New Co-op Darkroom in Montréal for 2009

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by Michel Hardy-Vallée, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    http://www.photocoop.ca/copy_index.html

    Two Sundays ago I was at the local camera gear sale exchange, and while perusing the tables of junk and slightly less junk, I met two kind folks manning the table of the soon-to-open darkroom-cum-studio space of Photo Coop Montréal.

    I chatted with Louis-Philippe Sarrazin, who is president of their Board, and he outlined the concept: in a location of the Old Montreal, there will be a full Black and White darkroom, a full Colour (C-41 and RA-4) darkroom, as well as two studio spaces with plenty of natural light, and a few computer stations for the occasional hybrid work.

    Perks include: a dry to dry RA-4 wall-mounted processor, a drymounting station, full stainless steel B&W working area, workshops, studio equipment, and so on.

    This is something very exciting for Montréal, because it will be the return of the darkroom equipment that belonged to the Saidye Bronfman Center for the Arts, which closed recently. I used to print my photos at the Saidye for a while because it was the only easily accessible public darkroom in Montréal (up yours, UdeM, with your complicated registration schedule!).

    After the Saidye closed, I invested in some home darkroom equipment, and duly printed home, but now that I'm working almost full time, my sessions are more occasional than they used to be, because of prep and cleaning time.

    This is also something very exciting for the world at large, because it is yet another proof of the viability of analog photography. Photo stores in Montréal tend to be cynical about film (I used to work in one for a short stint), but whenever I show my slides to the younger employees, they are the ones most eager to get dirty with film.

    The photo Co-Op should open somewhere in 2009; right now the site is under construction, so you can imagine the imponderables these fine folks are facing. I wish them the best, and will report here on their progress.
     
  2. thebanana

    thebanana Subscriber

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    Sounds like a cool idea. So as a Coop, the members contribute "x"$$ per year to the cause, and this pays for the equipment and rent?
     
  3. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    Yep, but you can also pay per usage and not shell the initial 500$ to be a co-op member. Click on the link I posted, they have a rates section.
     
  4. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    Makes me wish I still lived in Ottawa.

    I think some Ontario folks in the Ottawa region would love to know this too as the only darkroom rental place on Bank St. closed a few years ago and reopened under a new owner who charged (I think) $30/hr for the use of the place and basically told me that they're charging such high rates because it's not worth it otherwise and they'll shut it down if people don't pay that much. I'm assuming it's long gone now at that rate.
     
  5. DaveOttawa

    DaveOttawa Subscriber

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    No need to go all the way to MTL (as much fun as that might be), options in/near Ottawa:

    RA Photo Club (darkroom, membership)
    http://www.raphotoclub.ca/index.php?pid=12

    Lux (darkroom rental)
    http://www.luxphoto.com/DarkroomPage.php

    Studio Huit Dalpé (darkroom rental)
    http://studio.photoalex.ca/en/location-en
     
  6. Krockmitaine

    Krockmitaine Member

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    Exciting news indeed... and I'm back!
    Marc
     
  7. KWhitmore

    KWhitmore Member

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    Thanks for posting that Michel!

    Kathy
     
  8. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    A very interesting idea -- shows analog is feasible, you just have to re-jig things a bit.
     
  9. Peter Stockland

    Peter Stockland Member

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    Cautionary note

    Just a word of warning - our experience with these folks has been far from kind or encouraging. Exactly the opposite. We were with them at the very beginning, and put $1,500 for 3 family members into the venture. At the time, we were told the COOP would be up and running within six months, and that if for any reason we wanted to withdraw, we could do so with a full refund. We waited and waited and when nothing at all seemed to be happening, we asked for a refund and cancellation of our memberships. They cancelled our memberships, all right, but basically told us to get lost as far as getting any money back. We were told that legally they were under no obligation to return our money, and would do so only when the COOP was financially stable. That was 15 months ago, and we haven't heard a peep since about getting a penny back. A while back, one family member approached them about at least reinstating our memberships so we could get some use of the facility. Louis-Phillipe Sarrazin said he would have to consult the board. We've heard nothing from them since. I'm not accusing them of anything criminal or fraudulent or malevolent. I think like a lot of volunteer organizations, they're probably just disorganized. But if you're at all thinking about getting involved with them, make sure you can kiss your contribution good-bye if things don't work out. What looks promising ain't always so.

     
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  10. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Great news Michel!
     
  11. philanthrope

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    I was doing some research upon photocoop.ca in Google and came upon this thread. Unfortunatly the website of Photocoop seems to be offline. I'm not sure why, and hope it's not because they've decided to abandon the idea. I've also had a chance to meet them at the Montreal Flea Market in November 2008 and was explained the same as Michel Hardy-Vallée related. I was present at the Fleat Market to talk about Studio4fun (www.studio4fun.ca), unfortunatly it doesn't offer a darkroom. I personnally go at the University of Montreal darkroom to work since I've been a student there for many years.

    Peter Stockland, I'm truly sorry to hear that you've had a bad experience with PhotoCoop, and I'm very happy you brought it up so any other person interrested will think twice before enrolling (if that's still possible). As far as the refund of the membership, I'm very surprised that you wish wasn't granted. I mean, in a Coop such as the Caisse populaire Desjardins, when you open an account you have to cough 5$, but when you want to close your account they refund you. And it should of been the same with PhotoCoop, in addition to the fact that they didn't deliver as promised. Personnaly, I would of started a lawsuit against the company to get my money back. It's simply unfair for yourself and the families involved. But once they file for bankruptcy it's too late to get any money back.

    After doing some Google searching I've came upon a Loi sur les coopératives du Québec.

    Good luck,
    Hai Au :smile:
     
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  12. sinnlicht

    sinnlicht Member

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    Hi,

    Does anyone have and update on this co-op? Can anyway reccommend a place or a person where I can get films hand developed in Montreal? I can even provide the chemicals if necessary.

    Thanks

    Richard
     
  13. KWhitmore

    KWhitmore Member

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    I don't know if they offer hand processing exactly but two good labs here are Photo Service on 222 Notre Dame and Dafo Eclair on rue de la Commune. Good luck.

    Kathy
     
  14. sinnlicht

    sinnlicht Member

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    "Une insitution dans le monde professionnel du développement de film et de l'impression photo fermera ses portes vendredi prochain. DAFO ÉCLAIR tire la plug, après plus de 30 ans de loyaux services. Ce commerce fût longtemps prisé par les photographes professionnels, surtout pour le développement E6 (le meilleur en ville selon plusieurs) et les tirages sur papier archive.
    Depuis plusieurs années, plusieurs labo professionnels se sont fait emporter par le tsunami provoqué par le numérique et la disparition du film argentique et peinent à subsister. La majeure partie de ces labos ne font plus maintenant que de l'impression numérique.
    Pour les derniers photographes irréductibles qui travaillent encore avec de la diapo ou du n/b, sachez que le dernier à Montréal à pouvoir développer vos rouleaux sera maintenant Boréalis."
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2009
  15. KWhitmore

    KWhitmore Member

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    I had no idea Dafo was closed/closing. It's been a while since I was in there. Sorry about that.

    Kathy
     
  16. Igor_P

    Igor_P Member

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    I assume that this co-op is kaput since the website is down (sorry to hear they took you for $1500, Peter).

    Does anyone know of any other places where one can get darkroom time in Montreal? I'd love to set up my own darkroom, but unfortunately, I just don't have the space in my apartment.
     
  17. Igor_P

    Igor_P Member

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    What do these labs do that you couldn't have done through your local drugstore?
     
  18. Krockmitaine

    Krockmitaine Member

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    The coop is definitively kaput, my sink came from stuff that they got rid of during their fire sale.
    Down the bin went enlargers, a color processor, timers, books that I already had or no need of :sad:

    The people involved with the project had good intentions and wanted the coop the really succeed but red tape (*cough*City of Montreal*cough*) killed the project.
    Marc
     
  19. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    What kind of 'red tape'?

    Tom
     
  20. Photo-gear

    Photo-gear Member

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    Photo film club

    A friend a I are thinking of starting a club only dedicated to film in Montréal. That is unfortunate this coop did not work.

    I thought of another alternative: get an empty space from the Montréal administration and, as Montrealers, get it validated as a cultural activity partly supported by the city.

    I will have to get info regarding such a project, but if I gather enough people interested in sharing time with other photographers regarding FILMS, it could be possible to get a darkroom and a room where to get together and live up the fantastic world of film.

    So far, I don't think there's such a club in Montréal, the digital wave having almost eradicate the film support. The only way to have a sufficient number of film photographers is to get together the film users being more or less on their own.

    Send me an e-mail if there's someone interested.
     
  21. Igor_P

    Igor_P Member

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    I might be interested. You can announce any developments to this thread, and if you need something specific from me, send me a PM.

    Film is going through a low point right now but I'm confident that it'll eventually bounce back once the novelty of digital wears off and once people start realizing what a pending nightmare digital is from an archival point of view. The only reason we can appreciate an old Buster Keaton movie today, or look at pictures of our great-grandparents, is because they were shot on film.

    Film obviously won't be as popular as it was, but I doubt it will ever go away completely.