Mille Femmes – Toronto 2008

Review by Sam Mooney

Milles Femmes, part of Luminato, is “The artistic landscape of Toronto – celebrated in the faces of 1,000 magnificent women”. It’s a photo exhibition by French artist Pierre Maraval. Tonight was the gala opening – not exactly theatre but I’m reviewing it because Megan (the Mooney in Mooney on Theatre) is one of the Mille Femmes.


I’ve been to art exhibit openings before – a little cheese, a little wine, chat with the artist, but never anything on this scale. I have no idea how many people were there, at least 1500 I think. Maybe a million. I’m not great with crowd estimates.

In a way it was theatre. Women in costumes, all looking beautiful. Everyone looking at the portraits, finding themselves and women they knew. Servers circulating with trays of drinks and finger food. Good finger food.


I spent a few minutes talking with Liz Pead, a Toronto artist. She paints with hockey equipment. It sounds strange but I looked at her website and her work is beautiful, very Group of Seven. Her son is beautiful too, and very blase about the gala.


Lancome is the event’s sponsor and they had little gift bags for everyone as they left. I saw three young women comparing and trading so I had to go and see what they got. The lure of free makeup!

I knew they were ‘mille femmes’ because all the women ‘on the wall’ were given white rose corsages.

They’re a band, DAME. I had no idea how young they were until I looked at their site.


From left to right: Faye Moreau – guitar, Katte Lee – vocals and bass, and Kayla Faye – drums. They’re performing on Saturday June 14 at Funhaus, part of the NXNE Showcase. 9 pm at 526 Queen St West, Toronto.

There was also lovely ‘thank you’ poster from the photographer, here’s a little snipit:

Mille Femmes runs til June 15. It’s a free event and is open all day.

Allen Lambert Galleria, Brookfield Place
161-181 Bay Street, Toronto, ON M5J 2T3
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