Saturday, May 15, 2021
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Nutrition for the soul served up at Empty Bowls


By Rhonda Massad

The Bread Basket, a non profit organization based in Pointe Claire, runs food security initiatives to empower people to feed themselves and their families. For the first time, on April 18, the Bread Basket hosted an Empty Bowls fundraiser event to help expand their programming to vulnerable citizens in the south of the West Island, especially those living below the poverty line. The event raised more than $7,000.

The Pointe Claire church, St. Columba, was packed with supporters at $25 a head at both lunch and dinner servings.  Each participant received a warm bowl of soup in a hand crafted pottery bowl donated by local crafters. Fresh bread was served and live Irish tunes played.

The spirit of giving was alive when local business owner, Steph Tanguay, stepped up to the plate to donate tickets to a couple who could not afford to attend the event.

“I did not realize there was food security issues on the West Island,” Concept 72 owner stated in an interview with The Suburban, “ When I think of growing up on the West Island poverty is not one of the things that comes to mind.  When I heard from a friend that people were unable to attend the event due to financial restrictions, I thought this was a very obvious way to give back.”

According to executive director of the Bread Basket, Lucy Baum, the funds raised will go to much needed expansion of the programs hosted each week.

Bread Basket Lac-St-Louis runs food and kitchen education programs in four locations on the West Island at a cost of $2.00 participation fee on Friday mornings. A qualified dietician leads participants in creating up to three nutritional and budget-conscious meals. They plan for an additional portions of each meal to take home.

“Learning how to cook with the right items is an important part of what we teach,”  Baum told The Suburban in an interview. “ We help people understand how to stretch their food dollar in order to be able to cook a budget healthy meal for the entire family.”

“Most of our customers come to us because they are struggling with food security.” Baum said. “They come to us because they can get a good meal and take left overs home with them.  Often it is also a chance to break isolation.”

To combat the problem of food insecurity, the Bread Basket works collaboratively and in partnership with municipalities, community organizations and the business community to reach those in need and to foster innovative and effective solutions.

Information on The Bread Basket can be found at

Lieutenant Governor Medal goes to Kirkland’s Sarina Lalla


by Rhonda Massad

Collège Gérald Godin’s graduating student, Sarina Lalla, was awarded the Lieutenant Governor Medal by the Honourable Pierre Duchesne at a ceremony on April 18.

The medal is awarded to Quebecers recognized for their involvement, determination and constant striving to have a positive influence in their community.

At 19, Sarina Lalla met the criteria for the medal with a long list of community involvement both in and out of school. Lalla is a classical pianist and vocalist, writer and community activist.

Lalla is currently working as an ambassador for the Canadian Young Scientist Journal and hopes to publish an article in conjunction with The Montreal Children’s Hospital’s oncology department. She actively writes for the school newspaper, is the president of the student association and volunteers at the Lakeshore General Hospital as a secretary in their pathology lab.

This spring, Lalla’s fundraising project was chosen in the West Island Community Shares, Y2 contest for young fundraisers on the West Island.  She won a $500 scholarship and an additional $500 to donate to a charity of her choice.  She chose West Island Caner Wellness Center in Beaconsfield.

Her fundraising project, Color My Community Marathon, will become a reality this coming May 11 at Collège Gérald Godin at 11 a.m.

In partnership with our Y2- Youth Empowering Youth program and Cégep Gérald Godin, this 5k/3k walk or run will take place at the main campus of the Cégep with all the proceeds going to West Island Community Shares. Throughout the run colored paint will be thrown on the runners.

JAC Foundation Cabaret evening raises $4,000

JAC cabaret

by Rhonda Massad

John Abbott College foundation hosted a fun filled Cabaret evening in March that raised more than $4,000 for student financial assistance as well as the Theatre department.  The production of Carbaret based on the story about Cliff Bradshaw, a bi-sexual American author comes to Berlin, Germany in January of 1933 was performed by the JAC theatre department.

The $40 ticket price granted you access to the cocktail and art show, reserved seating in the theatre, and a tax receipt for the eligible portion. During the cocktail guests got to enjoy an exhibit of student work, including some video documentaries, posters addressing social issues, sculptures, sketches, paintings, theatre costumes, while being entertained by a student musician.

Cocktails were sponsored by CIBC, Rigaud vineyard, La Romance du Vin Vignoble and Bierbrier Beer, a Montreal microbrewery. During the cocktail guests had a chance to view some work of art from JAC students in the Creative Arts, Visual Arts, and Publication Design & Hypermedia Technology Programs.

The Theatre Department, will send 16 students to Edinburgh this August, for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where they will be premiering their own play about the shooting at Polytechnique 25 years ago.

Established in 1999, the John Abbott College Foundation was created to support the College’s mission to provide an excellent education for its students within a stimulating learning environment that will enhance their development and potential for success in society.

by Rhonda Massad

Nine year old Beaconsfield boy signs publishing deal

Elliott Seah

by Rhonda Massad

When The Suburban caught up with nine year old  Beaconhill resident Elliott Seah he had just finished a day of school at the grade five level and his daily cello practice.  Elliott was anxious to discuss his latest endeavour, the publication of his book Petit guide des dinosaures.

Elliott’s book, to be published this coming October by Éditions MultiMondes, will have 48 pages and consist of images and text that will hopefully fill the void in non-fiction reading that according to Elliott was lacking.

“My love for palaeontology grew when my dad introduced me to dinosaurs when I was 4,” Elliott told The Suburban in an interview, “I felt there were not enough books for my level.”

As part of a school assignment in the gifted program at Marguerite Bourgeois elementary school, Elliott had to write a book that would remain in the school library. As part of the research process Elliott consulted on FaceTime once a week, with Canada Research Chair in Vertebrate Palaeontology, Hans Larsson.

According to Elliott’s mom, elementary school teacher Isabelle Champagne, it was Hans Larsson who suggested that Elliott bring the book down to the Redpath Museum to show it off at the 60th annual Conference of Canadian Palaeontologists.

“It was at the conference that many palaeontologists wanted a copy of the book and suggested we try to get it published,” Champagne explained, “We were very excited when we brought the project book to the book show at Place Bonaventure last fall, Elliott got three offers.”

The book will be launched at Elliott’s school in October.

“I am working on a blog/website with my parents to go with the book so I can keep people updated on the most recent discoveries in Palaeontology,” Elliott reported.

Cloverdale residents in Peril


by Jim Morrison

Blake S. is 58 years old. He has lived in the Cloverdale housing complex in Pierrefonds the past 20 years. He suffers from a disability. He survives on $ 700.00 a month, with his wife, in a 4 ½ main floor apartment.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is ending its subsidized funding in October, 2015. Blake receives $400.00 a month from this subsidy. His monthly budget is affected as his medical bills add up to 5% of money received.

The Cooperative habitation Cloverdale, funded by the Societe habitation du Quebec (SHQ), is a Non-Profit Organization created by community members in 1999 at a moment, when tenants had bought one third of the building complex. Since then, the Coop owns and manages several buildings working in renovations with the Direction de habitation SHQ and with the borough.

The Project Reno VI is investing more than $ 2 Million in renovations covering approximately 40 buildings with 900 apartments which cover the Cloverdale project.

Blake signed a two year lease, but was forced to move due to renovations. His rent for a 5 ½ at the old building was $500.00. His present 4 ½ costs $560.00. Parking is an additional $10 per month. The city subsidy is supposed to cover 25% of household income based on income tax.

“There is an opportunity in joining the Coop to alleviate the costs, but it costs $200 a year to become a member. The apartments are in terrible conditions. The restorations are at minimum standard,” said Blake.

Blake requires a main floor dwelling due to his disability. He was advised from the Coop of priority upon the return to his old building. He is not confident this will occur.

“Visibly shaken, he said, “They move us around like cattle. I want to stay in Cloverdale because I am close to my doctor, my pharmacist, my daughter and grandchildren,”

Blake’s story is not unique. It is a reflection of the stark peril facing Cloverdale residents.

Discover Guiding in Québec with the fourth annual Festi- Guides celebration

Girl Guides of Canada

Girl Guides of Canada – Guides du Canada invites you to:

Discover Guiding in Québec with the fourth annual Festi- Guides celebration

Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Québec – Girl Guides of Canada Québec Council is hosting Festi-Guides 2015, a FREE event May 2nd where the general public is invited to discover how Girl Guides of Canada empowers girls to be confident, resourceful and courageous, and to make a difference in the world.

In its fourth year, Festi-Guides will offer a sampling of all the interesting activities and opportunities that represent Guiding, with the support of the city of Dollard-des-Ormeaux. Activities include camping skills and orienteering, science activities, community service projects, nature exploration and active games. Festi-Guides will also launch a book drive as part of GGC’s National Service Project Des mots en action – Words in Action where attendees are invited to bring books and school supplies to donate to

communities in need across Québec.

For information, please contact:

Ali Moenck

WHAT : Festi-Guides –Flagship event of the year for Québec Girl Guides

WHO :Girl Guides of Canada-Guides du Canada – Québec Council, with the support of the town of Dollard-des-Ormeaux

WHERE : Centennial Park, rue Lake, Dollard-des-Ormeaux

WHEN : Saturday, May 2nd, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

About Girl Guides of Canada-Guides du Canada

For over 100 years Girl Guides of Canada-Guides du Canada has been the organization of choice for girls and women across Canada. In an environment where girls and young women feel safe, respected and supported, girls in Guiding learn to develop the skills, resources and qualities they need to find their voice, meet new friends, have fun and achieve greatness. Girl Guides of Canada-Guides du Canada (GGC) strives to ensure that girls and women from all walks of life, identities and lived experiences feel a sense of belonging and can fully participate. Girl Guides of Canada empowers girls to be confident, resourceful and courageous, and to make a different in the world.

Communications and PR Coordinator
Girl Guides of Canada- Guides du Canada
1-800-565-8111 | | | @guidesquebec

Bijou Resto Bar – Airport Marriott Hotel



First thing that comes to mind is that they named the restaurant appropriately.  It is a real gem.

Decor is modern, elegant and inviting.  The lunch menu was reasonably priced with a table d’hôte at $18.00 that includes a starter, main course and desert.  The table d’hôte selection changes each week.

Executive Chef Jonathan Legris pays close attention to detail.  Tomatoes for the caprese salad shown in the pictures are locally grown organic from Urban Farms, one of several products Legris likes to include.

The service was outstanding, Sebastiano and Michele took care of every course with care and efficiency.

My main course was a traditional hamburger served on a gluten free bun.  I love to have a burger but cannot not always find a gluten free bun worthy of the calories.  This burger was served with all the trimmings on a fluffy bun, a side of fries and just enough salad to say you had your greens.  It was a big meal so do not expect to feel like making dinner for the kids after.

My friend Brenda had the table d’hôte salmon dish.  Served on a pea mash and a red cabbage couscous delight. I tasted it to make sure it tasted as good as it looked.  It did!!!

Although stuffed I indulged in the gluten free Tiramisu.  Just perfect.  I don’t care for a strong Tiramisu, I prefer to taste the cream with a hint of coffee.  This was just right.

Good news is you can park FREE for four hours.  Bring your parking ticket in with you so they can validate it.  Do not use your credit card as you enter the parking garage as that does not give the helpful staff a way to validate. You NEED the parking ticket.

Internet is free if you want to check in while you are visiting Bijou.  Use the “lobby” connection.

Bijou has a great family brunch on the special occasions – next brunch is Mother’s Day.


800 Leigh-Capreol Place, Dorval, QC H4Y 0A4



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The Paper Napkin Business


by Ken Ingram
Just about every business owner I know has a story about how they started their business and how hard they have worked to create sustainable growth and security for their family. The long and winding road for each of them is a source of pride. The many obstacles and hurtles they have had to jump through on their way to success is remarkable and admirable. The journey taken can perhaps be compared to the growth of a tree. Initially it is scrawny, lacks leaves and does not have the strength to resist the wind so it bends easily back and forth when the wind blows. Over time the tree matures; the trunk grows in diameter, it grows branches and develops many leaves on its way to good health. The roots grow deep into the ground and it has its place in the world, where it belongs and where it is growing.

For decades the process of starting a business, like growing a tree, has remained the same. You need to decide what you want to do need to do and can do. You need to decide what two or three segment of the business you want to address and where to start. This knowledge is captured in a business plan which acts as a stimulant to growth. Your business model needs to include who your key partners will be, what your key activities will be, what are the customer segments you plan to have, what channels you will establish to direct sales toward your business, what your cost/pricing structure will look like. Most importantly, what will be your value proposition; why a customer would chose to do business with you as compared to a similar business down the street from you.

Every business is and should be unique so take the time during the business plan process to define what you are about. 
I often find when talking to business owners that they just jumped in without taking the time to consider ‘the plan’. The idea to start a business was done at the kitchen table and drafted on a paper napkin. Three years later the business is still struggling to break even and all they have done was to create a job for them self not a real business. It is funny (in a sad sort of way) how one of the most important decisions people make is left to chance and is threatened each time the wind blows. You need to build your business in such a way that it can grow to be as strong as a tree.

The pace of change today is running at such a high rate that it is easy to become unfocused and stressed. Studies have shown that seven out of 10 of us are working harder than in the past just to keep-up. So many of us are not realizing the benefits of owning a small business and we have lost our personal and professional balance. It is no wonder that from a financial point of view things have gone off track. 
Can we realign ourselves? I believe that it is possible and my suggestion is to ask yourself “do I have a simple, and easy-to-understand plan for to ensure my business will succeed?”. If the answer is no then go back to the basics of writing your business plan all over again and please do not forget the how will I do it part. This is your marketing strategy.

The business plan is the idea your marketing plan is the how to. The great thing about the re-alignment is when you started the business you did not have historical data to draw on. Now you have accounting records of your revenues and expenses to predict more accurately the future. This should help you to build a bigger better business. Great businesses stay on top by maintaining focus. In the book ‘How companies win’ by Rich Kash and David Calhoun, they talk about two types of customer analysis.

First ‘The Demand Gap’ Analysis’ which is essentially the distance between what your customer wants and what it gets from you or your competitor. Second ‘The Customer Demand Analysis’ which is designed to determine who the most profitable customers are. With this knowledge you can contact them and gain valuable insights into why they chose to do business with you. 
We all have high levels of competition and it can be even greater in industries where the start-up cost is low. As I have said in the past it takes guts to be in business. You need to have the support of your family, bank manager, and accountant. These are key resources that will help to ensure the strength and sustainability of your business. So one of the best ways to move forward in today’s challenging environment is to go back to basics and write your business plan all over again, especially if it was started at the kitchen table on a paper napkin.

Benefits of becoming a “More Powerful and Confident Speaker” in 2015


By Ken Ingram

Whatever you do or wherever you go, at some point in your business life you will have an opportunity or more to speak in front of a group of people. When such occasions present themselves, you will have no choice but to step up and inevitably be in the spotlight. It can be the scariest event in the life of your business or your moment to shine.
I often find that people who are comfortable speaking in front of a group, are also comfortable with the process of selling. This is why I propose that you invest in developing your presentation skills in 2015.

Imagine for a moment you are at an event and they announce that each person will have the opportunity to come forward to give an organized sixty second infomercial about their business. If you were to do a survey and evaluate your frame of mind and some of the others in the room, you would most likely learn that on a scale of one to ten that half the room would be in panic mode. Speaking in public is not something most people are comfortable doing so a significant spike in stress levels can be expected because the organizers have just set up a uncomfortable situation. When this happens it is your professional responsibility to maintain control of your frame of mind and attitude in order to project a consistent level of confidence. In doing so you are becoming the master of your own destiny.

A key mistake many people make in this situation, is “rambling on”. One thing that you can do to make your presentation more powerful and effective is to take pauses. It will help to emphasize and more importantly ensure that your message is clear and to the point.
I have often been told that it is not that I speak slowly rather that I speak clearly. I do pause as appropriate, and it helps to add value, curiosity and drama to the message.

When speaking the most challenging things to do are often small things such as key pauses. With practice you can master using pauses in any circumstance and it will benefit your sales message.
Here are some ideas:

(a) make a list of some of the best speakers / presenters that you know, and take note of their style; then

(b) practice what you have observed and learned. Your level of confidence will soar!

One of the first things I learned, and personally adopted, was if you must give a speech, then practice what you will say out loud so you can hear your voice and how it will sound. The second is that if you need to read notes then jot them down in ”breath-size”; then break them up so that they can be read with purposeful pauses.
I have been interviewed by radio, television where I have spoken at events with calmness and clarity. You can master these skills through practice and some coaching. For most of us who love to talk, changing our habits and behaviors will require incredible self-discipline and self-confidence. Because to know one’s self means that you need to ask yourself some difficult questions and tolerate some discomfort and uncertainty.

They say that the future belongs to story tellers because we think in pictures not in words. Nicolas Boothman, a friend and colleague says we are all part of the idea delivery system. Therefore, the more effective we are at communicating our thoughts and ideas, the more successful we become.
What is important is to develop the ability to share ideas by painting pictures in the minds of everyone you are speaking or interacting with in any given situation.

Charlie, a friend of mine, approached me about one year ago; he was attending a competition in Florida to win twenty thousand dollars. We met and it was one of the most fun-filled couple of hours we shared. It never takes long to learn the basics, but then you need to practice, practice and practice! They say that the motive of all learning is repetition.

Well then: repetition is practice! My friend took all the tips and advice that he had learned from our coaching session together, and executed his presentation with precision in 3.5 minutes. The outcome: the judges awarded him with the twenty thousand dollar cheque! Imagine if you could achieve a similar feat for your business; how would you feel?

Mark Twain said “The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.”
Friend and colleague George Torack taught me that most people cannot tolerate the vacuum of silence. So when you are in a negotiation, a simple well placed pause can make a significant difference because the one who speaks less usually wins. The one who blinks tends to give away more information and even more concessions. Take this idea for a test drive and let me know the results.
Plato “Wise men talk because they have something to say; 
fools, because they have to say something.”

Once you have stated your position – stop talking and listen. Remember that every effective public presentation should not be about making noise rather about your selection of carefully articulated words and pauses which are positioned between each thoughtful word.
So ignore the voices of self-doubt and any feeling of nervousness. Focus your energy into acting at ease. Smile, maintain posture and convey confidence. Shoulders back, head up, and make eye contact. Through experience and practice you can master your fears and become a picture of self confidence. Practice makes perfect, do you have the audacity and willingness to become the master of your destiny? I trust that you do.

Leadership needed. Loyal customers wanted


by Ken Ingram

How would you like to go from an average business to become an awesome business?

Perhaps a better question would be, what would you like your external and internal clients to say about you? Since the focus of every business should be to serve both of these important clients what can you do to create the ideal customer experience?
In the book ‘The Customer Comes Second’ by Hal F Rosenbluth he talks about the secret of his company’s success. He made the decision to put his internal customers first (his employees) and in doing so was able to achieve 7,500 % growth within 15 years.

This begs the question; can your business create a similar result and what would the process look like? 
Just to be clear the answer is yes but it will require that you encourage and develop your employees. This will not be an easy process because it involves time, energy, and a commitment. It requires that you become focused on what matters to your staff and this should spill over into what matter for the customer. When you create the right customer experience your clients reward you with their loyally and sing your praises. In doing so, they help you to attract more clients. When you create the right employee experience they also reward you with their loyalty and in addition help you to increase your revenues.

Maybe Rosenbluth is on to something because most business owners are putting too much emphasis on treating the external customer well and not enough attention on the needs of the internal customer. It would appear that we are a world built upside down since one of our two most challenging issues remains unsolved.

• How can we have enough clients to have sustainable revenues

• How can we find and inspire the right employees?

When you think about has time stood still? How is it that the two biggest concerns we have as business owners still exists and why have we not been able to find the solution?. Is it because we look for the wrong types of clients and maybe we also fail to attract employees with self leadership? The types of employees who have built in “RADAR”. Those who take Responsibility for their choices, are Aware of the need to change, embrace Development as way to become more valuable, are Accountable and take ownership and believe in Results because at the end of the day this is still the only way we can validate our success. 
Adopting a leadership style that is centered on treating employees as a valuable resource will be the future critical success factor key because satisfying the needs of the internal customer will be just as important, and in some cases, more important than the external customer. 
Here are the five things that you can start doing:
1. Identify and clarify the needs of the managers, the employees and the customers.
2. Set Goals to address the expectations of each group
3. Develop a 12 month action plan.
4. Remember that winners keep score so track and measure your progress.
5. At the end of the year evaluate the results and celebrate the successes.

On your journey to increased profitability your attitude toward people and how you view them will make a significant difference in the type of relationship you develop. So begin to view employees as people wanting to do a great job. Tap into their under used potential. Let them know you believe in them. Follow-up with them bi-weekly to ensure that you are meeting their needs and address concerns in a timely matter.
In the end it is up to you but what if all businesses have been focusing on the wrong customer? What if a change in your Leadership style resulted in a 7,500 % increase in growth in 15 years? What if the answer has been obvious and we simply have not made the right choice.
Make the vision of change come alive in your organization.


Ken Ingram

President, The Achievement Centre -Montreal 
International Business Coach and conference speaker.

“Full Member of the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches”
 514 668-2320