About Nights of Montreal

Janine Fluet at the Perchoir d'Haiti, 1958
Janine Fluet at the Perchoir d’Haiti, 1958

Montreal, a major gateway to Canada and Quebec, has a wide diversity of communities from all regions of the world. However, these communities are not concentrated in one neighbourhood or sector of the city. They live all over the territory.

As organizations devoted to showcasing the cultural heritage of our city, province and country, ARCMTL and l’Afromusée joined forces in 2022 to launch this website. Featuring a blog section and an interactive map of the Montreal area, this website aims to present the stories and history of the places and neighbourhoods important to the development of Montreal nightlife and culture, with a focus on contributions from diverse Afrodescendant communities. The stories to be told range from the Golden Age of jazz in Montreal in the 30s, 40s and 50s to the ongoing evolution of the city’s hip-hop, reggae and Afrodescendant artists and writers.

The members of the public are invited to explore the website, attend presentations and activities at the Afromusée and add their own comments and memories to the site’s posts or by contacting the organizations behind it.

One can explore the legendary nightclubs of the jazz era, such as Rockhead’s Paradise and the Black Bottom, as well as cafés, community spaces and institutions that have supported generations of Montreal artists, writers and performers.

Entries for locations on the map lead to information, images, photos, memories and archival material that help make these places and this history come alive.

Everyone is welcome to post their own comments in the comment section under pages on this site. The public is also welcome to email the project team with stories or suggestions at info@afromusee.com or arcmtl@arcmtl.org.

The blog contains longer articles, as well as information about public events and exhibits related to the project.

BW photo of tables set up with tablecloths and napkins at the Esquire Showbar Theatre and Restaurant
Black and white photo of tables set up with tablecloths and napkins at the Esquire Showbar Theatre and Restaurant in Montreal

The non-profit organizations behind this project 

ARCMTL

ARCMTL is an organization with the specific mandate to promote and preserve Montreal’s cultural milieu. Over 400 different artists and collectives take advantage of its yearly festivals, salons and art markets to reach the general public. Copies of their work, plus donations and acquisitions over more than 20 years have contributed to unique collections of Montreal culture, accessible at ARCMTL’s archive center and through exhibitions and public programming year-round.

L’Afromusée

L’Afromusée is a living museum that is accessible, mobile and multi-faceted. A welcoming space which features cultural and intercultural activities; research and reference opportunities; and an online platorm that researches, informs, shares discoveries and gives a voice to young afro descendants, as well as to all witnesses of Africanness in all its forms.

Project Team

Louis Rastelli
Virginie Belony
Nicole Sarr
Guy Mushagalusa Chigoho

Website development: Magda Wojtyra
Logo design: Chaity I

Technical assistance:
Dee Edouard Williams
Kelly Livingstone
Lucy Pauker
Andy Williams

Ce projet est une collaboration entre ARCMTL et l’Afromusée, rendu possible grâce au programme Patrimoine Montréalais : une mise en valeur dans les quartiers de la Ville de Montréal.