What is Quebec Roots?
Since 2000, Blue Metropolis has reached over 17,700 students in 850 schools, offering 45 different educational programmes, all with a focus on reading and writing. Quebec Roots is undoubtedly our flagship educational programme. Supported since 2005 by the Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport, Quebec Roots has not only given a voice to students across Quebec, but has allowed them to express themselves freely on such important issues as bullying and homophobia. Developed primarily in order to stimulate an interest in writing, the programme is linked to the school curriculum, promotes the development of several cross-disciplinary skills and, ultimately, provides support to young people to remain in school. Quebec Roots also encourages bridge-building between cultures by assembling writing and photography by young Quebec anglophones in an exhibition that is open to the general public, during the Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival.
What the teachers from 2012-2013 edition had to say:
“It was a memorable experience that changed my students’ lives. It gave them confidence to write when some of them hated it. It changed their outlook about writing.”
Melinda Cochrane, teacher at Beaconsfield High School
“It gave them a purpose for writing. It motivated them and made writing meaningful. It really opened new horizons for the kids.”
Cloann Frechette, teacher at Shawinigan High School
-This short documentary about a student photo essay from the 2011 Edition was produced by Louise Abbott www.ruralroutecommunications.com
-You may also want to take a look at the great photos gathered the Web site of the main photographer involved in the Quebec Roots project over the last 10 years, Monique Dykstra: http://studioiris.ca/quebec-roots/
Participating schools at our 2015/2016 edition
English Montreal School Board
James Lyng High School (Teacher: Amy Karawi)
Kativik School Board
Arsaniq School (Teacher: Aurora Gibbons)
Asimauttaq School (Teacher: Catherine Panagakos)
Kahnawake Survival School (Teachers: Jocelyn Dockerty, Krissy Goodleaf & Heather White)
Lester B. Pearson School Board
St. Thomas High School (Teacher: Colleen Murphy)
Western Quebec School Board
Dr. Wilbert Keon High School (Teacher: Allison McLaughlin)
Pontiac High School (Teacher: Jordan Kent)
For the 2014-2015 edition, even more complete than the book, consult the e-book (available on tablet only)
Editors of Quebec Roots e-books!
If you are a teacher and are interested in enrolling your class, click HERE!
Quebec Roots Authors and Photographers
Pierre Charbonneau (Photographer)
Pierre Charbonneau fell in love with photography at the age of 14 when he first discovered the joy of the darkroom while visiting a friend’s home. After completing a B.A. in Communication Studies, he started his career as a magazine photographer for many Canadian publications including “L’Actualité,” “Perspectives” and “Châtelaine,” and he later became a regular contributor to the Globe and Mail daily newspaper. This exposure soon led to commercial assignments.
Throughout his 30+-year career as a freelancer, his photos have illustrated a wide array of publications such as annual reports, brochures, advertisements and websites for a variety of corporate clients. For his assignments, he traveled extensively to nine Canadian provinces, twelve U.S. states and to Mexico, the Dominican Republic, France, Britain and Tunisia to shoot, hotels and beaches, factories and production plants, company executives and specialized workers.
He shoots personal work on weekends and while travelling, most often in B&W.
Monique Dykstra (Photographer)
Monique Dykstra is professional photographer from Montreal, Canada, and the author of two photography books.
She opened Studio Iris Photography in 1994, a busy Montreal studio that specializes in wedding photography, family portraits, corporate events, business portraits, and private photography classes and workshops.
Thomas Kneubühler (Photographer)
Thomas Kneubühler’s current projects deal with Canada’s far North, where he investigates how technology and the extraction of natural resources effects the people and the land.
Originally from Switzerland, he has been living in Montreal since the year 2000, where he completed a MFA at Concordia University in 2003. His works have been presented in exhibitions in both Europe and North America, most recently at the Musée d'art contemporain, Montréal (2011), the Centre culturel canadien, Paris (2012), the Centre Pasquart Bienne (2014), the Manif d’art 7, Québec (2014), and the Videonale.15 at the Kunstmuseum Bonn (2015). In 2011 he was awarded the Pratt & Whitney Canada Prize of the Conseil des arts de Montréal, and in 2012 the Swiss Art Award by the Ministry of Culture Switzerland.
Chris started his career in documentary film as a cinematographer and later as a director. Having also worked on a few short cartoons he moved into photography to focus on the creation of imagery.
After completing his studies in photography Chris spent some time away from home working in Whistler B.C. as a photographer before returning home and opening his own studio.
Elise Moser (Author)
Elise Moser is a writer and editor. Her YA novel, Lily and Taylor, was named to the American Library Association's Best Fiction for Young Adults list for 2014.
Her book for kids 8-12, about the real-life woman who invented plastics recycling, will be out this summer. It's called What Millie Did: The Remarkable Pioneer of Plastics Recycling.
Monique Polak (Author)
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.
Raquel Rivera (Author)
The author of three books for children, with another upcoming in 2017, Raquel Rivera has lived and worked in Washington DC, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Barcelona and Toronto (where she was born and raised).
Now based in Montreal with her family, Raquel writes books while teaching workshops and freelancing.
For news, pictures and video-readings, visit www.imho-reviews/raquel.
Joel Silverstein (Photographer)
Joel Silverstein is a native Montrealer, photographer, McGill U grad, and photography teacher at Dawson College.
He has had the privilege of working with many incredible students and teachers on six editions of Quebec Roots, who have provided him with an education and life experience beyond the limits of formal academic curricula. For this he is greatly thankful.
Carolyn Marie Souaid (Author)
Carolyn Marie Souaid is a writer, editor and teacher. She has toured her work across Canada, Europe and the U.S., and has been shortlisted for a number of literary awards including the A.M. Klein Prize and the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Her videopoem, Blood is Blood, won a top prize at the 2012 Zebra Poetry Film Festival in Berlin. Her seventh poetry collection, This World We Invented, was published by Brick Books in 2015. She has just completed a novel for which she was awarded a writing residency at The Banff Centre in 2013.
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