A Summer of Climate Catastrophes has forever changed my Position on Climate Change

A tale of two climate crises and how the effects of climate change differs across the world.

The first time I experienced temperatures above forty degrees Celsius was in July while I was representing Concordia at the Thessaloniki International Media Summer Academy in Greece. The second was two weeks ago after a heatwave in Montreal and parts of Quebec caused the city to experience record-high temperatures.

When I look back on this past summer, it seems that every significant experience that I had was somehow underscored by climate catastrophes. Whether it was going to the park while Montreal had the worst air quality in the world or exploring the CJ building as it flooded, it’s a stark reminder that the climate crisis is a part of our new reality.

Before this summer, my views on climate change could be summarised by the phrase “optimistic ignorance.” Don’t get me wrong, I knew that climate change was a major challenge facing humanity and would require tremendous social action to combat its worst of its ramifications. And yet, I still believed that the dire warnings of climate scientists espoused of dead zones and societal collapse would not come to pass.

The cognitive dissonance required to hold these two positions simultaneously could only come through my privilege and background. Experiencing the effects of climate change in two vastly different countries has provided me with a unique understanding of how our collective understanding of the climate crisis reflects our circumstances. 

In Quebec, the public’s response to record high temperatures was to demand for the provincial government to service all public schools with air conditioning. Meanwhile, in Greece, I watched as the people were forced to adapt their lifestyles to deal with the heat. Businesses and social services would close during the highest heat of the midday sun.

The most startling example of this occurred when I was in Athens during the peak of July’s heatwave. As I walked down the street, my self-centred concerns, anxieties, and frustrations regarding the temperatures were quickly humbled when I came across a refugee struggling to find shade in the city. Beside her was a young girl, barely over the age of 10, wearing a pitch black robe lying in the middle of the street, too weak to sit up. 

It was the first interaction I had with displaced peoples. It’s a scene that still haunts me to this day, a reality that most of us in the Global North will be sheltered from. A reality that has permanently altered my relationship to the climate crisis.

Despite my newfound perception of the climate crisis, I refuse to partake in climate nihilism, or the mindset that nothing can or will be done to address the current crisis. It’s infuriating to witness those in the Global North, who enjoy the advantages of our modern world while being shielded from the repercussions of their actions, readily accepting defeat.

It’s up to us to engage in the hard work that is needed to bring social and infrastructure reform to mitigate the worst effects of the climate crisis and embrace the sacrifices to our personal lives that will come with said changes. At the very least, we owe it to those who are the most affected to not give up.


A local Quebec flower farm is leading the way in the Slow Flowers Movement

Learn about the secret to growing healthy cut flowers

During the month of August, Au Beau Pré is a sight to see. Over 300 varieties of Dahlias are in full bloom. They come in every shape, size, colour and texture that one could only dream about. This flower field gives visitors the option to come and cut their own flowers to take home. Walking through the rows of the field, it could be hard deciding which Dahlias to add to your bouquet. 

The methods of production for flowers have always involved the use of pesticides, which in turn harm the people that produce them. 2,000 Canadian farms are trying to find better solutions to produce them organically, without pesticides. The Slow Flower Movement (SFM) is one of those remedies in terms of how farms treat their soil.

According to Flowers Canada Growers, there are over 1,600 flower producers in Canada. Flower farms cover over 75 million square feet of land combined. Among these flower producers is Sarah Beaupré Quenneville, a young entrepreneur heading her family’s beloved flower farm. Au Beau Pré flower farm sits in Saint Anicet, also known as “Quebec Florida” for its higher humid temperatures than the rest of the province. Au Beau Pré implements the SFM.

The secret to success for this flower farm is in their soil. “For the soil, we put compost every year or every two years depending on the crop,” Quenneville explained. 

According to Architectural Digest, the Slow Flowers Movement refers to the methodical preparation of soil before a seed is even planted. Farms across Quebec are slowly adopting this movement, like The Enfants Sauvages, among others.

Before Quenneville took on her family’s farm, her parents Roger and Lilianne were in charge and adopted the SFM. They started the Au Beau Pré farm back in 2007. 

Lillian Quenneville cutting off the roots of the dahlia bulbs Dalia Nardolillo/ THE CONCORDIAN

“This is my parent’s project. They were selling Dahlia flower bulbs for years,” Quenneville said. “Before, they specialized in wheat production and made grain based products.”

Growing up, Quenneville had no interest in the agricultural sector and she didn’t want to be as involved in the farm.

“I saw my dad working hours and hours on end, with no days off,” Quenneville recalled.

With a family of her own, Quenneville explained that she didn’t want her children to experience the same memories she had as a child. 

Quenneville studied communications during her undergrad and worked in media for a couple of years.Though she would sometimes help, Quenneville never envisioned  the farm as a potential career opportunity.

“With each year that passed, my parents kept on asking me, ‘Are you sure you don’t want to do anything with the land?’” Quenneville recalled. “I proceeded to telling them, ‘No it’s not my thing, it’s maybe yours but not mine.’” 

However, one day her mother told her about the endless possibilities of utilizing cut flowers. A cut flower is a bud or a flower that is cut from its bearing plant. Customers usually opt to buy cut flowers solely for decorative purposes, such as a bouquet. 

According to Slow Living LDN, the SFM aims to not only have a better understanding of the soil before a flower is planted but also a more mindful consumption of how they’re cut.

Dahlia Flowers in the summer Dalia Nardolillo/THE CONCORDIAN


“We discovered I had a certain talent with selling flowers. I always helped my parents during the summer. My parents always said, ‘You’re good with the flowers,’” Quenneville recalled. During the times where she couldn’t be as involved in the field, she would help her parents with the website and the online selling of the products. “My parents are not really good with selling their stuff online, they’re good producers but not very good sellers.”

For newer flower producers like Quenneville, ressources and helpful guides are always available. At Flower Canada Growers in Toronto, Pest Control specialist Cary Gates explains that the SFM may work for some flower farms but not all. 

“I don’t know if I see a lot of farms embracing that kind of approach,” Gates explained. “I am supportive of it, I just don’t know logistically if it is super functional, I see it for smaller acreages as being very achievable.”

Smaller farms like Au Beau Pré implement the utmost care into the soil before the Dahlia flower bulbs are even planted. “I really like the focus that farmers put into soil health,” Gates said. The care that is put into the soil equates to better quality flowers.

Quality control is also very important to the family. Roger and Lilianne make sure that the Dahlia flower bulbs don’t have any illnesses; however, sometimes unpredictable things can happen.

“One year we lost 75 per cent of our bulbs, we didn’t know exactly what happened in the fridge but they all rotted. I tell our customers I am not selling ‘Post-Its,’ we are selling living things and sometimes things like that can happen,” Quenneville recalled.

With Quenneville taking the reins on her parent’s farm in 2019 came its problems. “The first challenge I really faced was that I didn’t know how to produce flowers,” Quenneville said.

As the years progressed, Quenneville took more of an interest in the cut flowers business and became  a project that she eventually took on. Quenneville explained that at Au Beau Pré, they sell flowers when they are cut from the stem itself. When guests come to visit the field in the month of August, they pay per flower stem. 

With the help of various workshops through an American cut flower guru called Floret Flowers, Quenneville learnt the ins and outs of how to produce cut flowers. 

Learning how to produce cut flowers with Floret Flowers also taught Quenneville another important lesson of the SFM: how to produce flowers at the most optimal time.

Au Beau Pré tries to keep up with business year-round. The winter season preparations start in October, right at the first freeze.

“We do some chores with an old tractor, but most of the time we work the soil manually. This way we don’t mess with the soil structure too much and we can start working in the field faster in the spring,” Quenneville said.


One of the ways floral producers band together is through flower associations to help each other learn about sustainable ways of production.The Flowers Canada Growers Association (FCGA) has members all over Canada, including Bailey Dueker, owner of The Boondock Flower Farm in Saskatoon. 

Dueker got into the business by accident, she recounted. “This will be my fourth season growing in 2023. In the spring of 2019 I was sick of Facebook so I joined Instagram. I wanted to see flowers in my recommended page, so I started to follow all these flower farmers,” Dueker said. 

Seeing the flower farmer feeds inspired her to get into the field and she did not return to her regular job following her maternity leave. During the fall of 2019, Dueker did what she called a “soft-launch.” She acquired all the sunflowers and zinnias from her garden. Over the winter she spent her time buying seeds. “You really don’t know how much you don’t know until you get into it,” Dueker explained. 

Across Canada, flower farms are underestimated in terms of the leg work that it takes to produce. According to a Chatelaine article on the subject flowers have brought in an estimated $158 million in profit in 2021. 

FCGA represents floral producers all over Canada. Their members across Canada include greenhouse growers, distributors and importers/exporters all dealing with cut flowers, potted plants, bedding plants, cut greens and specialty suppliers and services to the industry.

Dueker explained that the main goal of being a part of the FCGA is providing more knowledge about the floral industry to others in the country. When you have a question that needs to be answered, there’s always someone there to help. “Connecting and marketing with other growers is the main idea of the association,” Dueker said.

Dueker also explained that there is a Facebook group for the association where members can connect with a community of flower growers.

According to Deuker, the future of cut flowers lies with the grassroots movement, which has a similar idea to the Slow Flowers movement. “I see a lot of people getting out of it in a couple of years because they come to realize that you have to do quite a bit of an investment to make it a living,” Dueker explained. Dueker has seen within the industry that perhaps selling to florists is maybe the way to go. 

Roger Quenneville preparing the Dahlia flower bulbs for winter at Au
Beau Pré Dalia Nardolillo/THE CONCORDIAN


As the farm plans for the future, Quenneville explained that the future lies within the flowers themselves. “I really want to try to make products from the flowers themselves. We worked a lot from the dried flowers and we liked working with them.”

Working with the dried flowers over the past summer was a trial and error process. We weren’t quite there in terms of the final product with the dried flower bouquets,” Quenneville recounted.  

Before perfecting any sort of dried flower she wants to master the production of them. 

“We try different things, of course our Dahlia bulbs are our most popular product. We try to keep the cut flowers during the summer. This year was the first time that we tried the tulips but I don’t want to get into making my own seeds because that’s its own production.”

Quenneville believes that the future of her business lies with online sales through her website. While visitors travel to Saint Anicet during the summer to get the cut flowers from the farm, Quenneville wants to have flower-based products that she can sell year-round to customers.

The cut flower industry is always changing and florists are always trying to adapt, whether that is in the different dried flower products or brushing up on their knowledge of how to better treat their soil. Gates explained that the future of the cut flowers isn’t going anywhere for now.  “I see the cut flower industry as pretty stable, I don’t know if I see it expanding exponentially like other ornamental commodities grow.”

Music On Repeat

On Repeat: summer edition

Our Music Editors share what they’ve been listening to over the summer.

Guillaume Laberge, Music Editor

Summer 2022 saw the birth of countless projects, some more memorable than others. Regardless, here are the songs I have been obsessed with for the past four months — hopefully you’ll discover something new here.

“Count Me Out” – Kendrick Lamar

Of the many songs I could have chosen from Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, “Count Me Out” is the one that stuck with me the most. There are so many layers and tempo switches to this track that it makes you sit on the edge of your seat for its entire duration.

“Bad Habit” – Steve Lacy

Whether it was on TikTok or on the radio, this song was inescapable over the summer, and for good reason. With “Bad Habit,” Steve Lacy crafted an indie pop anthem that contains arguably the catchiest chorus of the year.

“Big Ass Bracelet” – Westside Gunn

The Flygod himself dropped perhaps the underground rap song of the year with “Big Ass Bracelet.” The soul sample used in the track is so mesmerising that it took me at least ten listens to realize that he was saying something over this angelic drumless instrumental.

Honourable mentions

“Sugar/Tzu” – black midi

“Me Porto Bonito” – Bad Bunny

“Survivors Guilt” – Joey Bada$$

“Sticky” – Drake

“Chop (Nouvelle École)” – Fresh

Saro Hartounian, Assistant Music Editor

This summer brought about the release of many fantastic albums and singles (the new Kendrick record comes to mind), and I am pleased to showcase my favourite songs that were on repeat during my vacation to Gaspésie and Québec City!

“Auntie Diaries” – Kendrick Lamar

This song moved me to tears. Honestly. Regardless of the heavy topic it explores, I would play this during late summer nights where the pad synths would envelop my room. If you haven’t checked out this song I highly recommend it for the lyrics and the crescendo up until the very end.  

“hydrogen” – Sirintip  

Sirintip did not disappoint with her new single! The acid drum machine over ethereal jazzy vocals. There’s at least three tracks for her voice: two panning left and right and one in the background whispering a response from the former two. I know this is an oxymoron but hear me out… think “upbeat lounge.” 

“Magenta Mountain” – King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

This song off King Gizzard’s Omnium Gatherum album was a must-listen through the summer months, especially for long drives. The Minimoog’s bass paired with the oriental melody gives off the feeling of a monastery way up in the mountains. Shangri-La, anyone?

Honorable mentions

“Tippa My Tongue” – Red Hot Chili Peppers

“Welcome To Hell” – black midi 

“Shotgun” – Soccer Mommy 

“Complacency” – Tide Rider

“La Rivière” – Pomme


A short glimpse of this summer in music

Five albums that defined summer 2021.

With life returning to a more or less normal shape, summer 2021 was an eventful one in every sphere of society. We as fans got to reap the fruits of what artists had been creating over the past year and a half of COVID-19.

The Off-Season – J. Cole

Released May 14, 2021

J. Cole’s The Off-Season was long awaited, and it did not disappoint. As one of the most praised figures in hip hop, this album is an improvement on all fronts from his last project, KOD. With his first release since 2018, J. Cole made his return to form with this project. It leaves behind any memory of KOD, a project that left fans and critics with mixed feelings. This project is bolstered by Cole’s confident and assured delivery, appealing storytelling, and the triumphant instrumentals using many samples throughout the album. The Off-Season marks the first time Cole welcomed different artists to feature on his songs since Born Sinner in 2013. This adds a new dimension to the work that was missing from his previous records.

Trial track: “l e t . g o . m y . h a n d”

SOUR – Olivia Rodrigo 

Released May 21, 2021

From a Disney star to one of pop’s most promising young talents, Olivia Rodrigo’s ascension to fame was immediate. The hype around SOUR was immense with all three of her singles reaching the Billboard’s top ten songs chart. Two of them even sat at the number one spot with the worldwide hits “drivers license” and “good 4 u.” On SOUR, listeners get a glance at a deep hurt. Tender lyrics of torn feelings towards an ex-lover make Rodrigo a compelling narrator and most of the record’s success is due to this. The instrumentals are most of the time either mellow and charming piano and guitar ballads, or Paramore-influenced bangers. As a whole, SOUR is one of the defining records of the summer.

Trial track: “good 4 u”

CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST – Tyler, The Creator 

Released June 25, 2021

Two years after his Grammy-winning masterpiece IGOR, Tyler, The Creator came back swinging. CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST marks The Creator’s sixth studio album, and brings him back to rapping form. DJ Drama is featured all across the record with ad libs in a DJ Khaled fashion, but Drama is actually pleasant. Tyler Baudelaire, his alter ego for this record, raps mainly about travel, and pinpoints love as the main thing missing from his life now that he has reached mogul status as an artist. The production is absolutely stunning, as you would expect from a Tyler, The Creator project. Tyler surpasses himself on every beat by always adding a lot of layers to the mix. This album contains a strong mix of hard-hitting tracks and laid-back beats that see an honest Tyler rely more on storytelling. No matter what direction he decided to go in, every track on the record found a way to keep it interesting for the listener.


Vince Staples – Vince Staples

Released July 9, 2021

Vince Staples waited until his fourth studio album to release a self-titled record, which was most appropriate considering this new project might be his most introspective body of work to date. Staples, known for being a curious name in hip hop, has a style that stands out from your average rapper. His past release, Big Fish Theory, flirted with the lines between hip hop and house music. On Vince Staples, he continues to stand above the pack with clever one-liners and by opening up about himself, which all makes for an inviting listening experience. Production-wise, Staples plays it pretty safe here by using basic yet captivating trap flavoured instrumentals. The record’s short length makes for an album that is easily approachable.

Trial track: “TAKE ME HOME”

Sling – Clairo

Released July 16, 2021

Sling now marks the first record since Clairo’s 2019 breakout debut album, Immunity. Sling is a complete departure from the sound that got her bursting onto the scene. This new album adopts more of a singer/songwriter approach, one that builds off of the gentle and languid sounds of her debut project. The album’s production comes from none other than Jack Antonoff, a renowned producer whose influence is likely responsible for this sudden change of pace. Antonoff does a great job at making the most of a talented Clairo, with sounds that complement and hug her strengths, tying listeners into the album. A large portion of Sling is dedicated to Clairo’s dog, Joanie, which is also the name for one of the tracks. Sling’s best quality is this level of intimacy, and while it is simple and not too flashy, this is in the best way possible. 

Trial track: “Amoeba”


Graphic by James Fay


The future of the upcoming Olympic Games still unclear

Athletes and fans deserve more transparency from the organizers

Last summer was the first time ever that the Olympic Games have been postponed. However, it’s still unclear whether or not the event will take place in 2021.

Right now, it is said that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, which are still commonly called by their original year, will start on July 23. The problem is that there are still many questions to be answered, including if the public will be allowed on site during competitions.

Also, there have been recent reports saying that the Olympic Games were cancelled. The Times of London said the event was going to be cancelled because of COVID-19.

However, these reports were denied by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach and local Olympic Games organizers.

Despite Bach saying the goal was still to have the Olympic Games this summer, it brought confusion about whether or not it was possible to see the event totally cancelled, instead of postponed. The fact that more than 80 per cent of Japanese citizens surveyed in two recent polls think the Olympic Games should be postponed or cancelled, or think the Games won’t happen, also adds questions to the table.

We’re now five months away from Tokyo 2020, but it feels like we know as much about what’s going to happen as we did a few months ago. Of course, the pandemic is an unpredictable problem for the event’s organizers, which forces them to always consider last-minute changes. However, more transparency about the future of the 2020 Olympic Games would be great for athletes and fans.


Graphic by Rose-Marie Dion

Student Life

Legendary tears: Tree planting during a pandemic

In mid-May, I gathered with 20-some fellow tree planters in Bonaventure, Gaspésie for the same reasons as usual: money, outdoor living and friendships forged through adversity and isolation. The only difference in the formula this time was COVID-19.

Before the season started, we were informed of the procedures put in place to prevent an outbreak: allowing a maximum of two people in the same room at once, mandatory disinfections of the kitchen after use and the wearing of visors inside cars. I quickly realized that only the visor rule was being respected. Even this simple instruction only lasted about a week, though, after which car floors were littered with dirty and broken visors, among other planting-related objects. Quite frankly, it felt like we lived in a world unaffected by the pandemic.

Forestry activities were included in the list of essential services put together by the Canadian government last spring, which gave silviculture companies the go-ahead for their 2020 season (silviculture, in case you didn’t know, is the practice of controlling forest growth for timber production). This meant that thousands of young folks across the country were able to take on the ‘Canadian Rite of Passage,’ (a.k.a going tree planting) for another year. You’ve probably met one of them, even if you aren’t already a tree planter yourself. Some of them, like myself, are students at Concordia.

The following images are an explanatory testament to my 2020 season of tree planting, cut short due to an injury. All photos were taken on 35mm film with a Pentax K1000, a 50mm lens and a fascination with the job’s aesthetically pleasing sceneries.



Simply Scientific: Seasonal Allergies

As winter nears its end and spring is right around the corner, it’s the season of runny noses, sneezing and watery eyes for many people.

Whether it’s oak, grass or birch pollen that triggers an allergy, we can all agree they’re a pain. But how does an allergy come to be, and what can be done to treat such a reaction?

According to Heathline, an allergy, also known as allergic rhinitis or hay fever, is when the immune system overreacts to a foreign substance it sees as harmful. As a response, the immune system produces histamine, a chemical whose role is getting rid of the allergen that happens to be the cause of unpleasant symptoms.

These allergies are more heightened in spring than in any other season due to the fact that trees begin to pollinate. Examples of outdoor allergens include, but are not limited to, cedar, alder, horse chestnut, willow and poplar.

The common symptoms of seasonal allergies include a runny nose, watery eyes, itchy throat, ear congestion and an overproduction of mucus, while the rarer symptoms are coughing, wheezing, headache and shortness of breath.

Regarding treatment for seasonal allergies, there are a few ways to go about it with medication. Over-the-counter medications such as Zytec, Tylenol, Benadryl, Pfizer and nasal steroid sprays can relieve and lighten the burden of allergies. However, these types of medicine can cause side effects like dizziness, drowsiness and confusion.

In very severe cases of allergies, allergy shots may be recommended by a doctor. If medicine isn’t your cup of tea, there are alternative treatment methods like the consumption of vitamin C or Lactobacillus acidophilus, a bacteria found in yogurt.

Don’t let allergies stop you from enjoying spring and summer after such a long time in wintry darkness!


Graphic by @sundaeghost


The soundtrack to my summer

5 songs describing the highs and lows of a student’s summer

Summer’s officially over with the fall semester up and running again. I did a little reminiscing and compiled the five songs I had on repeat for the past four months, to graze over before the real grind begins. Maybe you can listen to them too while you compile photosets of your summer extravaganzas.

“Cattails” – Big Thief

This was the perfect song to lounge around on sunny afternoons in the park. From Big Thief’s new album UFOF, nature is a central theme but this is definitely the warmest track on the album. Maybe it was the lyric “You’ll be riding that train in late June/With the windows wide by side,” or the simple acoustic guitar work and light drumming created a sense of light motion- the way we should all move about in summer.

“Willow’s Song” – Magnet

I find the summer is also the perfect time to binge-watch movies. Around the time of the summer solstice, I decided it was a good time to watch The Wicker Man again, a classic folk-horror film about a policeman who investigates a murder case in a Scottish pagan town during the summer solstice. “Willow’s Song” is a slow lullaby/love-song from the film that perfectly fits the whimsical and carefree nature of summer on the quieter warm nights.

“Tears” – Nilufer Yanya

This song is about embracing your sensitivities with flare. I don’t know about you but I always get a little emotional during the summer months – there’s almost too much time to sit around and think. But this song inspired me to embrace my emotional side. The production is very 80s-synth inspired, with a colourful and bouncy sound. It definitely pumped me up to leave the house on those inevitable low-mood summer days. Nilufar Yanya’s debut album Miss Universe, which came out in March, is full of other tracks that made it to my summer listening list.

“Champagne Coast” – Blood Orange

I listen to this song almost every summer- it just reminds me of a steamy summer romance with the backdrops of a hazy orange and pink sunset. Something to do with Devante Hynes’ dreamy synths and guitar licks make it all the more sensual, opening up the possibilities of a romance only summer could bless you with.

“Dress You Up” – Madonna

I’d listen to this classic dance-pop song on hot summer nights. I think it’s no coincidence that I felt the need to listen to this when Leo season started up – all the glamour in the air and feeling like the center of attention. This drumbeat-driven track has an iconic 80s guitar solo and backing choir that screams Madonna, and you can’t go wrong with Madonna when you want to spend the summer night dancing.


Food trucks deserve a better future

Exploring the laws that restrict the industry from being a larger part of Montreal’s food scene

When was the last time you ate at a food truck? Have you ever even seen a food truck in real life? I moved to Montreal three years ago and I haven’t seen one until I went to the Salada Market last weekend. The old Salada tea factory on Côte-de-Liesse has welcomed 10 food trucks to host an indoor pop-up event every Friday and Saturday from March 8 to April 27, according to CBC. The Quebec Street Food Association organized the event to extend the six-month-long food truck season cut short by winter.

If it weren’t for this event, I would have never eaten at a food truck. It’s not that I dislike food trucks; I find the food offered is somewhere between fast food and fancy cuisine. I was never particularly drawn to eating at a food truck. Honestly, I didn’t even know food trucks existed in Montreal because I never saw one.

A second Le Gras Dur food truck installed outside the Salada Market, in case the truck currently installed inside breaks. Photo by Lili Testemale.

The food truck industry doesn’t have it easy. The old regulations imposed by Montreal limit food trucks’ ability to reach their clients. The current regulations were imposed in 2013, after a 66-year ban on food trucks was lifted, according to The Globe and Mail. The ban began in 1947 for sanitary reasons, and food trucks had to remain 50 meters away from restaurants. They were kept far from popular locations and from Montrealers.

How would I have encountered a food truck if I was not aware of their existence, especially if they are located far from commercial areas? I do understand this law was, I believe, to ensure food trucks weren’t stealing restaurants’ clientele. In my opinion, both attract different types of clients. Saying food trucks are competing against restaurants is like comparing a Toyota Corolla with a Mustang. They are technically both cars but driving a Mustang and a Toyota Corolla are two different experiences.

But what makes it easier is when a client knows what they want. “A client has an idea in mind,” said the owner of Boîte à Fromages, Alexandra Bonnet. “They know if they want the fast experience of a food truck. The client is the master.” Bonnet doesn’t consider the 50-meter law to be a threat to her business. She trusts the customers will eat at her truck because they genuinely want to experience her food.

If I were in charge, I would let food trucks decide which location is suitable to them. Food truck owners know who their typical clients are and can decide which location will be more profitable. While I was collecting Montrealers’ opinions about food trucks at the Salada Market, I met tourists from the Philippines, Germany and France who decided to make the event part of their trip. Food trucks help tourism and deserve more publicity to encourage locals to experience their food.

Claire Duby Riou receiving her order of poutine from Jerry Foodtruck at the Salada Market on Friday, March 29. Photo by Lili Testemale.

Disregarding the unfavorable locations, the 33 food trucks registered in Montreal at the beginning of last summer were scrambling to find a site to install. In 2017, six boroughs offered sites for food trucks: Ville-Marie, Outremont, Vermont, Sud-Ouest, Mercier-Hochelaga and Rosemont-La-Patrie.

In 2018, only 3 boroughs offered locations for food trucks because of the lack of clientele according to CBC. I lived in Lasalle, situated next to Verdun, for two years, and not once did I encounter a food truck. The secluded locations deprived me of enjoying Le Gras Dur’s donut burgers.

On March 14, the Mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante, announced new regulations for food trucks to help the struggling industry, according to the Montreal Gazette. “I find this year’s new law makes it even easier for us,” said the owner of Das Food Truck, Annie Clavette. “It’s going to be a lot easier to have access to places where the clientele is present.”

The new regulations will place the responsibility on boroughs to reach out to the Quebec Street Food Association to communicate their interest in welcoming food trucks, said Clavette. The Quebec Street Food Association then contacts food trucks offering them a spot to install.

Each borough will choose one location for all the food trucks to set up during the summer, disregarding the 50-meter-law, explained Clavette. “Instead of being 50 meters from success, we’ll be closer to the population,” Clavette said. “[Are food trucks] accessible now with the new law? No,” said a customer at the Salada Market, Marie Gauthier. “They’re all in the same place at the same time.”

In the past, food trucks would be distributed across the borough. Now, they will be grouped in a specific location, making it difficult for every resident to come across them––especially in a larger borough. This problem is similar to the 50-meter law. If clients don’t actively want to eat at a food truck, they might never know they exist unless they happen to come across one. “For us, what guarantees our income are events,” said Clavette.

As dinner time approaches, customers sit down at picnic tables to enjoy their unique snacks and meals from Quebec’s top food trucks. Photo by Lili Testemale.

Events like First Friday’s at the Parc Olympique attract Montrealers and tourists. In my opinion, the wide selection of food, activities and DJs makes it worth traveling to the event. I believe the city is trying to replicate these events by bringing food trucks together. The variety of food available could encourage Montrealers to travel to specific locations. Maybe I’m just considering the possibility of enjoying a raclette styled meal from Boîte à Fromages followed by a delicious cookie monster ice cream from Le Casse-Glace. The benefits of these new regulations will be apparent during this year’s food truck season which begins in May.

Photos by Lili Testemale.


Keep Concordia in mind this summer

It’s the end of another great year at The Concordian. While we’re sad to say goodbye, we thought we could dedicate this final editorial to the important issues that have been discussed on campus throughout the year.

We know how easy (and satisfying) it is to finally leave exam halls, submit final assignments and close the doors on Concordia at the end of each semester. It’s an exhilarating feeling to embark on our summer vacations, whether they consist of binge-watching Netflix or travelling the world. But, we at The Concordian think it’s vital to keep some things in mind even while we step away from our university this summer.

This year was…eventful, to say the least. We’re proud to have covered and highlighted important issues in our newspaper, from the significance of sustainable foods, to Concordia’s ways of handling sexual misconduct allegations. We think it’s important to leave you with a few key issues to keep in mind while away from Concordia.

First, the Task Force on Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Violence will be taking place until May 2018. These allegations regarding Concordia’s creative writing department were significant in raising awareness about sexual misconduct at our university. It highlighted how power abuses can lead to dangerous environments for students. Ultimately, it opened our eyes to how Concordia can sometimes fail at addressing such allegations in the first place.

Although we won’t be surrounded by the news every day this summer, it’s still important to check up on the Task Force’s progress addressing sexual misconduct at our institution. It’s our responsibility, not only as students, but as citizens, to remain aware and engaged in these issues at our university. While we commend Concordia students for speaking out against sexual violence and shedding light on this issue throughout the year, we hope students can continue to talk about sexual assault every day—since, unfortunately, it happens quite frequently.

We also hope Concordia students remain interested in the Concordia Student Union’s (CSU) Daycare and Nursery Project. Although it was initially proposed in 2011, and has experienced many setbacks such as obtaining construction permits, we at The Concordian are still keeping an eye out for the project’s final establishment. According to a 2017 article by The Concordian, the daycare was supposed to open in March 2018. As we’re already into the month of April, it’s clear to see the project is still experiencing difficulties and obstacles.

The daycare would be an outstanding achievement by the CSU, and more importantly, it would help student-parents feel more supported by the school. According to a study commissioned by Concordia in 2011, student-parents comprise about 10 per cent of our university’s population. That 10 per cent of students are more likely to feel stressed by missing classes and exams and handing assignments in late because of their responsibilities as parents. This is all due to the university’s lack of safe and affordable childcare options, which is why CSU’s daycare project is so important.

We at The Concordian hope that this daycare can be established in the upcoming months. We hope students can continue to talk about this project, support it and help actualize it. It would be extremely beneficial for so many student-parents, and it will be a positive addition to our school.

There are many important discussions and projects happening at Concordia. Throughout the year, we saw students speaking out against unpaid internships, the importance of voting and environmental abuses. One such group highlighting environmental abuses is Divest Concordia, an initiative that calls on our university to end its investments in fossil fuels. The group has called on the university to make a decision on divestment and to announce whether or not they will be taking concrete steps towards more environmentally-friendly investing. Unfortunately, however, Concordia has been postponing the announcement—and still has yet to comment on its divestment. We believe that even though Concordia hasn’t made an announcement yet, we cannot forget about Divest Concordia and its important stance. We need to support such groups and initiatives in order to better our time at Concordia, and to contribute positively to our world.

So this summer, keep the conversation going. Keep speaking out against sexual assault; keep shedding light on racism and discrimination; keep supporting groups pushing for a better university; remind yourself to check up on Concordia’s steps in building a better environment for students. We know how easy it is to say goodbye, but we at The Concordian hope you choose to keep our university in mind this summer.

Graphic by Zeze Le Lin


Best albums of the summer

The summer heat has reached peak levels, but these albums can withstand the warmth. Here are the best albums released this summer

Elder – Reflections of a Floating World (Armageddon Record Shop)

On Reflections of a Floating World, Boston stoner metal outfit Elder encompasses cinematic grandiosity with a tightly-wound, six-song barrage. The result is an album which encapsulates boundless creativity through a refined sense of mood and composition.

Opening tracks “Sanctuary” and “The Falling Veil” counteract bullet-proof guitar riffs with ethereal post-rock fingerpicking. The sounds that echo throughout the album transport listeners to sonic realms where nothing is familiar, but the surrounding environment nonetheless begs observation.

SZA – Ctrl (Top Dawg Entertainment)

SZA’s remarkable second outing with Top Dawg Entertainment shines like a beam from heaven. At its core, Ctrl is an R&B album. Upon closer listening, however, subtle embellishments are revealed that draw nods from all genres of music. Tinges of neo soul and guitar pop permeate these tracks about love and loss. Sonically, the album channels a pristine quality of its own, but really, it’s SZA’s disarming and ever-confident vocals that take centre stage.

Billy Woods – Known Unknowns (Backwoodz Studioz)

Known Unknowns is a bleak exploration of the black American experience. A New York native, Billy Woods’s strident honesty regarding the history of grief in black America is akin to Kendrick Lamar’s masterful To Pimp A Butterfly. But whereas the latter album relies on empathy, the unmitigated expressionism of Known Unknowns feels strikingly tangible. For Woods, it’s not enough for the listener to experience his anguish. He wants you to feel dejection. The album plays into the fact that every generation of artists in every medium tries to be more authentic than the artists before them. And in hip hop, that loosely translates into whose experiences hold more validity and weight. This, in addition to the rhythmic staccato Woods raps with, results in a brutally sincere and accomplished album.

DJ Sports – Modern Species (Firecracker)

Modern Species is a hotchpotch of enigmatic sounds coupled with a devout reverence for 90s house music. What really ties these influences together, though, is the laser-sharp production savvy of Milán Zaks and his brother, Central. Don’t be fooled — Modern Species is more than just a charming throwback. The album harnesses familiar motifs, but its tracks are executed with a varied sonic palette that combines equal parts from the past and not-so-distant future. These guys are tinkering their fingers to the proverbial bone.

Fleet Foxes – Crack-Up­ (Nonesuch Records Inc.)

After a six-year hiatus, Fleet Foxes return with its most ambitious statement yet. Crack-Up is equal parts challenging and engrossing, but still serves as a welcome addition to the Fleet Foxes canon. The album delves into experimental territory by way of long-winding guitar noodling that usually finishes with a lofty crescendo. Sure, these moments are pretentious, but the Seattle band tackles this messy splendor with natural finesse. This is thanks to the album’s sprawling instrumentation, which is beefed up by gorgeously ornate strings and woodwinds. Yet, despite all its over-inflated moments, Crack-Up manages to establish a newfound artistic maturity in Fleet Foxes.


Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory (Def Jam Recordings)

Synthesizing U.K. electronic textures with his singular rap flow, Vince Staples’ triumphant Big Fish Theory chronicles the ennui that comes with transcending amateur status — specifically in the rap game. Enlisting the warped stylings of producers Sophie and Flume, as well as feature spots from Juicy J and Kendrick Lamar, Big Fish Theory just goes to show that Vince Staples is the most hopeful nihilist working in the industry.

Laurel Halo – Dust (Hyperdub)

Laurel Halo’s Dust defies classification but distills her diverse gamut of influences with seamless precision. While her electro-centric sound remains intact, there’s a free-for-all attitude to Dust that feels completely organic. Dexterous-free jazz freakouts and funk instrumentation intermingle on these tracks like peanut butter and jelly. Halo’s electronic flourishes still manage to navigate the album with ease, which really come through in the album’s production.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Murder of the Universe (ATO Records)

Murder of the Universe is a concept album divided into three epics. Each story is tied together by an idiosyncratic narrative that’s read aloud by a lethal female cyborg. The album’s fried-out progressive rock aesthetic is augmented by the raw and disjointed psych-rock King Gizz is known for.

Jay-Z – 4:44 (ROC Nation LLC)

Jay-Z’s 13th studio album reads like a comprehensive confession. In 2016, Jay-Z’s wife Beyoncé released her breakthrough masterwork, Lemonade. In a lot of ways, 4:44 is a response to Lemonade. On it, Jay-Z laments his personal faults while addressing intergenerational friction in modern hip hop. The album draws its power from Jay-Z’s dissatisfaction with the artificiality of mainstream rappers. It’s an intensely personal effort, but at the same time, the artist’s bars feel like anecdotes finding redemption in vulnerability. 4:44 is very much an ode to marital fidelity, but Jay-Z doesn’t leave room for listeners to scrutinize his mistakes. He already did it for us.

Broken Social Scene – Hug Of Thunder (Arts & Crafts)

On Broken Social Scene’s first album in seven years, the band condenses their best attributes into a titan-sized album. Hug Of Thunder, like its name implies, is replete with infectious hooks and sparkling neon synths. It’s a surprisingly solid effort, especially for a band that hit its stride in the midst of the early 2000s indie wars between contemporaries such as Arcade Fire and Interpol. The album bleeds confidence and is bulletproof indie pop at its best. I guess you have to reinvent the wheel every once in a while to find new artistic essence.

Graphics by ZeZé Le Lin

Student Life

A Summer’s Tale

An ode to the season of warm nights, light reads, and many memories

Summer in the Interstices                        

Why, summer has a tendency,

With boisterous, bold temerity,

To carry those from overseas,

Who – to Montreal are bound.

As tourists flock, they shuffle feet,

And dawdle down Ste-Catherine Street,

Their hands at ends to spend a treat,

On the wonders that are found.

As sunshine grazes milky skin,

She melts the heart of Scrooge within,

Yet streets are tinted with chagrin,

For ears prick – at curious sound.

With squeals escaping from the crane,

Construction works bring little pain,

Poor yellow bird whose neck is strained,

Lifting high above the ground.

The Mount has traded wintry cloak,

Instead for trees that boast and gloat,

But soon they too must change their coat,

For fall is near around.

And as leaves part, we ought return,

Our nose to books; we’re taught to learn,

Inflated sums we got to earn,

To splurge – when summer’s back in town.

By Joshua De Costa


I Turned 19

All my hometown friends are watching me,

As I watch them from the shore’s edge.

“Are you doing okay, Jules?” someone calls out,

And I realize how hopeless I must look.

I’m trying to crab walk out of the water to where it meets dry land,

But the waves keep pushing me down.

The rocks aren’t balanced enough to let me stand.

The rocks have too many barnacles to let me kneel.

So I’m just shuffling along until I find a rock,

Big enough and bare enough to sit on.

I stay there and breathe for a minute

Before tripping my way back up the beach.

“Are you good there, Buddy?” someone else asks,

As I sit back down on a log with the group.

I look at my legs and there is blood dripping down,

My calves and feet from barnacles scraping my skin.

I put Band-Aids on and blow out candles,

And everyone helps me celebrate another year,

Of being beat up by the same beaches since childhood,

And another year of thinking I’m too good for Aqua Socks.

By Juliet Booker

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