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Papier Fair 19 – Fair for all

The Contemporary Art Galleries Association (AGAC) will hold the 12th Papier Art Fair from April 25 to 28, 2019 at the Port of Montréal’s Grand Quay. This new location will accommodate a greater number of visitors. For the first time, Papier will not be an exclusively on-paper exhibit. The fair is branching out into other mediums to pursue its mission to democratize contemporary art. TV host Vanessa Pilon, a contemporary art lover, is proud to be a spokesperson for the event once again this year. We met with her.


Vanessa Pilon

Why did you agree to become a spokesperson for Papier?

I have been a big contemporary art lover for several years after a friend introduced me to it. I loved going to museums when I was travelling, but I felt like I couldn’t fully understand the works. When I went to Papier a few years ago, I realized that contemporary art is more accessible than I thought. My confidence grew, and I started going back every year. Then I bought my first piece, within my budget. Since then, my interest has only grown.

What is unique about this 12th edition?

This year, Papier is being held at the Port of Montréal’s Grand Quay. It is full of light and much bigger than previous locations. It is also ideally located in the heart of Montréal. This means the fair will reach both local art lovers and visitors. This year, the event will show mediums other than paper (paintings, sculptures, installations and more), although works on paper will still be the focus. This will provide an overview of what is happening in contemporary art in Canada and help the fair achieve its mission, which is to make contemporary art accessible to as many people as possible.

Workshops will be offered for adults and for children. Can you tell us more?

Papier attracts a lot of families because of its friendly atmosphere. That’s why Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, co-spokesperson for Papier, used his foundation to develop fun workshops that introduce children to art. There are also expert-led round tables for adults. All of these activities are included in the admission fee ($10) but it’s best to reserve for the children’s workshops, because space is limited.

Tell us about your collection. Which artists speak to you?

Without naming names, I would say that I’m particularly fond of female artists with a strong message. A collection is a way to express your values and show what issues matter to you. By gathering works in my home, I feel like I’m building a family. The pieces speak to each other, and they can give us a sense of the personality of the person who brought them together.


April 26 to 28, 2019 at the Port of Montréal’s Grand Quay, 200 de la Commune St. W.


Text: Diane Stehle
Photos: © Émilie Hébert – © Jean-Michael Seminaro

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