10 English-language students were nominated for outstanding essays about their sense of belonging in Quebec. Each of them had a dream project they hoped to carry out. Members of the public watched the videos, learned about the projects and voted for their favourite. The student who got the most views, comments and likes was announced on April 2.
This project was made possible by a grant from the Government of Canada.
The winner is Gloria-Sherryl François, a student in art history and psychology at McGill University, for her project The Black Book initiative.
This project aims to create an interactive, online archive to improve representation of Black people in the history of Quebec.
She will receive a $5,000 grant to turn her dream into reality, for the benefit the Anglophone community and Quebec as a whole.
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Meet the mentors
Andy Nulman is a Montreal-based businessman best known for his activities in co-founding and promoting the Just For Laughs comedy festival; under Nulman's stewardship, the festival grew from a two-day show to a month-long event drawing international audiences. Nulman also sold multimillion-dollar corporate sponsorships and creator and/or executive producer of more than 150 Festival TV shows, in a variety of languages, all over the world. He wrote, produced and hosted the 1997 CBC production of "The Worst of Just For Laughs,"created the controversial, Gemini-award nominated gay sketch comedy show "In Thru The Out Door" for CBC and Showtime in 1998 and won a "Best Variety Series" Gemini Award for "The Best of Just For Laughs" in 1993.
In 1999, Nulman left the Festival's full-time employ; but he directed its major gala shows at the St. Denis Theater every July, and remained on the board of directors of the Festival's parent company until 2010 when he returned as president of festivals and television. He left the company in 2015 to work on the city of Montreal's 375 Anniversary Celebrations, and to launch Play The Future, a predictive gaming platform.
Emily Shakan is a Montreal born artist with strong Irish heritage; she is the second of four children. Growing up, Emily studied operatic vocal training with Leslie Ann Bradley for six years and harmony with McGill’s youth choir for 3 years. She joined Motel Raphael at the early age of 22 as the band proceeded to get signed on Stomp Records. The Motel Raphael episode lasted a full 8 years.
Charmaine Nelson is a Professor of Art History and the first tenured Black professor of art history in Canada. Receiving her PhD in Art History from the University of Manchester (UK) in 2001, she has taught at McGill since 2003. Her research and teaching interests include postcolonial and black feminist scholarship, Transatlantic Slavery Studies, and Black Diaspora Studies. Her scholarship examines Canadian, American, European, and Caribbean art and visual culture. Her research and teaching explores various types of “high” and “low” art and popular art forms including TV, film, photography, prints, sculpture, painting, and dress. She also works across various genres including portraiture, still-life, nudes, and landscape art. She has made ground-breaking contributions to the fields of the Visual Culture of Slavery, Race and Representation, Black Canadian Studies, and African Canadian Art History.
Jonathan Wener is chairman and CEO of Montréal-based Canderel, which he founded in 1975, a major company specializing in construction, acquisition and real estate management across Canada. His involvement in this activity sector led him to found the Urban Development Institute of Quebec in 1987.
Community action plays an integral part in his life. Passionate about the arts, entrepreneurship and health, he has involved himself personally with numerous organizations and lent his support to funding several institutions, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Foundation, the Fondation du maire de Montréal pour la jeunesse, the Segal Centre for Performing Arts and McGill University’s Goodman Cancer Research Centre.
Helen Antoniou is an executive coach for corporate leaders and family business owners, as well as a volunteer board member in the areas of health, education, and the arts. She has practised corporate law and management consulting, and holds degrees from McGill University, Université de Paris II, Assas, and Harvard University. Her book "Back to Beer...and Hockey: The Story of Eric Molson" published in 2018 was an instant bestseller.
Tracey Penelope Tekahentakwa Deer (born February 28, 1978) is a Mohawk film director and newspaper publisher. Deer has written and directed several award-winning projects for the Aboriginal-run film and television production company, Rezolution Pictures, as well as her own independent short work.
Born in Fez to an Algerian-Jewish family, his father was a shoe retailer in Fez, Morocco. Bensadoun moved to the United States for his post-secondary education. He attended Cornell University before relocating to Montreal and graduating from McGill University with a commerce degree in 1964. He worked at Yellow Shoes before founding the precursor to the ALDO Group in 1972 as a stand within the Le Château store in Montreal. Bensadoun is a recipient of the Order of Canada, an award that celebrates and thanks extraordinary people for their tremendous contributions to Canada. He is also a recipient of the National Order of Quebec, an award for merit granted by the Government of Quebec, as well as recipient of the Ordre de Montréal, which recognizes the talents and achievements of the men and women who have helped shape the city.
A graduate of the playwriting program at the National Theatre School of Canada, Guy Rodgers has worked in film and television, and specialized in writing large-scale multimedia productions for museums and special events across Canada, as well as the US, Europe and the Middle East. A long-time arts activist, Guy Rodgers was co-founder of the Quebec Drama Federation (QDF) and the Quebec Writers’ Federation (QWF), was a member of the founding board of le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ), and was founding Executive Director of the English-Language Arts Network. In 2015 he was appointed to l’Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec. During the past year, he wrote a multimedia capsule celebrating the 50th anniversary of Canada’s Official Languages Act that was projected onto the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, and he performed in Tim Brady’s Symphony #9 for 150 electric guitars presented at the Oratory St-Joseph.
Richard "Bugs" Burnett self-syndicated Three Dollar Bill in over half of Canada's alt-weeklies for 15 years, has been banned in Winnipeg, investigated by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary over charges TDB was "pornographic", gotten death threats, outed politicians like former Parti Quebecois leader Andre Boisclair, been vilified in the pages of Jamaica's national newspaper The Gleaner for criticizing anti-gay dancehall star Sizzla (who would go on to write the 2005 hit song "Nah Apologize" about Burnett and UK gay activist Peter Tatchell), pissed off BB King, crossed swords with Mordecai Richler, been screamed at backstage by Cyndi Lauper and got the last-ever sit-down interview with James Brown. Burnett was Editor-at-Large of HOUR until the Montreal alt-weekly folded in 2011; is a columnist and writer for Fugues and Daily Xtra; contributor to The Montreal Gazette and other media; and is a pop culture pundit on Montreal's CJAD 800 AM Radio. Burnett was named one of Alberta-based Outlooks magazine's Canadian Heroes of the Year, porn director Flash Conway dubbed Burnett "Canada’s bad boy syndicated gay columnist" and The Montreal Buzz says, "As Michael Musto is to New York City, Richard Burnett is to Montréal."
Stikeman began her career by training in editing and directing at the National Film Board of Canada in 1967. She did extensive work from 1973 to 1989 as a film editor. She participated in the Challenge for Change program for a few years, which granted communities the opportunity to create social change through the use of film and video. In 1975, she became and editor and director for Studio D. Studio D was a group of women directors who wanted to make changes in the film industry involving underrepresented groups in film, which they accomplished by promoting cultural and sexual diversity in film from 1990 to 1996. This difference was made by not only fighting and advocating for LGBTQ rights, but also by creating films that involved culture and sexual diversity.
Stikeman's films took on many controversial and influential topics, and were typically documentaries. Films such as Sisters in Struggle (1991) and Dream of a free country: a message from Nicaraguan women (1983) focus on women and diversity. As a lesbian herself, she created films that concerned sexuality and same sex relationships such as Forbidden Love: The unashamed stories of Lesbian Lives (1992) and Listening for Something (1996).
Dr. Tina Kader is an endocrinologist and certified diabetes educator. She completed her endocrinology and internal medicine training at the Jewish General Hospital and McGill, and has been a staff endocrinologist at the JGH since 1992. Dr. Kader has been a member of the Executive Committee of Diabetes Canada (formerly the Canadian Diabetes Association) since 2003.
Dr. Kader delivers approximately 50 lectures a year, nationally and internationally, and her research interests include diabetes and pregnancy. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
Camille Trudeau-Rivest : Videographer
After graduating from a Bachelor in Film Production at Concordia University in 2013, Camille left to travel and film in Argentina, Bolivia and Mexico for more than two years. The creation and dissemination of cinematographic art always remains a goal and a dream. Her master’s in communications and digital arts enriches her projects and inspires her vision of cinema and the arts. Working with children and adolescents is also a passion; she teaches and animates in schools to develop the creativity of young people in Montreal and elsewhere.
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!
Ingrid Bejerman is a journalist, scholar and cultural promoter specializing in cultural reportage, Latin American matters, and journalism training. She served as reporter and columnist for the leading São Paulo daily O Estado de S. Paulo in Brazil, as programme coordinator for the Gabriel García Márquez Foundation for Journalism in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, and as director of the Cátedra Latinoamericana Julio Cortázar at the University of Guadalajara, Mexico. She is a programming consultant for prestigious literary events in the Americas, and programming associate for Blue Metropolis, the Montreal International Literary Festival. Bejerman holds a doctorate degree from McGill University, where her work focuses on the institutionalization and professionalization of journalism. She teaches courses in journalism theory at Concordia University, and currently coordinates the Canada in the Americas initiative at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada.