ECOLOGY & LITERATURE
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
Staunchly literary and socially engaged for nearly 25 years now, the Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival, under the banner of “Ecology & Literature”, brings together a wide variety of initiatives, editorial contents and projects that address, with literature’s help, subjects with strong links to ecology, sustainable development and, more generally, our relationships with the living world.
Sustainable development starts with the principle that the current development model, predicated as it is on economic growth, has shown its limits, and that we must rethink society’s organizational modes for the long-term while ensuring the renewal of resources.
Literature itself is built to last. It’s no stranger to any subject touching human beings. Mobilizing the themes of sustainable development, science, and literature is therefore likely to lay the groundwork to connect scientific disciplines, literary genres, aesthetic sensibilities, and even convictions, perspectives that complement or oppose each other, and debates most nourishing to the mind and sometimes most likely to move the goalposts. Writers, artists, philosophers, historians, researchers, scientists—their words, their work, their interrogations take the stage at Blue Metropolis. This was also a way to enjoy the city’s culinary creativity as well as the riches and cultural vitality of its many neighborhoods.
DISCOVER OUR ENGAGED INITIATIVES
ECOLOGY AT THE 2023 FESTIVAL
In 2023 Blue Metropolis offered about 15 ecology-related events. Literary walking tours, podcasts, interviews, panels and discussions, consult the Festival program!
GREEN MONTREAL LITERARY WALKING TOUR
Many projects around town prove it: a greener Montreal is emerging. What is green Montreal today? What will it be tomorrow?
This walking tour in podcast form proposes the perspectives of three Montreal writers on various places emblematic of the current state of green Montreal, including the Échappée belle green alley, the Saint-Lawrence River, and the channels of the Boucherville Islands.
Each writer presented in this series has combined documentary research with a creative touch to explore one of these places in an original literary essay both informative and personal.
Working Fictions is a new bilingual podcast series produced by Blue Metropolis in collaboration with À voix haute / Reading Aloud that brings big challenges of the moment to bear in original short stories by leading literary voices.
This first time around, Working Fictions tackles the stakes of sustainability, social justice, and age with stories written and performed by emerging and established Canadian voices.
YOUNG ECOLOGIST CLUB
Blue Metropolis offers four original stories for young readers and listeners performed by each author in podcast form. Mireille Messier, author of Nutcracker Night (Pajama Press Inc.), Sylvain Rivard, author of Le Mocassin / The Moccasin / Ma’g’sn (Hannenorak), Andrew Katz, author of I Just Want to Be Super! (Chouette Publishing, Inc.), and Elise Moser, author of What Milly Did (Groundwood Books Ltd) joined the fun this time around.
These texts aim to sensitize children, from the youngest age, to ecological causes. In so doing, Blue Metropolis is working to contribute to developing an ecological conscience among kids and to educating future generations.
THE MARITIME SERIES
Since 2018, the TD-Blue Metropolis Children’s Festival has presented a series of youth workshops at the libraries of riverside communities on the South Shore of Montreal. Within this context, storytellers well as children’s authors have facilitated creative workshops that mix writing and drawing in order to instill in children an awareness of the world of the Saint-Lawrence in particular and of the nature of Quebec more generally.
In 2022-23, the series was enriched by a special visit. Nicolas Bérubé, a biologist associated with the Port of Montreal, employed visual and other support materials to illustrate the steps taken to protect the swallow and bat populations that frequent the shores of the river.
VEGGIE PATCH ADVENTURERS
Combining literature, music and ecology, Veggie Patch Adventurers proposes a unique second-language learning experience for grade-school children.
With creative writing workshops created by bilingual authors (French and English) and visits from gardening and cooking specialists who cater to children, two language immersion classes will explore themes related to good life habits and will familiarize themselves with the vegetables of the garden. Their “adventure” in the veggie patch will lead them to compose (lyrics and music) a bilingual song.
CHILDCARE AND DAYCARE DAYS
Since 2016, the TD-Blue Metropolis Children’s Festival organizes a yearly Childcare and Daycare day to highlight educators’ contribution to the growth and wellbeing of preschoolers.
In 2022-2023, two Childcare and Daycare Days were planned. The first event, held in French, occurred on November 25, 2022 and was about discovering numbers. The second CPE et daycare day took place on April 21, 2023, and focused on awakening children to ecology and focused on ecological and environmental awareness.
YOUR OPINION IS IMPORTANT TO US!
FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY ALL WHILE LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE NATURE THAT SURROUNDS US
FRUITS & VEGETABLES QUIZ
Fruits and vegetables have been a central part of the human diet for centuries. Their importance is such that numerous children’s authors propose engaging and appetizing picture books, not to mention dozens of cookbooks, on these foods. To test your knowledge of oranges, peas and nature’s various other delights, here’s a quiz game for the whole family.
(Only available in French)
WATER, RIVER, SEA QUIZ
Do you and your kids really know this river? What about the oceans? Know a thing or two about maritime trades? About types of boats? Do you know what lives in the river’s waters? Put your knowledge to the test with a little literary and educational quiz. You’ll be amazed at the discoveries that await you!
(Only available in French)
ENGAGED INITIATIVES FROM PREVIOUS EDITIONS OF THE FESTIVAL
READING IN THE GARDEN – MEET & GREET AMONG THE TREES
Slowness, interiority, mystery, and discovery: Nature and literature share common ground. In 2022, two writers, one from Quebec, one from Wales, have read excerpts from their novels, in tandem with scientific commentary from a Montreal Botanical Garden botanist—an enchanted interlude amid the Garden’s greenery.
Presented in partership with Llenyddiaeth Ar Draws Ffiniau / Literature Across Frontiers and the Montreal Botanical Garden.
WRITING FOR THE OUTDOORS
Initiated in spring 2020 in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Blue Metropolis’ Writing for the Outdoors online platform will take us right through to the next edition of the Festival, in spring 2022, when we will present a series of outdoors literary events so as to take advantage of Greater Montreal’s beautiful parks and natural settings. This will also be a way to enjoy the city’s culinary creativity as well as the riches and cultural vitality of its many neighbourhoods.
THANKS TO THE BLUE METROPOLIS FOUNDATION’S MAJOR PARTNERS WHO SUPPORT THE 2023 FESTIVAL AND OUR 2022-2023 EDUCATIONAL AND SOCIAL PROGRAMS
MERCI AUX PARTENAIRES MAJEURS DE LA FONDATION METROPOLIS BLEU QUI SOUTIENNENT LE FESTIVAL 2023 ET NOS PROGRAMMES ÉDUCATIFS ET SOCIAUX 2022-2023