Donations journey at Le Chaînon

Gerry Drainville stands in front of his delivery truck after taking donations to Le Chaînon shop, in Montreal, Quebec on to November 23rd, 2021. BEATRICE GIRARDIN/Concordia

Guy-Bernard Semerand and Karlo Dominique  take donations inside the Chainon storage room, located in the shop’s basement, in Montreal, Quebec  on November 30rd 2021. BEATRICE GIRARDIN/Concordia

Donations are placed in bins for classification in the Chaînon storage in Montreal, Quebec on November 30rd, 2021. BEATRICE GIRARDIN/Concordia

Dino De Nobil takes care of larger Le Chaînon donations such as rugs and furniture in Montreal, Quebec  on November 30rd, 2021. BEATRICE GIRARDIN/Concordia
Donations are distributed in sections at the Chainon storage in Montreal, Quebec  on November 30rd, 2021. BEATRICE GIRARDIN/Concordia
 
Marjolaine Dorval is responsible for managing the book section at the Chainon storage in Montreal, Quebec on November 30rd, 2021. BEATRICE GIRARDIN/Concordia

Drugstore items wait to be cleaned and tagged at the Chainon storage in Montreal, Quebec, on November 30rd 2021. BEATRICE GIRARDIN/Concordia

Sylvie Aubin tags drugstore items to be sold at the shop in Montreal, Quebec, on November 30rd, 2021. BEATRICE GIRARDIN/Concordia

Drugstore items are stored and ready to be sold at Le Chainon in Montreal, Quebec, on  on November 30rd, 2021. BEATRICE GIRARDIN/Concordia

Miriam Pascual folds donated clothing in Le Chaînon storage room in Montreal, Quebec on November 30rd, 2021. BEATRICE GIRARDIN/Concordia

Bertille Atakalojdoucarries clothing around Le Chainon storage room in Montreal, Quebec on November 20rd, 2021. BEATRICE GIRARDIN/Concordia

Clothing ready to be taken up to Le Chaînon store in  Montreal, Quebec, on November 30rd, 2021. BEATRICE GIRARDIN/Concordia

Shoes for sale on the first floor of Le Chaînon shop, in Montreal, Quebec, on November 30rd 2021. BEATRICE GIRARDIN/Concordia
 

Le Chaînon customer looks at shirt on the first floor of the shop, in Montreal, Quebec, on November 30rd, 2021. BEATRICE GIRARDIN/Concordia

Woman goes through clothing options on the first floor of Le Chaînon shop in Montreal, Quebec, on November 30rd 2021. BEATRICE GIRARDIN/Concordia
 
Woman looks at drugstore products on the first floor of Le Chaînon shop in Montreal, Quebec on November 30rd, 2021. BEATRICE GIRARDIN/Concordia

Woman climbs Le Chaînon shop stairs in Montreal, Quebec, on November 30rd 2021. BEATRICE GIRARDIN/Concordia

Toys are sold on the second floor of Le Chaînon shop in Montreal, Quebec,  on November 30rd, 2021. BEATRICE GIRARDIN/Concordia

Jewelry is sold at Le Chaînon shop checkout, in Montreal, Quebec  on November 23rd 2021. BEATRICE GIRARDIN/Concordia
 
Customer scrolls through products next to Le Chaînon store exit, in Montreal, Quebec on November 30rd, 2021. BEATRICE GIRARDIN/Concordia

The Making of Christmas

For this holiday season, a decor was made from scratch by Studio Artefact to furbish the fountain of the Complexe Desjardins in Montréal, Québec. The project was inspired by the valet shopping service named Lëon, which is also the reverse of “Noël”, for Christmas in French. From metallurgy to painting and glitter, Studio Artefact designs decor for public and private spaces alike, and Christmas is the high season. 

At the heart of the production process is Simon Beaudry, the head of the Sculpture, Accessories and Sewing departments at the design production company. He has worked as a sculptor there for five years, after being introduced to the craft by the former head of the department, late Jean Falardeau. Simon started working in the warehouse of Studio Artefact during his summers in secondary school. He worked where he was needed, from the warehouse to carpentry, and little by little his curiosity allowed him to learn about the artistic side of production. Simon learned to use different sculpting tools – simultaneously avant-garde and artisanal, and moulding techniques that were based on trial and error. After working in daycare centres for some time, he was called to replace someone on maternity leave at Studio Artefact and has worked there ever since. His versatility and problem-solving skills made him the best candidate to bear the responsibility of three departments – sculpture, accessories and sewing. 

While Simon has the looks of Santa Claus, his work is closer to that of an elf. In his dusty and messy workshop, Simon runs in all directions amid seemingly random objects.  But his work is highly meticulous, and essentially consists of attention to detail and troubleshooting. Although technology has largely transformed his craft, there is still a lot of manual work to be done. When he started as a sculptor, most of his time was spent sculpting, from styrofoam moulds to final projects. Now, and since a recent collaboration with Cirque du Soleil, the Studio went from having one 3D printer to six of them. 

The Lëon project started with the graphic design and conceptualization of the four characters, which were then sent over to technicians for the 3D modulation. The four Lëon characters – an ice skater, a chef, a conductor, and an elf were all made of resin, using a laser technique more appropriate for pieces with high definition. After all the pieces were printed in 3D, Simon added details and made the necessary modifications. Assembling, fine tuning and repairing are Simon’s main tasks. 

The boreal fountain and its four characters is not the first project the studio designed for the Complexe Desjardins. A giant luminary Lëon and the largest 3D printed tree in the world also stand on the lower floor of the shopping centre, as the designs are made to be deconstructed and last ten to fifteen years. The boreal fountain will remain on site until January 2, but Simon’s work will be reused at the Complexe Desjardins next year and for many more to come. 

Simon Beaudry enters his workshop at Studio Artefact in Montreal, Quebec November 24, 2021. ALEXIS FIOCCO/Concordia
Simon Beaudry assembles pieces on a character in his workshop in Montreal, Quebec November 24, 2021. ALEXIS FIOCCO/Concordia
Simon carries out the finishing touches in his workshop in Montreal, Quebec November 24, 2021. The utencil allows him to guide and spread the glue on the character’s hand. ALEXIS FIOCCO/Concordia
Simon Beaudry mixes different chemicals to make polyurethane foam in his workshop in Montreal, Quebec November 24, 2021. The foam will expand to take up the space and solidify the leg of one of the characters. ALEXIS FIOCCO/Concordia
Simon Beaudry drills into the wheels of the chef’s chariot in his workshop in Montreal, Quebec November 24, 2021. ALEXIS FIOCCO/Concordia
Simon Beaudry uses a Dremel tool to cut threaded rods on the wheels of the chef’s chariot in his workshop in Montreal, Quebec November 24, 2021. ALEXIS FIOCCO/Concordia
Simon Beaudry installs the ice skater onto the rotating plate in his workshop in Montreal, Quebec November 24, 2021. ALEXIS FIOCCO/Concordia
Simon Beaudry completes finishing touches on the conductor’s partition book in his workshop in Montreal, Quebec November 24, 2021. ALEXIS FIOCCO/Concordia
Simon Beaudry stands on a bucket to work on a sculpture in his workshop in Montreal, Quebec November 24, 2021. The chef’s tray was ripped off while resting on the floor, so Simon glues it back on the chef’s hand. ALEXIS FIOCCO/Concordia
Simon Beaudry cuts adhesive tape in his workshop in Montreal, Quebec November 24, 2021. The tape will keep the dome clean while its base is glittered up before it is added to the chef’s statue. ALEXIS FIOCCO/Concordia
Simon Beaudry poses for a portrait in his workshop in Montreal, Quebec November 24, 2021. ALEXIS FIOCCO/Concordia
Simon sets up the characters on the rotating plates at Complexe Desjardins in Montreal, Quebec November 27, 2021. The platform sits on a fountain in the centre of the mall for a Christmas sound and light show. ALEXIS FIOCCO/Concordia
Families watch the Boreal Fountain show at the centre of the Complexe Desjardins in Montreal, Quebec December 5, 2021. ALEXIS FIOCCO/Concordia
The Leon project is part of the Boreal Fountain sound and light show at the centre of the Complexe Desjardins in Montreal, Quebec December 5, 2021. ALEXIS FIOCCO/Concordia

Montreal’s Last Draft Horses

On Saturdays, Prince, King and Jessie are out and about. They trot over to the fence bordering the bike path near Place des Bassins where they greet passersby, stealing pats and occasionally posing for photos.

Former coachman Dan Leclair watches over them, distributing their favourite treats – carrots. Prince, King and Jessie are the last draft horses of metropolitan Montreal, and the remnants of a century-old industry in the city.

Two years ago, they would have probably gone to work, pulling carriages on the cobblestone streets of Montreal’s Old Port. Now they are left to roam for a few hours a day on the small urban stable’s property.

For most of their lives, the stable in Griffin Town has been their home, and until not so long ago, it would have been a buzzing workplace, that might have appeared almost frozen in time.

For Dan, it’s this historical weight, paired with the appeal of working closely with horses, that attracted him to the profession. His work was a livelihood, but also a way to reconnect with an enthralling and bygone part of history – to live out and re-enact the age-old gestures.

***

The first time he parked his carriage in front of Notre Dame Basilica, Dan had no clue how to attract clients. He tried to mimic other drivers and casually called out to a family of tourists from across the street: his voice cracked, they kept walking.

Very quickly, he got increasingly confident and went on to be what stable owner Luc Desparois called one of the best “cowboys” he ever had. When he would head downtown, Dan always made sure he and his mount looked the part: mane was clean, hooves were oiled, and his Victorian hat was spotless.

***

Nearly two years after Montreal banned horse-drawn carriages, Dan still cares for the remaining horses at Lucky Luc stables where he resides along with a handful of former drivers, his Great Dane Rolf, and a dozen cats. He lets the horses out on their daily time outside and brings them back in the stable to be groomed and fed. In exchange, he gets a shelter and a place where he can continue to live in proximity to his favourite animals.

He mostly watches over them, ensuring they are safe and sound, but sometimes, he grabs a makeshift bridle and hops on. As a hobby, Dan occasionally practices archery with equipment he handcrafted.

On one snowy Saturday afternoon, he jumps up swiftly on Prince’s back, aims at a target he painted on a wooden wall, and shoots. Visibly accustomed to this, Prince is hardly startled by the sound of the arrow whistling through the air above him. A fleeting and out-of-place sight for the urbanites walking by.

Former coachman, Dan Leclair, poses for a portrait at Lucky Luc stables where he used to work in Montreal, Quebec November 28, 2021. In 2020, the city of Montreal banned horse-drawn carriages, putting a halt to the century-old industry in the city. Lea Beaulieu-Kratchanov/Concordia
Former coachman, Dan Leclair, prepares King for his grooming session at Lucky Luc stables in Montreal, Quebec November 28, 2021. Dan is one of the people residing on the farm responsible for looking after the three remaining horses. Lea Beaulieu-Kratchanov/Concordia
What remains of the carriage Dan Leclerc used on the job is pictured at Lucky Luc stables in Montreal, Quebec December 4, 2021. Lea Beaulieu-Kratchanov/Concordia
Dan Leclair is pictured with King, the Belgian draft horse, before his grooming session in Montreal, Quebec November 28, 2021. King occasionally continues to pull carriages during events – mostly weddings due to his coat. Lea Beaulieu-Kratchanov/Concordia
Dan Leclair prepares to groom King at Lucky Luc stables in Montreal, Quebec Sunday, November 28, 2021. Lea Beaulieu-Kratchanov/Concordia
Dan Leclair releases King during the horses’ weekend turnout in Montreal, Quebec December 4, 2021. The horses are free to roam on the fenced property for a few hours each day. Lea Beaulieu-Kratchanov/Concordia
King and Jessie are pictured walking outside at Lucky Luc stables in Montreal, Quebec December 4, 2021. Lea Beaulieu-Kratchanov/Concordia
Prince, King and Jessie are pictured on their weekend turnout at Lucky Luc stables in Montreal, Quebec 4, 2021. They are the last remnants of the horse-drawn carriage industry in Montreal. Lea Beaulieu-Kratchanov/Concordia
Prince and Jessie play outside as curious passersby gather to watch from behind their fenced enclosure at Lucky Luc in Montreal, Quebec December 4, 2021. Lea Beaulieu-Kratchanov/Concordia
A family stops by to watch the horses at Lucky Luc stables in Montreal, Quebec December 4, 2021. King, Jessie and Prince often get their picture taken by passersby during their turnouts. Lea Beaulieu-Kratchanov/Concordia
Dan Leclerc carries a bridle he made with old carriage harnesses in Montreal, Quebec December 4, 2021. Every once in a while, Dan likes to ride on the stable’s property. Lea Beaulieu-Kratchanov/Concordia
Former coachman Dan Leclair prepares for archery practice in Montreal, Quebec December 4, 2021. Lea Beaulieu-Kratchanov/Concordia
Dan Leclair takes a moment of respite while ridding Prince during his archery practice in Montreal, Quebec December 4, 2021. Leclair has a keen interest in the sport’s history. Lea Beaulieu-Kratchanov/Concordia
Dan Leclair demonstrates his practice of archery at Lucky Luc stables in Montreal, Quebec December 4, 2021. Leclair handcrafted his bow and arrow and regularly practices on horseback. Lea Beaulieu-Kratchanov/Concordia
Dan Leclair recuperates his arrow after shooting at a target he painted on a boarded-up window of an abandoned building at Lucky Luc stables in Montreal, Quebec December 4, 2021. Lea Beaulieu-Kratchanov/Concordia
Prince and Jessie watch former coachman Dan Leclair as he carries his bow and arrow in Montreal, Quebec December 4, 2021. Lea Beaulieu-Kratchanov/Concordia
King rests in his stall at Lucky Luc stables in Montreal, Quebec November 28, 2021. King is one of the last remaining draft horses used in the horse-drawn carriage industry in Montreal. Lea Beaulieu-Kratchanov/Concordia
Dan Leclair is pictured wearing his coachman hat along with his Great Dane, Rolf, at his residence at Lucky Luc stables in Montreal, Quebec November 28, 2021. Leclair named his 14-year-old dog after a stallion he rode in his twenties. Lea Beaulieu-Kratchanov/Concordia

Photo Essay- A day in the life of A Furrier

Jacqueline Ajamian rearranges the fur coats on the rack while she first walks in the store in the morning at Fourrures Ajamian Ltee in Montreal, Quebec on December 3, 2021. She was born in Syria to an Armenian Christian family and was raised as a Christen. Aashka Patel/ Concordia.
Jacqueline Ajamian arranges the fur coats as part of her everyday routine at Fourrures Ajamian Ltee in Montreal, Quebec on December 3, 2021. She was raised in Syria and completed her high school there. She moved to Montreal with her family – Mother, Father and Brother after completing her high school in 1976. Aashka Patel/Concordia
Jacqueline Ajamian shows the unique fur coat made from goat fur with leopard print at Fourrures Ajamian Ltee in Montreal, Quebec on December 3, 2021. She is a third generation Furrier and runs the family business with her brother, Sarkis Ajamian at St-Hubert in Montreal. Aashka Patel/Concordia
Jacqueline Ajamian shows the fox fur detail on the goat fur coat with tiger print at Fourrures Ajamian Ltee in Montreal, Quebec on December 3, 2021. Her parents established the family business in Montreal in 1977 and the store has been functioning ever since. Aashka Patel/ Concordia
Jacqueline Ajamian checks for all her appointment before she goes to her workshop at Fourrures Ajamian Ltee in Montreal, Quebec on December 3, 2021. She is a Civil engineer by training and completed her degree from McGill University in 1983. Aashka Patel/Concordia
Jacqueline Ajamian walks up the stairs to the workshop above the store to do some repair work on the fur coats at Fourrures Ajamian Ltee in Montreal, Quebec on December 3, 2021. After graduating from McGill University she tried to find a job as a Civil Engineer but says wasn’t able to find any because of the 1980s recession. Aashka Patel/Concordia
Jacqueline Ajamian works on a repair order on her workstation at Fourrures Ajamian Ltee in Montreal, Quebec on December 3, 2021. She join the family business in 1983 after unable to find a job as a Civil engineer. Aashka Patel/Concordia
Jacqueline Ajamian repairs a fur coat at Fourrures Ajamian Ltee in Montreal, Quebec on November 28, 2021. The fur coat was up-cycled by her mother for her client’s mother and says that the fur is almost 75 years old. Aashka Patel/Concordia.
Jacqueline Ajamian repairs a fur coat at Fourrures Ajamian Ltee in Montreal, Quebec on November 28, 2021. She recalls that her grandmother taught her to embroider and sew at a mere age of 7 years. She has always considered fur work as her hobby and not her profession. Aashka Patel/Concordia
Jacqueline Ajamian repairs a fur coat lining at Fourrures Ajamian Ltee in Montreal, Quebec on December 3, 2021. She comes to the store everyday and takes care of the sales part of the store along with repair and lining of the fur coat. Aashka Patel/Concordia
Jacqueline Ajamian selects a piece of waste fur produced during pattern cutting to make pompom for a hat at Fourrures Ajamian Ltee in Montreal, Quebec on November 28, 2021. She believes that fur is more sustainable source of warm clothes as all the parts of the animal hide are used completely hardly leaving any waste behind. Aashka Patel/Concordia
Jacqueline Ajamian sews the selected piece to make a pompom for a hat at Fourrures Ajamian Ltee in Montreal, Quebec on November 28, 2021. She adds that unlike the warm clothes made from synthetic textile which are not biodegradable, fur has a life span of maximum 150 years. It would disintegrate into organic material without disturbing the ecosystem. Aashka Patel/Concordia
Jacqueline Ajamian attaches the pompom to the hat at Fourrures Ajamian Ltee in Montreal, Quebec on November 28, 2021. She says that she tries to incorporate fur accessories in her everday life as it can make any ordinary thing luxurious. Aashka Patel/Concordia
Jacqueline Ajamian arranges all the up-cycled fur accessories at Fourrures Ajamian Ltee in Montreal, Quebec on December 3, 2021. The store has a lot of different range of up-cycled accessory to chose from. Aashka Patel/Concordia.

Jacqueline Ajamian show a multipurpose band made from up-cycled fur at Fourrures Ajamian Ltee in Montreal, Quebec on November 28, 2021.

Jacqueline Ajamian is a third generation Furrier and runs the family business along with her brother, Sarkis Ajamian. Ajamian was born and raised in Syria to an Armenian Christian parents. She came to Montreal with her family in 1976 after completing her high school in Syria. She completed her Civil Engineering from McGill University in 1983. She got involved in the family business as she was unable to find a job after her graduation. She has been working as a furrier for almost four decades now.

She says that she has never considered fur work as a profession but as a hobby and this is the reason why she enjoys working as a furrier. She adds that she has always cherished sewing and creating new clothes. She recalls that her Grandmother taught her to sew and embroider at a mere age of seven.

The Ajamian family established their fur business in 1977 and got the store they right now operate from in 1987. Jacqueline Ajamian works in the store and workshop every day, ten hours a day.

She believes in working with fur as fur is an organic material and does not harm the ecosystem as much as synthetic materials. She advocates that fur is a material which hardly produces any waste and all parts of the animal hides are used in some form or the other. She adds that at the end of the lifecycle it disintegrates and becomes an organic material hardly leavings any toxic recede behind. She also designs and creates small accessories like multipurpose band, corsages, jeweler and hand bags from either up-cycling old fur or waste produced during the pattern cutting process.   

Final feature Oona

It all began in 2005 when a trained seamstress, Erica Perrot sewed a rag doll named “ Eglantine” for her daughter. Driven by the desire to make other dolls for other children, Erica decided to open a store named “Raplapla” a few years later in the Plateau Mont-Royal. Today, rag dolls and stuffed animals cover the walls of the small factory.

Since the pandemic, all the production is done on-site by a small team of seamstresses who sew mainly made-in-Quebec fabrics. They create different kinds of rag dolls or stuffed animals which are designed and imagined for the most part by Erica. Even if the “Monsieur Tsé-Tsé” remains the emblematic rag doll of the store, customers can also customize their dolls in any way they like, from the color of the eyes to the clothes. As Christmas approaches, the store Raplapla has started to make Christmas stockings, either in the shape of an elf or a dragon. They are all unique and made on-site. 

For several years, Raplapla has also specialized in toy repair, housing in its “hospital for people made of fabric” toys that need to be repaired, from the stuffed animal broken by accident to the one that has survived generations. Fun fact, there is even a hospital bed for patients to relax in. Annie Roy, the chief surgeon of the toys hospital is particularly fond of her job. She is fascinated by the history of the toys she repairs. She said  that “many adults or elderly people approach us with their toys for repair, and many are attached to them since they were present during a significant or difficult period of their lives”. Erica didn’t realize that the store would become famous for its toy repair service, while doll production makes up a majority of the work here.

However, today the main occupation is Christmas. As we pass the door of this store, we are surrounded by a Christmas atmosphere, the fireplace is roaring, and seamstresses are trying as fast as they can to finish the last orders of Christmas before the holidays. “We’re selling Christmas stockings like hotcakes,” said Marie-Hélène Pilon, one of the seamstresses as she inspected all the prepared fabrics she will need to stitch together to make the Christmas stockings today.

Raplapla is much more than just a toys store, it’s part of an eco-friendly logic as the store’s production is done in the store itself and most of the fabrics are made in Quebec. Also, through the concept of “hospital for people made of fabrics”, children can enjoy their toys longer and parents can avoid overconsumption.

Rag dolls and stuffed animals cover the walls of Raplapla store in Montreal, Quebec on December 2, 2021. OONA BARRETT/Concordia
An old sewing machine decorates Raplapla’s window in Montreal, Quebec on December 2, 2021. OONA BARRETT/ Concordia
Jayneeva Killa and Marie-Hélène Pilon, two seamstresses from Raplapla store sew Christmas stockings in Montreal, Quebec on December 2, 2021. OONA BARRETT/Concordia
Marie-Hélène Pilon sews a fake fur « flame » on a dragon Christmas stocking in Montreal, Quebec on December 2, 2021. Each Christmas stocking is unique and its fabrics are mostly from Quebec. OONA BARRETT/Concordia
Marie-Hélène Pilon sews a dragon Christmas stocking in Montreal, Quebec on December 2, 2021. OONA BARRETT/Concordia
Marie-Hélène Pilon sews a Christmas stocking in Montreal, Quebec on December 2, 2021. OONA BARRETT/Concordia
Freshly sewn Christmas stockings are waiting to be sold at Raplapla store in Montreal, Quebec on December 2, 2021. This is the first year the store will be selling Christmas stockings. OONA BARRETT/Concordia
The fabrics of Raplapla used for the manufacture of toys are stored in the basement of the store in Montreal, Quebec on December 2, 2021. Most of the fabrics are made in Quebec. OONA BARRETT/Concordia
A hedgehog toy lies on a hospital bed waiting to be fixed at Raplapla store in Montreal, Quebec on December 2, 2021. OONA BARRETT/Concordia
Annie Roy, the seamstress responsible for toy repairs, fixes the ear of a stuffed rabbit in Montreal, Quebec on December 2, 2021. OONA BARRETT/Concordia
The seamstresses at Raplapla all work on different projects, from repairing toys to making Christmas stockings in Montreal, Quebec on December 2, 2021. OONA BARRETT/Concordia
A rag doll lies in the middle of the thread spools at Raplapla store in Montreal, Quebec on December 2, 2021. OONA BARRETT /Concordia

Documentary: Farm Vet

Country roads are a familiar place for Dr. Eastman Welsford. As a large animal veterinarian, he serves rural communities across Eastern Ontario, from the Quebec border to Smith Falls. 

“I probably spend about four to five hours a day just driving,” said Welsford. “It’s one of the only downsides of this job.”

He arrives in Williamstown, Ontario, on a rainy Thursday morning for the first of three appointments that day. While he works with a range of livestock, including cows and goats, the day would be focused on horses. He starts by examining a patient whose sight has been damaged by a recent eye infection.

Welsford, a relatively young vet, has only spent a year working in the field and has already become a familiar face to the clients he serves. He has been frequently checking on the horses at Anna Williams’ barn, a local dermatologist who owns multiple show ponies. He has to break  the news to her that her horse may not regain its sight, possibly leading to other future medical issues that he’ll continue to monitor. He then performs a routine dental float—a procedure that involves filing down a horse’s sharp teeth with a power tool—on a younger pony of hers. 

His next stop is an impromptu appointment with a horse showing signs of a neurological illness in Bishop’s Mills, about an hour and a half away. To make his daily road trips easier, he looks for any useful way to pass the time.

“A lot of that time [driving] feels wasted—I’m not making any money for the practice, billing or seeing patients,” said Welsford. “So I try to call clients during that time or listen to continuing education courses to make the most of it.”

Once he finished his appointment in Bishop’s Mills, he heads back to the Prescott Animal Hospital, where he splits his time between its partner clinic in Navan and his house in Ottawa.

He performs an x-ray and ultrasound on a young horse dealing with back pain. The clinic has an expansive range of procedural tools, including an operating room where cows and horses are lifted by small crane to relocate them after receiving anesthesia. In a corner stall, another horse is hooked up to an IV drip to be monitored overnight. 

As he works with his last client, his chipper persona is infectious. He coos over the stressed animal, referring to it affectionately as “honey” and apologizing to it for the uncomfortable procedures. He takes great care to put each patient—and their owners—at ease. 

After wrapping up his final appointment for the day, he leans against a counter in a show of exhaustion. 

“Don’t get too comfortable,” his co-worker teases him. “You’re on call tonight.”

While he gets to go home for the night, he’ll be on call for emergencies in the region until 8am.

Welsford laughs and knocks on a wooden table for good luck. “Here’s hoping nothing happens tonight.”

Dr. Eastman Welsford walks into a barn for his first appointment on December 2, 2021 in Williamstown, Ontario. ROBYN BELL/Concordia
Dr. Welsford assesses a horse with an eye infection on December 2, 2021 in Williamstown, Ontario. ROBYN BELL/Concordia
Dr. Welsford photographs the horse’s eye to keep track of its progress on December 2, 2021 in Williamstown, Ontario. He’s been checking on this patient every other week since September. ROBYN BELL/Concordia
Dr. Welsford explains to Anne Williams that her horse has gone blind in one eye from a recent infection on December 2, 2021 in Williamstown, Ontario. There’s a chance this could be permanent. ROBYN BELL/Concordia
Dr. Welsford injects a horse with tranquilizer while the horse’s owner, Anna Williams, strokes his nose to calm him on December 2, 2021 in Williamstown, Ontario. ROBYN BELL/Concordia
Dr. Welsford places a dental tool over a horses mouth on December 2, 2021 in Williamstown, Ontario. ROBYN BELL/Concordia
Dr. Welsford performs a dental float on a horse on December 2, 2021 in Williamstown, Ontario. Dental floats involve filing down the sharp parts of horses’ teeth, a procedure they need roughly every six months. ROBYN BELL/Concordia
Williamstown, Ontario on December 2, 2021. Dr. Welsford spends roughly four to five hours a day driving across Eastern Ontario to see his different clients. ROBYN BELL/Concordia
Dr. Welsford observes a horse with suspected neurological damage to see if his run is off-balance on December 2, 2021 in Bishop’s Mills, Ontario. The horse was barely able to walk the week prior, but his condition improved significantly since then. ROBYN BELL/Concordia
Dr. Welsford walks a horse with suspected neurological damage to check his coordination on December 2, 2021 in Bishop’s Mills, Ontario. ROBYN BELL/Concordia
Dr. Welsford’s medicine case on December 2, 2021 in Bishop’s Mills, Ontario. Dr. Welsford brings the case along to each patient’s appointment. ROBYN BELL/Concordia
Dr. Welsford discusses a horse dealing with backpain with her owner at the in-patient clinic in Prescott, Ontario on December 2, 2021. He splits his time between two clinics in Prescott and Navan, Ontario. ROBYN BELL/Concordia
Dr. Welsford shows a client an x-ray of her horse’s spine in Prescott, Ontario on December 2, 2021. ROBYN BELL/Concordia
A dehydrated horse is hooked up to an IV drip at the Prescott Animal Hospital, where Dr. Welsford works. ROBYN BELL/Concordia
Dr. Welsford rests and chats with a co-worker after his last appointment of the day in Prescott, Ontario on December 2, 2021. He’ll be on-call for the rest of the night until 8am the next day. ROBYN BELL/Concordia

From tatami mats to the world championships ?

By Caroline Fabre

Like almost every day, Lev Venguerov welcomes the Jiu-Jitsuka at 3975 Notre Dame W. A little before noon on Thursdays, the program director and instructor puts on his gi, consisting of a jacket, pants and its blue belt, and teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) during one hour.

BJJ is a martial art derived from traditional Japanese Jiu-Jitsu and Judo. It is practiced mainly on the ground and consists of controlling the opponent through a variety of positions, transitions, submissions, with the help of arm keys, leg keys and chokes.

Beginning of a passion

Venguerov’s interest in BJJ came from his practice of other martial arts such as kickboxing and boxing as a teenager. In 2017, after getting into Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), he tried BJJ as it is considered fundamental to the discipline.
He quickly became hooked and started attending competitions in Las Vegas, California and even New York, where he won eight out of its eleven fights on his last tournament. What he did not suspect was that he would make a living out of its passion; when he became a blue belt he was offered the opportunity to teach kids classes, as well as to work as program director. « Once we re-opened [after the shutdown due to the pandemic], they offered me to teach most of the classes, » he explains.

Moreover, what he loves the most about teaching is « sharing the little details that make a technique so much more effective than usual. » He compares BJJ to human chess, « where you always start with an infinite amount of techniques you can use and you try to bring it down to one single way where you can look to finish your opponent. » This is what he teaches the Jiu-Jitsuka.


Immersion in a class

Before starting the training, Venguerov asks his students, to line up and bow to greet the BJJ masters and their classmates. Then follows a ten minutes long warm-up consisting of jumping jacks, push-ups and various movements like the shrimp, that helps manage distances to try to escape some bad positions in ground fighting. Through the class, the professor teaches the knee-on-belly escape, as well as the back take from closed guard and the triangle choke from closed guard. He then let the students practice, before finishing with sparring rounds called rolling, where Jiu-Jitsuka apply the techniques they just learnt during a fight.

Ultimately, the class ends with the traditional greet, and the martial artists shake hands and congratulate each other on the training because camaraderie is primordial in this sport according to Venguerov.

Fundamental values

In addition to the special relationship developed with people you train with, the athlete also mentions perseverance and patience as the keys to BJJ.
« It’s a very long sport, and very tedious to get through. You’re going to have your ups and downs, it’s going to be hard as you progress from blue, purple, brown, black. But the main goal is to always stay and keep training and you will end up getting better, » he says.

Although Venguerov is currently injured, he is hopeful that he will compete again next year; it may be possible to see him at the world championships and the ADCC Submission Fighting World Championship. In the meantime, he always works with a smile on his face six days a week at the JIU-JITSU Montreal – Gracie Barra center.

A passerby walks past the JIU-JITSU Montreal – Gracie Barra located at 3975 Notre Dame Street W in Montreal, Quebec, December 03, 2021. CAROLINE FABRE/Concordia
Lev Venguerov watches jiu-Jitsuka roll during class at JIU-JITSU Montreal – Gracie Barra in Montreal, Quebec, December 02, 2021. CAROLINE FABRE/Concordia
At the beginning and then end of each class, Lev Venguerov, Martin Picard and the Jiu-Jitsuka show their respect by saluting the masters of the sport and their classmates by lining up and bowing at the JIU-JITSU Montreal – Gracie Barra in Montreal, Quebec, December 02, 2021. CAROLINE FABRE/Concordia
Students of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class, called jiu-Jitsuka, warm up with Lev Venguerov at JIU-JITSU Montreal – Gracie Barra in Montreal, Quebec, December 02, 2021. CAROLINE FABRE/Concordia
Lev Venguerov presents a position called Backtake from closed guard on Martin Picard that the Jiu-Jitsuka will have to replicate at JIU-JITSU Montreal – Gracie Barra in Montreal, Quebec, December 02, 2021. CAROLINE FABRE/Concordia
Jiu-Jitsuka train to perform the Backtake from closed guard position shown earlier in class at JIU-JITSU Montreal – Gracie Barra in Montreal, Quebec, December 02, 2021. CAROLINE FABRE/Concordia
Lev Venguerov helps Eric Kinley perform a position called the Triangle choke from closed guard on Mariflore Beaudin-Veronneau at JIU-JITSU Montreal – Gracie Barra in Montreal, Quebec, December 02, 2021. CAROLINE FABRE/Concordia
Jiu-Jitsuka test their skills and abilities against their teammates after learning new techniques during a moment called rolling at JIU-JITSU Montreal – Gracie Barra in Montreal, Quebec, December 02, 2021. CAROLINE FABRE/Concordia
Jiu-Jitsuka Matthew Deveau and Kevin Xu roll under the supervision of Lev Venguerov during a class at JIU-JITSU Montreal – Gracie Barra in Montreal, Quebec on December 02, 2021. CAROLINE FABRE/Concordia
Lev Venguerov and Martin Picard promote Jiu-Jitsuka Mariflore Beaudin-Veronneau to a higher rank by granting her a new bar on her belt to reward her efforts, perseverance and courage at JIU-JITSU Montreal – Gracie Barra in Montreal, Quebec on December 02, 2021. CAROLINE FABRE/Concordia
The class ends as the teachers and Jiu-Jitsuka shake hands and congratulate each other on the training at the JIU-JITSU Montreal – Gracie Barra in Montreal, Quebec, December 02, 2021. CAROLINE FABRE/Concordia

Photo Essay

An Eternal Flame

By Hiba Al Mondalek

Caroline Ouellette and Patrick Primeau, a glassmaking couple based in Frelighsburg since 2021, founded their studio “Welmo” in 2004 in St-Julie.

Growing up in the same little small town in Montreal’s South Shore, Caroline and Patrick had never crossed paths. They met on accident in Amsterdam in 1997 and found out they were both registered to take courses at Espace Verre- a training center for glassblowers- upon their return to Montreal.

Ouellette comes from a family of glass makers. But while her parents specialize in door and window making, the prospect of going into the family business did not seem very appealing to her. However, and as much as she wanted to fight the idea of falling into this business, glass making came naturally to her. She had always been artistic and liked the idea of creating something lively, 3d pieces, something you can actually touch and enjoy. Seeing an artist on the street blowing glass made her realize that this profession encapsulated everything she was looking for. She travelled to France and Australia to finish her education and got a PhD in Philosophy, specializing in Art Glass.   

Primeau on the other hand stumbled one day into a glassblowing studio in Old Quebec. He instantly fell in love with the art and realized that he wanted this life for himself. Following his studies, he worked all over Canada and the US. He also spent a year in Marseilles where he worked at Centre International de Recherche sur les arts Verriers (CIRVA).

In 2018, Patrick participated in Netflix’s glassblowing competition reality show “Blown Away” for a chance to win $60,000 and a residency at the Corning Museum of Glass. Primeau ended up in 4th place. Nevertheless, Patrick and Caroline are very well represented in the glasss making community as some of their pieces are featured in many private and public collections, including Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Musee National des Beaux-Arts du Qeuebec.

One of the main challenges in the show was to work with a different assistant each week. Some people do not realize how important it is to have great communication and chemistry with your team in order to succeed. Welmo consists of a team of five people who have worked together for years. The three other members followed Patrick and Caroline to Frelighsburg where they now live and work. One of the couple’s business goal is to break away the fear of touching glass art. Therefore, they create pieces that are appealing and irresistible to touch. One of their creations for instance is glass in the form of zip-locks. This ‘everyday aspect’ makes their product familiar so that people wouldn’t be afraid to touch and enjoy it.

Ouellette and Primeau’s house is located 20 steps away from the studio. In order to save on energy costs, they re-use the heat given off by the studio to warm their home. Balancing a business and family life is sometimes challenging for them as their business takes up a lot of their time, especially since they also have a 7-year-old daughter to take care of. Nevertheless, their love for one another and for the art of glassblowing is what makes their business a magical space full of creativity.

Patrick Primeau and Caroline Ouellette go into their glassblowing studio. Primeau and Ouellette are a glassmaking couple, owners of Welmo Studio in Frelighsburg, Quebec November 25, 2021. Hiba Al Mondalek/Concordia
Patrick Primeau and Caroline Ouellette work with their glassblowing team in their studio. Primeau and Ouellette are a glassmaking couple, owners of Welmo Studio in Frelighsburg, Quebec November 25, 2021. Hiba Al Mondalek/Concordia
Caroline Ouellette uses tweezers to pull the molten glass. Primeau and Ouellette are a glassmaking couple, owners of Welmo Studio in Frelighsburg, Quebec November 25, 2021. Hiba Al Mondalek/Concordia
Caroline Ouellette uses tweezers to pull the molten glass. Primeau and Ouellette are a glassmaking couple, owners of Welmo Studio in Frelighsburg, Quebec November 25, 2021. Hiba Al Mondalek/Concordia
Patrick Primeau oxidises the glass surface with a flame. Primeau and Ouellette are a glassmaking couple, owners of Welmo Studio in Frelighsburg, Quebec November 25, 2021. Hiba Al Mondalek/Concordia
Patrick Primeau oxidises the glass surface with a flame. Primeau and Ouellette are a glassmaking couple, owners of Welmo Studio in Frelighsburg, Quebec November 25, 2021. Hiba Al Mondalek/Concordia
Patrick Primeau reheats his piece in the furnace. Primeau and Ouellette are a glassmaking couple, owners of Welmo Studio in Frelighsburg, Quebec November 25, 2021. Hiba Al Mondalek/Concordia
Patrick Primeau and Caroline Ouellette cool down their piece with water. Primeau and Ouellette are a glassmaking couple, owners of Welmo Studio in Frelighsburg, Quebec November 25, 2021. Hiba Al Mondalek/Concordia
Patrick Primeau uses the tip of the blowpipe to blow air into his piece. Primeau and Ouellette are a glassmaking couple, owners of Welmo Studio in Frelighsburg, Quebec November 25, 2021. Hiba Al Mondalek/Concordia
Patrick Primeau and Caroline Ouellette detach their piece from the punty. Primeau and Ouellette are a glassmaking couple, owners of Welmo Studio in Frelighsburg, Quebec November 25, 2021. Hiba Al Mondalek/Concordia
Caroline Ouellette holds one of her creations. Primeau and Ouellette are a glassmaking couple, owners of Welmo Studio in Frelighsburg, Quebec November 25, 2021. Hiba Al Mondalek/Concordia
Caroline Ouellette arranges the display of the pieces in the studio. Primeau and Ouellette are a glassmaking couple, owners of Welmo Studio in Frelighsburg, Quebec November 25, 2021. Hiba Al Mondalek/Concordia
Glass pieces resembling zip-locks are diplayed in Welmo Studio. Primeau and Ouellette are a glassmaking couple, owners of Welmo Studio in Frelighsburg, Quebec November 25, 2021. Hiba Al Mondalek/Concordia
Patrick Primeau and Caroline Ouellette pose in their studio after a long day at work. Primeau and Ouellette are a glassmaking couple, owners of Welmo Studio in Frelighsburg, Quebec November 25, 2021. Hiba Al Mondalek/Concordia

Photo Essay

You just recycled that empty plastic laundry detergent bottle, you feel like a good person right? But did you ever think if that laundry detergent bottle is truly recyclable? How a pair of earrings can solve the plastic crisis, at least demonstrate how repurposing plastic can create a positive impact on the environment. 

“CP3 is a multidisciplinary project and the end goal is to address the plastic crisis by doing local recycling on campus” Wanda Stamford, co-founder and external business coordinator of CP3 said about the project’s mission.

A new project was created this semester involving recycling and repurposing plastic to be created as fashionable earrings. 

“For the earring project particularly, the idea was to make a fashionable piece that made a statement ecologically, but also in fashion, right, like it’s quite a bold design and it’s quite long and it’s a statement piece,” Wanda Stamford said in regards to the purpose of the project.

The first step to make these eco-friendly earrings is collecting the right type of plastic. HDPE or type 2 plastic is used to create the earring because this type of plastic doesn’t produce harmful fumes and is safe to recycle, as said on CP3’s website. Plastics such as milk jugs and laundry detergent bottles are first cleaned and removed of all stickers before being placed in the shredder or cut into small pieces.

“We made some tests and we understood that the mold was big enough to hold 120 grams of plastic so it’s very easy for us to know how much plastic to put in,” Felix Beaudry, operational coordinator designer of CP3 said when setting up the shredded plastic.

The plastic shreds are then laid flat onto a metal plate and put into the hot press machine to melt the plastic. After it gets pressed, the metal plate is taken out to cool down before taking the plastic sheet out. The designs and color vary on the plastic sheet, depending on which plastics are used more than others.

Once all the plastic sheets are made, the students meet on a different day to prototype the smaller earring size they were working on. Stamford and Beaudry worked in Beaudry’s apartment to determine the right size of the earring before using his CNC (computer numerical control) machine to craft the prototype. 

When asked how the earrings are made, Stamford explained, “It’s going to take the design that Claire made, and it’s going to imprint onto the sheets.” The final earring design was created by Concordia student Claire Lecker. 

After inputting the dimensions of the earring onto the computer program for the CNC machine, it cuts into the plastic to make bell-like shaped earrings. Beaudry, Stamford and Lecker filed and cut out excess plastic off the earrings to clean them up before trying. Once earring hooks were placed on, Stamford and Lecker gasped with excitement at how the earrings looked.

“It’s a conversation starter. So what we hope is that by doing something from Concordia students to Concordia students, we can also motivate our community to wear their convictions.” 

Wanda Stamford weighs pieces of plastic on a scale at Cegep du Vieux Montreal in Montreal, Quebec on December 1, 2021. Plastic that was used from other sheet templates will be weighed and reused for the earrings. Adela Languein/ Concordia
Marina Correia lays out the shredded bits of plastic onto a metal board in Montreal, Quebec on December 1, 2021. Laundry detergent bottles were cleaned and then shredded to be used as the base material of the earrings. Adela Languein/ Concordia
Felix Beaudry places metal plates onto the hot press machine in Montreal, Quebec on December 1, 2021. The plastic pieces on the metal plate are secured by a second metal plate to make sure it melts evenly in the hot plate machine. Adela Languein/ Concordia
Felix Beaudry places metal plates into the hot press machine in Montreal, Quebec on December 1, 2021. The machine clamps down onto the metal plates to melt and flatten down the plastic. Adela Languein/ Concordia
Wanda Stamford holds up the finished plastic sheet in Montreal, Quebec on December 1, 2021. After the metal plates cool from the hot press machine, unique patterns and colors emerge after peeling the plastic sheet off. Adela Languein/ Concordia
Wanda Stamford removes the plastic sheet after cooling from the hot press machine in Montreal, Quebec on December 1, 2021. A small metal frame holds the newly made plastic sheet and must be removed before the plastic sheet is used to create the earrings. Adela Languein/ Concordia
From left to right: Felix Beaudry, Marina Correia and Wanda Stamford work on creating the plastic sheets in Montreal, Quebec on December 1, 2021. Members of CP3 finish making the last of the plastic sheets before creating the earrings. Adela Languein/ Concordia
Felix Beaudry tries on the paper earring prototype earring on Montreal, Quebec on December 5, 2021. Before setting up the design to be created on the CNC machine, Beaudry makes sure the size and dimensions are okay. Adela Languein/ Concordia
Felix Beaudry uses a program to measure the earring design in his apartment in Montreal, Quebec on December 5, 2021. Beaudry plays around with the dimensions of the earrings to make sure it will be cut out correctly through the CNC machine. Adela Languein/ Concordia
The prototype earrings are being cut out of the plastic sheet by the CNC machine in Montreal, Quebec on December 5, 2021. The CNC machine cuts out the earrings through a program on Felix Beaudry’s computer. Adela Languein/ Concordia
Wanda Stamford puts the final touches to the earrings in Montreal, Quebec on December 5, 2021. Stamford filed and cut off any excess material off the earrings before completing the earrings to try on. Adela Languein/ Concordia
Supplies used to create the prototype earrings lay on a table in Montreal, Quebec on December 5, 2021. Box cutters, nose pliers, and other supplies were used to craft and create the new earrings. Adela Languein/ Concordia
Claire Lecker smiles are she tries on one of the new earrings in Montreal, Quebec on December 5, 2021. Lecker drafted multiple designs before the current one was picked through a community poll. Adela Languein/ Concordia

Portraits-Trynne Delaney

Trynne Delaney poses for portrait at Girouard Park in Montreal, Quebec on November 13, 2021. She used to go to this park every day after school as a kid and her favorite thing in the park was Jungle Gym. Aashka Patel/Concordia.
Trynne Delaney poses for portrait at Girouard Park in Montreal, Quebec on November 13, 2021.Aashka Patel/Concordia.
Trynne Delaney poses for portrait at Girouard Park in Montreal, Quebec on November 13, 2021. Works in Publication and is writing a book named The Half-Drowned, to be published in 2022. Aashka Patel/Concordia.
Trynne Delaney poses for portrait at Girouard Park in Montreal, Quebec on November 13, 2021.Her book is a fiction set in the future revolving around the concept of climate crisis. Aashka Patel/Concordia.
Trynne Delaney poses for portrait at Girouard Park in Montreal, Quebec on November 13, 2021. She has completed her Master of Arts in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Calgary. Aashka Patel/Concordia.
Trynne Delaney poses for portrait at Girouard Park in Montreal, Quebec on November 13, 2021. Her work was most recently published in CV2, Carte Blanche, GUTS Canadian Feminist Magazine, WATCH YOUR HEAD, and the League of Canadian Poets’ chapbook These Lands: a collection of voices by Black Poets in Canada edited by Chelene Knight. Aashka Patel/Concordia.