Forty years ago, on May 26, 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, surrounded by a crowd of journalists and supporters, kicked off their famous Bed-in for peace. From May 26 to 30, as part of its exhibition IMAGINE: The Peace Ballad of John & Yoko, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
will celebrate the Bed-ins anniversary week.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our forty partners for their outstanding contribution, which helped bring this altruist project to fruition. Through their involvement, this exhibition has become a gift to Montrealers, truly a happening, a collective work that is quintessentially John and Yoko. By commemorating their Bed-in and sharing their message of peace through their powerful words and music, we are helping to bring hope to a world that is at times heavy hearted. We were truly amazed by the generosity of our sponsors, whose contributions total over $1 million, proof of the power of John and Yokos message, which is as meaningful today as it was forty years ago, said Nathalie Bondil, director of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
Record your own Bed-in for posterity
Exceptionally, the Museum will remain open during each of these five days until 9 p.m. so that you will be able to have your own Bed-in with friends and family. Bring your camera or video camera to the Museum and record your experience, which you can then share with others at mmfa.qc.ca/imagine.
Dont forget to write your peace message and hang it on one of Yoko Onos Wish Trees. You can read the hundreds of messages often very moving already left by other visitors. By leaving a mark, by taking an active, creative part in this exhibition, you will help Yoko Ono fulfil her plan to make a sculpture composed of all the messages that have adorned all the Wish Trees presented around the world.
Artists committed to peace will join in The Peace Hour
To mark this historic week, the Museum will host a number of performers, including Coral Egan, Mara Tremblay, Catherine Major, Édith Butler and Sylvie Paquette, all members of the association Artistes pour la Paix. These artists will put their talents to work for John and Yokos cause by offering a free live show at the Museum on each of the five days, from 6 to 7 p.m. Moreover, children will be able to enjoy their very own special Peace Hour, starring the Clowns du Carrousel and the Petites Tounes, on Saturday, May 30, from 2 to 3 p.m. Radio-Canadas Espace musique radio station will also take advantage of the occasion to broadcast live from the Museum on Tuesday, May 26, from 9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. The networks star hosts will conduct their own Bed-in on the airwaves throughout the day by inviting the public to celebrate along with them, as well as with performers, all the wonderful songs that have been written about and for peace.
As part of the series of films being shown in association with the exhibition IMAGINE, on Wednesday, May 27, at 7 p.m., Claude Chamberlan, founder of Montreals Cinéma Parallèle, co-founder of the Festival du nouveau cinéma and himself a participant in the 1969 Bed-in, will present two films about John et Yoko, both directed by Jonas Mekas: Happy Birthday to John (1995) and Gimme some Truth: The Making of John Lennons Imagine Album (2000).
Finally, the week of peace will come to a close with Montreal Museums Day on Sunday, May 31.