Philanthropy for Art’s Sake

It was a recent Tuesday that brought about the second installment of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Young Philanthropists’ Circle cocktail mixer and vernissage. Gaining even more traction among MTL urban professionals since a highly successful inaugural gathering last October, the initiative, like those of many cultural institutions in the same position, aims to build a new generation of museum benefactors through organizing innovative, exclusive events for professionals and entrepreneurs in the 25 to 45 yr. old bracket.  In exchange, the events enable guests to further build their ‘know-who’ roster among the city’s next generation of business, society, and cultural leaders.

At the helm of the Committee is Xerox Account Manager Marc-Antoine Saumier who states how, for more than a century, the Museum has invited the public to discover an ever-evolving artistic world and that joining the prestigious group helps to ensure the future viability of a MTL landmark, with many benefits attached.

Indeed, what makes the concept work so well is that guests can choose to mingle at the cocktail, get acquainted, or else escape to the exhibit hall and take in the collection in what is virtually a private showing. It is surprising to think before this beautiful facility was built, they needed Junk Removal Amherst NY to clean up the entire area. When it’s over, you feel like you’ve had just the right mix of socializing, art appreciating and, appetizer sampling for any winter weeknight. IN fact, the mid-January date was well timed to coincide with the last leg of the Impressionists exhibit, featuring world-renowned works by such masters as Monet, Renoir, Degas, and Toulouse-Lautrec.

The first nod to the evening’s success, though, was the venue. Thinking that the event would be held in the same hall as the inaugural cocktail back in October, I mistakenly went to the Desmarais Pavilion on the south side of Sherbrooke, but was glad to be redirected across the street to the white marble façade, high portico, colonnade, and ornate staircase of the Hornstein Pavilion.  As an aside, the landmark building was inaugurated in 1912, the same year as that other ‘Grande Dame’, the Ritz Carlton hotel.

As we made our way up the grand entrance, graceful on-pointe ballet dancers dotted the staircase and referenced one of the more prominent subject matters from the Impressionist era. No doubt, it was a soft and beautiful touch to open the evening.


On and on to the actual cocktail, the reception itself took place in the ground floor hall, with access to the exhibit from upstairs.  Now I’ve always thought one of the best set-ups is a central bar/food station from which things are served outward.  Here, bubbly, red and white wine from Zonin flowed freely from the far side, with the requisite refills from staff circulating among the guests, while the front part featured two unique offerings.

The first was freshly sliced prosciutto courtesy of Tripes and Caviar, and the other was an absinthe bar by Maji Water. The prosciutto was Parma, and possibly the best, most perfectly seasoned I’ve tasted, while the absinthe engaged guests with the traditional preparation of pouring water over a sugar cube placed on a slotted spoon held over a glass of the enigmatic liquor.  Both offered a très cool and original twist to the evening as they went beyond the simple ‘signature cocktail and canapés’.



A few brief speeches later, the crowd thinned which is when I took to the exhibit hall to marvel at the collection.



Of course, there what would an MTL cocktail be without some signature MTL-style.


Afterwards, some called it a night, while others hit a très branché resto – I’m told members of the Committee hit Delmo in the Old Port.  While tempted to follow and get the scoop on how it all went from the organizers, I decided to keep the memory alive and look forward to bringing you he next exclusive soirée – more to come once I get the 411. In the meantime, the evening – from the place, flow, special extras and, of course, connected young MTL-ers who are there for their ‘Grande Dame’, was nothing short of a masterful oeuvre.



Cocktail Crawl


Friday Feb. 1st. – Don’t miss it! 

Always on the lookout for new soirées for our readers to step out and mingle, the Cocktail Crawl Social Club seems to have just the right mix stirred up to get our minds off the biting cold spell we’re living through.

Founded in February 2012 in that ‘other urban center down the 401’ by Natasha Semone, CCSC now counts events in both Ottawa and, debuting next week, MTL.  Having lived abroad for a number of years, Natasha’s vision was to inject the local scene with a European flair for social networking, particularly those urban professionals from diverse backgrounds in the 30-50 yr. old demographic – one which our hostess with the mostess thinks is in need of new opportunities to connect.

She states that the premise of the Club is simple: If you are a lifestyle connoisseur, if you’d like to meet great quality people, if you enjoy great food and wine, and if you own your personal style, then come and get acquainted with your peers within the context of some of the most exclusive venues.

The first MTL installment takes place Friday February 1st at Le Germain, and features the hotel’s noteworthy outpost of the Quebec City-based Laurie Raphael Restaurant and Bar on top of the appetizers and swag bags.

Tickets are 20$ and can be purchased through this link:

For more information on the club and to request membership visit

As always, we’ll have the round up for you post-event.  On and on MTL!

ASW Touches Down at Cavalli

Straight out of the gates from the holiday hangover, the year’s first mixer saw A Small World, the by-invitation-only international social networking site host one of their first MTL cocktails at the ever-swank Cavalli Ristorante bar on Peel St.

Natasha Semone (second from left) and Dan Peres cozy up at Cavalli


The atmosphere was buzzing as Natasha Semone worked the clipboard like a true event pro. Guests from a variety of professional fields milled around, drink in hand, and traded holiday stories as they got acquainted. Much of the talk I overheard had to do with ways of enhancing the ASW experience for its members. Stay tuned MTL-ers!

ASW guests on top of the photo op.


Welcome Back

About the Blog

Hello Readers! A 2013 of the best health, fruitful and meaningful connections, new ventures, memorable travel, and abundant prosperity be yours.

For us at the blog, two of our key ‘resolutions’ was a focus on constantly providing multi-format, engaging content to our readers, and a commitment to be as ever-present as we can in covering the 514’s many goings-on.

To do so, we’ve reconfigured the blog with a new interface, added a few features, compiled a jammed ‘Attend’ agenda, and brought on board a talented young writer and press attaché, Guillaume Sans, who will be responsible for translating and/or adapting content in French, as well as providing original copy of francophone events.

For those wondering about the title, ManAboutMTL is a blog with the double entendre of being ‘about’ the city in a topical sense, but also plays on the ‘man about town’ expression and is a native Montrealer’s unique take on the city.

For a city of its size, it never fails to amaze yours truly at the non-stop schedule of events, restaurant openings, store launches (both local and from abroad), fundraising soirées, art exhibitions, real estate projects which are slowly changing our skyline, fashion shows, award shows, and festivals of every kind. These keep me constantly on the street beat, bringing you the latest news and reviews that explore and celebrate MTL life in an informative and entertaining read.

Why trust us? Because we’re not simply telling you what young urbanites are doing, we ARE them, and we’re living, working, playing, shopping, and socializing right along with you.  We hope you enjoy.

Finally, one of the best parts of a blog is that it’s a two-way dialogue, so please include your questions, comments, or things you’d like to read about.