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Montreal Mosaic to draw portrait of Greater Montreal

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GMCDI Logo.jpgMontreal, March 26, 2010 - Much of this city’s history, culture, and art is appreciated by far too few. Montreal Mosaic - www.montrealmosaic.com - hopes to change that by providing a place to explore, question and celebrate English-Montreal’s heritage and evolving cultural scene.

“Like a true mosaic, our web-magazine is an assemblage of small pieces that come together to create a picture of Metropolitan Montreal,” said Guy Rodgers, chairman of the Arts, Culture and Heritage Council of the Greater Montreal Community Development Initiative (GMCDI). “And, in the image of our diverse cosmopolitan community, every piece of the mosaic maintains its own identity while contributing to the overall picture.”

“Montreal Mosaic is a place to rediscover our city. A meeting place: A place for sharing stories, a place for personal reflections and community perspectives on the past, present and future of a great Canadian metropolis,” said Guy Rodgers, noting that Montreal Mosaic is eager to look at how groups and individuals contribute to the local arts, culture and heritage scenes and to showcase the organizations and place who are active in the areas of Arts, Culture and Heritage in the Greater Montreal area.

“There is no thriving artistic scene in the world that does not have strong connections with its local community, and no dynamic population that does not have its own artists to tell its stories,” commented Mr. Rodgers, who is the Executive Director of the English-Language Arts Network (ELAN).

“One of the advantages of a web-magazine is that contributors are not bound by conventional magazine article format,” Mathew Farfan, editor of the Quebec Heritage Web. “Montreal Mosaic hopes to integrate many forms of artistic expression including memoir, fiction, photographs, music, video, and other media that help artists to tell the story of their Montreal roots and the city’s dynamic cultural and artistic scene.”

A wide array of voices has already contributed to Montreal Mosaic by providing their personal reflections about this cultural hub of Quebec arts and culture, said Mr. Farfan, noting the premier edition of the web-magazine includes reflections by Black Historian Dorothy Williams; Montreal artist Cheryl Braganza; amateur historian and theatre and community volunteer Fergus Keyes; and Janet Lumb, founder of the Acces Asie festival.

Some of these stories concentrate on the history and development of a particular neighbourhood, town or ethnic group. Others focus on a particular institution’s role and place in the metropolitan region. Still others are the unique perspectives of individuals.

Whether contributed by artists who deal with these themes professionally or regular Montrealers with their own take on things, these stories examine how individuals and groups fit into and add to the social fabric of Greater Montreal, what identity or identities they’ve adopted, and how this city has shaped them.

The goal of Montreal Mosaic is to showcase a diversity of local perspectives and identities, said project co-ordinator Tyler Wood, who put together the first edition of the web magazine. Thus, for Mr. Wood, the most dynamic section of the web-magazine is the list of “reflections” -- those articles that are written with some introspection on the part of the contributor. “A visitor to the site can see all of these listed together. Artist profiles, tales of immigrant experiences, and musings on the importance of particular Montreal institutions, intimate histories of neighbourhoods: here we get the full variety of stories, diverse and unfiltered.”

However, Mr. Wood noted however that the web-magazine is organized to appeal to visitors with different interests. “If you’re interested in a particular organization, you can quickly find all the articles it has contributed in one place. If you’re only interested in the history side of things, we’ve set up the site so you’re free to explore only those articles -- likewise for arts and culture.” The site also offers a selection of historic images and maps, as well as an events calendar to keep track of all that’s going on in the area. Wood notes that the web-magazine makes it easy for visitors to add an event to the calendar, and that Montreal Mosaic especially appreciates bilingual submissions of articles, reflections and organizational profiles.


For further information:

Rita Legault, Director of Communications, rita.legault@qcgn.ca
Telephone: 514-868-9044, ext. 223, cellular: 514-912-6555

A word about our Montreal Mosaic project partners:

The Greater Montreal Community Development Initiative (GMCDI) was created to mobilize diverse English-speaking communities and sectors of the Greater Montreal area and help identify shared community development challenges and priorities to determine the most effective strategies to address them. (www.qcgn.ca/greatermontrealinitiative/)

The GMCDI is an initiative of the Quebec Community Groups Network. The QCGN is a not-for-profit organization bringing together 32 English-language community organizations across Quebec for the purposes of supporting and assisting the development and enhancing the vitality of the English-speaking minority communities. (www.qcgn.ca)

The Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network is a non-profit, non-partisan umbrella organization engaged with its members in promoting preservation of the built, cultural and natural heritage of Quebec. QAHN aims to advance knowledge of the history of Quebec’s English-speaking communities by informing, inspiring and connecting people through its activities. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in Quebec history, heritage and culture. (www.qahn.org)

The English-Language Arts Network is devoted to helping Quebec’s 7,500+ English-language artists connect with one another, with their francophone colleagues and with their audiences in Quebec, Canada and internationally. (www.quebec-elan.org)

The federal department Canadian Heritage is responsible for national policies and programs that promote Canadian content, foster cultural participation, active citizenship and participation in Canada's civic life, and strengthen connections among Canadians. (www.pch.gc.ca)