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  1. #1
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    New Co-op Darkroom in Montréal for 2009

    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.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  2. #2
    thebanana's Avatar
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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?
    "While you're out there smashing the state, don't forget to keep a smile on your lips and a song in your heart!"

  3. #3
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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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.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  4. #4

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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. #5
    DaveOttawa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jordanstarr View Post
    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.
    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. #6
    Krockmitaine's Avatar
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    Exciting news indeed... and I'm back!
    Marc

  7. #7
    KWhitmore's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting that Michel!

    Kathy

  8. #8
    Colin Corneau's Avatar
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    A very interesting idea -- shows analog is feasible, you just have to re-jig things a bit.

  9. #9

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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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michel Hardy-Vallée View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Peter Stockland; 02-12-2009 at 12:59 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #10

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    Great news Michel!

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