Project 365 – Day 99: Tam Tams at the George Étienne Cartier monument
April 8 2012
Since 1978 tam tam players of all ages and backgrounds have converged on the George Étienne Cartier Monument on Mount Royal on Sunday afternoons to jam together. The rythmic beat of dozens of tam tams can be heard across the adjoining Jeanne-Mance Park.
The drumming normally commences at around 1pm and continues through the afternoon until dusk. On warm summer days the tam tams attract a large crowd who come to soak in the rhythm, dance, picnic, or peruse the many open air stalls that set up selling jewelry and such like.
The city has recently become involved by restricting commercial activity to licensed vendors and ensuring police are present to ensure the safety of the crowd – and likely keep an eye out for drugs, since it’s not only the beat of the tam tams that many are high on ;)
Although the tam tams are more prevalent in the summer months, there were a handful of drummers sitting around the monument earlier this afternoon.
There are often some colorful characters hanging at the tam tam jam, today a blond Jimmy Hendrix look-alike was there to strum along to the beat.
Sculpted by George William Hill (1862–1934), the George-Étienne Cartier Monument was unveiled in 1916 but not officially inaugurated until September 6, 1919 after the end of World War 1 when the soldier waving a flag was added to the existing monument.
The nine maidens at the base of the monument represent the 9 provinces at the time of confederation, while the 4 lions are guarding Cartier’s memory.
George Étienne Cartier was a corporate lawyer, secretary for the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste and one of the fathers of the Canadian Confederation.
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Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.