During my stay in
New York, I have had the honour of working with, or featuring some of ’s most creative artists. Cultural icons like Cirque du Soleil, Quebec Robert Lepage, Kent Nagano, Yannick Nezet Séguin, and Les Violons du Roy, among others, come to mind as recent expressions of Quebec’s artistic creativity on the scene. They are also among the best ambassadors of New York . Quebec
Recently, a different group of artists called Simple Plan, a Quebec-based pop punk group, performed at the Best Buy Theatre in
Times Square. Let me tell you the story of their last visit to . New York
Simple Plan is a
Montreal pop punk group created in 1999 and currently performing on stages across Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia. You would think pop punk is not my preferred style of music. To some extent, you would be right, but after attending their concert in , I realized that music has no definitive age segment. I actually had a good time and thoroughly enjoyed the show. Listening to them on stage and seeing the reaction of the audience made me appreciate why this group is now in its second decade of performing. New York
Granted, the music was loud, the energy a bit too contagious, and the response somewhat delirious. This was not a
Tony Bennett concert. But it was a fun night and one that I would repeat in an instant. This group, whose individual musicians were originally inspired by the Beatles, will be around for some time. They have fans who are loyal over the years and they are attracting new ones everyday.
With five successful albums and numerous other musical credits, you would think that these young Quebecers would have enough on their plate. Think again! Music is not their only interest. Society and making a difference in it is very much a part of Simple Plan’s DNA.
2005, in a concert at ’s Bell Centre, the group announced the creation of the Simple Plan Foundation. Its objective is to help young people in need. Whether it be combating a life-threatening disease, working to eliminate bullying in schools, finding a musical passion to keep them away from street gangs and criminality, or discouraging young people from dropping out of school, Simple Plan has parlayed its musical success for engagement in society. Clearly, their appeal and creativity goes beyond their music. Montreal
I had the opportunity to chat with each member of the group – Pierre Bouvier, Chuck Comeau,
David Desrosiers ,Sebastien Lefebvre,and Jeff Stinco.. Aside from being excellent conversationalists, they come across as sincere, committed, generous, and very charismatic as well. Yes, they are outstanding ambassadors. More importantly ,combining their music with their social engagement make them a great model to follow.