Panache et bois rond
From partnerships to collaborations, one thing led to another, and Panache et bois rond took Rue Wellington by storm. The street closes for the occasion, with food and music that are very popular with its regulars.
"When we added food to the bill in 2013, we had run out by 12:15 ... a great problem to have!" recalled SDC Verdun Executive Director Billy Walsh.
Now, there's more food than ever, thanks to the participation of a number of restaurant owners, who were asked to reinvent basic sugar shack dishes. They joyfully took the challenge, including participating Caribbean and Peruvian restaurants...
THE PEOPLE OF THE DAY ARRIVE
To paraphrase the lyrics of a song by one of the groups who will be performing, Les charbonniers de l'enfer, "Les gens du jour" – the people of the day – will arrive directly at the event, thanks to the De l'Église metro.
"It’s better to take public transportation, especially since people come directly out onto Wellington when they exit the metro. Even though 60% of attendees come from outside Verdun, the event is an opportunity for Verdunites to chat with their neighbours and get to know other parents outside school. A chance to be good neighbours," said Walsh.
In collaboration with Arrondissement de Verdun, the music portion that was developed last year is even better this year, with artists who include Mara Tremblay, Alaclair Ensemble, André Lejeune, Les charbonniers de l'enfer, Pépé et sa guitare, and many more.
"There's something for everyone, and I'm really happy with our eclectic lineup."
What makes the event unique is the organizers' desire to create an authentic atmosphere by avoiding the use of plastic and building real cabins out of wood and sheet metal, and using recycled Christmas trees to create a period decor. "We're working hard to make everything work and the response has been very positive. It's a beautiful moment, the end of winter and the beginning of spring. When it's sunny and five degrees outside, we're full! People want to be outside," said Walsh.
This year, there will be a new attraction for families – a special kids' zone in the neighbourhood church. There's a little farmhouse, a cabin-building game with scouts, maple taffy and tools for real woodcutting.
"With Panache et bois rond, we are offering activities themed around the woods and Québec's oral tradition, but by updating the clichés," concluded Walsh.