For this special edition of “5 questions for,” Audrey Meubus spoke with Marian Rebeiro, our new Membership Services and Communications Coordinator. Marian has a degree in Art History and English Language and Literature from Carleton University in Ottawa, as well as a Graduate Diploma in Communications from Concordia University. She has experience in film production and writing, and is passionate about art, music, film, and literature.
First, tell us a little bit about yourself!
I’m Marian, I’m originally from Ottawa and I moved to Montreal a couple of years ago. I really love the arts; I studied art, literature, and music in my life and in university. I feel really passionate about those topics and decided to make a career out of them. I’ve worked in art galleries, art education, and most recently in film production for the National Film Board of Canada. The literary community was a great next step since I love promoting these kinds of things, as well as creating inclusive and diverse spaces within arts communities.
What connection do you see between film, art history, and literature?
Some of the greatest movies and TV shows are based on books, so there’s an inherent link there. I love great narratives, great stories; that’s the connection I see amongst all the arts. In Art History, it has a lot to do with the person who created the art piece. The intention of the artist, the context of the piece. I really love Contemporary art. The artist is trying to say something, so there are always stories based on what the artist sees in their community and they’re trying to get that story out there. The creative process also contributes to the narrative. It’s complex and not necessarily focused on a fictional character who completes actions or your typical story elements, but the process is trying to tell us something new, from a perspective we might not have thought of originally, and I think that’s what great storytelling is about.
Favourite Canadian author?
I have a few favourites. Anita Rau Badami (Tell it to the Trees, Can You Hear the Nightbird Call?). I read Can you hear the Nightbird Call in my second year of university. It follows a few different Indian families who decide to come to Canada or stay in India, a story that is told across several generations, and it made a huge impression on me at 19 years old.
I also really love Eden Robinson (Monkey Beach, Son of a Trickster).
There is also a poet whom I love, M. NourbeSe Philip (Zong!, Discourse on the Logic of Language), a Toronto-based poet; she’s really great as well.
What have you been reading lately?
I actually was reading Love & Courage, Jagmeet Singh’s book. It’s really sweet and it’s a really nice insight into his life. He’s a very sincere person and it’s nice to read his words and thoughts. I’m really enjoying it so far. It’s a memoir, so he writes about his parents and immigrating to Canada, it’s about him growing up, experiencing school and the bullying he endured as a young Sikh. The title contains themes he talked about a lot throughout his election campaign; no matter what is going on, you can always come back to love and courage.
What do you hope to bring to your role here at the QWF?
I’m so impressed by all of the activities, workshops, and events the QWF runs. The gala, the categories and prizes that exist… it’s really a big world here. From the outside, people may not realize this, but when you get to see it from the inside you realize how vast it is. There are so many different doors to enter and different subcategories to explore. I think this is one of those organizations that’s really punching above its weight, so I hope that I can continue in that vein and extend its reach by continuing to bring other perspectives to this organization.
What do you love most about writing?
I love that it helps me to focus on the things I’m trying to express. There’s a lot that goes on inside of a brain; you can think of an idea but it might get lost. Maybe it makes sense on the inside, but once you write it out, that’s when it really pushes you to develop it more and refine it into something better. Language is fantastic. You can express yourself in so many different ways through words and it’s a challenge to put something on paper or on screen versus what’s in your head. It’s a challenging thing, but that’s what I love about writing.
Thank you, Marian. We wish you a warm welcome to the team!