Café de Da brings a new edge to dusty libraries
Named after Da, author and Ahuntsic resident Dany Laferrière’s grandmother, the Internet café standing on the corner of Fleury and Lajeunesse shares a wall with the Ahuntsic library and hopes to welcome newcomers to the neighbourhood.
As librarian and Café de Da coordinator Isabelle Massicotte says, "We’re working with schools around here and trying to develop partnerships with non-profit organizations, such as the Montreal Association for the Intellectually Handicapped, that could benefit from our ten computers and our Word, Excel and Internet workshops. We’re trying to welcome and help new residents but we’re also trying to draw the attention of people who wouldn’t usually come to the library."
With workshops given to residents of the district and help offered to job seekers (the Local Employment Centre also shares a wall with it), Café de Da is putting residents’ primary needs up front. "But we’re still a pilot project for Montreal libraries. We still need to find a partner for the ‘coffee’ part of the ‘Internet café’ idea," says Massicotte.
When it opened last April, Café de Da’s goal was to create an atmosphere where visitors would feel more at home, less stressed out. "It’s a relatively quiet and relaxed environment, but we add music and exhibitions," Massicotte confirms. Even though she and her team favour artists of the neighbourhood, the current exhibition offers drawings created by youngsters from all around the world for a contest hosted by the Mahatma Gandhi Foundation.
Café de Da also offers filmmaking workshops (every Wednesday), evenings with Ahuntsic-Cartierville’s Éco-Quartier (biweekly, on Tuesday, with topics such as "Transforming the neighbourhood alleyways"), movie screenings, meetings with authors such as Nicolas Dickner (October 18) and Chrystine Brouillet (November 1), and lectures on historical topics (by anthropologist and radio host Serge Bouchard, on November 22).
Café de Da
545 Fleury East