Looking Back for a Better Future
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH:
Looking Back for a Better Future is an innovative and dynamic project made possible with the support of Canadian Heritage that promotes the transmission of intercultural knowledge in Quebec’s English-speaking communities, while combating early school leaving and language prejudice. Under the direction of the award-winning author and journalist Monique Polak, the published author and poet Tara McGowan-Ross and documentary filmmaker Alaric Boyle-Poirier, teenagers from five English-speaking communities in Quebec, including one indigenous community, will be paired with elders from their own community to foster intergenerational dialogue. The exchanges will focus on resilience and the transmission of cultural knowledge.
This experience will enable young people not only to forge meaningful links with elders, but also to learn and express their creativity by recording their experiences in a journal. At the end of the project, a 30- to 40-minute documentary film recounting the experience will be produced and screened at a special event at the Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival in spring 2024, as well as in the five participating communities.
The documentary will be premiered on this page on April 1. Stay tuned!
Monique Polak is the author of 32 books for young people. Her most recent book is The Brass Charm (Scholastic Canada), illustrated by Marie Lafrance. Monique is a three-time winner of the Quebec Writers’ Federation Janet Savage Blachford Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature (formerly the QWF Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature). Monique taught at Marianopolis College for 35 years. She is also a freelance journalist whose stories have appeared in the Montreal Gazette and in Postmedia publications across the country. Monique’s next book Open Science: Knowledge for Everyone will be published in fall 2023 by Orca Books.
Tara McGowan-Ross’sdébut work of prose, the memoir Nothing Will Be Different, was a finalist for the 2022 Hilary Weston Writer’s Trust award for nonfiction. She is also the author of the poetry collections Girth and Scorpion Season. She hosts Drawn & Quarterly’s Indigenous Literatures book club, and is a theatre critic with Broadwayworld. Find her at girthgirl.ca
Alaric Boyle-Poirier is a video editor and videographer at Prod J, as well as a freelancer. He has over 6 years of professional experience in television and video post-production. Specializing in documentaries and reality TV productions, Alaric uses this experience to tell the stories and emotions that really matter.
By focusing on the emotional components of storytelling, Alaric was able to put his film studies degree from the Mel Hoppenheim Film School to good use. Alaric may spend his days in the editing room, but it’s the passion and challenge of storytelling that gets him up in the morning.
When he’s not polishing ideas, stories simply cut out of a calendar, Alaric is an avid rock climber and enjoys spending time taking photos, recording videos and rock climbing in his home province of Quebec.
Participating Schools and seniors homes
Herzliah High School
Knowlton, Eastern Townships
Macdonald High School
Action communautaire Lac-Brome
Lac-Brome, Eastern Townships
Akulivik Community center
Ste. Anne’s Hospital
Looking Back for a Better Future is sponsored by Canadian Heritage’s Official Languages Program.