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eat! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX goes for big innovations in seventh year

On 6, 7, 8 and 9 September this year, the eat! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX festival will once again take over Brussels Park. The public will be able to go there to discover the signature dishes of about twenty Brussels chefs. To achieve the perfect balance and introduce new combinations, some fifty Bordeaux wine growers and wine merchants will be offering a wide range of wines that illustrate the simplicity, diversity, quality and accessibility of Bordeaux wines. A wonderful opportunity for Brussels residents and visitors to treat themselves to a delightful moment of relaxation and conviviality.

eat Brussels

The eat ! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX festival has again called on the best Brussels chefs. The seventh festival is full of innovations:

• A wider variety of restaurants. Several new chefs who have emerged from the Brussels scene will take part in the adventure to introduce the public to their emblematic dishes.

• For this year’s festival, a cheese bar and a dessert counter will be introduced to round off the chefs’ offerings. Every day, the cream of our cheese makers and pastry chefs will take turns introducing visitors to new flavours.

• This year, the Bordeaux Wine School is breaking new ground with the “secret gaming table”. The game is modelled on black jack and the participants are invited to bet on the characteristics of the wine in a blind tasting. The age of the wine, its flavours, its “appellation d’origine contrôlée”, etc. The bets are open and good humour guaranteed.

eat Brussels

Twenty-odd Brussels chefs

New chefs representative of Brussels are joining the celebration and will be enriching the festival’s offering. They will each be presenting visitors with a signature dish that symbolises their culinary identity, costing just 9 euros!

The unmissable TCHIN VITTEL zone

The TCHIN VITTEL zone offers visitors cooking workshops throughout the festival. In the company of the talented bistronomy chef Bruno Antoine, they will concoct their bistronomy box, which they will then be able to enjoy in a friendly atmosphere.

eat Brussels

Innovations

Dessert counter

Several great pastry chefs will take turns every day to complete the festival menu. They will be offering sweets lovers delicious dessert selections at the set price of 9 euros. Bordeaux wine growers and wine merchants will be glad to recommend you a wine that makes a perfect match for your dessert dish.

The chefs:

Nikolas Koulepis – Pâtisserie Nicolas Koulepis Anaïs Gaudemer – Cokoa Loic Henon & Joaquim Braz de Oliveira – Forcado Yasushi Sasaki – Pâtisserie Sasaki

Cheese bar

There is nothing like tasting a selection of cheeses accompanied by an excellent Bordeaux wine. Why not have a sweet wine with a blue cheese? This year, eat! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX is offering you the chance to meet several great Brussels cheese makers. They will introduce you to new flavours with their original selection.

The cheese makers:

Julien Hazard – Julien Hazard Affineur Véronique Socié – La Fruitière

Hélène Milan – Le Comptoir du Samson Octave Laloux – Saint Octave

Simply Bordeaux

eat Brussels

The Wines of Bordeaux, a key partner in the festival, are once again taking part in this gastronomical journey. The festival is a unique opportunity to discover the merits of the wines of Bordeaux and to meet nearly 50 Bordeaux wine growers and wine merchants who will share their passion in a congenial and relaxed way. These men and women who make the wines of Bordeaux will tell you their stories and share their anecdotes. These easy-to-drink, accessible wines, the result of the meticulous blending of several grape varieties, will thrill people’s taste buds. A unique opportunity to discover the new, fresh and fruity Bordeaux reds, the dry white wines, the rosés, clairets and sweets wines which make wonderful apéritifs and go well with all styles of cooking. Wine pairings devised for the occasion will also be offered for the chefs’ dishes, the desserts and the cheese boards presented at the festival.

The Bordeaux Wine School workshops

(c)VISITBRUSSELS -E.Danhier

The Bordeaux Wine School tent offers a straightforward and entertaining overview, so that you no longer mix up Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, can match food with wine or even, quite simply, put your sensations into words. This year in addition the “secret gaming table”, festival goers will be able to explore new workshops on the subject of wine and gastronomy. The Wine School is joining forces with the chefs attending the festival to present unexpected wine pairings. The mouth-watering Choco’Bordeaux will thrill gourmets’ taste buds… All the workshops will be accessible with the WINE PASS.

The Bordeaux “Master classes”: another way of exploring the wines of Bordeaux Comfortably installed in the very beautiful Salle des Guichets of the BIP Building, novices and well-informed amateurs are guided through the estates and regions of the Bordeaux grands crus. 4 master classes will enable you to explore a Bordeaux wine family in more depth:

  • Sweet Bordeaux Master Class: a master class on the original pairing of sweet white Bordeaux wines with Belgian cheeses
  • Crus Classés de Graves Master Class: the Crus Classés de Graves will be presented in Brussels for the first time. The 2014 vintage will take pride of place
  • Master Class on the great wines of the Médoc: the Conseil des vins du Médoc [Wine Council of the Médoc] will introduce 6 “appellations” by way of 4 different vintages (2005, 2011, 2012 and 2015)
  • Grands Crus Classés de Saint-Emilion Master Class: a stroll through the prestigious Grands Crus Classés of Saint-Emilion
eat Brussels

Enjoy cashless!

BORDEAUX has switched to a cashless payment system. Visitors can obtain their swipe cards from one of the ticket offices, put money on them and use them as they please throughout the festival. This swipe card picks up your credit and/or Wine Pass. To pay for your drinks, simply place your swipe card on the cashless terminal and payment for the credits or tastings is automatically deducted. The chosen formula is simple. One credit is worth 1 euro.

eat Brussels

The dishes

All the chefs offer their signature dishes, their desserts and their cheese boards at a single price of 9 credits (i.e. €9). The credits are valid all over the festival site for buying dishes, soft drinks, beers and/or coffees.

Bordeaux wines:

Bordeaux wines can be discovered through a tasting route. Visitors must acquire a Wine Pass for this purpose (charged to their magnetic card). This Wine Pass is available on presale until 30 June at the price of 15 euros. The price will then change to 16 euros (€20 at the door) and includes, among other things, no fewer than 10 tastings (7 “Tent” tastings + 3 tastings of your choice), one Wine School workshop, one Omer beer tasting and one Vittel water. A great way to discover the wealth and subtlety of the wines of Bordeaux.

Have you have enjoyed Bordeaux wines? How was your experience? Please share with us in the comments section below.

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SMURFS: A BELGIAN CREATION READY TO TOUR THE WORLD

Holy Smurf! Come along to an unusual immersive experience that will prepare Belgians (and all Earthlings) for Smurf life. In 1958, Belgian writer Pierre Culliford, also known as Peyo, fell in love with the mischievous little blue gnomes while writing a Johan and Peewit story (The Flute with Six Holes). Sixty years later, Smurf Village 2.0 has come to the Brussels Expo. Come and meet Peyo’s star creations from 9 June 2018 until the 27 January 2019 in Hall 4. Their empire includes more than 50 million comics sold in more than 90 countries, 272 TV episodes broadcast in more than 100 countries, 41 YouTube channels, 3 feature-length films and 4 theme parks. If you haven’t heard of the Smurfs by now, ghastly Gargamel will turn you into salt dough! 

2018: YEAR OF THE SMURFS

Only a country as Smurf-tastically surreal as Belgium could name 2018 the ‘Official Year of the Smurfs’. The Minister of Foreign affairs is mobilising his global network of diplomats for this special occasion. Brussels Airlines is also transforming an Airbus A320 into a colourful ‘Aerosmurf’ (take a look at the background). Over the years, Peyo’s little blue gnomes have become the most authentic ambassadors for Belgian humour and values. The Smurfs made their debut in the world of comics in 1958, as minor characters in one of Peyo’s earlier Johan and Peewit medieval adventures. In order to celebrate the Smurfs’ sixtieth birthday in style, the IMPS society wanted to use their copyright to the Smurf universe to create a major event to celebrate Peyo’s impressive legacy. This initial idea was coupled with the creativity and know-how of Stéphan Uhoda and his team. This association gave life to The Smurf Experience.

LED BY SEASONED PROFESSIONALS

The Smurf Experience is a fully immersive show. ASBL L’Usine à Bulles will be responsible for production and creation, as part of a co-production with DC&J Création. Meanwhile, operations will be led by Cecoforma (Uhoda group), an organisation specialised in communication and events. They are well known in Brussels and Wallonia, and have a strong international network. Leading this unusual project is Stéphan Uhoda, chairman of L’Usine à Bulles and CEO of Cecoforma. Born in 1953 in Liège, Uhoda is a culture and heritage aficionado. He joined his family’s service station business after studying at the University of Liège Administration and Business School.

Also read: Smurfs are coming to Brussels Ice Magic!

In 1978 he went on to manage the company. Cecoforma was involved in the technical assistance sector, in both Belgium and abroad. Uhoda diversified in 1990 after the Wallonia Region bought Cecoforma on behalf of the European Commission. In 2016, he acquired Dynamic Events, a B2B and B2C event management company. As a collector of contemporary art, Stéphan Uhoda has also invested in a number of cultural institutions in Liège. “Arts and culture are sources of inspiration for people, including entrepreneurs. The Smurf Experience is a project that is at the intersection of different kinds of work that the Uhoda group carries out. Above all, it was the product, the Smurfs, which convinced us to take on this project. The Smurfs are an amazingly powerful communication tool for spreading important messages,” says Uhoda.

To bring the Smurf Experience to life, L’Usine à Bulles called on seasoned professionals, starting with set designer Marcos Viñals Bassols from Barcelona. He studied interior architecture at the Institut St Luc, followed by set design at La Cambre. He has worked extensively with Belgian directors and producers. He was responsible for, amongst others, the set design for the Battle of Waterloo Memorial. “I was raised on comics, Peyo’s work in particular. Nowadays, children grow up to cartoon Smurfs on the TV, in cinemas or on YouTube,” explains the designer. “The main challenge to overcome in the Smurf Experience set was how to translate the expectations of the different target audiences (children and ‘big kids’) into something coherent.” Meanwhile, L’Usine à Bulles chose Mario Iacampo as executive producer of the project. He is the managing director of Exhibition Hub, an international exhibition creation, production and distribution company. They have worked on projects such as Van Gogh-The Immersive Experience and The Art of the Brick, which showcased Lego sculptures of American comic-book superheroes.

IMMERSION 2.0 IN SMURF WORLD

From 9 June, the Smurfs are in Hall 4 of the Brussels Expo for six months. They are inviting you to join them in an incredibly immersive world for an unusual adventure that is fun and educational in equal measure. Visitors will feel like they’ve been shrunk to Smurf-size (thanks to out-sized interiors and characters) as they explore the enchanted world full of discovery and danger. In nine unique spaces covering a total of 1,500 m2, visitors can get a taste of the Smurf lifestyle, speak their language and fight their longstanding enemy Gargamel.

What is the Smurfs Experience? By diving into a giant comic strip, visitors will go deep into a magic forest to reach the Smurf village. They will taste a magic elixir in Papa Smurf’s house that will turn them into Smurfs themselves. Far away, Gargamel is working on a terrible machine that will destroy the village’s climate, our climate. Visitors will have to brave the enchanted forest, avoiding terrible traps that lead to the infamous Gargamel’s lair. They will need all the Smurfs’ help if they are to capture the evil wizard and destroy his awful invention. The adventure has a happy ending and visitors are invited to the village party where they can learn the Smurf dance!

PERFORMING ARTS AND TECHNOLOGY

By using the latest technical innovations, this immersive Smurf experience has a realistic interactive dimension. Animated hologram Smurfs are incorporated in the spaces. A computer graphic Gargamel, trapped in a cage, interacts with the audience thanks to live motion capture. There are giant projections on tarpaulins thanks to video mapping and technology developed by Faceshift means visitors can look into a virtual mirror and see a Smurf version of themselves reflected back! There will also be several amazing virtual reality experiences for them to try out. “This technology was specially adapted for the Smurf Experience through the creation of unique content. One of the big moments in the Experience is a virtual reality section where visitors escape Gargamel and fly back to the village on a stork. It’s a gripping, realistic flight!” says producer Mario Iacampo. Dirty Monitor is the company which developed the different apps used in the Smurf Experience.

“We wanted to present the Smurfs as modern characters that have moved with the times, not as old trolls with white beards, no offence Papa Smurf. Since their inception, Peyo’s blue gnomes have always had this amazing capacity for reinvention and relevance. We have ensured that all the technology can be used by all our visitors, young or old,” adds Chloé Beaufays, the Smurf Experience spokesperson.

The performing arts are present throughout this ambitious show. Throughout the visit there are different activities involving characters in costume. Two of them are at the entrance in a comic strip frame to talk to visitors. Others work Grumpy Smurf, Lazy Smurf and Jokey Smurf puppets from a 120cm stand. “These actors share spontaneous interactive moments with the audience. They can adapt each performance to their reactions,” says Mario Iacampo.

DEFENDERS OF UNIVERSAL VALUES

Part of the show’s appeal is the values the Smurfs espouse: honesty, courage, tolerance, solidarity and generosity. They have healthy lifestyles and care about protecting the environment. “These universal values transcend age, gender and culture, and it’s in this spirit that the Smurf Experience was created. The Smurfs’ values encourage you to reflect on the modern world,” explains Véronique Culliford, the CEO of IMPS.

In 2016, the Smurfs were chosen as ambassadors for 17 sustainable development goals (SDG) set out by the United Nations. 195 countries adopted these goals in 2015. The SDG correspond to three main objectives to be fulfilled between now and 2030: end poverty; protect the planet and guarantee prosperity for everyone. They have been chosen as the themes in the educational content incorporated in the Smurf Experience. Seventeen objects scattered throughout the visit embody the SDG and are accompanied by information sheets and projections. For example, there is a washing line for gender equality, a safe to reference the eradication of poverty and a rolling pin is a symbol of reducing economic inequality. There are also teaching materials for school groups which have been produced with the different education systems in the north and south of Belgium in mind. These materials are available in the three national languages.

“The SDG are a fabulous resource for making young children think about sustainable development,” says Marcos Viñals Bassols. “What’s more, as the Smurf Experience is expected to go on tour around the world, particularly in countries where children don’t necessarily know about the pressure our planet is under, this educational message takes on even more importance.”

A SHOW PARTLY FUNDED BY TAX SHELTER

With a 5 million euro budget, the Smurf Experience is an ambitious immersive show. A fifth of the budget came from Tax Shelter, which expanded to performance arts in 2017. Combining performance with innovative sound, image and set technology, the Smurf Experience corresponds perfectly to the newly expanded Tax Shelter framework. By using this funding source L’Usine à Bulles has collaborated with the DC&J Création cooperative, Tax Shelter specialists Inver, the Theatre de Liège and Theatre Jean Vilar.

The Smurf Experience also relies on the support of several private and public partners. Its main sponsor is Daoust, a Belgian human resources company that was named Business of the Year 2016 (Ernst & Young, L’Écho) and Best Career Transition Company at the HR Excellence Awards 2017. Daoust will be sporting Smurf colours throughout 2018. “The Smurfs are an important source of our national pride. Our collaboration with the Smurfs highlights the Belgian roots our family business holds dear. Beyond this Belgian spirit, this collaboration was a no-brainer as Daoust and the Smurfs share common values such as respect, friendliness and being family-oriented. These values are really at the heart of our famous “Welcome to the Family!” motto explains Giles Daoust, company CEO and recently named Young Top Manager in The Entrepreneur Awards.

Also read: Comic festival unveils great new features this year

BNP Paribas Fortis, as well as other public institutions (the National Lottery, Brussels Region and some of its organisations such as Visit Brussels, the Wallonia-Brussels Federation and the German-Speaking Community) are also lending their support to the Smurf Experience.

AN INTERNATIONAL CALLING

In 2019, the Smurf Experience will set out on a five-year world tour. The sets, the storyline and the technology incorporated in the show were planned so that they can be adapted to a range of audiences around the world. Several interested parties from Europe, the Middle East and Asia have been in touch, before the Experience had even been launched. Peyo’s little blue gnomes have succeeded in the fantastic feat of becoming ambassadors for Belgian heritage around the world.

ONCE UPON A TIME…

It all began on 23 October 1958 in the pages of the Belgian magazine Spirou. Johan and Peewit were the heroes of a comic set in the Middle Ages. A little voice appeared on the 36th page of their ninth story saying, “Can’t you look where you put your Smurfs? You nearly smurfed me!” Then a little blue-skinned gnome popped up from behind a stone. It led Johan and Peewit to the village. The Smurfs had made their début in Peyo’s world. Nobody could have imagined that this modest beginning would mark the start of a global phenomenon. As minor characters in “The Flute with Six Holes”, they could have disappeared after “the end”, but the audience’s enthusiasm made that impossible. From then on, Peyo took them on their own adventures, firstly in short stories in a smaller format, then in a series of full size albums the success of which grew and grew.

Thirty-six albums later, with more than 50 million albums sold around the world, the Smurfs have become international icons of Belgian comics. But these mischievous little blue creatures soon leapt off the pages and onto our cinema and TV screens, and digital platforms. ‘The Smurfs and the Lost Village’ came out in 2017. It was the third feature-length animated film starring Peyo’s mini heroes and the first full-length CGI (computer generated imagery) animation. A new 3D animated series is planned for 2020. The Smurfs also have their own official YouTube channel available in 41 languages. They star in musicals and are special guests at theme parks in Antwerp, Dubai, Malaysia and Moscow (in 2019), and soon they will be heading to China too.

PEYO: A MODEST, SELF-TAUGHT MAN

Pierre Culliford (known as Peyo) was born in Brussels on the 25 June 1928. He had to work from the age of 15, starting out as a cinema projectionist, then moving on to working in a cartoon studio. The studio closed and Peyo decided to move on to comics. He published comic strips in a wide variety of daily papers, but it was difficult at first.

He did not become successful until he joined Spirou magazine. With fellow artists Franquin, Morris and Roba, their work formed a milestone in humorous European comics. After the Smurfs appeared, Peyo continued working on the adventures of Johan and Peewit, as well as Poussy the cat, and he created Benoît Brisefer, a boy with super-powers (known variously as Tammy Tuff, Benny Breakiron and Steven Strong in English). However, the global success of the Smurfs meant they ended up taking up all his energy. He devoted himself to them and their destiny (in all its forms) until his death in 1992. There are qualities that were embodied in Peyo’s art and were key to the success and timelessness of his work: clear storytelling, a poetic sense of humour, an effective style and constant creativity, not forgetting key values which transcend generations such as tolerance, belief in the future and respecting others.

Studio Peyo was founded in 1964 and trained several big names in Belgian comics, such as Derib, Gos and Walthéry. Six illustrators (three of whom were trained by the father of the Smurfs) still carry on Peyo’s work today. One of them is Thierry Culliford, Peyo’s son, who cowrites new stories with Alain Jost and Luc Parthoens. The 36th album, ‘The Smurfs and the Dragon of the Lake’, came out in March 2018.

Some statistics about the power of the Smurf brand

• 700 active licences

• 100 million Schleich figurines sold

• 1 billion dollars of annual revenue generated by selling retail products

• Over 75 million video game downloads

• 1 Smurf Haribo eaten every minute around the world

60 YEARS OLD AND STILL GOING STRONG

The opening of the Smurf Experience on 9 June was one of the key moments in the “Official Year of Smurfs”, which is packed full of events.

• Since 24 March, one Brussels Airlines Airbus A320 has been flying with a Smurf makeover.

• In April, the studio that creates the Smurf comics created a special drawing for the 60th anniversary of the Atomium. It is on display in front of the kid’s sphere.

• On 24 May, the Expo Peyo, an exhibition telling the life story of the great comic artist, opened in the Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles in Paris (opposite the Pompidou Centre). The exhibition is on until 28 October 2018

• On the 19 June, a Smurf mural will be officially unveiled close to Brussels Central Station (next to the Hilton Brussels Grand-Place). A second fresco will be inaugurated in Rochefort.

• On the 31 August, the Smurfs will once again serve as mascots at the Memorial Van Damme athletics event.

• In September they will be guests of honour at the 9th Brussels Comic Strip Festival.

• In October, the Smurfs’ birthday month, (their actual birthday is 23 October), a heritage book about Peyo’s work will be released.

Also read: A lot for comic lovers in Brussels this year

Have you ever been hooked by cartoon strips like Smurfs?  How far you can travel to be part of this experience? Please share your experience in the comments section below!

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Brussels shines the spotlight on contemporary art

Brussels has become a hub of contemporary art. Few cities in world can boast of such a huge art scene as Brussels, be it in any form. The capital is fertile place for creativity and discovery. International artists are charmed by its many beautiful spaces dedicated to art. Collectors from all over the world, for their part, regularly visit the capital to find that one piece that makes all the difference. Several players help enrich the art scene: the WIELS, BOZAR, MIMA, the Centrale for Contemporary Art, the CAB Foundation, the Villa Empain, and let’s not forget the future Kanal Foundation either. Between museums and art centres, galleries and artists’ collectives, fairs and other events, Brussels is sharing its passion for art.

Salon Beurs Show at Art Brussels

Every year, Brussels celebrates contemporary art from April to May. From the unmissable Art Brussels fair to the Private Choices exhibition, not to mention the Affordable Art Fair, events will be showcasing contemporary art with both domestic and international artists taking centre stage. Here is a quick look at the fairs, exhibitions and unmissable events of the next few months.

Fairs

Art Brussels

Art Brussels

Art Brussels is celebrating its 50th birthday: This year’s fair is full of innovations. Since its creation, Art Brussels has developed into one of the biggest contemporary art fairs in Europe. The fair is an unmissable date on the international artistic calendar. No less than 147 galleries featuring art from 32 countries. Art Brussels has never been so international, although the number of Belgian galleries has also increased.

Dates: From 19 to 22 April 2018

Venue: Tour et Taxis

Poppositions

POPPOSITIONS 2017 Exhibition view ©Renato Ghiazza

Recognising the crucial role of contemporary art fairs within a globalised market, Poppositions aims to revitalise the ways that pieces are hung and presented, always experimenting and discovering ground-breaking ways of selling. It is more than a fair, it is an exhibition involving a continuous critical dialogue, whilst guarding against stand-based layout. The title of this year’s fair, In Watermelon Sugar, was borrowed from that of the post- apocalyptic novel of the same name by Richard Brautigan, published in 1968.

Dates: From 19 to 22 April 2018

Venue: Former Coppens Studio

ACAF

Since 2006, the special feature of this fair is that the artists themselves do the exhibiting. ‘Accessible Art Fair (ACAF) brings original art, with a mix of photography, design and sculpture, to a public that has been buying art since 2006.

Date: 19 April to 22 August 2018

Venue: Nonciature du Sablon

Blast from the past: Contemporary Art- Brussels’ cultural heartbeat in April

Themed exhibitions

The Brutal Play

The CAB Foundation presents The Brutal Play, a collective exhibition curated by Matthieu Poirier, who is gathering sculptures by ten artists, from the constructivist period through the minimalism of the sixties, to the present day.

Dates: Until 26 May 2018

Venue: CAB Foundation

Unexchangeable

It is often said that there is nowhere else that has as significant a proportion of art collectors as Belgium. It is striking, however, that with such potential, so few partnerships are formed between public museums and private collections. By means of a selection of historic and museum-quality works from the 80s and 90s, on loan from private collections in Belgium, the exhibition focuses on the value of a work of art. This exhibition tells the story of a pivotal time in the history of art, during which artists changed the paradigm of the uniqueness of a work of art through concepts such as the simulacrum, simulation and equivalence.

Date: 19 April to 12 August 2018

Venue: Wiels

Private Choices

The Private Choices exhibition lifts the veil over an important sector of the art field: collections of contemporary art and the art lovers who initiated them. More than ever before they play a major role in a constantly growing art world. This project showcases 11 Brussels collections gathering together works by Belgian and international artists, famous artists, and young creators, in an attempt to reveal the uniqueness of each of them. Through the choices made in collaboration with the collectors, what is revealed is a part of their vision of art and of life.

Dates: Up to 27 May 2018

Venue: CENTRALE for contemporary art

Melancholia

The Boghossian foundation presents its new exhibition entitled Melancholia at the Villa Empain. It addresses the origins and manifestations of melancholia. Existing in East and West since antiquity, it continually sends human beings to their lost origins, filling them with regret for a world that has passed.

Dates: 15 April to 19 August 2018

Venue: Villa Empain

Promesses d’un visage [Promises of a face]

©TravelMagazine

The Promesses d’un visage exhibition takes you back through more than six centuries of portraiture, through paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs from the collections of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, as well as guest pieces. An object representing power or challenge, an instrument for social recognition or the expression of the subject’s rebellion, the portrait is a genre which has undergone a number of metamorphoses over time, right up to the habit of the selfie. Bouts, Memling, Rubens, Van Dyck, Gauguin, Ensor, Chagall, Delvaux, Bacon, Tuymans, Borremans, Fabre, Vanfleteren…

Dates: 23 April to 15 July 2018

Venue: Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

Voici des fleurs [Here are some flowers]

This exhibition pays homage to the work of Akarova (1904-1999), a renowned interwar era Brussels woman who devoted her life to music, dance, choreography, painting and sculpture. La loge is inviting contemporary artists to exhibit their own works side by side with Akarova’s works, and to make their own connection between her ideas and the dynamics of production.

Dates: 19 April to 30 June 2018

Venue: La loge

Events

Opening of the Kanal Foundation

The Kanal Foundation will be opening its doors on 5 May for a year before the refurbishment work begins. This future museum of contemporary art and architecture will be housed in the former Citroën garage a stone’s throw from the Senne. Throughout the year, this cross-disciplinary exhibition will be offering screenings, concerts, performances and exhibitions of works taken mainly from the Pompidou Centre collections. It is a chance to see pieces never before seen in Belgium in this raw space before it is closed for refurbishment work. The coming exhibitions will also present pieces by Brussels artists created especially for the occasion.

Date: Starting from the 5 May 2018

Venue: Fondation Kanal

So if you love contemporary art, you have many reasons to plan a trip to Brussels in coming months.

Have you witnessed the Art scene in Brussels? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

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A year to celebrate the art of Circus


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How fond we all were of circus in our childhood days. The animals and the acrobats and the jokers. Circus might be thing of past in some part of the world, but the art is still alive and kicking. Actually, there are lot of efforts to preserve and modernise this art. European capital Brussels has been leading efforts in this regard. There is no city in world better than Brussels when we talk about showcasing its different art forms. Similarly, Brussels is now for the next one year showcasing the art of circus. Brussels also has a focusCIRCUS.brussels for this specific purpose.

FocusCIRCUS.brussels aims to promote the vitality of Brussels circus arts, from March 2018 to March 2019, with an explosion of shows and performances in Brussels, a tour of 8 Brussels circus troupes in Italy and France, an avalanche of festivals, and many more initiatives. FocusCIRCUS.brussels kicks off on 12 March 2018 at BOZAR with a celebratory evening and the opening of Festival UP!.

© Sylvain Frappat

BRUSSELS’ BEST AMBASSADORS ARE ITS ARTISTS
FocusCIRCUS.brussels is an initiative of Minister Rachid Madrane, in charge of the Promotion of Brussels for the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. After contemporary art in Paris in 2016 (INDISCIPLINE) and contemporary dance in Berlin in 2017 (RADIKAL), FocusCIRCUS.brussels is the third edition in a series that aims to promote Brussels by showcasing its artists, with a project that’s bigger than its two predecessors.

“In the last few years, circus has become one of Brussels’ nest calling cards. Every year since 2015, I have supported a Brussels troupe with the presenting of a show as part of the famous Avignon festival. In 2018 several major events will be taking place, highlighting Brussels’ circus landscape. Notable among them will be the organisation, for the 1st time ever in Brussels, of the Fresh Circus #4 seminar – which gathers more than 400 circus professionals – and the new campus for the ESAC (Brussels’ circus arts college), one of the world’s most prestigious circus art schools. FocusCIRCUS.brussels was born of the desire to present the extraordinary vitality of Brussels’ circus arts to circus a cionados, novices, producers and all those who love Brussels.” exclaimed Minister Madrane excitedly.

This year-long celebration of the circus arts will be made up of two sections, both national and international. Visit.Brussels, Brussels’ tourism agency, is in charge of the organisation of focusCIRCUS.brussels. Patrick Bontinck, CEO of visit.brussels has said that, “Outside of the launch evening on 12 March at BOZAR, focusCIRCUS,brussels’s concept is not to create new initiatives because Brussels is already brimming with circus festivals and events. Organised in collaboration with Espace Catastrophe, ESAC circus college, the City of Brussels and the Halles de Schaerbeek, focusCIRCUS.brussels aims to promote Brussels and its circus scene by uniting, under one name and project, the four partner’s various events, and supporting them with their communication and distribution.”

FocusCIRCUS.brussels kicks off in Brussels on 12 March with a grand festive evening at BOZAR and the opening of Festival UP!, then continues until March 2019 with the UP!, HOPLA!, and Hors Pistes festivals, shows and performances by students from ESAC and the Fresh Circus#4 seminar. The international tour of 8 Brussels circus troupes in Italy and France starts in September 2018 and finishes in January 2019. Troupes will include Back Pocket, Carré Curieux, Cie la scie du Bourgeon, Cie Menteuses, Gaël Santisteva, Piergiorgio Milano, Poivre Rose, Claudio Stellato.

Have a look at some other snap shots of this years UP! festival-

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A lot for comic lovers in Brussels this year


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When it comes to Comics, no country celebrates the 9th art like Belgium. This year once again, European capital Brussels is honouring the bande dessinée with a number of key events. Such an array of activities would be impossible to overlook. From the
unmissable comics festival to the book fair, taking in the Smurf Experience, the capital of the 9th art is honouring it more than ever this year.

From its early beginnings in the 19th century, the Belgian bande dessinée or comic strip has garnered truly worldwide fame. Many comic illustrators and scriptwriters from our country, and Brussels artists in particular, have earned recognition far beyond our borders. As the acknowledged capital of the comic, Brussels has continually honoured the 9th art: museums, galleries, markets, festivals and specialist stores dedicated purely to the bande dessinée.

To promote this rich comic heritage, Brussels and Belgian comic artists will be there in force again at the 45th Angoulême International Comic Festival. And, thanks to the support of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, Belgian publishers and authors will have the pleasure of unveiling their works to their audience in Angoulême. 2018 is also “Smurf Year” culminating in the organisation of one exceptional event: The Smurf Experience. Aside from the comics festival taking place from 14–16 September, the Belgian capital is offering a series of activities centring on the 9th art right through the year, a taste of which is to follow.

The Smurfs are celebrating their 60th birthday

It all began back in 1958. These tiny blue creatures, fruit of Peyo’s imagination, first appeared in another series by the same author, ” Johan and Pirlouit “, and instantly won the hearts of readers demanding new stories about the Smurfs. In 2018, they will be celebrating their 60th birthday.

This Smurfantastic year will be marked by several events: the 5th iconic Brussels Airlines aircraft will be taking off with a Smurf makeover, a gigantic comic mural will be inaugurated at the heart of the capital and a surprise will be unveiled on the Grand-Place of Brussels. Moreover, the Smurfs share a birthday with another symbol of Brussels, the Atomium which is also celebrating its 60th birthday, with another surprise to mark this double celebration. Lastly, there will be a thrills at the Belgian National Day festivities (21 July) at the 20 km Brussels and at the Vandamme Memorial athletics championship – with the highlight being the holding of a special event: The Smurfs, an immersion experience.

The new Flemish comic strip

The new Flemish comic festival brings together a string of talented authors, who are all developing their own individual style. However, their artistic differences do not stop these hungry young artists from sharing the same ambition: conquering the world (of the comic strip). They include Brecht Evens, Nix, Olivier Schrauwen, Pieter de Poortere, Simon Spruyt and Judith Vanistendael. Translated into several languages, they are renowned for their illustrating and scriptwriting qualities, both in Belgium and internationally.

Dates : until 03/06/2018

Location : Comic Strip Museum

Chinese comic panorama

While the oldest illustrated Chinese book dates from 868, well before Gutenberg invented the printing press, the manhua (Chinese comic strip) really began to take off in the first half of the 20th century, as it did in Belgium. Mr Wang, the first serial comic strip hero, appeared in 1929, the same year as Tintin. And Sanmao, the most famous Chinese comic strip character, was created in 1935, at the same time as ” the Blue Lotus “, Tintin’s adventure in China! Yet the Chinese comic strip also includes the lianhuanhua, which has its origins in a thousand- year tradition of storytelling through images.

Dates : 13/02/2018 > 09/09/2018

Location : Comic Strip Museum

Everybody loves Tintin

The comic strip will be exhibiting at the Brussels Book Fair

At its Imaginary Palace, the Brussels Book Fair will be offering wonderful live drawing sessions featuring the stars of the 9th art such as Enki Bilal, Benoît Sokal or François Boucq. This workshop will offer an opportunity for a total immersion in the world of comic strip artists with multimedia screenings. At the Comix Factory, visitors will also get a chance to enjoy the buzz of a drawing studio and to learn more about the comic strip of tomorrow, somewhere between tradition and the digital world. Don’t miss : the Comics Night on 23 February. This festive evening will be inviting all authors present to take part in an impressive mural that will impress everybody.

Dates : 22 > 25/02/2018

Location : Tour & Taxis

The Smurf Experience

60 years after their creation, 2018 will be “Smurf Year” culminating in an exceptional highlight event: The Smurf Experience. The world conceived by Peyo will come to life through a series of unique experiences, taking place over a full-immersion circuit. An unforgettable family experience will also be highlighting Smurf values: friendship, tolerance, working together, respect for others and nature. The wonderful world of the Smurfs will extend over 1500 m2. Using holograms, enhanced reality or Kinect effects, both children and adults will learn about the customs of this restless and peaceful tribe, even when they are threatened by their sworn enemy, the infamous Gargamel, who will not rest until he has erased this haven of peace from the face of the earth! And the little ones will get a chance to fulfil their dream of experiencing a real Smurf adventure in Smurf skin and at Smurf scale.

Dates : 09/06/2018 > 29/01/2019

Location : Brussels Expo

Catel : Women’s careers in drawing

Catel has become, in just two decades, a big celebrity in the the French-language comic strip scene, through her portraits of famous women. The Strasbourg-born artist started out by illustrating a number of comic books and annuals for children before drawing her first fictionalised biographies. Meeting the author and screenplay writer José-Louis Bocquet would have a formative effect on the trajectory of her work. Together, they would tackle an album dedicated to Edith Piaf. The graphic novels “Kiki de Montparnasse”, “Olympe de Gouges” and “Joséphine Baker” would follow. She will be meeting Benoîte Groult and talking about the life of Rose Valland and also Mylène Demongeot. Somewhere between graphic literature and comic strip, Catel has earned a retrospective at the Comic Strip Museum.

Dates : 19/06/2018 > 25/11/2018

Location : Comic Strip Museum

Magasin Général

Magasin Géneral (General Store) is series drawn and written by Régis Loisel and Jean-Louis Tripp. The two colleagues combined their talents from 2006 to 2014 in creating, in nine instalments (or volumes!), a moving village symphony, which brings 1920s rural Quebec marvellously to life. As funny as it is sweet.

Dates : 25/09/2018 > 10/03/2019

Location : Comic Strip Museum

Urbanus

In the early 80s, the Belgian illustrator Willy Linthout dreamt up a comic strip based on the Belgian comic Urbanus. « Het fritkotmysterie » (or the chip shop mystery) is the first album in a saga that would run for more than 170 episodes. Purposefully loud, with its absurd characters and amazing story lines, it was enormously successful. Welcome to the surrealist universe of Urbanus!

Dates : 11/12/2018 > 26/05/2019

Location : Comic Strip Museum

The Brussels Comics Festival, the 9th fair for the ninth art !

Since its launch in 2010, the Comics Festival has become the essential meeting point for all comics lovers. Young and old, amateurs or specialists, everyone shares a passion for the ninth art and each year they meet at various activities put on for them. Last year, in 2017, the Comics Festival presented the Atomium Comic Strip Prize for the first time. This was Brussels’ way of showing its support for creative endeavour, bringing together existing initiatives by awarding these prizes, the majority of which were presented as cash prizes to enable the winners to finance their work. In total, at least 100,000 euros in prize money was given out to 7 artists.

Given the notable success of this first round, prizes are being awarded again this year with some new features to be announced shortly.

Dates : 14 > 16 /09/2018

Location : Brussels Park

BALLOON DAY PARADE & TINTIN RALLY

Cars on the stroll!

The comic figure giant balloon parade will be taking over the capital on the weekend of the Comics Festival. The spectacular balloon inflation will begin in the morning. In the afternoon, Spirou, Tintin, Le Chat, Boule, Lucky Luke and their new friends will start their annual game and will be taking over the main streets of Brussels. It will then be the turn of the ancestors of the Tintin Rally to sweep into the capital ending their journey on the Place des Palais.

Date : Comics Festival

Location : Brussels city centre

So, lot to love in these comic characters celebrated in Belgium like nowhere else. Many events to plan in advance. Just be there, if you love comics.

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New year eve celebrations! Got to be Happy Brussels!!

Still planning for your new year eve celebrations! If you are looking for some options abroad, why not Brussels! It is a fantastic place to be on the new year eve. Besides being the capital of Europe, Brussels is also a dream place to hit the dance floor. With a plentiful of bars, nightclubs and party venues, there will be room to dance till dawn for all types of revellers. What more, for all those stepping out to look for new experiences, happy.brussels offers a pass that provides entry to various unmissable parties for New Year 2018. Brussels night life will no longer hold any secrets for them. If you are fond of hip-hopping in true sense, jumping from one party to another, this pass gives you a variety of options. Beauty is that it is not just limited to the parties alone. You can do much more with a happy.brussels pass to make a fantastic start to your new year.

So you can even plan a new year eve celebration and a winter holiday in Brussels. Queen of diversity with its 183 nationalities, Brussels also prides itself on offering a wide range of late night party venues. From tech house to dance, not forgetting hip hop, all musical styles can be found here. Many head for a night out in the capital to see the latest DJ or have a crazy night in one of the string of late night venues that light it up.

Brussels’ nightlife in all its forms

For the New Year, the Happy Brussels pass gives you a unique opportunity to discover all the facets of “made in Brussels” nightlife. The capital puts on its party clothes. From the superb Galerie Horta to the mellow atmosphere of the Sounds Jazz Club, not to miss the unmissable Fuse, the events offered take place in the capital’s most famous venues.

Apart from entrance to about ten New Year’s Eve events, the Happy Brussels pass also includes ways of enriching your stay with rewarding daytime activities. Indeed, Happy Brussels gives you the best tips on bars and unusual places to start off your celebrations; The pass also provides access to the Atomium, the unmissable architectural giant symbolising the capital of Europe. Finally, it includes admission to a show of your choice at the Cinéma Galeries.

Reaching Brussels

Right in the heart of Europe, Brussels has superb air, road and rail connections. More than 60 million Europeans live within 300km of Brussels, less than two hours by high-speed train. For those who fly in, it takes only 20 minutes from the airport to the city centre. And when you have arrived, it’s easy to move around the compact city, by public transport or on foot.

So, what are you waiting for! Come, joint the party!!!

A date for foodies this weekend in Brussels!

From 7 to 10 September 2017, foodies have a date at the “eat BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX” festival. Taster portions of dishes or original desserts at the “Masterclass Bordeaux”, passing through the workshops of the Ecole du vin de Bordeaux (Bordeaux School of Wine), the great chefs and wine growers will stimulate the visitors’ taste buds all through the festival.

For its sixth year, the “eat! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX festival is putting on a marvellous spread, once again calling on a selection of the best Brussels chefs right in the middle of the Brussels Park. Wine lovers can also devote themselves to their passion, thanks to the various workshops offered by the Ecole du vin de Bordeaux. All of which offers the public a delicious gourmet break.

Twenty-odd great chefs
New chefs representative of Brussels are joining the celebration and will be adding their own spice to what’s on offer at the festival. They are offering the visitors a signature dish representing their culinary identity at the fixed price of 9 Euros.

Something new: a sweet note
Several pastry chefs complete the festival’s menu. They are offering sweet lovers delicious plated desserts at the fixed price of 9 Euros.

Perfect match
The Wines of Bordeaux, a key partner in the festival, are once again taking part in this gastronomic journey. Nigh-on 50 Bordeaux wine growers and wine merchants will be coming to Brussels to unveil the history and the secrets of their wine. 3 new gourmet workshops offered by the Ecole du vin de Bordeaux. A rendezvous lovers of wine and gastronomy must not miss, the Ecole du vin de Bordeaux pavilion offers an entertaining and educational overview of the various wines (red, dry white, sweet white, rosé and Crémant de Bordeaux), soils, grape varieties, blends, etc. A wonderful initiation into the art of tasting.

Photo: VisitBrussels/ ©E.Danhier

This year, the Ecole du vin de Bordeaux is offering three new fun gourmet workshops:
– “Choco’ Bordeaux” in collaboration with the chocolatier Laurent Gerbaud
– “Matching wines with pastries” with the pastry chefs Yasushi Sasaki, Baptiste Mandon and Khalil Menzi, to experiment with daring combinations.

Bordeaux “Masterclasses”
This year, the two masterclasses are dedicated to the Saint-Emilion Grands Crus Classés and the 30th anniversary of the appellation Pessac-Léognan. The visitor will be guided through these two representative regions of the Bordeaux wine growing region.

Photo: VisitBrussels/ ©E.Danhier

Workshops with the chef Bruno Antoine
Visitors will have the chance to create their own TCHIN VITTEL Bistronomy Box in a relaxed atmosphere at a cooking workshop that is just as exciting and gastronomic as it is goodnatured. All under the guidance of Bruno Antoine, one of the most creative chefs on the
Brussels bistro scene.

The festival is changing to a swipe card
To allow visitors to enjoy the festival to the full, “eat! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX” is moving to an electronic payment system. Visitors can obtain their swipe cards from one of the ticket offices, put money on them and use them as they please throughout the festival. This swipe card will combine all functions for meeting their needs: credits for tasting the dishes they choose and/or their Wine Pass.

The Comic Strip World ready to literally invade Brussels

Bande Dessinée Mur BD Stripmuur Le jeune Albert (c) Olivier van de Kerchove

From 1st through 3 September 2017 Brussels will become the capital of Comic Strips. Besides the Parc de Bruxelles and BOZAR where the main activities of the weekend will take place, Comic Strips will colour the city. Numerous activities, exhibitions, signing sessions and all sorts of other events will charm young and old throughout this weekend dedicated to the 9th art. For this, its 8th edition, Brussels’ Comic Book Festival is spreading out across the city. Beyond the Parc de Bruxelles, it will be featured at BOZAR, Brussels’ prestigious Palais des Beaux-Arts. And just to make the festival even better, an international pavilion is also setting up shop at the Brussels Comic Strip Festival. It’s the cherry on top of a 2017 schedule that was already bursting with new things.
Each year the Brussels Comic Strip Festival brings together many big names from the comics industry. This year it will be impossible to miss this essential ninth art gathering. From musical performances to film screenings and a drawing concert, comics lovers of all ages will be able to literally explore the world of the ninth art’s major players.

Not to be missed at BOZAR:
Exhibitions:
· The Brussels Comic Strip Festival presents a selection of panels from this hilarious new album with drone overflights, exploding abandoned suitcases, and inappropriate selfies.
· Thorgal (exhibition of originals) : As part of the 40th anniversary of the famous series created by Jean van Hamme and Grzegorz Rosinski, discover over thirty original black and white panels.
· Gaston:(guest of honour) : In the prestigious setting of Horta Hall at Bozar, Gaston will roll out his best gaffes for a flash (full-size!) exhibition on the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of his debut in the SPIROU Journal in 1957. An exhibition created especially for the Comic Strip Festival.

Frescoes :
· Kim Jung Gi is leaving his native Korea to give you the chance to watch him complete one of his impressive murals over three days.
· Grzegorz Rosinski offers an inside view of his universe in the time it takes to draw.

Screenings:
Very first public screening of the film « Le Petit Spirou », in the presence of the creators of the Comic Strip : Tome et Janry (tickets on sale at BOZAR)
Screening of the feature film ” Titeuf ” in the presence of: Zep
The original show : TRAGAWDOUKOUTRRR: ode to the gaffophone:
In this original show, Max Vandervorst makes music with instruments that were not musical before crossing paths with this totally crazy conductor. (tickets on sale at BOZAR)

On the Place des Palais :
The Balloon Day Parade and the Tintin Magazine Rally
Sunday 3 September: Festival visitors will live the rich life of Belgian comic books thanks to the serendipitous combination of the “Balloon Day Parade” and the Tintin Magazine Rally. The parade of giant comics character balloons will invade the capital early in the afternoon. Then the progenitors of Tintin Magazine will rally in the capital before ending their journey on the Place des Palais :

In the city :
But the Festival is not limited to the Parc de Bruxelles nor to BOZAR. A variety of original activities will take place too in different key spots all over the city. Here’s a sneak peek.

Guided tours
Guided tours to view Comic Strip frescoes
Travel across Brussels with a professional guide from Arkadia to admire such likeable characters as Astérix, Tintin and Milou, Néron and even Ric Hochet, immortalised in giant size on the gables of almost 50 houses.

Guided bicycle tour to Laeken
Go on an 8-kilometre cycle ride to Laeken and explore the north of Brussels, where two wheels go hand in hand with the ninth art world. Professional guides from Pro Velo will accompany you throughout this journey of comic strip discovery.

© visit.brussels – Eric Danhier – 2017

Exhibitions and activities across the city
Galerie Tintin©Hergé will present a facility devoted to the Tintin Imagination Museum over the festival’s three-day run! The Tintin Imagination Museum was developed in 1979 and was the subject of a major exhibition at the Brussels Fine Arts Palace that same year. The purpose of that exhibition was to juxtapose the mythical objects collected by Tintin during his adventures with the real objects that inspired them. On the poster for the exhibition, Hergé attempts to organise his main characters’ foray right into the middle of an imaginary facility fit to drive collectors mad with jealousy.

From this poster, a collection of character statuettes and mythical artefacts has been constructed. During the Brussels Comic Strip Festival period it will be possible to see certain pieces already produced for this collection at Galerie Tintin©Hergé as well as certain prototypes of new pieces to come. This facility will also enable visitors to know and understand the documentary context of this Imagination Museum.

Comics have no age bar

Belgian Comic Strip Centre (CBBD)
Zidrou and his accomplices will put on a live show!
Zidrou and his collaborators concoct a show of living drawings in the context of the exhibition that the CBBD is giving them ! Departing from several key words, Master Zidrou will ask five of his artists to create the scenario of an exquisite corpse. Each artist in turn will illustrate a frame of the scenario that, in the end, will become a comic strip. Your chance to discover the incredible graphic talent of Jordi Lafebre, Francis Porcel, Josep Homs, Oriol Hernandez and Godi, plus the way-out scenarist ideas of Zidrou!
Guided tour of the Zidrou exhibition by… Zidrou and some of his accomplices! Guided tour of the Zidrou exhibition by the author and 4 of his artists.

Signing Sessions
Zidrou, Jordi Lafebre, Francis Porcel, Josep Homs, Oriol Hernandez and Godi will sign their work in the hall of the CBBD. But that’s not all! Because the CBBD offers three exhibitions in its magnificent Art-Deco rooms. But be aware that this will be your last chance to enjoy two of these exhibitions:

Champaka Gallery
“Ravage & Co.” Exhibition
Writer Jean-David Morvan has a knack for discovering outsize “made in Asia” graphics talent. After Korean Kim Jung-gi, here is the Philippines Rey Macutay! Trained at the demanding Manilla animation studios storyboard school, he has always dreamed of making comics. The dream came true when J-D Morvan entrusted him with drawing Jaurès (2014) and, especially, Ravage (2016), the second instalment of which comes out in September. The two artists are engaged in a modern reimagining of René Barjavel’s masterpiece. As a veritable graphical adventurer, Macutay combines the dynamism of comics and mangas while incorporating the readability of European comics. With bold composition, panels laid out like paintings, and energetic drawing, Rey Macutay is fearless. Taking part in the Brussels-Capital Region’s Brussels Comic Strip Festival, the exhibition – a world premiere – displays major panels from Jaurès, Outlaw Territory, and Ravage.

Korean Cultural Centre in Brussels
The blue ghost, Youth
The Korean Cultural Centre of Brussels will hold its 4th exhibition of Belgian and Korean comics under the theme of “blue ghost, Youth” in cooperation with Manhawa Contents Agency (KOMACON) which hosts the Bucheon International Comics Festival. This year, KOMACON is celebrating its 20th anniversary and on this occasion, seven Belgian and Korean authors will present their works about “Youth.”
Artists: CHOI Gyusuk, SOO Shinji, RYU Seunghee, HAN Hyeyeon, Frank PE, Dominigue GOBLET, CONZ

Filigranes Bookstore
Atelier Mille Exhibition
Atelier Mille is more than just a studio! The product of a meeting of five former students from the Saint-Luc Institute in Brussels, the studio has since expanded to welcome new illustrators. To mark the occasion of the Brussels Comic Strip Festival, the studio and its members are exhibiting on the great red wall of the Filigranes bookstore. Come and admire the panels, drawings, research, etc. of the new Belgian comics dream team!
Members: Flore Balthazar, Léonie Bishoff, Thomas Gilbert, Nguyen Hieu, Nicolas Pitz, Emilie Plateau, Jérémie Royer, and Tiffanie Vande Ghinste.

Publishing Houses

In addition to meeting the Brussels Comic Strip Festival’s most loyal publishers, visitors can also count on the presence of new publishers making their Brussels “debut”: Rue de Sèvres, Futuropolis, Fluide Glacial, La Revue Dessinée, Sarbacane, Pinceel Distributie, and Stripgids. The Brussels Comic Strip Festival will also have the pleasure of hosting ten independent publishers who are the pride of capital, especially with the Requins Marteaux Publishing (A Méroll World) exhibition, which will be on display at BOZAR.

International Pavilion
Although Belgium is particularly proud of its comics heritage, a number of other countries also have quite a few successful comics to their credit. Among them, 19 foreign cultural delegations will set up shop in the International Pavilion to share their works and enjoy a special interactive time. Exhibitions, autographs, conferences, workshops… will take you on a journey through the ninth art realm! Here’s a sneak peek.

Comics Pass
Experience the Brussels Comic Strip Festival all over town with Comics Pass! Get all kinds of benefits by clipping discount coupons from the official event programme. Just go to the Comic Strip Festival to receive your programme and benefit from reduced-price access to museums and discounts in many Brussels shops.

Wanna Beered up! Brussels coming up with many festivals!!

If you would have thought that Oktoberfest was the only thing corresponding to a beer festival in Europe and Bavaria was the only place to get best chilled beer on this planet than think again. Here is some quick fact checking- In 2016 UNESCO recognised the important role played by beer culture in Belgian everyday life and celebrations by proclaiming it an intangible cultural heritage. Throughout the year, Brussels residents and visitors can come and discover this delicious heritage during one of Brussels’ many beer festivals. And in these festivals, you will not only be served amazing Belgian beer but also the best beers other countries in world have to offer.

So, here are some of the festivals celebrating Belgian Beer that will take place in coming months this year:

BXLBeerFest – The Crossroads of Beers and Friends: 26-27 August 2017

BXLBeerFest brings a number of independent, artisanal brewers closer to the guests. The selection of Brussels breweries will be supplemented by some of the best that Belgium and other countries have to offer, with 50 breweries from ten different nations presenting over 200 beers to the public. BXLBeerFest also pays attention to the culinary aspect, with food trucks and an actual on-site restaurant led by chef Dirk Myny of Les Brigittines.

Belgian Beer Weekend 2016, Belgian Brewers

Belgian Beer Weekend: 1-3 September 2017

From Friday 1 to Sunday 3 September 2017, the “Ridderschap van de Roerstok der Brouwers” and the Belgian Breweries, in cooperation with the City of Brussels and the Brussels-Capital Region, present the 19th edition of the Belgian Beer Weekend. This year the Grote Markt (Grand-Place) in Brussels will serve as a unique backdrop for this event, which has been dedicated entirely to Belgium’s national beverage.

Belgian Beer Weekend 2016, Belgian Brewers

This will allow 60,000 beer lovers to partake of fine Belgian beers in one of the most beautiful squares in the world (UNESCO World Heritage). Throughout the weekend, numerous small, mid-sized and large Belgian breweries will have a large selection of their products on offer. Here, one can discover the various types of beers that give this country its well-deserved reputation.

Belgian Beer Weekend 2016, Belgian Brewers

International Craft Festival: 20-21 October 2017

The Brussels Beer Project brewery will hold the 2nd edition of the International Craft Festival on 20 and 21 October. This festival will bring together ten artisanal breweries from Europe, the United States and Asia in a festive atmosphere at an exclusive secret location.

Read More: Getting Tipsy in Belgium

Vini Birre Ribelli. Salon of rebellious wines and beers: 25-26 November 2017

Just like with the previous editions, this salon is once again all about artisanal, sustainable, organic and – whenever possible – natural products. Though the emphasis is on wine, the alternative side of beer brewing is also represented. Bringing these two worlds together offers a unique perspective. Also noteworthy: Vini Birre Rebelli is Belgium’s first salon bearing the label ‘zero waste’.

Being Indian? Looking form some desi spirits! Read: Getting ‘high’ on hills!

I would also like to mention that even without any festival, Belgium in general and Brussels specifically has one of some historical breweries worth visit and some exclusive beer bars and cafe with beer collection which you won’t find anywhere else on earth. So if not to Oktoberfest, than now perhaps you know where to head for that exclusive beer fest this year. You have the time… go and plan it!

Time for some wine & food indulgence!

Immediately after the Comic Strip Festival at start of September, European Capital Brussels will get ready for another extravaganza, this time for the connoisseurs of food and wine. From 7 to 10 September this year, Brussels Park will once again serve as the setting for the eat! Brussels, drink! Bordeaux festival. Twenty Brussels chefs will slave over their stoves to share their signature dishes with the public. Fifty Bordeaux wine growers and sellers will also be on hand to provide the accompaniment for these delicious foods. They will offer the optimal wine pairings to complement the chefs’ dishes. There’s sure to be plenty to delight the senses of their foodie visitors! For its sixth edition, the eat! Brussels, drink! Bordeaux Festival has once again invited a selection of Brussels’ best chefs to the heart of Brussels Park. There will be new workshops: Wine & patisseries; Wine and chocolate.

Also Read: Comic Strip festival gets bigger, bolder and rewarding too!

Photo: VisitBrussels/ ©E.Danhier

A sixth edition with its fair share of new offerings

  • Restaurant offerings are expanding. Several chefs on the Brussels scene are joining in the fun to present their iconic dishes to the public.
  • A central “square” will be set up right at the heart of the festival grounds. It’s a chance for visitors to partake and socialize with family and friends.
  • This year, the eat! Awards are making their debut. These prizes will be awarded to chefs whose dishes enjoy the greatest success over the course of the event.
  • In this latest edition, several pastry chefs will complement the event menu with dessert plate suggestions.
  • The Ecole du Vin de Bordeaux invites amateurs to discover new wine workshops that focus on patisserie and chocolate.
  • The Tchin Vittel! space will offer cooking workshops to visitors. Accompanied by talented chef Bruno Antoine, they will concoct their “bistronomy” box together, which they will then be able to savour in this friendly atmosphere.

Also Read: Getting tipsy in Belgium

New iconic Brussels chefs are joining the party and enhancing the festival’s offerings. The will offer visitors a signature dish representing their culinary identity at the special price of € 9. Several pastry chefs will also enhance the festival’s menu. They will offer sweets aficionados delicious desserts by the plate at the special price of €9.

The perfect pairing

Vins de Bordeaux, the festival’s essential partners, are coming together once again on this journey through fine cuisine. For the occasion, nearly 50 Bordeaux wine growers and merchants will meet in Brussels to reveal the history and secrets of their wine.

These elegant and unique wines, the fruits of the meticulous blending of several grape varieties, will thrill the public’s taste buds. It’s a singular chance to discover the new Bordeaux reds, fresh and fruity, the dry whites, the rosés, the clairets and the sweet wines that can be paired with all cuisine, whether simple or refined. A wine pairing carefully selected for the occasion will also be offered for each dish, sweet or savoury, presented at the festival.

eat Brussels

The Bordeaux pavilion, the Belgian selection

For the second year running, the pavilion will present the 2017 selection of Bordeaux wines chosen by a panel of Belgian wine and gastronomy professionals. These wines, selling for €4 to €25 are all available in Belgium. eat! Brussels, drink! Bordeaux will be the only opportunity to sample the sumptuousness of this 2017 selection.

The Ecole du Vin de Bordeaux pavilion

The Ecole du Vin de Bordeaux will once again be on hand to conduct a variety of workshops for Wine Pass holders. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the public, expert or novice, to (re)discover Bordeaux wines in an original, fun way and participate in tastings.