Montreal Underground Origins

It has been a busy Black History Month so far for ARCMTL!

You can bear witness to the rich cultural history of diverse Afro-Montreal communities by checking out our programming and activities here.

Butcher T.

Every week, ARCMTL hosts the  Montreal Sound Ark radio show on CKUT, 90.3 FM. To help mark the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, we hosted special shows in January and February playing Montreal hip hop from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, and soul, rhythm and blues and funk from the 1950s, 1960s and

1970s. Special guests Charles BurkeHoward “Stretch” Carr, and Butcher T. interviews are featured on the MTL Sound Ark show, as well as on blog.

Lastly, the archivists and technicians at ARCMTL have been busy working alongside the CIDIHCA (Le centre international de documentation et d’information haitienne, caribéenne et afro-canadienne) have been busily digitizing hundreds of rare archival materials, including many Montreal magazines and periodicals that can now be accessed in the ARCMTL collection on This is part of a collaboration between the CIDIHCA and ARCMTL made possible in part by Library and Archives Canada

The stories coming out of this discussion will be added to the blog on after the event. In the meantime, share and follow the project on IG: @nightsof_mtl_lanuit.

The New Penelope and its era – Call for memories!

The local non-profit archive ARCMTL is working on a book and online exhibit about the New Penelope and its era, 1965 – 1970.

For just a few years in the mid-to-late 1960s, the New Penelope became a legend in the history of Montreal music and nightlife. It was the first independent concert venue in Montreal to feature important names in 1960s rock, blues, folk and jazz, from Joni Mitchell and Muddy Waters to Frank Zappa and Jesse Winchester. All through 2023, we’re looking for anyone who remembers the era, or who may have related material such as old posters, flyers, audio or video recordings, ticket stubs and other ephemera. Please contact us if you or someone you know may be able to help! We can be reached by email at

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, ARCMTL starting in 2014.

Check out our image blog to peruse excerpts and full scans of vintage photos, magazines and varied publications from the era — or go to our searchable collection of vintage Montreal magazines on the website. 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.

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 to let us know.

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