VALLUM SOCIETY FOR EDUCATION IN ARTS & LETTERS
POETRY FOR OUR FUTURE!
Vallum Society for Education in Arts & Letters (VSEAL) is a federally incorporated charity committed to the dissemination of literary and aesthetic education in Canada and internationally. VSEAL’s goal is to encourage and support poets, writers and artists at all stages of their career, while offering the public relevant tools for a better understanding and appreciation of contemporary poetry and literature. To fulfill our goal of promoting literacy within the Montreal and other Canadian communities, VSEAL has engaged in a variety of workshops in schools and organizations throughout the city and has been expanding our program to include communities in need across Canada.
VSEAL began its mission in 2003, conducting workshops in 2nd and 3rd grade classes of Lasalle elementary schools incorporated in the English Montreal School Board (EMSB). Throughout the following three years we gradually expanded our programs to include high schools within the EMSB, such as Westmount High and various alternative schools. Our high school expansion was made possible through the dedicated work of both Sandra Erickson, an established Vermont poet, and Michael Sweet, a well known Montreal educator, writer, and street photographer.
Thanks to the work of our wonderful poets and volunteers, VSEAL was able to initiate programs outside of the school system to target a broader section of the population in need of greater literacy education. In 2008, VSEAL began its workshops at Chez Doris, a women’s shelter dedicated to providing educational, recreational, social and professional services for women in need. This program is still in place today and is possible thanks to the hard work of Ilona Martonfi, a Montreal poet.
In 2009, VSEAL began a program in the McGill Retirement Centre, operating workshops designed to educate and stimulate the centre’s residents through the use of poetry.
In 2011, VSEAL initiated another induction of new workshops through the creation of programs in both the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and a First Nations women’s shelter. Much like the program established in Chez Doris, our workshops in the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal are designed to promote literacy, as well as personal expression and healing through the use of poetry with women who look to the shelter for economic, emotional and educational support. This workshop would not have been possible without the enduring commitment of Montreal area poet Alisha Mascarenhas.
IN RECENT NEWS
In 2016, VSEAL received new funding and once again expanded our outreach program to include new communities in need, such as at-risk youth shelters, missions, and the Association québécoise des personnes aphasiques (AQPA).
Art Therapy and Poetry Workshop, held at Chez Doris:
If I were to choose a theme for today to portray the feeling of what I have experienced, it would be hope. I feel hopeful about the future and have enjoyed sharing. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share with the others. Expression of your innermost feeling with people who are open to receive is priceless. Bless!- Maria
Writing Workshop, held at Native Women's Shelter of Montreal:
I had the opportunity to sit in on a Writing Workshop that Alisha Mascarenhas facilitated here at the shelter. I was very impressed with her format and structure of the workshop. It not only provided for a great foundation for sharing but it helped the women to ease into the topic with an awareness of themselves...- Tealey Normandin, Outreach Worker
Producing Vallum and maintaining its reputation as a premier literary and artistic establishment while simultaneously sustaining our other projects is a costly undertaking. In order to meet production costs, marketing demands and to provide stipends to our contributors and facilitators, we rely heavily on the financial support of our donors.
In order to secure Vallum Society for Education in Arts & Letters’ long-term sustainability, VSEAL is currently enrolled in the Quebec Government Mécénat Placements Culture program, administered by the Conseil des arts et lettres du Quebec. This program matches every donation made to VSEAL 3-to-1. From these matched donations, 70% are given directly to VSEAL by the Conseil des arts et lettres du Quebec after two years. The remaining 30%, to be endowed over a 10-year period at community Fondation du Grand Montréal, will then be given to VSEAL.
Tax receipts are issued for all donations, and donors will receive public acknowledgement (if permitted). Charitable number 89251 5008 RR0001.
PROPOSALS for community and school workshops by published poets and educators may be submitted to VSEAL for consideration. For more information or to submit a proposal, please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The individuals listed below gave generously to the Vallum Society for Arts and Letters Education. We are grateful for their support.
Myra and Norm Barwin