The Symposium is POP Montreal’s characteristically unique take on the music conference. Focusing on the relationships between music, art, culture, and creativity, the Symposium presents a series of dynamic conversations about pressing music-related issues, encouraging our community to build movements, strategize and develop new creative approaches. In the past, symposium events—which include workshops, conversations with icons new and old, panels and round table discussions—have been housed in the POP Quarters in the former Ecole des Beaux Arts de Montreal.

Symposium photo_by_LP_Maurice


The POP Symposium aims to empower, educate and inspire while reflecting our city’s diverse and artistically charged culture. Bringing together a range of the most interesting as well as important figures associated with music, in the broadest sense, the conference offers intimate access to the ideas, tensions and forces at the heart of today’s music world.


The POP Symposium has developed dramatically since its inception as POP and Politics in 2004. In 2008 POP Montreal re-envisioned the traditional music conference format and launched the Symposium – a noisier-than-ever 5 day celebration of the creative process and hands-on learning. Its wild success was thanks to 100 speakers and collaborators and a glowing testament to the vibrancy of Montreal’s artistic community as well as that of our festival’s international audience.

The 2015 edition of the POP Symposium—the “Big One”—is about empowering artists and facilitators (as well as fans, students and critics) by using the conference’s open and inclusive setting as a forum for addressing—with focus and rigor—the pressing music-related opportunities, issues, and ideas, and for sharing crucial knowledge and skills. The Big One is about looking past the noise and focusing on the fundamentals: whether it is providing the information and connections you need to further your project, presenting the perspectives of some of the most important artists in music, or shedding light on the difficult questions.

Whether you are a person who loves music or a person who has chosen to make a life in music, you are invited to participate in the creation of a community network and skills base that will endure well beyond 5 days.

All events, unless otherwise noted, take place at POP Quarters and are free and open to the public.


Louis Longpre



Alden Penner, Amy Macdonald (Loose-Fit, Misery Loves Company), Andrea Higgins (Arpix Media), Anouk Bélanger (l’UQAM), Anthony Easton, Astra Taylor, Billy Jones (Baby’s All Right), Brendan Kelly (Montreal Gazette), Brian Meagher, Brontez Purnell, Carla Bozulich, Chip Sutherland, Chris Read (The Composers), Damon Krukowski, Dan Fox (frieze), Dan Klopowitz (Cooking Vinyl America ), Daniel Kuypers (BBDO), Danny Goldberg (GoldVE), Eliane Elbogen (Eastern Bloc), Evan Dubinsky, Florent Clavel (Third Side Music), George Massenburg, Gilles Daigle (SOCAN), Hailu Mergia, Howard Bilerman (Hotel2Tango), Ian Ilavsky (Constellation Records), JJ Fad, Jonathan Cummins, Jonathan Sterne (McGill), Josh Dolgin (Socalled), Justin Evans (Mixgenius), Lionel Furonet (Divan orange),  Lorraine Carpenter (Cult MTL), Louis Rastelli (Archive Montreal), Lysandra Woods (Third Side Music), Marc-Andre Mongrain (, Marie Leblanc Flanagan (Wyrd Arts Initiatives), Marie-Paule MacDonald (University of Waterloo), Matt Sonzala, Maud Salvi (Sled Island), Mauro Pezzente (Godspeed You! Black Emperor), Mikey Heppner (Beat Cops), Miranda Campbell (Dawson College), Naomi Yang Natalia Yanchak (The Dears), Olivier Alary, Phil Collins, Philippe St-Louis (Miller Thomson), Rae Spoon, Rebecca Baxter, Rebecca Rienks (E! Entertainment— NBCUniversal), Richard MacFarlane (1080p), Rosa Madriz (Transmission Events), Shawn Petsche (Sled Island), Simon Nixon, Siobhan Ozege (FACTOR), Sophia Wang, Stephanie DeGooyer (Willamette University), Steve Albini, Sun Min Dufresne (MASSIVart), T’Cha Dunlevy (the Montreal Gazette), Tamara Dawit (FACTOR), Tracy Neale (CASH Music), Ty Segall, Virginia Clark (Wolfe Island Music Festival), and Will Straw (McGll University)


Alaska B (Yamantaka//Sonic Titan), Alice Bernier (Warner Bros Games Montreal), Allison Anders, Andre Faleiros (Cirque du Soleil), Andrew “Noz” Nosnitsky (The Fader, Pitchfork, NPR), Ben Shemie (SUUNS), Bernie Houde (Dépanneur Le Pick-Up, Alexandraplatz), Bernie Worrell, Black Bear, Blood and Glass, Brendan Canning, Cakes da Killa, Christopher Roberts (Cirque du Soleil), Dan Burt (JWT), Dan Graham, Darren Higman (Warner Brothers), David Dufresne (Bandzoogle), Elizabeth Price, Fred Wesley, Giovanni Marks, Glenn O’Brien, Greg Ipp, Greg Pymm, Hamed Sinno (Mashrou’ Leila), Howard Bilerman (Hotel2Tango), Ian Ilavsky (Constellation Records), Ian Svenonius (Nation of Ulysses), Jacob Nathan (Clearsongs, Inc), Jaimie Warren (Whoop Dee Doo), Jake Friedman (We Are Free, Lovepump United Records), Jamie Thompson, Johan Kugelberg (Matador, Def American), John Lee, Jonathan Mak (Sound Shapes), Josh Dolgin (Socalled), Juan Rodriguez, Justin West (Secret City Records), Keith Fullerton Whitman, Kid Koala, Killer Mike, Laurent Saulnier (Nuit Blanche de Montréal), Lysandra Woods (Third Side Music), Marion Gabbaï (Imperial, Les Femmes s’en Mêlent), Matt Sonzala, Matthew Harris (Rough Trade Publishing), Megan James (Purity Ring), Meyer Billurcu (Blue Skies Turn Black), Miranda Campbell (Montreal’s Rock Camp for Girls), Mishelle Pack (Sony/ATV Music Publishing), Natalia Yanchak (The Dears), Patricia Boushel (Colin Stetson, Tim Hecker), Patrick Watson, Paul Jones (Rough Trade Records), Planet Studios, Radwan Ghazi Moumneh, Remi Arora (Diamond Rings, Ohbijou), Reuven Ashtar, Roy Vucino (Red Mass), Sebastian Cowan (Arbutus Records), Shuggie Otis, Simon Brault (Canada Council for the Arts), Simon Landry (Ubisoft), Stacey Wilhelm, Susan Abramovitch, Tony Visconti, Vish Khanna, Will Straw (McGill), and Yellowman.


Alain Brunet, Alan Licht, Ami Kay Spishock (Fort William Artist Management), Andre Guerette (Opak), Andre Williams, Andrea Von Foerster (Firestarter Music), Avery McTaggart (The Windish Agency), Bear Witness (A Tribe Called Red), Bertrand Burgalat, Brett Leonard (McGill), Cadence Weapon, Caila Thompson-Hannant (Mozart’s Sister), Chloe Walsh (Press Here), Chris Kaskie (Pitchfork), Cory Arcangel, Damian Taylor, David Byrne, Edan Wilber, Eric Lewis (McGill), Evan Dubinsky (Blue Skies Turn Black), Fanfare Ciocărlia, Gillian Nycum (Long Play Management), Guy Picciotto (Fugazi), Howard Bilerman (Hotel2Tango), Howie Chen, Ian Blurton (Change of Heart, Weakerthans), Ian Ilavsky (Constellation Records), Jason Camlot (Concordia), Jeannette Lee, Jimmie “Bo” Horne, Joe Ahearn, John Bissell (Mothlight Music), Jonathan Sterne (McGill), Jonathan Sterne (McGill), Julien Aidelbaum (Scene 1425), Kerri Cockrill (RIM), Kristin Thomson (Future of Music Coalition), Liars, Lindsay Michael (Liederwolfe), lucky dragons, Lysandra Woods (Third Side Music), Marie Pierre Brunelle (SOCAN), Martin Bisi, Melissa Weigel (Moment Factory), Michel Beaulac (Opéra de Montréal), Mike Haliechuk (Fucked Up), Mike O’Brien, Mookie Singerman (We Are Free, Lovepump United), Morgan Lebus (Domino Recordings, Ribbon Music), Nasri, Navid Navab, Nikolaos Bardanis (Ubisoft), Patrick Curley (Third Side Music), Philemon Chante, Richard Grabel (Davis, Shapiro, Lewit & Hayes), Rob Bowman (York), Ruby Attwood (Yamantaka//Sonic Titan), Sebastian Cowan (Arbutus Records), Shaun Bronstein (Danagement), Shevaughn Battle (FACTOR), Stephane Moraille (Lussier & Khouzam), Syd Butler (French Kiss Records), Tim Hecker, Tony Scudellari (Sony), Venus X, Vincent Morisset, Vivien Goldman, Will Straw (McGill), and Win Butler. 

JARED LEON, Symposium Director

This is Jared Leon’s fourth year as POP Symposium Director. Jared is also an entertainment lawyer and, since 2010, has co-edited the art and music print periodical, Laura, alongside his long-time collaborator Johanna Heldebro. They also play together in The Nymphets. Jared holds a BA and MA in English, as well as a JD.