The COM-Unity project partners represent different sectors of English-speaking Quebec. They have come together in this exciting new initiative that will highlight and amplify a sense of belonging for English-speakers in Quebec. Read about each of their COM-Unity projects below.
English Language Art Network (ELAN)
English Language Arts Network’s (ELAN) Seeing English Language Families In Engaging Stories, (SELFIES) is part of a larger community project about what it means to be an English-speaking Quebecer. The project will use works of art to stimulate community conversations about the joys and challenges of being an English-speaking Quebecer in the 21st century. How do current conditions compare to previous decades? How do our responses to contemporary issues compare to previous generations?
ELAN is scheduling six discussion groups about the complex identities within Quebec’s English-speaking communities and our sense of belonging. Each discussion group brings together people whose families arrived in Quebec during the same period and encountered similar challenges and opportunities. The groups include people whose families arrived before 1945, between 1945 and 1970, and between 1970 and 2015. The second part of ELAN’s SELFIES project is a celebration of works of art by local artists. ELAN will call for community members to identify works of art by Anglo-Quebecois artists that have inspired, encouraged, enlightened or made them feel that someone else shared a piece of their reality. These works of art may be a book, a film, a play, a dance performance, a song or a painting. They may be ancient or recent. The only criteria is that they had a strong impact. The books, films, music, plays and other suggested works of art will then be used to inspire group conversations about how stories from the past can shape the present.
Seniors Action Quebec (SAQ)
Seniors Action Quebec (SAQ) will create videos that will feature interviews with seniors from around Quebec exploring why many English-speaking seniors have chosen to stay in Quebec through changing times such as the Quiet Revolution and the 1995 referendum on Quebec independence. The videos will ask the questions – why did you decide to stay in Quebec? What is it that makes you a Quebecer and what is unique about being and English-speaking Quebecer? The goal of the series is to provide an opportunity for seniors to share their stories and celebrate their contribution to Quebec society.
Leading English Education and Resource Network (LEARN)
LEARN through its network of Community Learning Centres (CLCs) will empower students and teachers across Quebec to explore the theme of belonging through three asynchronous learning opportunities: (1) Students are paired with local artists to examine the relationship between identity and belonging through literary and visual arts, (2) Students explore their sense of belonging as they participate in a 6-week Digital Storytelling project, with support from digital media experts at Hands-On Media Education, (3) Students engage in Community Service Learning projects, where they take positive actions that foster a greater understanding and sense of belonging to their communities.
Black Community Resource Centre (BCRC)
Black Community Resource Centre (BCRC) will partner with three English-speaking Black community (ESBC) organizations to participate in the Bridging Language And Culture In Quebec (BLACQ) project that will aid in alleviating some of the negative impacts of Covid-19 by creating avenues through which the community can access culture through technological solutions. Partner organizations will produce a series of online cultural events that explore the contributions of English-Speaking Black people to Quebec. They will include productions by, and about, the English-speaking Black communities that strengthen and promote its cultural history. These productions are intended to promote cultural awareness, social inclusion and a sense of belonging while simultaneously providing cultural content that contributes to physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN)
Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN) will work with heritage institutions around Quebec on programming that contributes to the theme of “belonging and identity." In addition to assisting with locally conceived projects, QAHN will contribute conferences and/or tours, and a traveling exhibition. In the event the Covid-19 pandemic persists, all project activities will be deliverable either online or in some other way that ensures they reach a community that may still be in isolation due to the pandemic. Activities will contribute to the well-being of community members by helping to reduce their feeling of isolation.
Youth 4 Youth (Y4Y)
You Are Here: A Next-Gen Approach to Promoting ESQ's Heritage is Youth 4 Youth’s (Y4Y) latest youth-led project. It aims to improve the sense of belonging amongst English-speaking youth in seven regions of Quebec through the development of region-specific cultural learning activities, including engagement of local seniors’ groups. Intergenerational and community-wide discussions about the English-speaking community’s (ESC) heritage, culture, art, and history will benefit youth in particular as they strive to become Youth Cultural Ambassadors for their regions. It is Y4Y's hope that the youth who get involved in the You Are Here project will infuse their communities with a renewed enthusiasm for local ESC heritage through their work.