The COM-Unity Project: Not goodbye but see you later!
Published on March 26, 2021
Over the past five months, the very first edition of COM-Unity showcased community in the truest sense of the word. The six project partners presented projects that were inspiring, educational, moving and often a lot of fun! Launching a new community initiative in the middle of a global pandemic is no easy feat! The partners had to adapt to the “new normal” and responded with creativity and innovation, staying true to the original goal — to come together and highlight and amplify a sense of belonging for English-speakers in Quebec, transforming the way that we see our communities.
Below are just a few highlights:
QAHN’s Heritage Show and Tell
We all remember doing a show and tell at school when we were younger. QAHN gave us a grown-up version with their Heritage Show and Tell Online presenting ten communities with ten great projects featuring novel ways to share and preserve local history despite pandemic closures, from portable exhibits to smart-phone walking tours. As Dwane Wilkins from QAHN said, “History takes place every day in every community across this country; it just requires people to take an interest in it and see we're living it.”
BCRC’s West-Can Folk Performing Company Workshops
BCRC’s Bridging Language and Culture in Quebec (BLACQ) project had a long list of exciting events that offered a window into different cultural experiences through art including the Building Bridges via Literature series and the Arrivals Belonging Project. A highlight of the project was the workshops presented by West-Can Folk Performing Company featuring Caribbean folk songs, folk dances, storytelling and drum workshops with participants taking part from their own homes.
Y4Y: You Are Here The Belonging Project
Y4Y's Youth Cultural Ambassadors organized a series of engaging events that took place in seven regions across the province: the North Shore, the Eastern Townships, Gaspé-les-Iles, Québec City, Outaouais, Abitibi, and Montréal.Standout moments include Gaspésie-Les-Iles cultural ambassador Emma coordinating an activity using the archives section on the Gaspésie Museum’s website. Students found historic images that they felt represented Gaspé and then recreated them. There were also several quiz nights which are always a great way for people to learn an interesting fact or two! Montreal ambassadors Irmak and Rayana organized an event with Dr. Dorothy Williams, featuring a memoryscape, an interactive map that has pin dropped stories. And Lower North Shore ambassador Honlee’s virtual bannock bake was a delicious way to learn about a food with historical significance passed down through the generations.
LEARN - I Belong!
Phase two of Learn’s I Belong! project featured three unique options for students to explore identity and belonging. LEARN was able to engage with students through spoken word, digital storytelling and a Comic Zine creation option where students interviewed seniors to learn more about their contributions and connections to Quebec society and turned the stories into a comic zine. How cool is that?
The list above is only a sampling of what COM-Unity offered in its first edition, and guess what? The second series of projects will be announced in the coming months so make sure you follow the website to stay up to date on how our partners will continue to highlight the vibrant English-speaking community and foster a sense of belonging.
A big thank you to the Secrétariat aux relations avec les Québécois d’expression anglaise (Government of Quebec), who fund the COM-Unity project, and to the Quebec English-Speaking Communities Research Network (QUESCREN), a unit of Concordia University’s School of Community and Public Affairs, who managed the overall initiative.
COM-Unity - Celebrating Our Milestones, Unforgettable Neighbours, Illustrious Traditions, Youth!