CSL inaugurates Shalom Bloom Sculpture garden

Leave a comment

On hand for all of the events celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday were Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and the entire Côte St. Luc council, Mount Royal MP Anthony Housefather and D’Arcy McGee MNA David Birnbaum. The chairs of the Canada Day event were councillors Glenn Nashen and Ruth Kovac, and the MC for the events were CJAD personalities Dan Laxer and Laurie Betito.

The Shalom Bloom Sculpture Garden is in an area of the park with stunning, lifelike sculptures of various wildlife animals, including white-tailed deer, cougar, bighorned sheep and others. The sculptures were a donation by Bloom, who left his successful business in 1980 to devote himself full time to sculpting.

“This city is a wonderful place and the two mayors (Brownstein and his predecessor Housefather) really worked hard to bring this about,” Bloom said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the garden. “This is Phase 1, and hopefully, eventually, we’ll have another phase with a lot more sculptures in this magnificent park.”

Marco Pendenza of Super Excavation did the stonework, and Ron Williams was the consulting landscape architect.

“I was involved with the overall concept and design,” Williams said. “The early ideas were a natural environment where the animals would feel at home. It turned out great, I’m really pleased.”

Snowdon Councillor Marvin Rotrand also praised Bloom during the unveiling ceremony.

Later on, Birnbaum showed the winning videos of his riding-wide student competition, Canada 150: Your Story, My Story; and Lt-Gen. (Ret’d) Roméo Dallaire was inducted onto Côte St. Luc’s Human Rights Walkway for his work in preventing mass atrocities in Rwanda, his advocacy against the use of child soldiers and his general work for human rights. Dallaire’s son Willem was on hand for the dedication.

While most activities took place on July 2 because of weather concerns, the traditional citizenship ceremony, took place July 1 at the city’s Aquatic and Community Centre, and was presided over by former Canadian citizenship judge Barbara Seal. She, Brownstein, Housefather and Birnbaum welcomed the 39 new citizens from 18 countries. A “welcome home to Canada” video from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was also played.

The July 2 event also included entertainment by indigenous performers and the retro band Replay, who alternated between Beatles and ‘60s hits sets. Brownstein himself sang John Lennon’s Imagine, which he linked to Côte St. Luc’s own advocacy for tolerance and respect.

The evening ended with a fireworks and laser show display, with musical accompaniment.

MNA Birnbaum inaugurates citizenship medals

Leave a comment

For the very first time, Member of the Quebec National Assembly, David Birnbaum, inaugurated the D’Arcy McGee Citizenship Medals, this evening in Ashkelon Gardens at Cote Saint-Luc City Hall.

The first three inductees were selected by a blue ribbon panel of three former MNAs for D’Arcy McGee riding: Dr. Victor Goldbloom, Justice Herbert Marx and Lawrence Bergman. All three served as ministers in previous Quebec Liberal governments. The dedicated Bureau Chief of the riding office, Elisabeth Prass, served as emcee.

Attending the D'Arcy McGee Medal of Citizenship Ceremony: Cllr. Ruth Kovac, Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil, Energy Minister Pierre Arcand, Hampstead Mayor Bill Steinberg, CSL Mayor Anthony Housefather and Cllrs. Glenn J. Nashen and Mitchell Brownstein

Attending the D’Arcy McGee Medal of Citizenship Ceremony: Cllr. Ruth Kovac, Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil, Energy Minister Pierre Arcand, Hampstead Mayor Bill Steinberg, CSL Mayor Anthony Housefather and Cllrs. Glenn J. Nashen and Mitchell Brownstein

Mr. Birnbaum introduced the medal presentation as a unique and meaningful manner in celebrating the deep involvement and  active participation of the citizens of D’Arcy McGee. Eloquent and sophisticated in speech-making, Mr. Birnbaum spoke beautifully about each award winner as well as in reference to his esteemed predecessor MNAs.

Medal recipients were Paula Brauer Shuster, Samuel Gewurz and Barbara Seal.

Paula Brauer Shuster is a retired teacher who now serves as a volunteer library ambassador in Cote Saint-Luc, offering community input on library programs and serving as driver in the home delivery program to those who are home-bound. She is always involved in book sales, the annual city tomato plant giveaway and Canada Day celebrations. Paula serves lunch at B’nai B’rith House and volunteers for the Pharmaprix Weekend to End Women’s Cancers. Library Director, Janine West, noted in nominating Paula: “Her willingness to help and selfless spirit have made her a very beloved member of the Cote Saint-Luc library family.”

Paula Brauer Shuster accepting the D'Arcy McGee Citizenship Medal in Ashkelon Gardens

Paula Brauer Shuster accepting the D’Arcy McGee Citizenship Medal in Ashkelon Gardens

Barbara Seal is a former citizenship court judge, Hampstead Town Councillor and director of the Segal Centre for Performing Arts. She’s the National President of the Canadian friends of Tel Aviv University and a director of the McGill School for Continuing Studies. In her long professional and volunteer career, Barbara has been chair or director of more than 40 community, educational, cultural and health support organizations. She has lectured widely, has been a lifelong learner, and the recipient of a myriad of citations and awards. She continues to conduct the annual Canada Day Citizenship Ceremony in Cote Saint-Luc.

CSL Mayor Anthony Housefather congratulates Judge Barbara Seal on being presented with the D'Arcy McGee Citizenship Medal

CSL Mayor Anthony Housefather congratulates Judge Barbara Seal on being presented with the D’Arcy McGee Citizenship Medal

Samuel Gewurz is a commercial and industrial real estate developer who has given back to his community throughout his life. He has been recognized with awards for his impact on urbanism in Quebec and for his leadership initiatives to promote staying in school, heritage properties and sustainable development. Sam has been a volunteer advocate and supporter of MADA, which provides groceries and prepared meals for thousands fighting poverty, Hebrew Academy and Canadian Friends of Bar Ilan University, among others. MADA director Rabbi Chaim S. Cohen noted in supporting Sam’s nomination: “We are continuously honoured and awed by his care to MADA and the community. He’s a true leader, paving the path of goodness and kindness in our community.”

Music was provided by the local, talented and energetic high school band, Les jeunes musiciens de l’Ecole secondaire St-Luc.

Congratulations to the medal recipients and to MNA David Birnbaum for this excellent initiative.

CSL celebrates Canada

Leave a comment

Canada Day 2013 in Cote Saint-Luc was celebrated with great spirit and national pride. There were many highlights depending on your age and point of view.

While my four year old son and hundreds of other youngsters couldn’t get enough of the Spiderman, caterpillar and fishy inflatables, slides and obstacle courses, others marveled at the Montreal West Operatic Society, Raffi’s Accordian, the incredible Hi-Fi Showband and the hilarious performance by Bowser and Blue.

Spiderman inflatable was a Canada Day hit with the young folks

Spiderman inflatable was a Canada Day hit with the young folks

Other children’s activities included a magic show, the children’s train ride around the park, storytelling, glitter tattoos, arts and crafts, and more.

I am always overwhelmed by the momentous life-altering experience for the new Canadian citizens sworn in with pomp and ceremony by Judge Barbara Seal and the officials from the Canadian government.

Citizenship Judge Barbara Seal presides with CSL Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson serving as ceremonial guard

Citizenship Judge Barbara Seal presides with CSL Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson serving as ceremonial guard

The induction of Jackie Robinson onto the Cote Saint-Luc Human Rights Walkway was very special as well and most fitting for this community which prides itself in its sense of social justice, promotion of equality and advocacy for human rights.

Jackie Robinson plaque in unveiled

Jackie Robinson plaque in unveiled

The pedal boat rides were open to all on Centennial Lake, while a model airplane show took place during the afternoon. Howard Liebman represented Mount Royal Member of Parliament Irwin Cotler.  Howard’s speech was perhaps the best in his ten years as Chief of Cabinet for our riding. He highlighted our great fortunes as Canadians and paid homage to those less fortunate who have been afflicted by floods in Southern Alberta. 

CJAD radio personalities Dan Laxer and Dr. Laurie Betito served as emcees. Hundreds of Canada Day cupcakes were served, sponsored by Scotiabank Westminster. Food concessions were busy all night long, from Dizengoff Kosher and Dominos’ Pizza to the just-opened Yeh!Yogurt at the Cavendish Mall.

Free cupcakes are always a big hit

Free cupcakes are always a big hit

Longtime Parks and Rec staffer and current volunteer Louise Ferland prepares the cupcakes

Longtime Parks and Rec staffer and current volunteer Louise Ferland prepares the cupcakes

D’Arcy McGee Liberal MNA Lawrence Bergman arrived at the park straight from Quebec City where the National Assembly had just adopted back to work legislation for construction workers. We were told that the Quebec Liberal Caucus rose to sing O Canada as the session ran into July 1. Bergman greeted the large crowd and proclaimed that Cote Saint-Luc and its Mayor Anthony Housefather are very well known at the National Assembly. “Mayor Housefather is known as a man of intelligence, integrity and determination,” Bergman said to great applause. Mayor Hosuefather returned the complement stating how effective Bergman has been in representing the interests of Cote Saint-Luc at the National Assembly.

Welcoming the ever present, and highly decorated commander, Sylvain BIssonnette

Welcoming the ever present, and highly decorated commander, Sylvain BIssonnette

Mayor Anthony Housefather gave an energetic and impassioned speech on the pride we feel on this day as proud Canadians. Congratulations to our outstanding mayor for his leadership and vision in building a young and vibrant Cote Saint-Luc, as well as for appointing Councillor Ruth Kovac and me as co-chairs of this premier event on the community calendar.

Greeting well-known Israeli Lt. Col. Yaacov Perez and his wife Rachel

Greeting well-known Israeli Lt. Col. Yaacov Perez and his wife Rachel

Local up and coming vocalist and actor Alexandra Cohen sang the O Canada prior to the fireworks. And with that the drizzle began but Mother Nature spared the festivities as the rain only began to come down a few minutes after the pyrotechnics ended. And what a superb fireworks show it was!

EMS volunteers take in the tremendous fireworks display Photo: Jacques Rioux.

EMS volunteers take in the tremendous fireworks display Photo: Jacques Rioux.

Thanks to the event sponsors: The Suburban, Department of Canadian Heritage, Domino’s Pizza, RBC, Bureau En Gros, Cavendish Mall, Scotiabank, Qualitifruits, MAAC, Century 21, and Universel Inc.

Fireworks display at Trudeau Park. Photo: Jacques Rioux.

Fireworks display at Trudeau Park. Photo: Jacques Rioux.

Most of all thanks to our recreation director David Taveroff and his star studded team for putting on a great Canada Day in CSL.  A major salute to our volunteers from vCOP (supervised by the extraordinary and energetic Susie Schwartz) and EMS (under Brandon Luden, Captain of Logistics and Joy Rodgers in charge of communications) who came out in big numbers along with our Public Security agents under the direction of Jordy Reichson  and chief Jerome Pontbriand.  Thanks to this team, along with our police officers from station 9, and two horses from the cavalry, all under the direction of Commander Sylvain Bissonnette, the thousands of spectators were welcomed into a safe environment.

CSL EMS volunteers at the ready. Photo: Jacques Rioux.

CSL EMS volunteers at the ready. Photo: Jacques Rioux.

And especially, thanks to our Cote Saint-Luc residents and neighbours for coming out in huge numbers for  this wonderful celebration.  It made me proud to be a Cote Saint-Lucer, Quebecer and Canadian.  HAPPY 146th CANADA DAY!!

CSL Canada Day co-chairs Cllrs. Glenn J. Nashen and Ruth Kovac.

CSL Canada Day co-chairs Cllrs. Glenn J. Nashen and Ruth Kovac.

In the END, someone's gotta DO it! Thanks to the resourcefulness of Public Safety Chief Jerome Pontbriand there wasn't a trace left BEHIND from the Police horses.

In the END, someone’s gotta DO it! Thanks to the resourcefulness of Public Safety Chief Jerome Pontbriand there wasn’t a trace left BEHIND from the Police horses.

Hampstead honours the memory of Mayor Irving Adessky

Leave a comment

Click to enlarge

The Town of Hampstead rededicated their main park chalet in the memory of longtime Mayor Irving Adessky this week.  Adessky served on Hampstead Council for some 35 years, 27 of them as mayor.  A Hampstead icon, the popular Adessky passed away nearly two years ago.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Mark Adessky reminisced how town’s folk would visit the family home routinely to discuss issues of importance and to seek assistance from the mayor.  He remembered how his father would drive around the town each morning taking note of whatever needed fixing and would promptly send out crews to make the repairs.

Irving Adessky presided over the town during its expansion on what used to be a 9-hole golf course north of Fleet.  He served for many years on the Montreal Urban Community security commission and was one of the longest serving mayors on the Island of Montreal.

Mayor William Steinberg welcomed current and former Hampstead Town Councillors as well as Cote Saint-Luc City Councillors (pictured below), Lachine Borough Mayor Claude Dauphin and Pointe Claire Mayor Bill McMurchie.  Family and friends also attended along with Town staff and other invited guests.

Irving Adessky will be remembered as a pillar in his community and a builder of his town.  He was prudent, personable and proud.  It is most fitting that his memory be captured in perpetuity in the official dedication of this central meeting place in the town.

Local government officials present to honour the memory of Mayor Irving Adessky include: (left to right) Cllr. Steven Erdelyi, Fmr. Cllr. Barbara Seal, Cllrs. Allan Levine, Glenn J. Nashen, Ruth Kovac, Mike Cohen, Bonnie Feigenbaum, Mayor Claude Dauphin, Cllrs. Abe Gonshor and Michael Goldwax.

A CSL celebration fit for royalty

Leave a comment

We may not have had an appearance by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge but this year’s Canada Day celebration in Cote Saint-Luc was a royal success. An estimated 3000 celebrants came out to enjoy a beautiful afternoon and evening in Pierre Elliot Trudeau Park.

Councillors Allan Levine and Mike Cohen, Canada Day co-chairs, join me in handing out red and white cupcakes

The thousands of CSLers and West Enders enjoyed the festivities under clear skies and a warm breeze. There was much fun for the kids with inflatables, face painting, balloons, a percussion jam, train rides around the lake, pedal boating on the lake, food and lots of wonderful dancing and music. Model planes took to the sky in Trudeau Park and the Montreal Police cavalry was on display.

The annual Canadian Citizenship Ceremony was a tremendously impressive program with the elegant and eloquent former citizenship judge Barbara Seal presiding.  Also a former Hampstead Town Councillor and Member of the Order of Canada, Barbara said she felt at home in Cote Saint-Luc as she swore in 36 new citizens from 20 countries.

Judge Barbara Seal presides over Citizenship Ceremony accompanied by Officer Victor Demoura, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The Human Rights Walkway ceremony followed with the unveiling of a plaque honouring the Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Unveiling the Human Rights Walkway plaqueCanadian friends of Burma showing great pride in their leader

Aung San Suu Kyi put herself in danger to help bring about democratic change,” Mayor Anthony Housefather said. “We are honoured to unveil the plaque. We are also thrilled that she recorded a video message thanking us.”

MNA Lawrence Bergman addresses the crowd

The highlight is always the fireworks (posted here if you missed them), a tremendous sound and light display, as the grand finale of a great day at Trudeau Park.  I am so pleased that our grand fireworks presentation honoured our Canadian troops serving in Afghanistan.

Lt. Col. Sasseville

Lieutenant-Colonel Pierre Sasseville received a loud, supportive welcome by the thousands of onlookers.  He told the crowd to thank a soldier when you see them on the street, for all of their brave and selfless efforts on behalf of all Canadians.

Police Cavalry on patrol on Shalom Avenue
 
CSLer Alexandra Cohen was invited up on stage to lead the crowd in her youthful rendition of O Canada.
 

District 6 resident Elaine Brownstein seems quite please with these patrollers are on her front lawn

Enormous effort and planning went into this spectacular event and I’d like to thank Parks and Recreation Director David Taveroff and his incredible team, emcee Dan Laxer, the CSL communications team, the dedicated volunteers from vCOP and EMS and our corps of Public Security Agents under the direction of Jordy Reichson along with ERT Chief David sasson, EMS Deputy Chief Sheldon Goldberg and vCOP Senior Supervisor Lewis Cohen and Supervisors Susie Schwartz and Mitchell Herf, Commander Sylvain Bissonnette and his squad of Police Officers from PDQ9, our Veterans and all those who volunteered their time as well as our hard-working Public Works crews.  You all did a sensational job and made us proud as CSLers rightfully should be.

Happy Canada Day to all and have a terrific summer.

Read more on Councillor Mike Cohen’s blog.