History of the Café Graffiti

 

From 1992 to 1996, a pair of community social workers, Father André Durand and Raymond Viger, roamed the streets and alleyways of greater Montreal and beyond to help and support marginalized youth. 
 
Based in Montreal, their organization wasn’t sponsored by anyone, so they could direct their efforts to anyplace they saw the greatest need. 
You could have run into these two men in Saint-Jerome, Valleyfield, Drummondville, Sherbrooke or Joliette, cities and towns two or three hours distant from Montreal by car; and sometimes, even further afield… 
 
Canada’s Poorest Area
Montreal’s hip-hop culture was in its birth throes. That’s why the presence of two adult social workers on the meanest streets in Montreal was so remarkable to the city’s youth. 
The Hochelaga-Maisonneuve section of East End Montreal is statistically Canada’s poorest area. By the mid-90s, this neighborhood had become a dormitory for itinerant teens and young adults migrating to the big city: at the time, 65% of all young street people in Montreal hailed from Quebec’s outlying regions.      
The decaying industrial Hochelaga-Maisonneuve quarter had not always been poor. Its population plunged from a high of 85,000 to 40,000 thanks to factory closures and expropriations. Its main street, rue Sainte-Catherine, was once a pulsating industrial artery with a national reputation for its factories and workmanship. This is a rustbelt neighborhood. 
 
Abandoned buildings became havens for young squatters. Seedy slum apartments were rented to youths with no credit reference necessary. As long as a kid had the first month’s rent in cash, he or she could move in on the spot. After 30 days, the slumlord would come by for the 2nd month’s rent. 
If the young person didn’t have the cash, their furniture would soon be piled on the sidewalk. It was commonplace to see a second youth take the apartment of some poor young person just thrown out on the street. Some tiny apartments were occupied by 4 or 5 young people splitting the rent.
 
A Safe Haven
Raymond Viger found himself living among a group of over 100 Hochelaga-Maisonneuve hip-hoppers eking out a hand-to-mouth existence. These kids needed a place to gather, to socialize, to channel their abundant energies into artistic endeavors… That’s how, in 1997, Café Graffiti was born. 
Café Graffiti offered kids a cultural and artistic experience. Artists could assemble a portfolio; many became independent professional artists. 
Others who passed through our doors went back to school, or found a conventional job. The Café Graffiti accommodates not just hip-hop culture (rap, slam, breakdance, graffiti, DJ) but other youth cultures as well, such as punk.
 
To get young people involved in creative endeavors, Café Graffiti quickly became an art studio and gallery. Itinerant artists now have place to experiment, to paint, to sculpt, to exhibit their works to a wider audience. Creators are remunerated for their efforts. 
The Café Graffiti is a family place where young people come to build a new identity that corresponds with their talents and their new positive orientation in life. 
 
A Happening Place
Café Graffiti has become an international point of reference. Young people from all over the world come by, in person or via the web, to meet their favorite artists. 
Many stop by on their cross-Canada travels. Quite a few of our young people are involved in international exchanges, notably with Brazil and France, where our hip-hoppers have represented Quebec and Canada at international rap, breakdance and graffiti galas.   
 
The Café Graffiti has become a production centre for graffiti murals and hip-hop shows. Several organizations and companies put their faith in Café Graffiti when they want art to suit their advertising needs.
The shows we produce in Montreal’s downtown area allow us to democratize hip-hop culture by exposing it to a wider audience.
Media, youth groups, municipal governments and schools often call upon our expertise to put together specific projects. 

 

Bistro

Love in 3D

Hats

Dvd Gambling

Alcohol addiction  

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/110-dependence/alcohol-addiction

Anorexia

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/116-anorexia

Breakdancing 

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/108-hip-hop/breakdancing

Bullying

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/130-bullying

Codependency  

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/109-dependence/codependency

Community

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/118-community

Criminality

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/119-criminality

Culture

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/106-culture

Cyberaddiction

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/120-cyberaddiction

Dependence

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/105-dependence    

Drop out

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/121-dropout

Drug addiction

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/142-drug-addiction

Economy

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/122-economy

Education

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/123-education

Environment

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/124-environment

Family

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/125-family

Gambling

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/111-dependence/gambling

Graffiti

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/107-hip-hop/graffiti

Health

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/137-health

History

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/143-history

Homosexuality

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/127-homosexuality

Hypersexualization

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/128-hypersexualization

Internet

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/129-internet

Justice

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/131-justice

Media and Books

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/132-media-and-books

Mental Health

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/138-mental-health

Native

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/322-native

Politics

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/134-politics

Prisoners Chronicles

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/117-prisoner-s-chronicle

Prostitution

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/135-prostitution

Rap

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/115-hip-hop/rap

Religion and spirituality

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/136-religion-and-spirituality

Sexuality

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/139-sexuality

Society

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/140-society

STD-Aids   

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/133-std-aids

Street Gangs

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/126-street-gangs

Suicide **   http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/141-suicide