Montréal Underground Origins Blog

Birth of a culture: the beginnings of Montreal underground culture, 1965-1975


Montreal Underground Origins, 1965-1975

Round-Table Discussion: Origins of the Montreal Music Scene

With Nick Catalano, Johnnny Monk, Alex Taylor, Louis Rastelli

Pop Montreal Symposium, September 21

Archive Montreal hosts a round-table discussion on the early days of Montreal’s underground music scene. Local longtime 1960s scene chronicler Alex Taylor and cultural historian Louis Rastelli moderate a panel of local music-scene veterans to talk about this formative era. Discover Montreal’s first real underground venues, how shows were booked and promoted back then, and what some of the more memorable concerts and events were. With guests Nick Catalano, Johnny Monk and special guests. Visit the event description page or the Facebook Event for more information. A CKUT co-presentation made possible in part through the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Sunday September 21, 3:30 – 5 pm, Quartiers POP, 3450 St-Urbain.

About this project

Archive Montreal, a non-profit organization that holds extensive collections of alternative media, music and DIY culture from Montreal will be exploring the early days of the city’s underground and DIY arts scene. Beginning in the mid-1960s, the central districts of Montreal began to develop a new cultural milieu in which artists, writers, poets and musicians could get to know each other and get their works known by the wider public. It involved the creation and programming of new cultural spaces where Montrealers could host readings, exhibits and concerts of their own work and of visiting luminaries such as Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dylan. It also involved the emergence of independent media, including student radio stations and newspapers; small press cooperatives; and independent book, magazine and record stores where young local creatives could sell their own publications and recordings in a do-it-yourself fashion.

This year-long project will include interviews with individuals active in Montreal’s nascent independent arts community as artists, authors, performers, promoters, small publishers and regulars of the period’s principal venues and hangouts. Archive Montreal will draw on its extensive archives and others to present on this website publications, photos, and audio-visual material from the era. Comments and discussion from the public are welcome! For more information or to find out about how to get involved, email us at .

This project is made possible in part thanks to funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage.

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