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Question 14: Why do you continue to live in Atlantic Canada instead of moving to an area that affords a larger distribution network for your art?
Well I went to live in Montreal in the early 1990s, but it was to work in animation film. At the time, I had started to do animation film in Moncton and to train other people in animation there. A lot depends on the producers in regions. Sometimes producers don’t want to take on animation film projects. So then I left for Montreal to continue in the field I was passionate about. I was in Montreal for two years. The reason I came back is that I was more than fed up with traffic, with public transit, and stressed out people at rush hour, morning and night. And I also felt I was getting robbed of time for my own artistic production. You know, when it takes three quarters of an hour to get to work in the morning from your place, and the same again at night, I was robbed of an hour and a half per day in public transportation, and at one point, I couldn’t accept that any more. After a forty-five minute bus ride with people who are stressed out, I’d be exhausted when I got home. And you haven’t had supper yet. I wanted to come back to Moncton first of all because I like Moncton, its cultural life is developing and I feel that I’m part of that evolution, I feel I have something to say about it. And it’s the people I studied with too, and the people who have joined the artistic community. After Montreal, I didn’t want to go elsewhere. I’m not saying I never will; some day I might get sick of Moncton. But what I came back for was to improve, and to increase, my production. And now with all the distribution methods available, I’m not sure that large cities are really ideal. What I noticed when I was in Montreal, in the visual arts that were being done at the time, was that one person would come up with an idea, and many others would copy that idea, a lot of imitators of Mister or Mrs So-and-so, while in the regions, you don’t have that kind of imitation. Perhaps because we know each other better and we’d get in trouble with people or something, or maybe we’re all more personal in the way we work. That’s one thing that bothered me about the big scene in Montreal, to see a certain plagiarism that was happening, and I don’t find that in Moncton. And I find that for a small city, a medium city, I don’t know how it ranks, but there are still resources here, with Internet, and even before Internet, you could dig through the art magazines at the library. There’s always a way of getting current information yourself. For myself, I’ve never been stuck for ideas. And I also never aimed for an international career. Of course, if that was my aim, I would probably not be in Moncton anymore. But then again, why not. An international career via Moncton, that’s not impossible.