Montgolfiere Weekly

An exploration of culture in its many forms


September 2021

A conversation with Stuart Kinmond

Please could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I live and work as an artist in Ottawa. I am originally from Montreal, where I trained to be an architect. I worked for 25 years as an architect in Montreal, Yellowknife and Ottawa.

What sorts of buildings did you design?

In my final year at McGill School of Architecture, I worked with a community in St. Henri in Montreal that was fighting the proposed demolition of a part of their neighbourhood to allow for the construction of a new exit from the highway. We proposed alternatives to the city, including the construction of in-fill housing. The exit was relocated and the proposal for in-fill was accepted. Together with my visiting professor, Ray Affleck of a firm called Arcop Associates, we designed and built 15 small units on vacant lots. It was the first in-fill public housing built in Montreal. The buildings are still there between Atwater and rue Lacasse.

I had always wanted to live in the north, so a few years later I moved to the Northwest Territories. At first I worked for the government on school projects, but I was managing architects rather than being an architect, which is what I wanted to do. Also, I felt that I was on the wrong side of the fence at a time when young native leaders were demanding more power from Ottawa. I left the government and then worked for the Dene, designing many houses, two community centres and band offices in the Mackenzie Valley. Continue reading “A conversation with Stuart Kinmond”

A conversation with Sarah Goodey

Please could you tell us a bit about yourself and your photography?

I have always taken pictures. I consider myself an artist who uses photography in her work. I mainly use analogue or film cameras, though I do have a high-quality digital camera on my phone. I also make cyanotypes, which involves placing objects like leaves or buttons directly onto using sun-sensitive paper and exposing them to light to make a contact print. Continue reading “A conversation with Sarah Goodey”

A conversation about The Museum of Possibilities with Barbara Sibbald

Barbara Sibbald’s collection of short stories, The Museum of Possibilities, was published by The Porcupine’s Quill Press

First, I should declare that Barbara Sibbald is a friend, a colleague and a contributor to this blog. Second, like one of her characters who is reading a short story in “Things We Hold Dear,” “I usually don’t read short stories. I like a longer relationship with my fictional company.” In spite of my usual preference for a more lengthy narrative, I found the stories in The Museum of Possibilities highly entertaining, being tightly constructed and inventive, and featuring unsparing observation of the human condition in its mundane failures, though these are recounted with a dark and witty relish. Continue reading “A conversation about The Museum of Possibilities with Barbara Sibbald”

A conversation with Astri Prugger

Please would you tell us a bit about yourself and your business?

My name is Astri Prugger and I’m from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. My mother is from Norway and my father from Austria. Having that background has always been important to me. The cultures of these two countries have influenced much of my life. I always liked to draw and used to draw pictures of girls with different kinds of clothes for my friends. I suppose that I have been doing custom drawing since I was ten. I hadn’t intended to be a fashion designer. I had wanted to be a ballet dancer and my teachers wanted me to audition for the National Ballet, but my parents didn’t want me to move so far away. Continue reading “A conversation with Astri Prugger”

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