The Local with POP Montreal's Olivia Diamond

The Local: a tête-à-tête with some of the scene's hardest working heroes.

Born and raised in Halifax, Olivia came to Montreal for a six-week internship at the Chamber Music Festival after studying Arts Administration and Entrepreneurship at Bishop's University. Subsequently she got a job waitressing at Korova Bar (RIP), eventually becoming a managing partner before it turned into the North Star in 2015. Meanwhile, she landed a marketing internship at POP Montreal that eventually led to a position as Director of Brand Partnerships. In this role she works with a small year-round team to produce music, art, film and fashion events in Montreal and abroad.

Where do you call home in Montreal?

Lower Plateau, Montreal.

Go-to breakfast spot?

Universel on St Denis because the food is solid and the staff there treat me like family.

Go-to for a late-night bite?

The Main is a neighborhood staple, L'Express if you're feeling fancy.

What are some of your favourite things to do in the city?

In the summer, nothing beats skating at the Big-O pipe, and riding bikes through alleyways and cruising along the river. In any season, your best bet for good times is to go with the flow and get caught up in a spontaneous/unexpected performance, festival, party, or installation, usually a combination thereof. Bonus points for late night adventures like 24-hour go-karting at Action 500.

Go-to place for clothes?

Most of my shoes are from Little Burgundy, and I get all my staple jeans and tees at Buzz Jeans around the corner from the POP office. If I need to get shopping done during extreme winter temps I take refuge in the underground city.

Drink of choice?

Daytime: Peach flavored Monster tea and sometimes multiple coffees at Navarino on Parc Ave. Nighttime: Ceasars at Bar de Courcelle, pints of Griffin at Barfly or big 50s at Biftek, gin and tonics at Else's.

Favourite local gallery or artist?

Nights at the Belgo building are awesome, Never Apart is a real gem, Station 16 always has good window displays. There are so many art spaces in Montreal that bring together visual art, music and good people. These keep our lives vibrant even when the weather blows. For artists, so hard to choose. Some of my favorite artists and projects I've gotten to work closely with this year are Miss Me and Project Love's Pillars Project, and most definitely the POP Shots video series featuring Wasiu, Country, Flist, L.A. Foster and more.

What do you love about Montreal?

Montreal is creative, open-minded, relatively non-materialistic, and most people have good intentions. It's a youthful and historically hedonistic city with a neverending lineup of stuff to see and do. It's the kind of place where you come for a few weeks and find a way to never leave.

What’s a spot from Montreal’s past that you really miss?

The recent closure of Moe's Casse-Croute on de Maisonneuve still stings, and I still haven't gotten over the loss of Euro Deli on St-Laurent a few years back. I swear I can taste their spinach calzone in my dreams.

On the flip, what’s a new place that you enjoy?

Perfecto on Duluth is my ideal kind of bar: Hole-in-the-wall vibes without that 100-yr old dive bar stench, solid music via extensive cassette tape collection, really good food at low prices, and (best part) I don't think I've ever walked in there without running into friends.


Photo: Karim Sikander

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