Sustainable Youth Canada in Montréal operates on the high school, cegep and university levels. As one of the newest regions of SYC, it consists of dedicated students who work together to:
Promote, through their projects, a socio-cultural development of Montreal towards further integration of sustainable practices into urban society
Connect passionate youth with sustainability opportunities in Montréal.
Lead local initiatives to positively affect energy and environmental sustainability through engaging in student-led community events
Hold fundraisers to engage with the public while supporting charities for sustainability.
Partner with local organizations to bridge the gap between partner organizations seeking assistance and youth volunteers seeking opportunities to get involved with sustainability.
We are always seeking new members to volunteer with us, so if you are interested in getting involved, please register here. We look forward to having you join us!
What's Happening in SYC Montréal?
SYC, Montréal is in a period of growth. We are excited to work with dedicated youth around Montréal to plan environmental initiatives and conferences motivating youth to take action in making Montreal a greener city. Stay tuned for more updates on SYC Montréal.
Past and Upcoming projects of 2021
Project Phoenix: Cleaning Up Angell Woods 一 Ongoing
SYC, in collaboration with Trash Talk, is undertaking a project to assess the environmental status of a public green space, Angell Woods, in Beaconsfield, QC. This 210-acre park is composed of wetlands, old forests and new growth but it has historically been used as an informal dumping ground for tiling material, car parts, railway ties, cement, household waste, and even chemical products. Our project, in the short term, is to clean Angell Woods while conducting research on the environment.
Canadian Wildlife Federation Youth Mentoring 一 Summer 2021
The Canadian Wildlife Federation is partnering with SYC in a bioblitz event for youths 15-18 years old to shed light on the ecological value of the Falaise St-Jacques and introduce them to sustainable community-led projects.
Montreal Recycling Review and Awareness Initiative 一 Fall 2021
In order to address the gap in public knowledge on how recycling works in the City of Montreal, as well as put pressure on policymakers to adopt more sustainable practices, SYC is undertaking a review of the current recycling program in Montreal. This will include an investigation on what is recycled, how much is recycled, and where the recycling products truly end up. The end goal is to produce a report and public awareness campaign which outlines the status of recycling in the city and to create policy recommendations where necessary.
Montreal West City Council Biodiversity Initiative 一 Spring 2021
SYC served as a consultant for Montreal West Green City Council to create preliminary plans for a project to increase natural biodiversity in the township. We helped through the brainstorming process and suggested different implementation strategies. We contributed to research the species of plants that would most benefit the ecosystem, as well as the legality and plausibility of planting on the city and personal property.
Environmental education in Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Summer camp 一 Summer 2020 AND 2021
For the second year in a row, SYC animated activities in the Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Summer camp to teach young campers about waste management and recycling. Over the course of two days, we cleaned the local neighborhoods by picking up trash, recycled old t-shirts into tote bags, and created grass beings by planting grass and wildflower seeds in biodegradable cups that the campers decorated.
Waste Management Consulting 一 Spring 2021
When citizens reached out to us with concerns that their work offices downtown did not have composting, let alone recycling, we provided them with information, connected them with local Éco-Quartiers, and helped them build a plan of action. They chose not to go forward with their plan right away and we respected that.
School Compost Initiative with Éco-quartier 一 Fall 2020 to Winter 2021
SYC worked with a local Eco-quartier to implement composting in École primaire des Coquelicots, a Montreal primary school. We provided educational resources and worked with our liaisons to see that the staff team and all 118 students had the information necessary to successfully implement the initiative in their classrooms. This included creating an original video that explained the basics of composting in an age-appropriate and fun way
Meet the team
National Directors: Katia Forgues and Shir Gruber
Katia Forgues is a Biology student doing her master's degree at McGill university on a community led carbon offsetting reforestation project led by two indigenous communities in Panama. She is particularly interested in socio-ecosystems—evaluating the way our identity and culture are shaped by our surroundings and how our actions influence our environment. Caring for our ecosystems is important not only for the survival of many species, but for the well being of our communities where the vulnerable groups are often the most affected by environmental crises. With SYC, Katia hopes to face this environmental injustice by creating tools necessary to make environmental education accessible for all. She believes that the solutions for sustainable living already exist and are waiting to be brought to light by creative minds reinventing the way we interact with the world. Hence, she is honoured to be a part of the SYC community.
Shir Gruber is a student completing a bachelor of science in environment at McGill University. She studied Pure and Applied Sciences at Dawson College, Montreal. Her goal is transition our society to one that works harmoniously with nature. Therefore, reevaluating humanity's relationship with the environment through concrete environmental initiatives. She was president of Dawson’s environmental club, a TEDx speaker, and, currently, as the regional director of Sustainable Youth Canada (SYC) in Montreal, she hopes to expand her positive ecological footprint. Shir has led research at Dawson which contributed to changing the school’s policy on waste-management. Through SYC, she hopes to integrate environmental projects in the academic curriculum, give youth the tools to combat issues in their community and innovate the way Montrealers view their link with nature.
Regional Directors: Sam Loutet and Nico Serreqi
Sam Loutet is a second year undergraduate student at McGill University pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Honours Earth Systems Science. From Vancouver, BC, she has a passion for STEM outreach and activism. She co-founded the organization Beyond STEM to spread awareness to secondary school students about the diverse range of STEM fields, and especially to encourage minority students to consider careers in STEM. She is a fierce protector of our natural environment, and has spent most of her life outside on the water, both competing and coaching in the sport of sprint canoe. Her experiences as a person of colour as well as a member of the LGBTQ+ community have allowed her to understand the importance of intersectionality and inclusion in the sustainability movement, and encourage her to fight for the rights of everyone to enjoy a cleaner, safer future. She is incredibly proud to be a member of the Sustainable Youth Canada team and is excited to continue to help engage young people in environmental activism.
Nico Serreqi is a student in environmental science at McGill University with a passion for film. As a climate activist, she hopes to use film as a medium to illustrate climate change in a way that will engage the general public to take action. She has always had an interest in media creation and has produced several personal projects and mini-documentaries over the years. In addition to completing a filmmaking summer intensive at Vancouver Film School, she has previously created short films for local not-for-profits, helping them capture key moments of success to share on various social media platforms. She hopes to do the same thing for SYC and use her passion for safeguarding the environment to help spread the message of sustainability and make our future greener!
Internal Affairs: Daphne Chalmers
Daphne is currently studying towards a MA at McGill in education and society. She holds a BA from the University of British Columbia in sociology. Daphne is passionate about social movements, radical theories, knowledge diversity and social justice. Having worked as a university teaching assistant, ESL teacher, and YWCA educational facilitator, she thinks a lot about the faults and opportunities our education system presents to us. Currently, Daphne is working on her thesis research, investigating how we can use hope to improve educational methods in university classes to better mobilize students to partake in climate change action and counter climate-anxiety. Daphne hopes that with SYC, she can bridge the gap between academic research and community empowerment, helping to mobilize the next generation of activists to fight for our collective future.
Initiatives Chair: Andrea Solymoss
Andrea Solymoss is a student at McGill University working towards a bachelor’s degree in environmental science in the domain of biodiversity and conservation. After taking an environmental ethics course at Marianopolis College while completing a DEC in Health Sciences, Andrea decided to orient her studies in science towards the processes involved in the creation and maintenance of biodiversity. She especially enjoys studying botany and marine ecosystems. As someone who has lived in Montreal her whole life, Andrea is dedicated to getting involved in local projects that can better her city on an environmental standpoint. Passionate about the issue of food security, she has been volunteering at a food bank dedicated to supporting members of the Peter-McGill community. Andrea is looking to build a career in the non-profit sector and is grateful to be a part of the SYC Steering Committee in Montreal as it allows her to encourage youths to participate in sustainable projects and initiatives.
Outreach Chair: Allie Wang
Allie Wang is a graduating student at Collégial international Sainte-Anne in Health Science. She is also a sprint kayak athlete who spends most of her days training outdoors. Her love for nature and for beautiful landscapes carries over into a drive for environmental protection and sustainability. Allie’s passion for the environment and for social justice first arose during her 5 years in high school where she participated in a program that encourages students to fight social inequities and engage themselves in environmental issues. In fact, Allie concluded her high school with a 3-week trip in Cambodia where she offered help in a local orphanage and filmed a short documentary on the development of fair trade organizations in Phnom Penh. From then on, she realized that she had the power to offer solutions, big or small, and bring changes to the various social and environmental issues she cares about.
Communications co-chair: Chloé Charette
Chloé is currently completing her Master’s in International and Intercultural Communication at the Université du Québec à Montréal, with her thesis focusing on young immigrants’ lived experiences and cultural identity. She previously obtained a bachelor’s degree in International Studies, as well as a Master of Arts in Spanish from the University of Ottawa. Chloé is both curious and passionate about understanding various interrelated global issues, such as the climate and migration crises, and believes it is vital for youth to learn about the significance of the impact that climate action can have on communities all around the world. Through SYC, she hopes to bring more awareness to the interconnectedness between social and environmental matters and contribute to their efforts in helping youth build a more inclusive and climate-conscious society.
Communications co-chair: Helene Duamelle
Helene is studying Political Science and International Development at McGill University. As a part of her student council in the French high school of Ankara, Turkey Helene participated to an initiative for waste reduction and sorting. The combined effects of climate change on the planet and the vulnerable populations whose lifestyles are altered by the climate crisis motivated her to work with Sustainable Youth Canada. Having lived in the USA, Benin, Sri Lanka, Egypt and Turkey she would like to specialize in the development and application of sustainable development policies taking into account the local specificities of the places where they are applied.
Partnership Chair: Laura Latendresse
Laura is a fourth-year undergraduate student at McGill University, pursuing a B.Sc. in Environment (Ecological Determinants of Health) with a minor in Geography. She is passionate about climate change, urban planning and environmental health. Currently, she is focused on designing urban spaces to promote healthy, cohesive and sustainable living in today's cities. Laura believes in education and empowerment in the climate movement: when we give people the knowledge and the opportunity to act, we allow for impactful and long-lasting changes in our world. As part of SYC Montréal, Laura is eager to be part of that impact. She hopes to connect young people with forward-thinking, passionate individuals and organizations engaged in sustainability around Montreal.
External Events Chair: Ava Torkaman
Ava is currently in her second year at McGill University, studying Political Science and International Development. She is the External Events Chair at Sustainable Youth Canada. She believes in addressing the environmental issues that directly affect our community through public policy and supporting local grassroot organizations. Ava hopes to be able to help in issues such as environmental racism that Canada faces through a career in law, and in being part of organizations such as Sustainable Youth Canada.
Secretary: Marianne Bellavance
Marianne is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Laws at Université de Montréal. Previously, she obtained her Cegep diploma in Liberal Arts at Dawson College. Outside of classes, she volunteered for the sustainability department at Dawson, learning how to take care of the green spaces and operating the compost system implemented throughout the school. Marianne has also been an executive member of the People for People club, whose mission is to help communities in need and spread awareness about homelessness. In high school, she had the chance to participate in the construction of an aquaponics system, as well as teach other students methods to reduce their carbon footprint. Now a law student, Marianne is interested to learn about the key role law can play for the protection of the environment. With her role at SYC and a legal education, she hopes to bring awareness and change for a greener future.