Mixing a love of Montreal with a healthy dose of community building, over 40 people gathered at Bar La Quincaillerie near Lafontaine Park to celebrate the first round of applicants to La Fondation Formidable.
The Fondation’s first round grant winner is Bobbi Jo Hart, whose project Alley Kids is a Mile End alley-greening project designed and documented by local kids. With her Awesome Foundation grant, Bobbi Jo intends to “create closer and more awesome relationships with our neighbours (many meeting for the first time) with the shared goal to beautify our alley space for our children and local community”.
The goal of the Awesome Foundation is not simply to share financial resources, but to encourage and recognize change agents. As such, two other applicants presented their projects.
Mariangiola Fabbri and Sonia Rousseau presented a food recuperation project in Rosemont / Petit-Patrie. Along with 2 other Katimavik interns they are working with local restaurants to gather extra food and serve it in a collective kitchen to local residents living with food insecurity.
Boards of the Boroughs founder Tay wants to create “longboards (a type of skateboard) with distinctive shapes and graphics representative of the many boroughs of Montreal”, hoping that the boards will “generate dialogue as to why we fall in love with these neighborhoods as we do. As people see these boards, I hope that they will see the connection between civic pride and alternative transportation.”
Awesome events are fueled by the ideas presented and the energy and relationships they generate. Money might be the catalyst, but it’s ultimately not a game-changer. Anthropologist Margaret Mead writes, “A small group of thoughtful people can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”.
People, relationships and networks in the service of community are at the heart of the work of the Montreal Awesome Foundation. Money and events are just tools to achieving the greater goals of bringing people together and supporting great ideas. Nevertheless, they are important tools and we like holding events and funding projects, so look for us to do more of both throughout 2012.