Farewell to Jack Budovitch

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Jack Budovitch (Photo Glenn J. Nashen)

 

Jack Budovitch was a proud Cote Saint-Lucer, a volunteer and leader and active in the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 97. Jack would often be seen selling poppies to help support charities throughout the city.

Jack was a founder of the Cote Saint-Luc Senior Men’s Club and served as its president. He was extremely devoted to the success of this organization and was instrumental in encouraging the city to eventually move the group from its old location in the CSL Shopping Centre to its current place in the Aquatic and Community Centre.

Jack passed away on September 1, 2017 at the age of 95.

Jack budovitch, CSL Senior Men’s Club founder and Past President and Councillor Glenn J. Nashen (Oct. 2009)

 

Anthony Housefather, Member of Parliament for Mount Royal recalled, “Jack was an incredible guy. His contributions to the Men’s Club and the City of CSL will not be forgotten. His warmth and good cheer made everyone around him feel good.”

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said, “On behalf of my wife Elaine and the entire City Council, we mourn and remember Jack as a wonderful friend of our city, who was a great volunteer always expressing positive thoughts and bringing joy to all he would meet. We will miss him dearly.”

Councillor Ruth Kovac added, “A great smile and gentlemanly manner defined my friend Jack.”

“Our deepest sympathy to the family from your comerades at Branch 97 Frederich Kisch RCL. Jack was our number one poppy person. His adoring smile won the hearts of every customer at the CSL IGA. Always a pal to everyone with boundless emery to raise funds for every good cause. His adoring fans will greatly miss this charitable celebrity,” said Councillor Allan J. Levine.

Jack was such a delightful person. He always had a smile and a positive comment. His interest and involvement in the civic life of Cote Saint-Luc was substantial. He was well respected and appreciated by the members of City Council. He will be remembered and missed.

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No plans for new CSL auditorium: Brownstein

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No plans for new CSL auditorium: Brownstein

A performance of the Côte St. Luc Dramatic Society’s production of Hairspray.

There are no plans for Côte St. Luc to proceed with a city hall project that would have included a new state-of-the-art theatre-style auditorium, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein told The Suburban.

“We have no plans to move the project forward in the future,” the Mayor said Friday.

Last week, The Suburban reported that demerged Montreal municipalities were left out of this round of federal-provincial grants for communities, while numerous off-island municipalities did receive sizeable grants. The grants are decided on by the Quebec government. This was revealed by Montreal West Mayor Beny Masella.

Grants were denied for a new recreation centre in Montreal West and the Côte St. Luc project in this round of funding.

“We will definitely keep on top of all government announcements to ensure we are first in line to submit a funding request when a new program opens,” Masella told the late August town council meeting.

The Côte St. Luc project, Brownstein explained last week, was for “an extension to the city hall complex which would have added a theatre-style auditorium and other community spaces for programming and offices.

“The grant opportunity between federal and provincial was up to 90 percent and the other 10 percent would have been raised through private sponsorship and savings regarding the plaza renovation required in front of city hall which is estimated to cost around $1.5 million and will need to be done in the not too distant future,” the Côte St. Luc Mayor added last week. “The plaza renovation was part of the grant application.”

In the meantime, Côte St. Luc mayoral candidate Robert Libman reacted to last week’s Suburban story about the grant refusals, saying residents cannot afford to build and support an $11-$15 million theatre.

“The city’s three year capital works budget (PTI) identifies $11 million for the project —complicated projects of this nature always go over budget,” Libman said. “The sitting Mayor is a producer and actor in the CSL Dramatic Society (CSLDS) productions, so I understand that he is enticed by the project.”

Libman also contended that the current Harold Greenspon Auditorium at city hall is adequate, and the English Montreal School Board’s Wagar Auditorium can also be used —it was for the CSLDS’s Fiddler on the Roof. The candidate also called on the city administration to “confirm that the $11 million in funds allocated in the Capital Works Budget will not be used for this purpose now that the grant has been refused.”

Brownstein replied that, indeed, “now that the grant application was refused, the three-year capital expense and associated grant revenue projections have been removed from our capital plans.”

CP negative on CSL yards residential development

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Canadian Pacific responded negatively to a study released by students from McGill’s School of Urban Planning on the potential for a residential development in the Canadian Pacific railyards in Côte St. Luc, should CP ever vacate the land.

That land is where a Cavendish Blvd link would partially be located. The study was commissioned by the Coalition for the Relocation of St. Luc Rail Yards, among whose members is Côte St. Luc mayoral candidate Robert Libman. The feasibility report was presented to Côte St. Luc council, who forwarded it to CP.

During the August council meeting, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein made public a letter to him by Tony Marquis, CP’s senior vice-president, Operations East Region.

Marquis wrote that the St. Luc Yard in Côte St. Luc is a “critical component” of its rail network.

“The McGill student report… is not a feasibility study on a proposed relocation of CP’s St. Luc Yard, but rather a study of a possible alternative urban plan for the land presently occupied by the yard,” Marquis wrote. “The study offers no serious analysis of the numerous and complex factors associated with railway operations, rail capacity needs present and future, or the strategic location of the St. Luc Yard for CP as well as the larger national network.”

Marquis wrote that right now, there is no “business rationale to support CP relocating this yard to another site.”

Brownstein commented that he has a positive relationship with CP, and Marquis in particular and that the CP official himself had brought up the possibility of the yards moving to Les Cedres, west of Montreal.

“It’s not easy to do, but if we work and put our minds together and work in a collaborative fashion, it could perhaps one day be achieved,” the mayor said.

“Honey does more than vinegar, so the relationship I’ve built with CP allows us to work closely and find solutions,” the mayor added.

Libman told The Suburban he has a copy of the letter from Marquis.

“When I was mayor, I worked very closely with CP on reducing some of the irritants emanating from the rail yards,” the candidate said. “But in 2017, from an urban planning point of view, from an economic point of view, it is completely illogical that these yards, located at the geographic epicentre of the island of Montreal, occupying over 22 million square feet of extremely valuable land, should remain where they are, stifling the potential of the city. Occupying one-third of Côte St. Luc territory, it also impacts our residents as far as noise and access is concerned, and poses a potential security risk.”

Brownstein replied that the CP letter speaks for itself and that Marquis reiterated his points at a meeting the two had Aug. 13.

“He reiterated that the only stakeholder that would help move this matter forward would be a serious developer with the financial capacity to deal with such a large project,” the mayor told The Suburban. “The letter is very clear as to the relocation feasibility studies that would then be required.”

On the Road with vCOP

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Follow the yellow brick road to the CSL Dramatic Society’s production of The Wizard of Oy

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The Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society is staging its third annual Senior Summerworks Production The Wizard of Oy, a musical comedy geared towards senior actors and audiences.
Performances run through Sunday night at the Harold Greenspon Auditorium in Cote Saint-Luc City Hall.
The Wizard of Oy written by Ari Sterlin, who founded Senior Summerrworks in 2015, parodies the classic Wizard of Oz, transforming it into a hilarious and touching story about a woman searching for her youth.
CSL Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, the visionary behind the Dramatic Society, welcomed guests to the opening performance last night. “This production, like all of our presentations, is to bring you happiness,” Brownstein said.
“The CSL Dramatic Society is continually expanding to allow more and more opportunities to the members of our community and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it,” said writer, director and choreographer Ari Sterlin. “Sit back and enjoy the show!”

A satirical and joyful spin on the classic Wizard of Oz the cast followed the ‘yellow brick road’ and even the orange traffic cones in search of Oy.

Six year old Ryan Hill was the precious little star playing the role of Toto while Dorothy was played by returning funny woman Hannah Sheffren. Also returning to the stage was Ellen Rabin in the role of Mayor delighting the audience with her comedic lines and hum-along songs. Shout out to Adena Schnarch with her infectious smile, Helen Gwiazda and Judy Kenigsberg all of whom are veterans of the Summer Workshop.

Ellen Rabin as the Mayor, Hannah Sheffren as Dorothy, Ryan Hill as Toto, Mitch Kujavsky as Henry and the guard, and Melanie Chahine as Em

 

The cast sing nine memorable tunes departing from the traditional words such as in ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’, with emphasis on local venues including the Cavendish Mall.

The Senior Summer Workshop strives to pair seniors with young emerging artists ton produce a musical parody with themes and subjects pertinent to senior citizens. Nonetheless my two teenage daughters Nicole and Nathalie, regulars in Anisa Cameron’s Bialik Theatre Productions,  loved the show as did my eight year old son Jeremy. “It’s fun, local theatre for the whole family,” said my wife, Judy Hagshi.

Louis Schiff plays the Cowardly Lion,, Jeff Waxman as the Tinman, Norm Spatz as the Scarecrow along with Hannah Sheffren as Dorothy. All of them did a sensational job singing solos. And of course the adorable Ryan Hill as Toto.

 

Don’t miss the matinée and evening shows this weekend. There are only four performances:

August 24th | 7:00 PM

August 26th | 2:00 PM & 7:00 PM

August 27th | 11:00 AM & 3:00 PM

 

Bravo to the entire cast:

Starring: Hannah Sheffren, Ryan Hill, Christine Dandurand, Dan Sterlin, Norm Spatz, Jeffrey Waxman, Lou Schiff, Toby Clark, Judy Kenigsberg, Bev Silverman, Janet Garmaise, Helen Gwiazda, Melanie Chahine, Mitchell Kujavsky, Ellen Rabin, Adena Schnarch, Phyllis Schnarch

 

Written, directed and choreographed by Ari Sterlin

Produced by Mitchell Brownstein

Musical Director Daniel Witkowski

Stage Manager Emma Loerick

 

Tickets available HERE
Or in person at the Côte Saint-Luc Library or Aquatic and Community Centre

CSL inaugurates Shalom Bloom Sculpture garden

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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.

Potential new location found for CSL synagogue

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A potential new location has been found for the Fondation Sepharade Kollel Avrechim synagogue in Côte St. Luc, on the site of the city’s public works yard on Mackle Road, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein announced.

“There’s a very large parking lot, and it’s the area closest to the dog run in that parking lot,” Brownstein told The Suburban. “The parking lot has about 80 to 100 spots, and it’s at the far end.”

The mayor said the city and the synagogue are now in the preliminary stage of looking at the alternative locale.

“I met with Rabbi Yehouda Benoliol and his group, and we gave them the size and configuration, and Urban Planning has given them the configuration documents in terms of what they can work with, and now they have to present a proposal to the Planning Advisory Committee.”

During the July 4 council meeting, several residents asked about the synagogue, in light of a recent register which 23 residents signed, calling for a referendum on a rezoning for the original location elsewhere on Mackle Road.

Seventeen signatures were needed to prompt a referendum. But as the result would be clear — enough to reject the original location — and a referendum would be costly, no vote will be held.

As a result, Côte St. Luc council withdrew the original rezoning bylaw at last week’s meeting, with seven councillors approving and Councillor Dida Berku abstaining because she is a lawyer in a case, unrelated to the zoning, involving Rabbi Yehouda Benoliol.

At a previous meeting, Brownstein said the community would work together to find a new location for the synagogue.

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