Skol-CEDA: Co-creative projects

This project came about from an urge to demystify contemporary art for an uninitiated public and to set up conditions that would facilitate the involvement of emerging artists wishing to work in a community environment. Invited to meet with artists in the centre’s programming, Danielle Arcand, a CEDA facilitator, and a group of participants following the adult literacy program visited Skol on several occasions.

Phase 1: L’œuvre et la main-d’œuvre (2005-2006)

The collective art work entitled L’œuvre et la main-d’œuvre was produced by a group of adults involved in a literacy program, in collaboration with visual artist Catherine Sylvain, art educator Adriana de Oliveira and facilitator Danielle Arcand. The photo-based work slowly grew out of a very rich learning, discovery and exchange process. The fruit of this extensive project initiated over 5 months ago also serves to commemorate CEDA’s 35th anniversary and the active role it has played in promoting popular education in the South-West of Montreal. The work was given two distinct openings, with its first unveiling taking place at the CEDA and a second showing at Skol, in October 2006, in an exhibition of collaborative projects produced outside the centre. L’œuvre et la main-d’œuvre is on permanent display at the CEDA, 2515 rue Delisle, Montréal.

Participants : Catherine Sylvain, Adriana de Oliveira, Danielle Arcand, Gérald Allaire, Lise Cyr, Roland Cyr, Yves D’Aragon, Yves Doyon, Mina Mazzer, Henriette Robertson, and Siria Vargas.

Phase 2: Concierge Recherché (2006-2007)

This time, in collaboration with the artist Nancy Belzile, participants threw themselves into the creation of a visual environment for a theatrical production by a troupe from CEDA’s literacy section. Co-creators in this group process participated in all stages of the design and production of a decor created through projections. The play, Concierge demandé, developed from improvised dialogue and dealt with the theme of housing. Designed to express and refine situations triggered by the dialogue, the environment attempts to push the notion of decor beyond its materiality.

Participants : Nancy Belzile, Adriana de Oliveira, Danielle Arcand, Denis Plante, Gérald Allaire, Roland Cyr, Yves Doyon, Henriette Robertson, Gilles Brière, and Alain Gervais.

Phase 3:  HLM Les Fleurs (2007) and Dunkin’ Donuts (2008)

In August 2007, taking into account assessments made for the two previous projects, the participants organized a preliminary meeting between the two partners in the project to discuss issues related to members of the literacy program at CEDA. During the meeting, literacy facilitator Nathalie Germain brought up the issue of the loneliness and isolation experienced by the illiterate in society. They then devoted the third creative project to a reflective process around questions concerning the notion of encounter and to artistic means for eliciting encounters.

The desire for encounter prompted both partners to leave their physical spaces in order to take artistic action in the urban environment. Together, the co-creators, along with the artist Christine Brault, dedicated themselves to creating two performance-actions with the intent of meeting with people who, like those in the literacy program, faced the reality of social isolation. Both actions took place among residents of Montreal’s South-West district, the first, at the HLM Les Fleurs public housing project in Little Burgundy, the second at the Dunkin’ Donuts on Wellington street, in Verdun. The project is the outcome of a weakly creative workshop that fosters an open approach based on the principles of popular education.

Participants : Christine Brault, Nathalie Germain, Adriana de Oliveira, Denis Plante, Gérald Allaire, Henriette Robertson, Gilles Brière, Alain Gervais, Nicole Girardot, Lisette Girardot, Patrick Poirier, Marie-Josée Godmer Bouchard, Lynn Larivière, Jacques Constantin et Reinette Gibeau et Claire Beaulne.


1. The Documenting community art > Sharing our projects on-line website:

An initiative of Pohanna Pyne Feinberg, this project emerged out of the research she conducted for her masters thesis Making the invisible visible: documenting the creative process –  A case study of the archive from the Skol-CEDA co-creative collaboration.

” In Spring 2012, the Skol team graciously offered me the opportunity to develop my thesis research into this website which I hope will become a helpful community resource. For the purposes of this website, I selected documents that I felt represented the integrity of the Skol-CEDA collaboration. I tried to combine diverse perspectives into a collective narrative.”