About my collaboration with the Old Brewery Mission

Between January 2015 and May 2017, I went for walks every week with a group of homeless men (pictures). These people were in social rehabilitation process with the Old Brewery Mission shelter, in Downtown Montreal. They were given a bed, meals, health care and other essential and specialized services. I was assigned the task to set up an artistic project that would give them something to do and, who knows, maybe a reason to cling to their social rehabilitation process. I suggested a creation process which integrates artistic and pedagogical approaches. We lived the creation process as a group, including myself (as usual with co-creations1), which meant that we would design a collective work of art and have it come to fruition all together. Our walking tours were integrated in the process, so we would share experiences together as a group and visit various cultural sites (art centers, museums, parks, gardens, libraries, chapels), as well as browse through public works of art. These walks gave rise to five collective creations, each of them unveiled in a vernissage hosted by the organization. It was crucial that the collective creation be shown within the walls of the Mission, so that the participants felt comfortable attending the event. When carrying out this project, in addition to getting a glimpse at what life in a homeless shelter is like, I realized that these people are too often labeled as examples of their social condition, and we fail to meet them as individuals.

[1] Co-creation is an artistic process where artist and participant create in collaboration and seek constant integration of both parties at all stages of the creating process. The term originates in the field of community arts and was conceptualized by Ève Lamoureux, among others.

Projcet 1 : A visit to the museum

Photos from the participants

In preparation

Expo Montréal Excentric