Mon Vélo Raconte

Recipient of the 2018 Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Community Programming

November 8, 2018

La Société d’histoire et de généalogie de Montréal-Nord and les Artistes en arts visuels du Nord de Montréal

On August 26, 2017, 375 fanciful bicycles, built and operated by community members in the borough of Montreal North, made their way through the streets of this neighbourhood as part of the celebration of Montreal’s 375th anniversary.

As a participatory, artistic, and historical event, Mon Vélo Raconte (My Bike Tells the Story) invited Montrealers to celebrate the history, diversity, creative vitality, and natural resources of the Montreal North borough.

Like a mobile, multicoloured canvas showcasing the city of yesterday, today, and tomorrow, the bikes—rather than remaining a simple means of transportation—became a means of communication and of cultural and historical expression accessible to one and all.

For the occasion, streets were trimmed out, livened up, and transformed into a heritage route featuring interpretive panels and decorations evoking various aspects of the neighbourhood’s history.

Artistic, historical, unique, participatory, and alive with authenticity… these kinetic creations, ridden by cyclists of all ages, brought smiles to the faces of spectators along the way.

Mon Vélo Raconte mobilized the Montreal North community on the day of the procession, as well as for several months prior. In fact, some fifteen community organizations were involved in this unique, unifying project.

By decorating the bicycles or participating in other aspects of preparing for the event, over 15,000 adult volunteers and 3,000 children took part in bringing this collaborative, artistic, and historical creation to life.