Fantastic Night In Verdun

Friday evening was a celebration of a wonderful project started over a year ago by the Comité d’action des citoyennes et citoyens de Verdun (CACV). The basic idea is to create a lease registry whereby prospective tenants can consult a registry to see how much the previous tenants were paying in a given rental location that they may want to rent. And the obvious purpose of this registry it to keep rents lower in the borough of Verdun. Active for 40 years the CACV is one of the most highly respected non profit community organizations in Verdun.

We met in front of Notre Dame de Sept Douleurs at 4 pm.

P1120645n About 20 minutes later we started walking up de L’Eglise, and it was pretty hot, but the spirit was strong!


Roger, a member of the “La Gang du Ghetto” looking pumped!


Turning on Verdun avenue.


Kids in the schoolyard at Ecole Levis-Sauve were thrilled to see us going by!


Taking a break at The Monument (Parc du Souvenir). I hung out in this park in its glory (pre Metro) days in the early 70’s. I feel proud and connected to my community showing up over 40 years later with something relevant for Verduners to think about and no, I am not a stop and linger in memory lane type of person, move on, nothing to see here, if all it is is the past, I say!! 🙂


*this looks like a lane, let’s go through here*



But it is another trip down memory lane, so to speak, there was a green lane event here a few years ago that I blogged about.

Back on the streets. I love this pic because it shows Veronique de Broin, who is leaving us for country life, interacting with Steve, who is the new guy at CACV. I have talked with Steve and he is determined to keep up the standards! This is good news for Verdun! Veronique, you will be missed!

And here is Marie Le Ray interacting with passersby with incredible energy. Marie is carrying on with some new projects in Belgium and she will be dearly missed too! It is up to the rest of us to keep this project(s) going.




And finally we are at our destination, Casa C.A.F.I. !


La Gang du Ghetto doing a sound check with animator/trainer, Dan Parker, who has “art is a weapon” written on his t-shirt, my kind of community activist!


As advertised, there was a free buffet, and while I do not have the names, I can tell you that dinner for 100 people was prepared by three wonderful ladies who served up every plate with love!


It was really hot Friday night so the liquid refreshments went fast, but I did not hear one person complain, good community spirit ruled!


It’s a great space and is available for rent so please consider having your community event here as they really go out of their way to make you feel at home and the home made food is out of this world!!


I have a lot of experience in community art, but to be able to have observed, and participated in, just a very small part of this project, that has seen, Dan Parker, Nadege LeBlanc, and Marie Le Ray (all pictured next), work with “La Gang du Ghetto” has been one of the most inspiring community art efforts I have ever seen. Thanks so much!!


Joined on stage by the director of Casa C.A.F.I.,  Anna Gloria Branch, some passionate words of thanks were expressed!


First up was this Mexican dancing group. The ladies’ outfits are wonderful and difficult to photograph in this situation, but it’s a great traditional performance and I would strongly suggest that this is the sort of  cultural thing we need to start seeing at our sidewalk sales and other occasions in Verdun to truly make these annual events reflect the beautifully diverse community we all share today!!



Community theater about the rights of a new renter. These people are awesome!!


Even got to play a small part in the english version myself, next, Hamlet?


And here is the song that has brought us all here.


Performed live. *feels pretty darn proud tonight*  Merci, mes amis!!




And an astonishing evening was closed out by Wally Dae and some members of the jam from last winter. Good to see so many people involved in this truly cool community event! Wally Dae, Ray Garneau, Graig Girardin.


And please consider bringing a copy of your lease in to the CACV. It’s not your name that will be passed on but the amount you are paying, people have a right to know, and it might play a huge role in keeping Verdun affordable for Verduners!! Win Win!!







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