Guess what, Montreal? There's only one major winter festival left this year, and then we can finally move on from this frozen hell and into warming hell. While we do up the cold season almost as well as the hot season, with various outdoor events, concerts, festivals, gatherings, raves, fireworks, snowball fights and everything in between (like only Montreal can), there is something still missing from our wintry scenes. Something that would make all of those activities exponentially more satisfying, and quite frankly make being outside in the winter a lot more bearable.
We talked about this concept late last summer as something we needed to see happen sooner rather than later, and looking at the applicable situations it would not only benefit, but enhance, our wintertime seems even more appropriate. Of course we're talking about mobile delivery of alcohol when we need it most, or more specifically, winter wine trucks.
Imagine gazing at the Old Port winter fireworks while sipping on a warm apple cider. Or admiring the awesome snow sculptures of Fête des neiges with a little help from one of our renowned, locally-made ice wines. And Montréal en Lumière made even classier with the ready availability of some delectably spiced mulled wines. We have winter food trucks, winter wine trucks is the perfect compliment.
Only a few days after a large number of Montrealers called out mayoral candidate Denis Coderre's proposal to ban park drinking at night, he himself flip-flopped on the issue.
Coderre, whose suggestion to impose an 8 p.m. drinking ban in parks has been intensely scrutinized and even mocked by fellow mayoral candidates, had said that this move would "help citizens regain a sense of calm."
In a statement posted to Twitter on June 2, Coderre deplored the "violence on the territory of Montreal, particularly in the parks and in the streets" and criticized Plante's administration as "laissez-faire."
"Police need tools," he wrote. "Temporary measures should be advocated until Montreal gets back to normal."
On Wednesday, MTL Blog asked Coderre's team whether he thought the drinking curfew proposal would deter young Montrealers from voting for him in the next election but did not receive a response.
Montreal mayoral candidate Balarama Holness called out Coderre's drinking curfew plan as a "discriminatory policy that would disproportionately affect young people, marginalized folks, and low-income or unhoused populations in Montreal."
In a statement, Holness said that "the rationale behind Coderre’s proposed ban — to 'make sure everybody feels safe' — elides histories of racial and social profiling in the city that were made abundantly clear in the OCPM’s report on systemic racism and discrimination in Montreal."
Nick Farkas, Senior Vice President at Evenko said that "we want to be back there in the midst of it too, but the truth is it takes several months to line up the various elements to create a festival, and with the current uncertainty, we don't have that luxury."
"We remain hopeful that the situation will improve enough."
Evelyne Côté, Director of Programming for Île Soniq added that festival-goers should "stay hopeful" for an "explosive" event in 2022.