Exclam: Humor 3.0
The co-founders of Exclam, Grégoire Furrer and Chloée Coqterre Bernier
A new comedy event is appearing today in Montreal: Exclam. But beware, in a city where the humor industry already occupies a large place, this newcomer promises to stand out, guarantee its co-founders, Chloée Coqterre Bernier and Grégoire Furrer.
The event, which will be held from May 17 to 20 at Espace St-Denis, aims to be a “laboratory of experiences” in which humor mixes with different art forms in notably passing “through the prism of technology”.
The right moment
The Swiss Grégoire Furrer, one of the most important producers in the world of humor in Europe, founder, among others, of the Montreux Comedy Festival, has spent his entire professional life producing shows in the four corners of the globe. He explains in an interview with Metroalways wanted to start a festival in Montreal, ever since he first visited the city 33 years ago. But the opportunity had never presented itself since there was no need. For decades, Montreal has been a city where humor is omnipresent and festivals are multiplying. There was no need to create another event…until recently.
His partner, Quebecer Chloée Coqterre Bernier, told him that she felt there was finally in Montreal a need to work humor differently. The comedians told him that they were tired of traditional galas, wanted something else. This is where ideas began to germinate in her.
The Right Audience
“Montreal is a mature platform in terms of humor. We could try something else. We also work in Africa, where they barely have the means to play, have not yet had a gala, etc. We weren’t going to offer anything new there, but here we can because we are at another stage of maturation in humor,” she explains.
Montreal was already avant-garde in humor 30 years ago, judge Grégoire Furrer. Since he believes that the Montreal public is curious and that he knows the medium well, the businessman is sure that the public will be ready to embark on this adventure of experimentation and that they will be frank in order to be able to say what works well and less well.
For its first edition, the festival offers three shows. The first, Pixel, hosted by Richardson Zéphir, unfolds in the Metaverse using virtual reality technology.
In the second, Boom Bap, hosted by Rita Baga, the artists, who won't just be comedians, will tell real anecdotes of their lives to a musical rhythm accompanied by a group that will play instruments live on stage.
Finally, the third, Babel, hosted by Mike Ward, wants to go beyond the limits of culture and language, inviting artists from all over the world to talk about their realities, in their own language. An excellent opportunity for its co-founders to create “cultural bridges”.
The beginning of an adventure
This first edition of Exclam is for its co-founders like a pilot, a starting point from which to develop thereafter. In five years, Grégoire Furrer sees the event as one of the biggest names in the world of humor.
“The festival has not even started yet that we already have requests. For the show Pixel, we have requests from festivals in Saudi Arabia and Los Angeles,” he says.
Chloée Coqterre Bernier, who comes from the of classical ballet, wants to continue “to inject humor into as many other forms of art as possible”. She is already meditating on ideas to include it in “plastic art, dance, circus” projects.