Confession: months back I was asked to join the amazing group of women who founded Le Milieu. I bowed out. Time pressures and difficulties in my personal life made me question if I could give much to the project.
What a project it is! In a few short months Le Milieu has evolved into something inspiring and concrete. Tomorrow starting at 5 p.m. the solidarity co-op is hosting a launch party to celebrate the opening of their new space at 1251 rue Robin.
The idea behind this venture is to give people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds an “open and inclusive creative art studio and exhibition space that supports, without judgement, YOUR OWN creative process and encourages spontaneous skillshares, D.I.Y., and cultural participation of all.” There’s an eco component too. The co-op encourages people to collect, upcycle and redistribute arts and crafts materials.
The space is also home to IMAGINe educATION, a center for “liberated learning and social business coaching for teens and young adults” and Kat’s Kitchen, a community kitchen and catering service.
Over the summer Le Milieu acted as a traveling studio, renting space at the Mile End Mission and hosting a number of workshops at Le Sentier Urbain. They taught people how to make fabric brooches and paper beads, how to upcycle wooden pallets into garden planters, how to repurpose vintage jewellery and make your own party decor.
Some workshops also happened at NDG’s breastfeeding specialty boutique Melons & Clementines. For instance: how to upcycle used material into baby bibs, make plush toys from a used glove and make baby mobiles.
Last month Le Mileu joined St. Viateur residents to do some “yarn bombing” at a Good Neighbours community street festival.
The message? You don’t have to be a great artist. You don’t have to have a lot of money to do your art or a D.I.Y. project. And you can have fun as you learn. Being with other people helps you gain a sense of community.
It’s a great project (yes, I’m repeating myself but these women are inspiring). To find out more, do check out tomorrow’s party.
Le Milieu’s Facebook page