Saturday’s launch party for the new Coop Le Milieu was amazing. As you can see from the photos, creating beauty doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. The shelving on the walls is re-purposed deluxe wine box crates (the SAQ sells them for a fee with the proceeds going to charity), guests painted old donated canvases to create paintings, tissue paper makes for gorgeous flower decorations to hang in windows and you can use your old office paper to create banners.
At the launch party Afra Saskia Tucker, a friend who is one of the co-op’s founders, told me so far she and the other founders have funded the co-op through a catering service they’ve offered to church meals-on-wheels programs. The co-op’s new storefront space on Robin St. is just doors down from Sentier Urbain, a non-profit group whose locale Le Milieu rented to hold workshops over the summer. Le Milieu’s new permanent space is in a building owned by a co-op and near many other non-profits and co-op groups. The neighbourhood is Montreal’s Gay Village but Afra says she and the other founders were surprised to discover many young families live nearby and the area is pretty much 50/50 bilingual (French and English).
Afra says the co-op is attracting plenty of interest from nearby residents and workers and people are keen to come by and express their creativity.
Membership in this solidarity co-op costs $50 a year.
This Saturday, Oct. 20th Le Milieu’s next workshop, “Upcycle your bike,” will be all about learning about projects you can make with old bicycle parts, for instance, bike tire belts and gear art. Participants will also get to make accessories such as bracelets, cuffs, necklaces and hair clips from recycled bike tubes.