This multi-faceted project aims to educate Quebec’s English-speaking seniors about the positive impact of humor for the general well-being of everyone. The project started with free writing and storytelling workshops offered in two seniors’ residences (Vista Housing for Seniors and Kensington Place) and two libraries (Atwater Library and Cote St-Luc Library) and turned into a Stand-up comedy style show with four participants at the 2019 edition of the Blue Metropolis Festival.
One of the highlights of this year’s Blue Metropolis Literary Festival was Simply Hilarious, a live storytelling event in which four brave seniors took to the stage to tell stories that were … well … simply hilarious!
In preparation for this performance, dozens of seniors at two Montreal-area libraries and two seniors’ residences worked with author Monique Polak and actor Fanny La Croix to hone their storytelling and on-stage skills.
From May to August 2019, the four senior storytellers competed in an online contest. Sheila Zittrer won a $ 500 prize as the winner of the contest. Relive the best moments of the contest by viewing the videos below!
To spread awareness on the beneficial effects of humor on aging, the Blue Metropolis Foundation offers its brand new online library containing a bank of novels, comics and videos of Anglo-Quebecers and foreign authors addressing issues such as loss of autonomy, departure of children, illness and others through humor.
Collaborators and Artist
Monique Polak is the author of 19 novels for young adults, as well as one non-fiction book for kids. 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 31 years years. She is also a freelance journalist whose stories appear regularly in the Montreal Gazette and in Postmedia publications across the country. Monique is the CBC/QWF’s inaugural writer-in-residence.
With a background in anthropology, she has extensive experience in real estate and construction, senior housing management and the design industry. As president of Congregation Dorshei Emet, she was a key player in its redesign and reconstruction.
Fanny is an actor and writer currently based in Montreal. She has developed several television treatments, including the half-hour Comedy, The List and the one-hour Drama, A New Normal, both developed with writing partner Alexandria Haber. In addition to writing, Fanny is a Canadian actress with numerous films, television and theatre credits to her name. Some highlights include her performance as terrorist Louise Lanctôt, in the CBC mini-series, October 1970 which was hailed by The Globe and Mail’s John Doyle as “Truly outstanding”; the role garnered Fanny an Actra Award Nomination for Best Actress. In 2008, Fanny was also a part of Todd Hayne’s critically acclaimed film I’m Not There, playing opposite Heath Ledger. Most recently, Fanny lent her voice to Andrea Dorfman’s Emmy-winning, NFB animated short, Flawed.
From 1981 to 2003, Shelley Pomerance was a presence on CBC Radio as an arts journalist and host of the programmes ArtTalks and All in a Weekend. Currently, she writes and does translation for a number of organizations, including Blue Metropolis Festival and the Douglas Mental Health Institute.She writes profiles and the English books column for Montréal Centre-Ville magazine, and hosts the pre-show talks for the Grand Ballets Canadiens. She also does the occasional radio and television commercial.
Thanks to our partners supporting this project