Montreal Underground Origins
Image from davinci no. 1 vol. 3, copyright Suzy Lake, Allan Bealy

Image from davinci no. 1 vol. 3, copyright Suzy Lake, Allan Bealy

Montreal Underground Origins

Montreal Underground Origins shines a light for current and future generations on the early days of what is now considered a thriving city of the arts. It was conceived and produced by the non-profit arts promotion and preservation organization, Archive Montreal (ARCMTL) in 2014.

Check out our image blog to peruse excerpts and full scans of vintage photos, magazines and varied publications from the era. Our blog features a growing number of articles, interviews and discussion transcripts exploring various aspects of the 1960s – 1970s Montreal underground arts and activist scene. Links to other websites, organizations or online resources to discover more about this era appear as a sidebar to the right of all posts on our blog.

Comments and discussion from the public are welcome! Anyone can post comments under each blog post on the site.

If you have any material or memories of your own to add, please email archivemontreal@archivemontreal.org .

Recent Articles
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Working the door at the New Penelope with Allan Youster

Allan Youster has been a mainstay in the audience at local concerts for decades in Montreal. He spent part of the late 1960s working the door at legendary concert venue The New Penelope Café, witnessing performances by such figures as Muddy Waters, The Fugs, Jesse Winchester and Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. We spoke to him at one of his favourite local haunts, Barfly, in the summer of

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Garth Gilker and Montreal’s Peoples’ Yellow Pages

The Peoples’ Yellow Pages, an unabashed guide to Montreal for those interested in alternative and underground lifestyles was published annually from the early to mid 1970s in Montreal. Louis Rastelli interviewed its editor, Garth Gilker, at his Café Santropol in October 2015. This Plateau Mont-Royal institution, begun shortly after Gilker ceased publishing the Peoples’ Yellow Pages, celebrated its 40th anniversary in the summer of 2016. Gilker, also known for his

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Freda Guttman, veteran Montreal artist and activist

Freda Guttman is a veteran artist and activist, still screenprinting and self-publishing, still a regular at fairs such as Expozine or the Anarchist Book Fair. We spoke about her time growing up in a Montreal that had changed drastically by the time she joined the nascent artist-run centre movement in the late 1960s. We didn’t speak much about her first claim to fame as an artist: her illustrations for fellow

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