Category Archives: Montreal Events & Landmarks

Creepy Crawlers at the Insectarium

By Josh Walker (GART ’19)

Let me just open this blog post in a very honest way – I am a huge baby when it comes to insects. They are really small but absolutely horrifying, they have skeletons on the outside of their bodies, and some have more legs than I have fingers which is the most horrifying thing in the world. Whenever I see a bug or have an unfortunate interaction with one, I’m paranoid for the next five minutes about what may be crawling on me that I’m unaware of. When I volunteered for this blog post, I figured I could give myself a reason to enjoy what otherwise would be a very neutral experience for me, but what I found is that I didn’t really need an excuse, the experience was quite interesting.

After our SCI 155 class departed from the metro station and arrived at the Insectarium, which was a much smaller building than I expected. I remember thinking that there wouldn’t be many bugs on display because of lack of space, but then I promptly remembered how small bugs are. Once we were inside, I saw the corny graphics on the wall of their stick bug mascot, there to inform us about the wonders of insectoid life. There was a large dome-like room with stairs descending down to the displays. The factoids on the wall were interesting with some good nuggets of information about what certain bugs eat, how they defend themselves, adaptations they may develop depending on their environment, but I’m a visual learner. The wall graphics weren’t nearly as interesting as the legions of mostly dead insects in glass cases, all staring at me with their wicked eyes and antennae.

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The Internship Chronicles – Jackie

Jackie Therrien (History major ’18) from Stonehill University tells us about her experience at the Museum of Jewish Montreal. 

This fall semester, I had the wonderful experience of interning at the Museum of Jewish Montreal in the historic Mile End neighborhood. The Museum of Jewish Montreal is a not-for-profit organization that collects, maps, and shares the history and experiences of the Montreal Jewish community online and through walking tours, exhibits, and other public programming. MJM seeks to ensure the legacy of Jewish life in Montreal by educating the public and giving visitors new ways to interact with the city’s Jewish past and present.

Founded in 2010, the Museum’s activities include walking tours of historic Jewish neighbourhoods, online exhibits, oral history collection, lectures, workshops and pop-up exhibitions. The museum went from virtual to physical in 2016, and this major change has permitted the museum to better preserve and celebrate the history of Jewish Montreal and to have a permanent exhibition space, office, and meeting place instead of cafes and homes of those who started the museum. The space is a bright and airy loft-like storefront with 80 feet of windows, on the main floor of 4040 St-Laurent Blvd. at Duluth Ave., an eight-story building erected in 1912 by manufacturer Abraham M. Vineberg. It housed garment factories for many years, when the needle trade was an integral component of the neighbourhood’s bustling Jewish community. Continue reading

Walls of Green

By Nicholas Oprisu (GPRO ’19)

Environmental change is a “big” issue, in the sense that it’s something too expansive for me as an individual to influence or change. It’s important, yes, but how is a single person supposed to influence this issue? Do the efforts of little each person really count?

With that in mind, I went with my Environmental Science in Montreal (SCI 155) class to the Concordia Greenhouse, a collectively run and consensus-based nonprofit organization. Their main goal is to promote sustainable horticulture and education through workshops, open exhibits, and a welcoming atmosphere created by the horticulture. They allow other groups to use their space for the purpose of displaying or experimenting with new techniques of growing, adding to the educational diversity it has. The greenhouse itself holds dedicated growing rooms or communal spaces, where more plants can grow in a less controlled environment. The dedicated rooms either held projects by the greenhouse or those who rented it out and growing rooms for specific plants. They are a promoter of the idea of urban agriculture, which is the idea that the urban landscape can work with sustainable growing methods to maximize the usefulness and value of space in cities through rooftop gardens and other urban agricultural solutions, such as smaller-scale greenhouses.

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Garden of Delights

By Elisabeth Hammond (PWRT ’19)

After an unexpected heatwave that rivaled Florida, the weather finally cooled off enough to enjoy fully the outdoors. Without the boiling heat, a Friday trip to the Botanical Garden’s annual Garden of Lights was actually something to look forward to. While I’ve been to the famous Garden many times, I had never been there when the light festival was held. Needless to say, already a fan of the Garden, the event was something I anticipated.

The breeze was cool and the metro bearable as the group made their way from the academic center to the Garden with a noticeable mass of others. Many people streamed from the sidewalks and joined together on the walk to the gardens, and excitement that many felt could be shared by everyone.

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Town from Country

By Elisabeth Hammond (PWRT ’19)

Artwork in Place-des-Arts metro station.

There is no question that a city is inexplicably different from the countryside. There is more noise, more people, more activity; the city is entirely non-stop while the countryside’s rolling hills and mountains move as slowly as the cows that graze on them.

It was far from my first time in Montreal ─ living a mere two hours away made the city a popular day-trip spot for my family ─ but it was my first time going up and down the streets where I would be living, learning and memorizing the ins and outs and shortcuts to the metro. Despite the fear that settled with the move from silent no-where to loud somewhere, Montreal’s prospect of exploration and new experiences overcame that quickly.

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Champlain Montreal Turns 10!

By Karisa Desjardins (BUSA ‘16)

Our amazing student volunteers, who made everything possible! (Hannah Cartmel)

In 2007, Champlain College realized a long-held dream to open a study abroad campus outside the United States. Montreal, Quebec, Canada was chosen not only because of its eclectic mix of languages and cultures, but also due to the city’s exciting learning and professional opportunities in Emerging Media. Since then, Champlain Abroad Montreal has seen more than 600 students pass through its doors, placed 131 interns at companies like Ubisoft and Behavior, and now has over 20 alumni working and living in the city. With all of these achievements and more, it was time to celebrate!

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Spring Cleaning

By Laura Smith (BUSA ’18)

When you are living within a city, such as Montreal, it can be overwhelming sometimes with all of the towering buildings and concrete. However, just a short walk from downtown is Mont Royal, the mountain that Montreal has built its base around. This park is filled with plenty of picnic spots, hiking trails, running trails, and other refreshing green spaces.

As the semester is coming to an end, the SCI 155 environmental science class here in Montreal decided to take a trip to Mont Royal for our final field trip. Throughout the semester, we have visited several museums and science exhibits, however, this is the first time that we were able to get hands on experience within the community. Our task for the day – clean up trash throughout the park.

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In The Streets

By Laura Reilly (EGPR ’18)

With the weather getting warmer and warmer, there is no valid excuse to stay indoors (that includes schoolwork, right?). Whether you’re just getting out of class or looking for something to do on the weekend, there are almost too many places to check out around the city. While Burlington might have Church St, we’ve got some streets of our own that are full of city life and things to do.

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The Internship Chronicles – Tyler

By Tyler Chermely (EGPR ’18)

One of the things I wanted most while at Champlain College was to get workplace experience with an internship. Luckily, Champlain College has an abroad campus in the heart of one of the biggest game development hubs, Montreal. With over 150 different studies ranging from AAA to Indie, I knew I had to go abroad.

During this semester, I have been an intern at Moment Factory as a Unity Programmer. Moment Factory is a multimedia studio which combines many different skillsets in order to create incredible experiences for the public. From decorating LAX to creating a beautiful interactive experience in a forest, there is no company that does it better.

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A City on the Thaw

By Freeman Fletcher (FILM ’18)

Keanu Reeves, star of John Wick 2, shocked to find out that he is indeed Canadian. (Courtesy: dlisted.com)

The other night, I went to see John Wick: Chapter 2, the sequel to one of the better Hollywood action offerings of the last decade. The sequel is even better. My feelings towards the film aside, one of the most magical experiences I’ve ever had at a movie theater unfurled before my eyes. There is a scene when the titular Wick (Keanu Reeves,  a native Canadian) is beset upon by a female assassin who moonlights as a street violinist. It’s a lot cooler in the movie.

What follows is a good, fun, neck-snappy brawl in a cool, colorful, stylish hallway; lots of back-lighting and changing LEDs. But you know what the best part is? I LIVE WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE OF IT. Yeah, the scene is SUPPOSED to be set in New York but it was shot in Montreal’s very own Place des Arts, a block away from where our student residence!

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