Making more with less since 2002

SPASM film festival comes back with another selection of eclectic movies

Looking for something to better suit your short attention span than the two hour-long shameful and nonessential rehash of The Magnificent Seven? SPASM can probably help you.

SPASM is a predominantly-French short film festival. Each day of the festival presents a selection of short films focusing on a specific theme—ranging from sex to horror to science fiction to Montreal’s iconic Café Cléopatre drag queens. The Oct. 27 event—appropriately titled Total Crap—will present the best-of-the-worst Quebec films that will make you cringe, laugh and wonder how such horrendous content was produced.

SPASM will also feature more conventional, though still noteworthy films, some of which have been screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival.

Jarrett Mann, one of SPASM’s founders, described the festival as the place where directors once came to present their first films, but it now only shows la crème de la crème. According to Mann, he and the rest of the jurors watched over 400 short films from various countries, including Canada, the U.S., Spain and Mexico.

This doesn’t mean all the films presented are all pure nuggets of cinematographic triumph, however. Anime, one of the eight films presented at the festival’s opening night, is as beautiful as it was boring. Giving us the silent treatment, the protagonists served only as pale impressions of what George Miller’s Mad Max movies do best. The film also served as a reminder that not writing any dialogue doesn’t necessarily make your movie an intellectual and profound piece of art. Just like a bimbo Anime looked good, but tried a bit too hard and had no substance to fall back on.

Great short films usually use a rather simple but efficient formula: find a good idea, concept or topic and bring it somewhere unusual and inspiring. Films such as Thunder Road, the latest winner of Sundance’s short films contest, use limited time and resources as tools. It’s the story of a man just trying to get through his mother’s funeral with a little help from Bruce Springsteen.

Grimaces, another one of the films presented on opening night, also employs the concept of simplicity perfectly. It addresses the childhood myth that your face could get stuck in a grimace. The result is utterly awkward, ridiculous and tremendously funny—at least for the audience. The film was simple and modest, but everything was well-thought-out and put together in a humble and marvelous way. The cast was great, especially when you realize they were forced to maintain their professionalism and seriousness while being asked to literally not keep a straight-face.

Sometimes, it’s not size or length that matters, but the way you use it. The SPASM film festival knows exactly what it’s doing, despite being only 15 years old.

For more information, visit their website. Check out The Concordian‘s exclusive video below:


Montrealers get decorative with parking spaces

Park(ing) day in an international event that 35 countries are part of

Parking spaces around the globe were decorated last Friday, as part of the annual international Park(ing) Day. The way the event works is simple: find yourself a parking space and use this otherwise bland piece of asphalt as a blank canvas to create a temporary park or creative public space.

According to Park(ing) Day’s website, the event is designed to bring attention to the need for more urban open spaces and to facilitate a discussion regarding how public spaces are allocated and used.

The Concordia University Young Greens participated and designed their own green space during the event. They had a few plants set up in their space. William Gagnon, the President of the Concordia ambassadors group for the Green Party of Canada, explained the event is great for showing people alternative ways to use parking spaces and the effect that those have on a larger scale.

“It has a lot of effect, because everything that is little disruptive gives some food for thought, ” said Gagnon. “It just brings awareness and education.”

Photo by Mishkat Hafiz.

The annual event started back in 2005, with only one parking space in San Francisco occupied by art and design studio Rebar. Now, people and organizations are taking over parking spaces in 35 countries around the world on every third Friday of September. This was the fifth year the event was held in Montreal.


Montreal’s beloved Rocky Horror ball is back

Philippe Spurrell has produced the Halloween show for 17 years

Eccentric, kinky, entertaining or over-the-top—whatever you call it, Montreal’s Rocky Horror Picture Show Halloween Ball is hard to forget. You may be familiar with the eponymous cult movie, but perhaps not with the iconic musical Halloween event, which is a challenge to describe.

Mix the enthusiasm of theatre with beloved movie characters.

“It’s one of those things that, when I describe it to people, they still have a puzzled look,” said Philippe Spurrell, who has produced and promoted the show for the last 17 years. “It’s basically the projection on a large screen in a movie theater of the 1975 film Rocky Horror Picture Show with a live cast on stage dressed like the characters that are projected on screen who move in perfect synchronization with actors in the movie,” said Spurrell.

A 40-year old cult classic, The Rocky Horror Picture Show—based on the 1973 musical stage production—is a satirical movie directed by Jim Sharman and starring now well-known actors such as Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon. Spurrell described the movie as a mix between parody and a homage to bad B-rated horror and science-fiction movies. At first it wasn’t a great success but the film eventually became a midnight movie sensation. Now known as having the longest-running theatrical release, the movie is screened all around the world every year. Our local Halloween event is actually the biggest in North America in terms of audience size. However, it has to do with more than just the numbers. “I like to think that we do it on the most spectacular level,“ said Spurrell.

An event that pairs live-action theatre with cult cinema.

Now boasting a cast of about 40 people, the show is bigger than ever. Circus acts, dance mash-ups and a costume contest hosted by Montreal underground figure Plastik Patrik are programed so as to entertain the audience before the main attraction. In addition,

there are a number of traditions in which the audience interacts with the movie and the performers. So what is so different than just watching the movie at home, you may ask? Actually, a whole lot.

The first important step of this “multimedia interactive film theatrical experience,” as Spurrell put it, is to know where you stand. If you are already familiar with the event, as are countless audience members, chances are that you remember the whole game of callbacks and props.

But if you are not, you happen to be what they affectionately call a “virgin.” Don’t worry, they won’t pry into your private life—well, not much anyway—since it’s just a nickname for people who have never attended the production before. For first-timers, it may feel at first like being at a party where you don’t know any of the people and inside jokes. Still, Spurrell said people should not be put off by this and give it a chance at least once. “It’s really its own kind of beast that you have to be there to really fully understand … To my knowledge there’s no course you can take, [like] Rocky 101, you just dive into it.”

Coming back to the concept of virginity, it can be said that experiencing the show for the first time is quite a lot like other initiations. “Most people’s first time can be absolutely thrilling or awkward,” said Spurrell.

People try this yearly event and then come back to it for an array of reasons. Surely it is a good way to have fun on Halloween, but for many attendees it can be more than that.

Both the movie and the events are intimately connected to the LGBTQ community and what it stands for. As the Rocky Horror Picture Show slogan states, “Don’t dream it, be it.” This can mean a lot of things, said Spurrell, but for some it’s a bit more than just becoming a rock star. While relating to people he talked to during his 17 years of producing the show, he explained that this event can often act as a gateway of sorts for people struggling with their own sexuality—a kind of safe haven where one can feel, at least for one night, a little bit more comfortable in their skin.

“Don’t dream about what you really want in terms of love and whatever, just be it,” said Spurrell. However, he still insisted that it’s also a good place to just have some fun on a night when, let’s say, straight, macho men might feel like wearing high heels and sexy jartelles for a change. “If there’s one context where it’s totally appropriate, this is it,” he said.

Be it for the unusual movie screening, for one hell of a Halloween party or just for the sake of experiencing something new, Montreal’s Rocky Horror Picture Show Halloween Ball offers you three nights where you get to be as unconventional as you want.


The Rocky Horror Picture Show Halloween Ball will be presented at Imperial Cinema on Oct. 29, 30 and 31 with two screenings per nights. A $5 student discount is offered on Thursday, Oct. 29. For tickets and more information, visit


* The print version of this article stated the author’s name was Robin Stanford, one of The Concordian’s staff writers, however, the correct author ‘s name for this article is Frédéric T. Muckle. We regret the error.


World Press Photo Favors Narratives Over Action

The exhibit at Bonsecours Market gives a snapshot of last year’s prestigious photojournalism

The World Press Photo exhibit is in town again until Sept. 27. Every year, photography and journalism aficionados have a chance to come and see the cream of the crop of last year’s press photos at the Bonsecours Market.

The photojournalism exhibition provides the attendees with a detailed look into what happened around the world last year. From the somewhat gruesome but necessary depiction of war and its realities, to mesmerizing pictures of Mother Nature’s strangest children, the World Press Photo exhibit offers an array of interesting subjects.

At first glance less gripping than last year’s show, the selection of prizewinning photos shows a tendency from the jury, at least for this exhibit, to privilege and award long-term projects that take a closer look at more intimate stories. This is evident when considering Danish photographer Mads Nissen’s prize-winning photo; a personal portrayal of LGBT’s problematic situation in Russia.

It ends up giving a vibe different from what the World Press Photo exhibit usually delivers: action-heavy and emotionally charged graphic images. For example, last year’s attendees may remember the “Final Embrace” by Taslima Akhter, a photograph of a Bangladeshi couple brought to an abrupt death when the factory where they worked collapsed on them. This kind of poignant photo is usually the landmark of the exhibit.

Senior Project Manager for the World Press Photo Amsterdam organization Paul Ruseler was present at the opening event. “It’s almost like a paradigm shift,” said Ruseler, commenting on the reorientation of this year’s exhibition.

This year’s winner was very different from past winners added Ruseler. “It’s clear that this is a very different image,” said Ruseler. “This picture is […] a very small story in a way.”

Still, this above-mentioned accent on long-term and more focused projects in opposition to timely “big news” events does not mean in any way that this year’s World Press Photo is not worthwhile. On the contrary, this change provides the recurrent exhibit-goer with a welcomed change of pace and focus.

In the end, the visitor can’t help but be confronted with an array of conflicting emotions when faced with what can be considered a quick but much-needed look at what goes on outside our own personal lives.

If an image can be worth a thousand words, the World Press Photo exhibit could be the most fascinating manuscript you’ll “read” this September.

Deadline: A sad glance at journalism’s contemporary tribulations

Photo by Frédéric T. Muckle

Overlooking this year’s selection is the Deadline exhibit, an enclosed collection on the top floor of the market. It tells the story of The Philadelphia Inquirer, where the artist’s father worked for years, and of the decaying situation in the newspaper industry.

Will Steacy, the American artist behind the Deadline exhibition, explained that we are currently losing a huge part of what made journalism so great.

“We lose a connection to our cities, to our society, and in my eyes, I think, in the end we ultimately lose ourselves,” said Steacy.

Part photographic reportage, part assemblage of archives and family memorabilia, the exhibit is presented in an unconventional way when compared to what you usually see in such exhibitions.

Steacy, who is self-admittedly a bit biased towards the benefits of a strong and healthy media industry since he comes from a family directly involved in the print medium, obviously has a strong connection to this exhibit that is at the same time both very personal and broad.

He also discussed how, without a dedicated press able to get to the bottom of things with all resources necessary, the public tends to turn to the easy, and somewhat lazy, sources such as Wikipedia. With the survival of long-term, work-intensive journalism in jeopardy, it’s democracy itself that will suffer said Steacy.

When asked whether this project is more of a nostalgic look into the past of print journalism rather than an accurate portrayal of today’s digitally focused reality, the American photographer simply answered that his exhibit expressed precisely the current grim situation and nothing else.

“If this cut continues to bleed, pretty soon we’ll only be left with an empty corpse, and this is a scary thought,” concluded Steacy.
The World Press Photo is open everyday until Sept. 27 at the Bonsecours Market. For more information on the exhibit and the World Press Photo organization, visit


News in brief

Your recap of the week’s news in the city, across the country, around the world – ending April 14th, 2015.


Discussing the journalism of war

Panel discusses dangers and triumphs of reporting from the field


News in Brief

Local, National, and International News from this week ending March 24th, 2015

Montreal in brief

Verdun’s “prohibition” soon to be lifted

Good news for lovers of ambrosia and the likes living in the Verdun borough: the reluctance of its administration to allow bars to establish themselves in the neighborhood seems to be a thing of the past. Le Devoir has announced that the borough’s decision to start opening new bars in the near future. Verdun allowed one bar, Benelux, to settle in its area in 2013 on certain conditions following a modification of its bar ban. This was the first bar to open in the borough in the last 100 years. The anti-alcohol sentiments originally stemmed from 19th century temperance laws.

Goodbye icy sidewalks

La Presse has reported that Ste-Catherine Street will most probably be equipped with heated sidewalks should amendments to planned renovations be passed. It was reported that the city’s administration added $15 million to its already announced $80 million budget estimates. If installed the heated sidewalks would make Ste-Catherine Street the first of its kind in Montreal. Similar renovations are reportedly considered in other Canadian cities. The technology is already in place in some major urban centers around the world, notably in Norway, Sweden and Japan. There will be a vote this upcoming week to approve or not the said budget estimates for the renovations.

No Aboriginal burial ground at construction site

The construction of a Montreal office tower by real-estate company Ivanhoé Cambridge has restarted after a 2-month lull after investigations have shown that it was not in fact situated over a possible Aboriginal burial ground. The Globe and Mail reported the company as ‘voluntarily stopping’ construction on the $200-million, 27-story building until an archaeological assessment was carried out. Some believe it still rests above the original Iroquois village of Hochelaga visited by Jacques Cartier back in 1535.

Nation in Brief
Bloc welcomes (separatist) foreigners

Bloc Quebecois leader Mario Beaulieu has responded to recent embarrassing comments by PQ-leadership hopeful Pierre Karl Péladeau about the danger of foreigners by saying he, on the other hand, would hold an intercultural gathering for Quebecers of all stripes and colours who support independence. PKP made a comment last week saying immigrants threatened the separatist movement and quickly backtracked. Global News reported that Beaulieu has instead said immigrants closely matched their vote based on whether they were assimilated into anglophone or francophone communities.

Happy birthday Odin!

A heart-warming tale came out of Peterborough, Ont. this week when young Odin, a 13-year-old teenager suffering from Asperger’s syndrome, got worldwide support after his failed birthday party was advertised on social media. His mother said they initially got no response to a birthday invitation at a bowling alley for her son, so she took it to Facebook. The responses went across the globe, including tweets from organizations like the Toronto Maple Leafs and Raptors, and Liberal party leader Justin Trudeau. Odin, whose condition made general interaction with other people difficult, reportedly received around 4,000 messages.

Toronto affordable housing fail

A campaign to build 1,250 affordable housing units in Toronto between 2010-2015 has ended with a grand total of a dozen completed units, or less than 1 per cent the original number. Global News reports Toronto’s city hall chalked it up to a lack of commitment and a change in municipal government in 2011, with Rob Ford saying the city shouldn’t tell developers to throw in affordable housing. The new mayor of the city has said there was nothing to do but go forward by better defining corporate expectations and the city’s housing needs.

World in Brief

23 killed in attack in Tunisian museum

Three gunmen shot and killed 23 people on March 18, including 18 foreign tourists, at a museum situated in Tunisia’s capital city, Tunis. Two of the alleged attackers were later located and killed after a gunfight with the police and security forces are on the hunt for a third surviving gunman on the run. The attack was later claimed by ISIS. The Guardian has reported that several high-ranking police officials and dignitaries were fired as a result of the insufficient security precautions taken. In 2011 Tunis served as the starting point of what is now known as the Arab Spring and has remained relatively stable compared to its neighbours.

UK brands genital piercings harmful

The UK’s Department of Health will classify any form of female genital piercing, even by consenting adult women, as mutilation or a form of ‘harmful procedure’. The Health Department said it would monitor such ‘abusive’ genital piercings in an effort to stamp out illegal female genital mutilation. Tattoo and piercing unions have meanwhile decried the move by pointing out they are in no way mutilation if performed willingly by adults. The BBC article estimates some 170,000 women and girls in UK as having undergone female genital mutilation.

France mandates green roofs

France ushered in a new law last Thursday requiring all new buildings built in commercial zones to have roofs at least partially covered by plants and/or solar panels. The Guardian reported that the consequences of the law will see better building heat retention during the year and better water retention, as well as being friendlier to the city’s wildlife. The original law called for the whole roof to be green but this was judged too expensive for businesses to accommodate. Paris planned to cut traffic in half this week and make public transport free due to the persistent smog appearing over the city but cancelled it after a cleaner weather prognoses.


ASFA debates member associations’ budgets

Resposibility over fee levy and upcoming byelections discussed at March 12 meeting

A recent meeting of the Arts and Science Federation of Associations (ASFA) concerned both the planned referendum question about raising ASFA’s fee levy, a referendum that failed in last semester’s byelections, and the question of who should pay the cost if the referendum question fails again.

It was put forward that a lack of executive advertising and sufficient awareness negatively impacted the campaign. Since member associations (MAs) are part of ASFA, the possibility was brought up that their budgets may be trimmed.

The discussion first started on a motion brought forward by Danick Carpenter, Vice-President Internal and Councilor of the Students of History at Concordia (SHAC).

Carpenter lobbied against adjusting MA budgets saying that putting more financial burden on the associations went against the spirit of ASFA and its members.

“The MAs shouldn’t necessarily be self-sustainable,” Carpenter said. “We’re not a business trying to make revenue.”

Councillor James Tyler Vaccaro noted that any cuts to MA budgets wouldn’t be ideal but that ASFA’s deficit of between $50-60,000 leaves the organization with few options.

“The conversation centred more on the fact some member associations seemed to feel quite entitled by the amount of money they get and they shouldn’t ever have any reductions in that amount,” said Vaccaro. He went on to say that MAs shouldn’t have to face cuts but disapproved of the mentality of MAs vs. ASFA executives.

Carpenter stressed the fact that indeed some cuts in MA’s budgets could be made, such as trimming the Special Project Fund, and that these financial changes could influence positively the final results of the upcoming referendum.

Carpenter said that in his opinion, “there should be a regulation to determine at least some basic returns from the MAs, because some of the bigger MAs pay a lot more in than what they get out.”

He said that this was probably not the end of things. “It’s probably going to be an on-going issue,” said Carpenter. “I think it’s a good thing that we’re having this discussion at ASFA.”


Muslim Student Association rebuffs ‘extremist’ TVA report

Concordia denies culling books from student library

On Feb. 27, TVA news network aired a report about Concordia’s Muslim Student Association’s (MSA) library, which is said to contain content from controversial Islamic authors who the report claims advocate wife beating and death to apostates and homosexuals.

The report mentioned three authors in particular: Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, and Abdur Raheem Green.

Concerns were raised by the Quebecor media outlet about the effect the books could possibly have on members of the MSA and students that read them.

Since then, the MSA has replied by saying they would accept the help of Concordia’s librarians in processing their collection and seeing if anything should be of concern.

“We’re getting some help in just cataloging the books and to draw a procedure of the purposes of the library,” said Ibrahim Abou Arab, MSA’s vice-president of external affairs. He went on to explain that at the majority of the above-mentioned authors held PhDs and were academics in Islamic studies and other departments.

“These books by Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips and Yusuf al-Qaradawi are found at McGill University, they are found at university of Toronto, University of Ottawa, even at Harvard University,” said Abou Arab.

He said some books may be more controversial than others but it does not mean that they should be removed. He says having “a book arguing a point and another book right beside it arguing a different point [is] the beauty of academics.”

He mentioned Hitler’s Mein Kampf as an example of a controversial work available to students in universities across Canada, including Concordia.

He stressed that the MSA was not defending in any way authors broadcasting extremist ideas. If future material considered “too extreme” was present in their library, there would not be a problem with removing it.

In the aftermath of the TVA report, media reactions criticized Concordia’s response and raised questions about the university censoring books.

Chris Mota, Concordia’s director of media relations, said that the university in no way whatsoever asked the MSA to remove any books from their library, as suggested in some media reports.

“The university will not be calling for the removal of any book from the MSA library. The MSA will decide the library’s contents. Media references to “culling” and “purging” are erroneous, and it is possible that nothing will be removed. We will let the process take its course.”

Concordia Student Union President Benjamin Prunty told The Concordian that in his opinion, the way the news was treated was an extension of some form of “Islamophobia in the media, and in other mediums,” and that “TVA is kindof adding to that very destructive tendency.”

His official statement called the university’s response too complacent for an unfair attack in an atmosphere of tension over religious accommodation.

Mota disagreed, saying that Concordia was quick to contact and discuss the matter with members of the MSA.

“We have been quite supportive of the MSA, we’ve reached out to them right away after the initial report and when they asked us for a meeting with our administration we did that, and we offered them whatever help we could give them,” she said.

Moving forward, Abou Arab hopes that this coverage will not give the wrong impression about his group or the students who frequent it: “If you’re looking for radical people, the MSA is the wrong place to look,” he said.


A full week of anti-austerity

Frigid weather remains, yet protests heat up

On Saturday, Feb. 28, what could be considered the closing protest of the eventful anti-austerity week started on a sunny afternoon at Place Émilie-Gamelin, practically hallowed ground for the city’s protest movements.


Austerity and the developmentally disabled

Montrealers bring attention to the perils of being disabled in a time of lesser opportunity
Tuesday protest

On Tuesday, Feb. 24, a protest organized by the Comité régional des associations pour la déficience intellectuelle (CRADI) took place near metro Place d’Armes and around the the Ministère de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité Sociale (MESS). CRADI is a coalition of Montreal-based organizations working for the rights and well-being of people dealing with developmental disabilities. The group of about 40 people peacefully walked up Saint-Urbain St. chanting, making a stop in front of the Palais de justice and the main building of MESS.

There was some resistance from the security staff of the building, but after a short and slightly heated argument the group was allowed to remain inside and to proceed with a song composed for the occasion by the Gang à Rambrou choir, an organization that provides art and performance workshops to people with developmental disabilities.

The protesters notably advocated for social and professional inclusion of people with disabilities, for example by providing them with job opportunities. Olivier Martin, coordinator of the Mouvement des Personnes Handicapées pour l’Accès des Services (PHAS), advocated in his speech for a stop to austerity measures that hurt organizations helping people with disabilities.

He made it clear that cuts make it more difficult for people that truly need and deserve the kind of help provided and promoted by organizations such as PHAS. “Cutting [the funding]…is to expose the people in a situation of handicap to poverty, vulnerability, and to isolation and exclusion,” Martin said.

Martin also stressed the fact that for the organizations and their employees, the cuts meant fewer people would be able to have access to employment. “The gel … makes it so that there are people that could work, but that end up not working.”

Mathieu Francoeur, another member of the PHAS movement who was present at the protest, explained that Tuesday’s march was part of “protests that we could call more sectorial that defend a specific milieu or a specific kind of people.”

He also mentioned the need for smaller movement like PHAS to take part in the larger movement against austerity that picked up steam this week in province-wide the movement.

“We find it important to include those actions in a more global fight against the neoliberalists, the economic compressions, and all that,” said Francoeur. “I think we need to do both. It’s complimentary.”

For more information on PHAS and their actions, visit

Separated by time and Space but united by purpose: Anti-austerity actions across the city. Photos by Andrej Ivanov, The Concordian.

Concordia Student Union News

$1.5 million more for CSU’s housing co-op

Student union’s project gets a welcome cash infusion from new donor

Concordia Student Union (CSU)’s cooperative student housing project has received a boost thanks to a $1.85-million partnership deal with the Chantier de L’Économie Sociale, a provincial collective promoting the social economy and affordable community housing initiatives.

Concretely, this could translate into a financial aid of up to $1.5 million from the collective that would have been otherwise borrowed from banks at an interest rate. Once the CSU’s $1.85 million commitment, the project’s estimated cost of slightly above $6 million will mean only around half of the total amount will have to be borrowed from traditional financial institutions.

Getting involved with social and solidarity economy

In a presentation that took place during last week’s CSU meeting, the Chantier’s Chief Executive Officer Nancy Neamtan presented what it meant to participate in the social and solidarity economy.

Described as an alternative to the traditional economic system mainly looking to create profits, this new approach to economic development is primarily focused on community participation and empowerment, and on individual and collective responsibility.

Neamtan stressed the fact that by participating in social and solidarity economy, investors and involved communities learn to “use money in a different way” so to effectively change the way the current economic structures work.

According to VP External and Advocacy Terry Wilkings, this project will operate under the idea of ‘patient capital’ that does not necessitate quick paybacks.

“We have a very unique service at the CSU, which is the off-campus Housing and Job Bank; other university student unions do not provide this level of service. However, repeatedly what we hear from the staff members and coordinators is that they’re servicing students when they’re already in crisis mode. Instead of lobbying the municipal government, what we would like to do is demonstrate feasible alternatives that replace the tenant-landlord relationship with cooperative student ownership,” he said.

What it means for Concordia students

At the next elections, the CSU will present to the student body a referendum question asking if they’re willing to approve the creation of a fund to be used in this above-mentioned housing project. It will also ask approval for a contribution of up to $1.85 million to the project from the student space fund.

For now, no precise timeline was offered by the CSU concerning the actual housing project, most probably due to the fact that it is still in the early stages. Once operational, it will take somewhere between 12 and 17 years to pay back, thanks to a unique and flexible payback schedule and depending on interest rate fluctuations which will see the banks being paid back first and the patient capital investors able to wait.

Since the building is an asset, once the loan is repaid it can be further leveraged to help fund for more student housing, thus perpetuating the cycle.

There are currently two examples of housing co-ops for Quebec students: in Sherbrooke and in Trois-Rivieres.

Concordia’s co-op housing rundown:

Cost, per room: $425-$450/room (80 per cent of median), including heating and electricity.

Where: Undetermined yet, but will be in a region with low median rent, but within a 20 minute radius from the downtown campus.

How big: 100-150 beds.

Structure: Self managing co-op, which means lower management and staff costs, but no front desk, meal plans, or security (unless the co-op is willing to pay more for those services).

Support: Budget accounts for administrative personnel for collecting accounting, rent, insurance coverage, reparation and maintenance.

Leases: 12-month leases, can be sublet, and can be renewed each year (unlike current student housing which forces tenants to move out after the first year.)

Governance: Nine-person board made up of six tenant-member directors, and three support-members.

To find out more, attend Concordia’s first student housing fair on Tuesday, Feb. 17 at the LB Atrium from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.


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