The Civic Incubator is an MIS program that aims to prototype and bring to maturity ideas for projects with social and environmental impact, imagined by engaged citizens or groups.
Discover the projects of the 2022 cohort of the Civic Incubator
The project leaders of the 2022 cohort
À nous la Malting !
Mission: to create a 100% community-based living environment on the former site of the Canada Malting plant in southwest Montreal.
“À nous la Malting ! engages with the process of citizen participation and the fight against poverty and social exclusion. Each element of the project responds to the needs expressed by the people most affected by the gentrification of the St-Henri neighbourhood.” – Eunbyul Park and David Grant-Poitras
Camps d'été - Juristes en herbe
Mission: to fight systemic discrimination by giving young people confidence in their power to take action, and more broadly, to encourage civic engagement starting in childhood.
“The law is the source code of our society. Mastering it gives young people confidence in their power to take action instead of giving in—a reality that is particularly acute among young people from marginalized communities.” – Marie-Livia Beaugé and Arij Riahi
Mission: to build upon the existing network of libraries and their historical mission of transmitting knowledge to foster socio-ecological transition at the neighbourhood level.
“We know that we have very little time to bring about socio-environmental transformations that have become absolutely necessary, and we are convinced that libraries are valuable resources to build upon.” – Nestor Mir Planells and Pascale Félizat
Construis ton vélo, gagne ta ville (Earn your bike)
Mission: to democratize the use of bicycles, bringing mobility and autonomy to disadvantaged populations.
“We want to offer young people the technical skills needed to build a bike as well as civic skills. Our aim is to raise awareness and develop a ’bike culture’ in neighbourhoods outside of the city center, which are often neglected in terms of transportation infrastructure and services.” – Rémi Laurent and Simon Brien
Mission: to contribute to an enduring recognition of the legacy of women—in particular, women who are creators.
“The gradual disappearance of female artists from the Western art-history canon, combined with their lack of visibility in the public sphere today, reinforces the false belief that they are exceptions—that there have never been any female artists who deserve our attention—and it is high time to deconstruct this myth.”
– Luce Vallières and Valérie Archain
Hiver en nous
Mission: to democratize the experience of winter in an urban milieu through the connected imagination.
“More than ever, our reflections on our relationship with winter and northernness are topical and often ambivalent, raising questions about how we can adapt to climate change and develop sustainable communities.” – Marie-Hélène Roch
Mission: to facilitate access to services for immigrants in Montreal in order to help them adjust to their new lives.
“Access to support services for recently landed immigrants in Canada can play a major role in changing social indicators in their communities, we believe, and can also help reduce inequalities between the immigrant and host communities.” – Merilyn Sartor Schmitz and Gabriela Bastos de Toledo
Le Campus Agora
Mission: to create a specialized academic intervention for young people in vulnerable or difficult situations.
“Education and professional training leading to a diploma are possibly the most powerful levers for the development of autonomy, social inclusion, and access to civic life.” – Benoit Bernier and Sonia Lombart
Les îlots ethnobotaniques
Mission: to demonstrate the uses of Quebec’s plants and to protect plant biodiversity in an urban environment.
“By developing public educational gardens dedicated to the preservation and uses of native plants, we hope to reconnect urban citizens with nature and to raise their awareness about the preservation of local biodiversity and the cultural heritage of which it is a part.” – Hien Le and Hugues Petitjean
Milton-Parc Housing and Healing Collaboration
Mission: to solve the major problem of homelessness in inhospitable climates by launching a “Housing First“ initiative for Montreal’s Inuit community.
“With our project, we’re working to provide housing for the Milton-Parc Inuit community, in order to help its members heal their traumas. By giving them the opportunity to share their stories—thereby empowering them to create exponential change for their communities and nations—we’re seeking to help them thrive and live in harmony with their cultural heritage.” – Chelsea Morgane and Adalia Pemberton-Smith
Mission: to help both residents and visitors to Montreal discover the richness of its cultural diversity, and to promote multiculturalism in the city.
“We talk about Montreal as a multicultural city, but we still lack the tools and public spaces that would allow us to discover the cultural richness of our neighbourhoods. Our project aims to raise awareness in the collective imagination of the cultural diversity of the ethnocultural and Indigenous communities of the city of Montreal.”
– Brice Armel Simeu
Mission: to contribute to the integration of newly arrived immigrants through an eco-citizenship component.
“We perceive a gap between the immigrant population and people born in Montreal when it comes to the awareness of how to reduce one’s ecological footprint. There’s also a gap in the transmission of knowledge about eco-citizenship, and we believe this has an impact on the integration of immigrants into Montreal.”
– Avril Rios
Mission: to enable senior citizens to live at home by supporting and empowering them.
“A majority of seniors want to grow old at home, but this becomes complicated as the years pass. Even if affordable community services exist to meet many of their needs, these services aren’t offered uniformly throughout Quebec and can be difficult to find. Often seniors don’t even know about them. This is the issue that we’re addressing with Potentia.” – Amelie Paquette
Mission: to raise awareness among businesses, restaurants, and other actors using pedestrian streets and to help them improve their accessibility to people with disabilities, thereby breaking the isolation of such people and giving them visibility in the public sphere.
“According to 2017 statistics, 16.1% of Quebecers age 15 and over live with a disability. The creation of universally accessible common spaces would have a significant impact on their level of autonomy, their social life, and—by reducing car use—their environmental impact.” – Noah Silletta
Mission: to reduce eco-anxiety and promote physical and mental health through high-quality support in a collective eco-citizen approach to environmental action.
“More and more young people today feel apprehension and anguish about the future of the planet: They’re experiencing eco-anxiety. They need to express their emotions and their needs, and to cultivate a hope that can only blossom if it is solidly rooted in environmental actions directed at the ecological transition, such as the project we’re proposing, which involves mentoring in urban agriculture of herbs and herbal teas.”
– Marie-Pascale Deegan
Mission: to facilitate the establishment of conditions favourable to citizen initiatives in urban agriculture.
“Increasing local food security through social and collective urban agriculture not only represents a key solution to current environmental and health challenges, but also promotes a just and equitable socio-ecological transition.” – Marie-Pier Lafrance and Noemie Benoit
Renaître de la Rue
Mission: to place youth experiencing homelessness or precarity at the heart of the intervention process—by equipping them to navigate the existing support ecosystem and find the resources they need.
“Although many organizations offer programs to guide troubled youth and meet their basic needs, it’s been our experience that we need to start much further upstream. With this program, young people are empowered to rebuild their self-esteem and confidence by making use of a vitally important network that can help them change the circumstances of their lives.” – Mikah Youbi
Mission: to facilitate the integration of circularity into the procedures of the Montreal construction industry.
“We need to change the way we quantify the value of a building, how (and where) we invest in real estate development, and how we treat residual components, particularly in helping, with Surcy, to make the circularity experience as simple as buying new materials is.” – Melania Grozdanoska and Jonathan Tremblay
Vie de quartier
Mission: to build bridges between individuals and their cultures by recognizing the history of the communities that make up Montreal.
“In my opinion, a lack of knowledge of less ‘normative’ narratives in the collective consciousness hinders the development of a more cohesive and inclusive social environment. Through the Vie de quartier project, I hope to provoke an awareness of the limits of our knowledge as well as the complexity—reflecting the historical baggage each of us carries—of our perspectives.” – Béatrice Daudelin
Young Roots City
Mission: to develop a connection between nature and young people who live in difficult conditions by teaching soil-regeneration techniques that will improve food sovereignty.
“By teaching young people how to restore the health of—and cultivate—even a small piece of land, we give them the opportunity to feel like they can be part of a solution in tomorrow’s world. Knowing how to restore a parcel of earth and grow food on it is an incredibly useful tool for young people facing an unstable climate future.”
– Lynea Aboumrad
The Jury Members of the 2022 Cohort
The MIS team would like to thank the members of the jury who played a key role in the review and evaluation of the applications with their diverse backgrounds and expertise.
From left to right and from top to bottom in the photo:
- Layla Belmahi, Development and Communications Manager at Coalition montréalaise des Tables de quartier
- Laurence Bherer, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science (Département de science politique – Université de Montréal)
- Lorène Cristini, Interim executive director of the Observatoire québécois des inégalités
- Johanne Lavoie, Social Economy Commissioner for the City of Montreal (Ville de Montréal)
- Joël Nadeau, Knowledge transfer advisor, Territoires innovants en économie sociale et solidaire (TIESS) and Passerelles coordinator
- André-Yanne Parent, Executive director of Climate Reality Canada
- Ed D. Vertus, Adm.A., Director, Social Innovation at Groupe 3737