“chez eux” / chat bleu

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The Chat Bleu (435 Beaubien W, off Parc) is not your typical boxing club.

Of course, the shoe and coat situation, array of art, mirrors and boxing paraphernalia adjourning walls and the temple of cd/speakers all give this space its character, but it’s not your typical boxing club because instructor and founder Phil Dickinson insists it continue to transform with the community that thrives inside of it.

The project, which he started while also pursuing studies in sculpture at Concordia University, has been growing steadily since it opened. At this point, the communal space, he says, doesn’t even feel like his.

“C’est chez eux.”


Chez eux; the ones who come every week to hit the hanging bags, the ones who Dickinson says “take time in the space, create in the space, realize and grow in the space.”

Chat Bleu is to develop as it develops, but never “as an object that we use,” he told Team Edgy last Sunday at an informal first meet & greet. He wants the club, having grown out of the community, to be a subject treated like a member of the community.

And he wants people to push the limits in this space.

“C’est aussi une espace artistique,” he explained. “Il y a une cote du boxe, mais l’autre est l’art.”

And indeed, this space is going to push us to our artistic limits, too.


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The artists and organizers walked around, talking out loud about technical considerations and possibility.

I will update this post at some point (or dedicate another one entirely) for an interview with our technical director Andrea Rideout, who is a master problem solver.

Where will we put the ring? How would we black certain spaces out? What about other lighting? And the kitchen? How should we create a Tour de Piste Bodybuilder Ride? What will it be like to have an audience en prominade? Should we encourage people to bring slippers?

There are an astounding number of serious, technical considerations to be made in the next 10 days. It’s really exciting — and maybe a bit scary — to push it to the limit…

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To be continued…

– posted by @LauraBeeston

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