moments of discovery. And so Wonderfilled was born because, simply, we want to bring those moments to you. With artfully crafted words and beautiful photography, we’re here to tell the story of a city through food, craft & design. The best part? You don’t need to buy a plane ticket or hit the road to experience this new culture…unless, of course you’re intrigued. As a constantly evolving city with a rich history, Montreal is the perfect place to start. Try out the recipes in this issue to get a taste of what this vibrant city is all about; learn about the artisans that are handcrafting the contemporary culture; feel inspired by the local design that paints the city. Finally, there are so many people to thank who helped us craft this first volume. Wonderfilled wouldn’t exist without you and for that we owe you all our gratitude. We hope you enjoy our Montreal issue because baby, it’s a Wonderfilled world out there. Kelley Engelbrecht Founder & Editor-in-Chief
CONTRIBUTORS Our first issue couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have happened without our amazing contributors, based in Montreal and Vietnam. This talented crew of illustrators, writers and photographers brought to life an incredible city in incredible ways!
AMY LYNN NICHOLS Illustrator, Map pg 2
Writer, A Sweet Quebec Tradition, pg 32
Writer, Merchant of Mile End, pg 42
Writer, Smoked Meat Peteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, pg 22 Writer, Mr. Sign Paints the City, pg 48
Featured Photographer Writer, Flavor Factory, pg 72
Writer, Sister City: Hanoi, Vietnam, pg 83
THE PERFECT DAY by Kelley Engelbrecht | photos by Julia Engelbrecht Marie-Eve, blogger behind Lake Jane, is no stranger to a day well spent. Here is her perfect day in two of Montrealâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vibrant neighborhoods, Mile-End & Mile-Ex. Fairmont Bagles
9AM Start with bagels at FAIRMOUNT BAGEL & check out the pastries at BOULANGERIE GUILLAUME. 10AM Grab a coffee at CLUB SOCIAL and people-watch on Rue St-Viateur.
Lambert et Fils
10:30AM - 12:30PM Explore Boulevard St. Laurent and the surrounding streets. Don’t forget to stop by: KEM COBA “Best ice cream in the world!” BOUTIQUE UNICORN “They carry TONS of Quebec designers.” LAWRENCE BOUCHERIE “A neighborhood butcher shop with local meats & cheeses.” & all the vintage stores on Rue St-Viateur. Make your way north into Mile-Ex and Rue Beaubien. Check out locally-made lamps at LAMBERT & FILS and delicious espresso at CAFÉ ODESSA.
Savoie et Fils
Dinette Triple Crown
12:30PM Keep walking into Little Italy and grab lunch from DINETTE TRIPLE CROWN. If you ask, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll pack it in a picnic basket to-go, complete with a checkered blanket. Head over to the park across the street and enjoy it al fresco!
1:30PM Continue north on Saint-Laurent to Dante Street and turn right. Check out QUINCAILLERIE DANTE.This quirky kitchen supply store has been there for nearly 100 years, and they also sell hunting gear....including guns. The son of the owners is a famous chef in Montreal, He owns RESTAURANT IMPASTO, which just happens to be across the street!
2:00PM From Dante Street, walk north on Saint-Dominique to JEAN-TALON MARKET. Grab some oysters from the oyster bar and explore all the stores. 4:00PM Continue northward on Henri-Julien until you hit Rue Villeray. Walk along Villeray, stopping by CHEZ VITO for an iced latte. Finish your day in PARC JARRY. a
Go to the City Guide on page 80 for more information on where you can find each stop in Marie-Eveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s perfect day.
photos by Kate Mada
There's something special about Montreal... the band is attracted by the city. Maybe it's because of the dual culture which, in a way, reminds us of Ireland, or because Montreal is more a cultural center than a political center
or simply because Montreal has some of the most beautiful women I ever saw in my life. - Bono
Get a taste of the Discovering city the city, one bite at a time.
Smoke Meat Pete's An Unknown Icon
AT THE FAR END OF THE RESTAURANT two chefs stand behind a rectangular slit in the wall, reaching to grab little slips of paper before turning their backs to prepare the next meal. In constant motion, they whip up sandwiches and a variety of other plates including baby back ribs, smoked meat spaghetti, and other classic Jewish deli items.
The head chef, a mainstay employee of the smokehouse for several years, eventually gives consent to take his photograph and smiles proudly as he holds up one of his mouthwatering creations. As each order is called to order, a little smile appears on the corner of his lips. Located in the sleepy town of Ile Perrot, Quebec, the name Smoke Meat Pete’s will certainly ring a bell to most who’ve lived in Montreal long enough to know there’s more than one place to get smoked meat. Those who’ve made the half-hour drive from downtown past Saint-Anne-de-Bellevue, the island’s most western point, know it’s worth
the extra mileage. Lying just meters from one of Canada’s busiest expressways, the restaurant has been serving pounds and pounds of Montreal’s iconic smoked meat every day for the past 18 years. The restaurant’s only waitress, a young blonde in her early twenties, casually throws in tidbits of the restaurant’s history as she shuffles back and forth between the back and front of house. This Montreal institution opened in 1996 and moved into their current location in 2000 once business started taking off. Now housed in what looks like a traditional cabin, the restaurant also plays host to live jazz and blues bands seven days a week.
Inside Smoked Meat Pete’s, patrons line up to order from the cash register, salivating as they scan the large menu and taking deep whiffs of the sensational smells. Photos and newspaper clippings adorn the walls, adding to the restaurant’s family-oriented atmosphere with courteous service that completes the small-town feel. But undoubtedly the most alluring aspect of Smoke Meat Pete’s lies in its namesake – the savoury meat, cured and dressed with black peppercorn, is diced in thick strips, plated on two pieces of fresh rye bread, smeared with yellow mustard, and served with French fries, coleslaw and a sliced pickle. The only exception according to Montrealers, is to have the meat served diced atop poutine, a classic Quebecois dish of fries and cheese curds smothered in gravy.
The fries are altogether another staple of the restaurant, earning the establishment the nickname the Lord of the Fries several years ago from the Montreal Gazette. The owner, Pete Varvaro, has used his mother’s recipe since the opening of the restaurant, and has never once deviated from the Manitoba potato, or what he calls the “best frying potato in Canada.” Quite simply, the recipe is a gold mine. With the killer combination of the city’s best smoked meat and fries unlike any other, repeat customers know exactly what to expect each and every time they visit the restaurant. Almost as soon as the meal came to a close, the band’s singer leaned forward into the microphone and said, barely above a whisper, how they’d be careful not to interrupt the crowd during their meal. It was a refreshing gesture, one that would seemingly only happen in a place like this. The country vibe at Smoke Meat Pete’s coupled with its delicious food should make this an automatic stop for anyone visiting the city, whether staying for a few days or just passing through. As the band began to play, the patrons reached down, picked up their food, and bit into one of Montreal’s most iconic sandwiches. a
HAPPY HOUR photos by Julia Engelbrecht THE PLACE: Le Majestique Montreal | 4105 Boulevard Saint-Laurent THE DRINK: Pimm’s Cup GO HERE IF: You’re looking for an atmosphere that’s cozy without the trying-too-hard vibe, complete with quirky dishware and elegant taxidermy.
NOTHING HITS THE SPOT LIKE THE PERFECTLY CURATED COCKTAIL. Wonderfilled hit the happy hour circut to find a favorite Montreal drink, but the options were limitless. We settled on two refreshing drinks in two refreshing establishments.
THE PLACE: Bar Furco | 425 Rue Mayor THE DRINK: Sparkling Prosseco GO HERE IF: Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in the mood to people watch in an industrially chic space.
photos by Kate Mada
article & photos by Michelle Little additional photos by Daniel Bromberg IN 2003, I had just moved from London, UK, to the beautiful city of Montreal. Quebecois culture was foreign to me, and I wanted my Montréalais husband to show me everything. My first real Quebec experience was a trip with the family to une cabane à sucre. My husband’s Quebecois family chose this particular cabane à sucre because it was quaint, authentic and located in the picturesque Richelieu Valley just south of Montreal. The date was set, and we hoped the snow would be gone (it wasn’t). La cabane, or sugar shack, was a totally foreign concept for this girl who grew up on the Canadian prairies. I had no idea what to expect besides a lot of sugar. I did know that it was a Quebecois springtime tradition, and that my husband (who has a major sweet tooth) was very excited about introducing me to the concept. We drove to the countryside on a beautiful spring day, zipping past forest, car dealerships and the casse-croûte, or small independent fast food stands which dot the Quebec landscape. Down a muddy lane I spied an old cabin
A Sweet Queb
with smoke furiously coming out of the chimney. I could hear the clanging bells of a horse pulling a carriage filled with excited children through the woods, past the stands of maple trees. The young kids were chattering away in French, excited to be out on their once-a-year visit to the cabane. We entered the sugar shack and were seated at a rustic wooden table while traditional Quebecois folk music played softly in the background. Kids were running everywhere and the smell of maple syrup and cooking food permeated the air. I quickly caught on that une cabane à sucre translates to sugar shack in English for a reason. It’s when the entire family traditionally headed out into the woods to collect maple water from the maple trees to boil it down to the oh-so-precious maple syrup. The springtime tradition is always accompanied by a big family feast, which includes split pea soup, omlettes, ham, meat pie (tourtière), pancakes, homemade pickles and oreille de crisse, also known as pork cracklings. Everything is then traditionally soaked in maple syrup and the meal is followed by maple pie and maple soaked doughnuts. If that weren’t enough, afterwards everyone heads outside for la tire d’érable or maple taffy. Hot concentrated maple syrup is poured
on snow where it is cooled and wrapped around a popsicle stick. The result is a rustic maple syrup popsicle. Today the sugar shack has been heavily commercialized and you can find ones that feed upward of 500 people at a time. These are loud affairs that are often followed by a lot of beer and dancing. The mom-and-pop sugar shacks are harder to find but still worth seeking. Even better is to get to know someone who owns one, as we were lucky enough to do over the last couple years. My thoughts on my first sugar shack experiences? Well, besides a family member’s car getting stuck in the mud and the weird combination of eggs and maple syrup, which I have yet to get used to, I absolutely adored it. I am so lucky to live in this special part of the world which has its own traditions and unique culture. I still may not be shooting maple syrup straight (I’ll leave that to my husband) but I appreciate getting out of the city after a long and hard Montreal winter and celebrating nature’s bounty with friends and family. You can’t beat that. a
Traditional Sugar Shack Fare TANTE JEANINE’S TOURTIÈRE
This recipe comes from my husband’s Aunt Nicole who is a wonderful cook. She in turn got it from her aunt – Tante Jeanne. For Nicole, it’s simply the best recipe out there.
1 onion, diced 1 clove of garlic, crushed 1 tbsp olive oil 1 potato peeled and cut into small dice 1 carrot peeled and cut into small dice ½ pound ground pork ¾ pound ground veal 1-ounce chicken stock ¼ cup breadcrumbs 1 tsp nutmeg 1 tsp cinnamon ½ tsp powdered cloves salt and pepper to taste 1 egg yolk, beaten 1 package frozen all-butter puff pastry 10” wide, deep pie dish Preheat oven to 475˚F Remove your puff pastry from the freezer and let thaw. Cook onion, garlic, olive oil, potato and carrot in a large pan or pot over medium heat until they soften, around 15 minutes. Add the ground pork and veal Once the meat has been browned add chicken stock, bread crumbs and spices. Cook the mixture for 30 minutes. Let it cool slightly. Place mixture in a large bowl and refrigerator until cool, around 1 hour.
Roll out a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface into a 12” round. Transfer to pie dish leaving overhang. Fill with cooled meat mixture. Roll out remaining dough disk into 10” round and place dough over meat filling. Fold overhang over top crust. Create egg wash by combining the beaten egg yolk with a few drops of water. Brush over the crust. Cut a 2” X in the top of the crust. Cook at 475˚F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 400˚F and cook for another 20 minutes. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve with chunky chow-chow ketchup if desired.
Heat milk, cream, and 1 tbsp. water in a small saucepan until an instant-read thermometer registers 110˚F - 115˚F. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in a pinch of sugar. Sprinkle yeast over and let stand until foamy (around 10 minutes). Using an electric mixer beat remaining 1/3 cup sugar and eggs in a large bowl until pale and foamy, about 3 minutes.
Pour syrup into a large bowl. Attach a deep-fry thermometer to the side of a large pot. Fill the pot with 2” of oil and heat over medium heat until thermometer registers 300˚F. Working in batches, fry doughnuts stirring gently with a slotted spoon to keep doughnuts rotated until golden brown (about 2 minutes per batch).
Using slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to bowl of maple syrup. Let soak, turning as more Gently stir in yeast mixture and melted butter. doughnuts are added until doughnuts absorb Add 2 ½ cups of flour and salt. Stir until a very syrup, around 15 minutes. soft dough forms. Adapted from Chef Picard’s award-winning Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel. Let cookbook Cabane À Sucre Au Pied de Cochon. dough rise in a warm, draft free area until Best served hot! doubled, about 1 ½ hours. (Or cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise for 8 hours in the refrigerator) Punch down dough. If at this point if you notice it is still very wet, add another ½ cup flour until it is no longer sticky. Knead dough several turns in bowl and form into a ball. Transfer to a generously floured work surface. Sprinkle dough with flour and roll out to ½” thickness. Cut out doughnut holes with cookie cutter. Transfer to a floured baking sheet. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 20 minutes.
MAPLE SYRUP-SOAKED DOUGHNUT HOLES
1/3 plus ¼ cup whole milk 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. heavy cream 1/3 cup granulated sugar plus a pinch more for yeast (use maple sugar if you can find it) 2 1/4 tsp (1 package) active dry yeast 2 large eggs, room temperature 3 ½ tsp unsalted butter, melted 2 ½ cups flour plus more for surface ½ tsp kosher salt 1 ¼ cups pure maple syrup vegetable oil for frying 1” or 2” round cookie cutter deep fry thermometer
CRAFT Meet the movers and the makers
photo by Kate Mada
The Merchant of Mile-End by Michael Johnson photos by Julia Engelbrecht & Matthew Brooks EQUAL PARTS STOREFRONT, STUDIO, AND STORYTELLER, up-and-comer Clark Street Mercantile is happy to call Mile End home The light’s fading in Montreal, and the neighborhood of Mile End is easing into its nightly ritual of fine dining and festivity. Restaurants and pubs hum to life; before long, bay windows and terraces are brimming with patrons, slowly pouring onto the sidewalk until every street corner is a social gathering. Mordecai Richler fans will be familiar with the Mile End that set the scene for some of his most celebrated work: a tightly-knit Jewish
community built on the backs of laborers and small business owners. Today, that dust has settled. The last shreds of the area’s working class roots cling to the faint sound of freighters passing through the nearby train yard. The institutions etched in Richler’s stories now share a spotlight with a fresh crop of eateries, shops and creatives. It’s a younger, reinvigorated space now, where you come for the gravlax but stay for the Arcade Fire sighting. Fortunately, today’s Mile End appears more inclined to take part in its storied narrative and less inclined to simply rewrite it. Enter Clark Street Mercantile. At the corner of Clark and Fairmount, a stone’s throw from the iconic
Fairmount Bagel and Wilensky’s, this budding menswear store and studio space couldn’t be in better company. “History is just oozing from these streets,” says Scott Meleskie, Mercantile owner and founder. “What an honor to sit alongside these pillars of the community, to have this truly authentic ‘Montreal’ experience at my doorstep.” Authenticity is Mercantile’s calling card. In a city that’s already flush with reputable menswear stores, Meleskie set up shop determined to offer a unique experience. With a background in content marketing, he knows that consumers expect brands to pull back the curtain, to develop a voice and to show some character. So it comes as no surprise that at the core of the Mercantile experience beats the heart of a storyteller.
“We’re curating brands that have a distinct story,” he says. “It could be inspired by timelessness, a brand that’s been around for 100+ years and is still using the same production methods, or it can be a new product that’s changing the game. Craftsmanship is everything to us. It doesn’t necessarily have to be made by one person with a needle and thread, but effort and attention to detail has to define the product.”
the tactile, the ritual of the purchase. We want to develop meaningful relationships with our customers. It’s all about the conversation.” As with most healthy relationships, Mercantile aims to strike a balance between variety and exclusivity. There’s a general store feel to the place, with collections ranging from local grooming products by Les Industries Groom to timeless brogues by Grenson, chinos by Engineered Garments to shirts by Portuguese Flannel. Meleskie also has a penchant for oneoff items, and is known to stock items like vintage Tag Heuer stopwatches, Douk-Douk pocket knives, and Daneson toothpicks.
The store flows like a gallery space. Items aren’t simply forced onto racks – they’re given room to breathe, with each display tailored for maximum visibility and interaction. “We want to make shopping an event again,” he says. “Personally I have a hard time going online and There’s even an in-house CSM collection that investing in, say, a jacket that I’ve never tried on includes clothing, bags, and enamel mugs. before. I’m a bit old school in that sense. I need “It’s an ongoing project,” says Meleskie.
“CRAFTSMANSHIP IS EVERYTHING TO US. IT DOESN’T NECESSARILY HAVE TO BE MADE BY ONE PERSON WITH A NEEDLE AND THREAD, BUT EFFORT AND ATTENTION TO DETAIL HAS TO DEFINE THE PRODUCT.”
“The goal is to have the next collection made entirely in Montreal.” Everything lives up to Mercantile’s ‘crafted’ ethos in spades, but perhaps most important of all to the cause is that they’re hard to find. “I’m trying to carry what no one else is carrying in Montreal,” says Meleskie. “There’s no point competing. These are the brands that I’d otherwise have to look for in New York or online.” When Mercantile isn’t busy with wares, the brand is growing as a gallery and event space. “Everything is mobile,” he says. “We can unhook racks, move furniture, and open the space right up.”
Earlier this year, Mercantile launched UNDERDOGS, a Canadian debut for Irish street artist Solus. They collaborated on a mixed media series with local artist Ă&#x2030;milie Huot. The walls are lined with art at all times, from screen prints to photography, including some by the shop owner himself. While still in its infancy, the Mercantile brand is already an old soul. Its shelves are lined with history and heritage; its walls brimming with personality. That commitment to authenticity is what makes Clark Street Mercantile a safe bet for Mile End purists. The story is still there to tell â&#x20AC;&#x201C; you just need to find the right characters to tell it. a
Mr. Sign paints the city photos & article by Daniel Bromberg sign photos by Dave Arnold
DAVE ARNOLD IS A MAN WITH UNRELENTING PASSION. With a personality easily defined as eccentric, his charisma is profoundly captivating; with a laugh so contagious and a tone of voice so raw, they validate his attitude of being a man on a mission. And as he sits in an overheated Vietnamese restaurant on Beaubien Avenue, Dave pivots gently on his small, wooden chair and says, “The enjoyment of productivity is a whole different type of joy.” In one swift breath, the man also known as Mr. Sign, speaks sincerely of his honest belief that people should follow their dreams and
love what they do every single day. Maybe it’s because he has finally reached the point where he himself can easily identify the true value of those words. As Dave hungrily takes another bite of one of the three imperial rolls on his plate, he smiles softly as he begins to recount how drastically his life as a sign painter has changed in recent years. Following a wild visit to Montreal in the early 2000s, Dave moved to the Saint Henri neighborhood in 2004 with four friends, sharing one large, open-concept loft for a total of $500. Dave admitted that his formative years as an artist were largely possible due to the city’s low cost of living and the forgiving environment
for struggling artists in Montreal. “There’s no way I could have done this in Toronto, or any number of other North American cities. My only concern each month was just to raise $100 for rent, and that was easy enough, even if I did have to survive off cheese and crackers for an entire winter,” Dave recalls. Living in Montreal gave him the opportunity to test the waters with a variety of projects such as developing a comic book concept and painting the outside window of a dépanneur for $50 and a case of beer. Once the initial euphoria wore off, however, Dave had to face the reality that he needed more money to keep himself afloat. “After one brutal winter, I took a job as a roadie and travelled across Canada and the US for three years, returning to Montreal whenever I needed to recharge.”
“AS IT IS WITH ANYTHING CREATIVE, THE PERSON IS THE FILTER. UNTIL YOU RUN THE INK THROUGH THE PERSON IT REMAINS THE SAME: UNIMAGINATIVE, UNORGINAL AND IDENTICAL TO THE NEXT”
Having grown up in Oakville, a small suburban town in southern Ontario, life on the open road was quite different than what he was used to. Although there were some unforgettable experiences, by the time he resettled in the city in 2009, he was ready to make some changes.
Once back in Montreal, Dave acted on a whim and went north to Quebec City for a workshop ran by Pierre Tardiff, a veteran sign painter in the region. Hesitating at first to participate in the group activities and roundtable discussions, the ensuing conversations encouraged Dave to push himself even further. “One of the greatest quotes I’ve ever heard goes something like, ‘a sign painter is by definition an inventor,’” Dave says. “I believed it meant I had to take my creativity to the next level.” Almost overnight, the bleak future Dave had envisioned was suddenly not as discouraging as he once imagined. “Where once I thought the idea of selling paintings was entirely farfetched, I felt as though I was ready to really give it a shot.” It was perhaps a defining moment in his life; the instant from which Mr. Sign embraced his persona and has not looked back. These days, hand-painted storefront windows can be spotted across Montreal, leaving one wondering if this has quietly become something of a local trend. Designing and painting the window of Joe Beef, a legendary restaurant in the borough of Little Burgundy, owned and operated by David McMillan and Frédéric Morin, was Dave’s first major hit, an experience he chalks up as a chance encounter several years ago that profoundly changed his notoriety in the city. Since then, he has proudly painted the windows of Liverpool House, Nora Gray, Lawrence, Sparrow, among many others, even a couple of food trucks, including Grumman ’78 and Nouveau Palais’ Winneburger.
“ONE OF THE GREATEST QUOTES I’VE EVER HEARD GOES SOMETHING LIKE, ‘A SIGN PAINTER IS BY DEFINITION AN INVENTOR’”
Apart from randomly stumbling across an old piece of work once in a while, Dave insists there isn’t one sign that stands out from the rest. “To be honest, I love them all,” he said proudly. “The beauty of it is that my skills improve with each one and they’re all a little bit better than the last.” As an artist, Dave believes that nothing can be replicated, allowing his work to truly stand out in Montreal. “As it is with anything creative, the person is the filter. Until you run the ink through the person, it remains the same: unimaginative, unoriginal, and identical to the next,” he explains. The painting process is lengthy – the hours poured into everything from detailing the design to executing flawless brush strokes on a storefront window can often be painstaking. At the beginning, Dave would start by sign painting an existing design or company logo. He eventually took on that extra design step, but it didn’t always work out in his favor. In fact, the initial design stage resulted in longer hours for the same amount of pay, and fewer jobs. Even once he completed the project, he often had second thoughts about the finished product. “It wasn’t uncommon for me to stay up all night obsessing over something, only to come back the next morning and starting again from scratch,” Dave confessed. “The real problem with being a perfectionist is that you can’t always see the forest through the trees.”
As a result of hard work and dedication, he has come a long way since his first years as a struggling artist. Nowadays, the increase in requests for sign painting has Dave both excited and pleasantly overwhelmed. In the last five years, Mr. Sign’s painting skills have noticeably improved and with time, Dave has become more confident about different types of design. When working with employers who lack a sense of creativity, he is able to conceptualize a brand image tailored to their needs. The secret, he revealed, is that the learning process was essential for developing his painting skills. “The body and mind must be trained, not only taught. Like a chef, I’ve become nimbler with the process.” As a result, less time is spent on the finer details, and Dave has been able to take on more work, and has begun to focus on the future. His current vision is to launch a design firm within the next two years and to partner with other artists, artisans and marketers to conquer the industry.
“THE REAL PROBLEM WITH BEING A PERFECTIONIST IS THAT YOU CAN’T ALWAYS SEE THE FOREST THROUGH THE TREES.” The beauty of unravelling an artist’s web is that each thread reveals something different about the past. As he wipes the plate clean, Dave slowly leans forward and speaks about the notion of leaving something behind. “I’ve often wondered, if someone were to write your biography, would there be any interesting chapters?” The sense of belonging struck deep, as the sign painter reflects upon his own journey and where he is today. He and his wife just moved into a new house, and he smiles the way only an expecting father can. Yet, despite all the success he’s had in both his personal and professional life, one thing is certain: Dave Arnold is inherently competitive, if with no one but himself. His drive and determination have proven valiant thus far, and it will be interesting to witness how far they will continue to take him. a
DESIGN Experience the aesthetic
Design Experiencing the aesthetic
LET THERE BE LIGHT by Kelley Engelbrecht | photos by Julia Engelbrecht
IN THE HEART OF THE MILE-EX, on Rue Beaubien, you’ll find an unassuming storefront with immaculately designed lamps in the windows. Walk inside and immediately you’re under a canopy of brass fixtures, vintage light bulbs, and other mid-century lighting structures. Welcome to Lambert & Fils. Samuel Lambert, the shop’s namesake and fearless leader, wasn’t always in the lamp-making business. In fact, one could say that his start came from a general curiosity about design rooted in his fine arts background. At university he studied cinema, which evolved into performance art based on video and lighting elements. It wasn’t until he opened up a tiny café, Laïka, in 2006, that he found himself interested in design, specifically midcentury. And what began as a hobbyist’s casual interest in perusing rummage sales and flea markets for well-designed goods evolved into a full-fledged business, with two brick and mortar stores.
The shop’s origins began with Samuel refubrishing vintage lamps learning the ins and outs of lamp construction. From there he graduated to creating his own unique creations. Today, Lambert & Fils is known for its one-ofa-kind lamps, developed by Lambert’s creative team. In the workshop, filled with coils of wire and light bulbs, it feels like a cozy enough place to foster the kind of creativity you see on the floor. His preferred material? Brass. But after a quick look around his shop, you’ll see that he is drawn to all kinds of material, each with their own distinctive properties. Currently he’s experimenting with aluminum, a malleable, moldable metal that gives each lamp a certain, well, lightness. On average each lamp takes about three months to make, from concept, to design, to production. But when inspiration strikes, Samuel is a bit more compulsive, diving in headfirst and creating a new lamp within a much shorter timeframe. In fact, that was how things used to work on a regular basis, but now, with a larger team and more creative weigh-in, there is much more reflection…most of the time. Earlier this year, they designed and created a collection of three lamps within three months. Since 2012, Lambert & Fils has been evolving and growing at rapid speed. Now Samuel and his team are taking some time to reflect:
“We are something – we know that, but it’s going so fast. Now we’re taking the time to reflect on what we are and what we want to be. What kind of market? What price? What is our point of view as designers?” Looking to the future, this means a collection at the International Contemporary Furniture Faire (ICFF) in New York, and pushing their aesthetic. There are a lot of new trends to consider – geometry, flat color, brut, primal, tin, and mirror. Samuel relies on his younger designers to push him. And so, in the light-filled shop, nestled in the Mile-Ex, the next wave of ingenious lamp design begins with a brainstorm. a
STYLISH STREETS photos by Kate Mada
Angie Johnson OWNER AND DESIGNER AT NORWEGIAN WOOD, ANGIE JOHNSON IS A TRUE EXAMPLE OF A DYNAMIC FASHION SCENE IN MONTREAL. Angie invited Wonderfilled to hang out with her and her cute pup at her garage sale on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Naturally, we picked her brain about fashion, personal style and how she got her start.
I’m originally from Winnipeg and moved to Montreal 10 years ago. I started learning how to sew when I was really little: my mom taught me embroidery when I was five. She would trace old cartoons on white fabric and I’d embroider the outline. My grandma taught me how to crochet and soon I was altering vintage stuff. In 4-H Club I only took sewing classes. At a certain age, my mom said I had too many clothes and I had to start selling them. I started my first line, Depth Bomb, when I was 16. It was raver clothes that I sold to local boutiques. I studied clothing and textiles at the university of Manitoba. I knew what I liked and I knew what I liked to design but it was good to get the foundation at school. The best part of Montreal is living in a place with other designers. When I moved here the people I met were the people I sought out in a creative community – suddenly I was surrounded by people who got what I was doing! There’s a big art community in Montreal.
My own personal style is eclectic. Some days I want to wear all black, some days I want to wear a cute vintage dress. It’s also one of my greatest faults as a designer. A good collection is focused and often I struggle with that. Most people associate pattern with my brand, but I still appreciate a really good black dress. I have to have a balance between what I like to wear and what sells. Go-to outfit: Dresses – they’re just so easy. I’ve also always loved vintage t-shirts. In fact the shirt I’m wearing, I’ve had since grade 4! I say wear a fancy skirt with sequins and pair it with a vintage t-shirt. Favorite places to shop in Montreal: Lowell Boutique, General 54, Les Etouffe.
ANGIE'S DAILY WONDER:
@A N G I E N O RWE GI A N WO OD
Prototypes in the works...hoping this will be my new personal fave tank...
New jewelry in the works #neon #tassel #gold #earrings #montreal #norwegianwood #jewelry
Sneak peek of a new #silk #chiffon #fringe #kimono we'll be launching in a few months... The view from my studio never stops blowing my mind #montreal #mileend #montroyal #themountain
Call a ‘Street Artist’ a ‘Graffiti Artist’ and you might be met with a raised eyebrow. But for those of us new to the Urban Art movement, the labels aren’t always relevant. Illegal or legal. Letters or Images. To us it’s really about our experience—the direct impact of an urban art piece on our senses. And Montreal’s walls definitely ignite the senses. It’s no secret that Graffiti and Street Art has a huge stake in Montreal’s visual culture. Montreal is home to the longest r unning Graffiti convention in North America, Under Pressure Festival. In 2011, Under Pressure gave birth to Fresh Paint Gallery: a nonconventional art space for nonconventional artists. It brings some of Montreal’s talented outdoor artists indoors. And it doesn’t focus on the labels. “It’s about sharing a space, sharing an experience and building that experience,” says current organizer at Fresh Paint Gallery, Adrien Fumex. The gallery is a volunteerrun, unique space that encourages artists to think outside the box. And Fresh Paint Gallery is almost literally, a box. Currently a simple, stripped, bland apartment with about five main rooms, it’s completely up to the artists to create the experience. Entire rooms are changed into multimedia interpretations of an artist’s inner psyche. In others, each wall carries a different medium: from spraypainted skateboards, to mass graphics covered in tiny lights and fake ice cream cones.
FLAVOR FACTORY article & photos by Kate Mada
“Everyone’s got their own manifesto,” says Fumex. He tells me that the Urban Art movement is always changing. “That’s what’s beautiful about the movement, you can’t encapsulate it through definition,” he explained. “And that’s why art institutions and typical galleries have a hard time understanding it...because you have to encapsulate something to sell it.” Fumex emphasizes that just like Urban Art, Fresh Paint Gallery “isn’t about making sales, it’s about discovering an artist and experiencing their work in the space.” The gallery only charges a two d ollar entry fee or a donation. This helps fund art events, materials, and even art classes for kids.
The gallery also creates connection in a neutral environment—both emerging artists and professional pros contribute. There’s a pretty telling example of this unbiased mixture on a backwall. Next to an installation of kids’ work is a design by one of France’s top Urban Artists, who is represented by the biggest gallery in Paris. He had sought out the gallery, wanting to contribute. “His representative would probably be pissed,” laughs Fumex. “But it’s not about the money or labels, it’s about creating.” I look over at a new artist, Flavor, humbly installing his new experience: pink lights, interactive chalkboards and a playful sign that reads Flavor Factory. a
photos by Kate Mada
CITY GUIDE Where to find the people & places mentioned in this issue.
THE PERFECT DAY
Fairmont Bagel: 74 Avenue Fairmount Ouest Boulangerie Guillaume: 5132 Bd Saint-Laurent Club Social: 180 Rue Saint Viateur Ouest Boutique Unicorn: 5135 Bd Saint-Laurent Lawrence Boucherie: 5237 Bd Saint-Laurent Lambert & Fils: 156 Rue Beaubien Est Café Odessa: 65 Rue Beaubien Est Dinette Triple Crown: 6704 Rue Clark Quincaillerie Dante: 6851 Rue Saint Dominique Jean-Talon Market: 7070 Ave Henri Julien Chez Vito: 151 Rue Villeray Still lost? We’ve mapped in out here.
HAPPY HOUR Le Majestique Montreal: 4105 Bd Saint-Laurent Furco: 425 Rue Mayor
SMOKE MEAT PETE’S: AN UNKNOWN ICON Smoke Meat Pete’s: 1st ave, 283, L’Île-Perrot,
THE MERCHANT OF MILE-END Clark Street Mercantile: 5200 Rue Clark
LET THERE BE LIGHT Lambert & Fils: 156 Rue Beaubien Est
STYLE PROFILE: ANGIE JOHNSON Shop Norwegian Wood>
FLAVOR FACTORY Fresh Paint Gallery: 2222 Main Street
photo by Kate Mada
SISTER CITY: HANOI, VIETNAM sis·ter cit·y (noun): A city that is linked to another to promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation — one individual, one community at a time
Hanoi was the last stop of a month-long trip from the South of Vietnam to the north where my primary mode of transport was a 1998 Honda motorbike named Wendy. In a way, the city represented an accomplishment, a finish Line. But it was also a mystery. For most of the journey I was a bit too preoccupied with not crashing to research upcoming destinations. Leading up to our arrival, fellow travelers raved about Hanoi, though none could quite put their finger on what made the destination so memorable. I expected the stifling heat and the epic bun cha. What I did not expect to encounter was a juxtaposition of old and new yielding a living history. In much of the Western world, old things remain because they are preserved, roped off and put under glass. In Hanoi, old things remain because they are still useful; pagodas are frequented; rituals (like the burning of joss paper) are performed. The street names of the Old Quarter have their designated
merchandise specialties - coffee street, stamp street, packing materials street. – because that’s how they were a millennium ago as clusters of craft guilds, surrounding the royal palace. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Cheek by jowl, alongside the ancient characteristics of Hanoi are the thoroughly modern ones. In Hoan Kiem Lake lives a turtle; a character of 15th century Vietnamese folklore. All day he’s circled by motorbikes, pop music and billboards. A woman wearing a traditional áo dài snaps a selfie with an iPhone. In a French colonial building, a vintage-inspired cafe serves smoothies to patrons sporting Wayfarers and desert boots, their noses buried in Facebook. After weeks on the road, I soaked in my eclectic surroundings between sips of bia hoi on Ta Hien street. It was proof in the pudding that this city is alive and well as the cultural capital of Vietnam.
Carrie Krochta is currently living in Vietnam, teaching English and exploring the rich cultural landscape.