This innovative project has been proposed by Blue Metropolis Foundation to mark the 50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act. In a creative and entertaining way, it explores the potential benefits and richness of bilingualism. It brings together francophone students registered in an Intensive English program at École Père-Vimont, an elementary school, and anglophone students in French Immersion at Courtland Park International Elementary School, both located in Montreal. These two groups of students will be divided into mixed teams to create, in tandem, stories that explore the theme of linguistic duality, using the story of twins separated at birth. The stories will be illustrated and told in English and French, with guidance by children’s author Monique Polak and graphic artist Laurence Dea Dionne. The bilingual stories and illustrations produced by the students will be produced in the form of a zine, to be officially launched with the students and collaborators in attendance. The project will also include a contest and an exhibition.
Monique Polak : Author
Monique Polak is the author of 26 books for young people. Her spring 2019 titles are I Am a Feminist: Claiming the F-Word in Turbulent Times, and Princess Angelica, Part-Time Lion Trainer. Monique is a two-time winner of the Quebec Writers’ Federation Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature. Monique has been teaching at Marianopolis College for 32 years. She is also a freelance journalist whose stories have appeared in the Montreal Gazette and in Postmedia publications across the country. Monique is a columnist on ICI-Radio Canada’s Plus on est de fous, plus on lit!
Laurence Dea Dionne : Graphic artist
Laurence Dea Dionne shares their time between three loves: drawing, stories, and family. In their life, and through their works (among others: Nuances, Zen & the Ephemeral, and the Homeward series written by author Francis McNamee), this artist promotes bilingualism, a testament to their Montreal origin, in addition to wellness; most notably mental health and gender identity. Equipped with a bachelor’s degree in art education from Concordia University, Laurence teaches comics in the public system and in the community; sharing the magic of art and speaking to the importance of wellness throughout the world.