Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Montreal Abuzz With Goodness

Montreal is abuzz with goodness.

There are so many good people doing good things in our city! They’re making a difference, and it’s a shame to think that in spite of their tireless dedication and energy, the people they’re reaching out to, free of charge, might be missed. 

Our winter season is about to get underway
That’s why it’s exciting to host a show that helps connect these difference-makers with the people who need what they have to offer. I also hope the show is helping connect worthy non-profit groups with individuals who can provide much-needed resources, either by volunteering, or offering funds.

I’ve been surprised to learn of the existence of many of these amazing groups and, hosting Montreal Billboard on MAtv, I’ve been astounded by the wide range of noble objectives toward which so many of these unsung groups are striving.

The very first guest of our very first show, Daniel Rotman of the NDG Food Depot, was just the beginning!

Daniel Rotman of NDG Food Depot
Daniel’s group, like many others I interviewed, strives to make sure Montrealers have enough to eat. Marche Citoyen is about filling a community’s need for healthier food choices and, not only does The Yellow Door foster intergenerational relationships, it helps feed hungry university students! The Generations Foundation dedicates itself to making sure children in economically-challenged neighborhoods have enough to eat.

Did you know anyone can walk into an Art Hive and create art, with all the materials supplied? How wonderful is that? Other groups enthusiastically promote the arts and make them available to youth, such as Overture With the Arts and Rock Camp for Girls. If you feel like it, you can go for an outing with Urban Sketchers, just to chat and sketch! Then again, if you like working with wood, you might want to look into a group like West Island Woodturners, which creates beautiful works of art! Breathtaking works of aboriginal art are energetically promoted by Sacred Fire.

I Can Dream Theatre helps children with special needs blossom through the performing arts, while Spectrum Productions offers autistic kids the chance to express themselves through video.

There are groups that promote the needs and interests of Montrealers grappling with mental health issues. They raise awareness and promote the integration of mentally challenged individuals into the workforce and other facets of society.

Montreal has non-profit groups that shine a guiding light for people living with AIDS, and the foundation established by two-time cancer survivor and MS patient Tristan Williams, lends a hand to anglophones dealing with Multiple Sclerosis.

The NDG Seniors Council looks after the interests of elderly Montrealers and their community, while Kids Help Phone offers a trained ear, ready to listen to the problems facing youth and their parents.

Groups like the LGBTQ Youth Centre and GRIS Montreal help people cope with vitally important identity-related issues.

Most of the groups I interviewed have the power to literally turn lives around, including Big Brothers & Big Sisters of the West Island, the Desta Black Youth Network and RECLAIM, which helps people learn to read and write. I interviewed other important groups whose steadfast efforts have been turning lives around in Montreal for years; groups like Dans La Rue, the Old Brewery Mission, Shield of Athena, Portage and MIRA.

During our fall season, I hosted 24 shows, highlighting three non-profit community groups per show. Many of the 72 groups we profiled are wonderfully original!

There is a group, the Quebec Movement for Family Vacations, which helps economically-challenged families take family vacations! Floranthropy repurposes unwanted flowers. Le Nichoir rehabilitates wild birds. 

With David Rodrigue of the Ecomuseum
The Ecomuseum Zoo educates people about conservation and environmental issues through many fun, family activities. Neurotech X promotes neurotechnology and human enhancement by going into schools! Kids Code Jeunesse teaches children how to code! Can a skateboard make a difference? Skateboards for Hope will tell you, you bet it can!

I interviewed groups like the SPCA, which promotes the interests of animals. Rosie Animal Adoption finds homes for unwanted dogs, while A Horse Tale does the same for unwanted horses.

Groups like Heritage Montreal, Les Amis de la Montagne and Friends of the Botanical Garden all work hard to look after our city.

The Robin des Bois restaurant and the Sonia Balazovjech Dance Company pride themselves on helping to raise money for Montreal-area community groups.

That’s just a quick taste of our first season! To make sure you don’t miss out on a community group you’d like to connect with, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. I’m always letting followers know who’s on our shows and what times the show airs on MAtv. You can also watch the shows yourself on the website.

Our winter season is about to get underway and it’s guaranteed to highlight many more empowering, uplifting, enlightening, enriching non-profit groups dedicating themselves, in spite of sometimes dire funding and resource challenges, to making our great city an even better place to live!

Watch Montreal Billboard and renew your faith in humanity!

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