Cats

The "power" of the cats: 2017 benefit concert a big success

On a night when massive power failures hit Côte Saint-Luc and a good chunk of Montreal, the show still went on!

Milo
Joseph Milo starts the program.

The Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee (CSLCC) held its annual benefit concert on   August 22 at the Syd Wise Auditorium of the Wagar Adult Education Centre.  Featured performers were once again the Musicians of the World Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Joseph Milo. The selection of music was light classical pieces around the theme of Dance.  Soprano Fairouz Oujida was a  special guest.  

We did so in the memory of Barbara Diehl, a member of our commitee who passed away very suddenly in June. In fact, we were the last people to see her. She went home happily after the meeting. The following day she was found by family in her home. One of her daughters and  grandchildren attended our event.

More than 270 tickets were sold for the event. Funds raised will go towards our Trap, Neuter, Release and Adopt Program. There are many feral cats in the community. The CSLCC’s team of volunteers sets out to trap as many as possible, have them sterilized and then adopted or returned to the spot where they were originally found.  In the latter case, efforts are made to assist the feeders in the community. The committee has also rescued a number of  kittens and found homes for them.

I wish to thank our devoted Chairman Diane Liebling and the woman who spearheaded the efforts seven years ago to help get this initiative started, Shelley Schecter. As the city councillor responsible for Animal Protection I am so proud of the success our small and devoted group of volunteers has achieved. Thanks to former Mayor Anthony Housefather, who helped me get this off the ground, his successor Mitchell Brownstein and members of council. In particular I must single out Sam Goldbloom, who has supported me all the way. He and his wife Bev even adopted a cat a few years ago they named Mr. Darcy. My little kitty, Cleopatra, has a special place in my life.  While I adore all animals, cats make the most remarkable pets. You do not need to walk them. They do their business in a litter box and will apportion food you leave them during the day at their own pace. And oh fresh they smell. These animals bathe themselves all day long. When I pick my eight year old Cleo up she smells like shampoo.

CouncilGroup
Councillor Sam Goldbloom, Cllr Sidney Benizri, myself, Cllr Ruth Kovac, Anthony Housefather, Cllr Allan J. Levine, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Cllr Glenn J. Nashen.

 We are grateful to our 2017 concert sponsors: Expedia Cruise Ship Centres, with franchisee Sean Flynn; Little Bear Pet Supplies on St. Catherine Street in Westmount and D’Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum.

Bakesale
Our dedicated bake sale crew.

In addition to sponsorship and ticket purchases, we also held our annual bake sale at intermission. Bravo to committee member Fern Pereira and her team for their extraordinary work. Funds raised from that project goes to Diane Liebling’s project of providing food and litter to people who foster cats and those who feed outdoor felines year-round. A huge hats off to Alvin Fishman of the Parks and Recreation Department, who handled all logistics and Regine Banon at City Hall for her coordination. 

Kitten
Tori Gazin shows young Annabelle a kitten she just rescued.

 We are always looking for new committee members and thanks to the concert this year a few new people have stepped forward.

Orchestra
The orchestra plays.

 The Musicians of the World Symphony Orchestra (MWSO) was founded in 2006 by conductor  Milo and his wife Lucy Ravinsky. This one of a kind orchestra is composed of 55 musicians: about 80 percent of its members are from 15 countries around the world, while the remaining 20 percent are natives of Montreal who successfully facilitated the integration of the newcomers. They have been rehearsing at Côte Saint-Luc City Hall for many years and as part of the arrangement, they agree to perform a benefit concert once a year. We have been the beneficiaries the past seven years.

Expedia
Mayor Brownstein, Councillor Goldbloom, Sean Flynn and myself.

 We remain grateful for the partnership we have with the Côte Saint-Luc Hospital for Animals.

Cats Meow 2017 (36)
Joseph Milo and his orchestra take a well deserved bow.

 The concert was a splendid affair and everyone left delighted and entertained. Anthony Housefather, Mayor Brownstein and Elisabeth Prass (on behalf of David Birnbaum) gave opening remarks and then the band played on!

For more information call 514-485-6806, ext. 2200 or log on to www.cotesaintluc.org/cats.

 


CSL Cats Committee receives donation from Quebec government

A huge thanks goes out to D'Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum and specifically his invaluable bureau chief Elisabeth Prass for once again assisting my true "pet" project - the Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee.

CatschequeMikeBirnbaum
David Birnbaum presents the cheque to me from the Quebec government.

Following up on a commitment originally started by his predecessor, Lawrence Bergman, Birnbaum has been providing our committee with a greatly appreciated $500 annual donation. He presents it to us at our annual fundraising concert each summer- the next edition set for August 22, 2017. Recently, Prass communicated with the office of Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Laurent Lessard about the work of our committee. This Ministry is responsible for Animal Welfare and as such Prass was able to secure us an additional $500.

CSL Cats Committee Chairman Diane Liebling welcomed the donation. Normally our work only begins in the spring. But that has not been the case this year. There has been an alarming number of homeless cats, many giving birth to kittens, in one specific part of town in the winter. As a result, our already small budget has been impacted so every donation like this is invaluable.

The committee has produced a new information flyer and volunteers have started to deliver it door to door. As the city councillor responsible for Animal Protection, I cannot say enough about Diane Liebling`s leadership and I thank Shelley Schecter of Educhat who remains involved as invaluable advisor and the lady who helped me to start this all off.  The Côte St. Luc Hospital for Animals and its staff are true partners in our mission.


A condo created with love - for cats

Marek  and Anna Balazinski are wonderful human  beings. Over the years they have chosen to join a group of good souls in Côte Saint-Luc who regularly feed homeless cats outside their door.:
 
Catfor Poster
 
"In the spring of 2013 cats started to come to our patio," Marek explains. "In  the autumn,  one female brought their five small kittens. We have built a solid cabana. In February 2014,  two more kittens were born. We had all of these cats  sterilized and vaccinated. This will mark our fourth winter with this cat’s family. In the fall of  2014 mama disappeared. In the 2016,  two more cats disappeared. However,  in the fall  of 2015,  one very young cat joined our family. Now we have six permanent residents, and from time to time some other cats are coming to eat. They are not really sociable. We can caress only two of them of course as they are in a good mood."
 
Marek has shared this wonderful story about a "condo created with love" that he and his wife have built for the cats. Please read it  here - Download A condo created with love
 
 

More than 300 people attend our benefit concert for the Cats Committee

How proud am I of the Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee (CSLCC), a group I helped established six years ago? Very much so.


We are a small group of volunteers, dedicated to Trap, Neuter, Release and Adopt. Few communities on the island of Montreal have such an entity. While the city provides us with an annual grant of $5,000, we need more to fulfil our mission. There are veterinarian bills to pay and supplies to purchase. So a year into our existence we decided to start doing some fundraising. Our biggest event is a concert we present featuring the extraordinary Musicians of the World Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Joseph Milo.

Josephand MikMac
Larissa Macmac and Joseph Milo.

For our fifth annual concert on August 23 at the Syd Wise Auditorium of the Marymount Adult Education Centre, more than 300 people were in attendance. A Bouquet of Classics: The Music We All Love was the theme. Net proceeds plus funds collected via donations and purchases through our bake sale – spearheaded by Fern Collier-Pereira – gave us the boost we needed to keep doing our job. In fact the money received from the latter goes to a new fund which will enable us to purchase cat food for those who feed outdoor community cats year-round.


It is safe to say that most of the people in the audience were there to hear good music. As I said in my address, if only a few of those individuals step forward to help us then it will be a plus for us. I must say that over the last couple of years, different people have joined our team and truly made a difference. Diane Liebling is the heart and sole of our committee. She oversees the most difficult task of trapping the homeless community cats we find, often fostering them in her own garage. As I saw the large gathering around the bake sale at intermission, with Fern and committee members working so hard, I felt very very proud,

ConcertBake2
Volunteers oversee the successful Bake Sale.

Councillor Sam Goldbloom once again co-chaired the concert with me. Sam and I are the only pet owners on council and he adores his Mr. Darcy as much as I love my Cleopatra. Mayor Mitchell Brownstein has been very supportive of our cause. So has his predecessor, present-day Mount Royal Liberal Member of Parliament Anthony Housefather. Both gentleman spoke at the start of our program, as did Elisabeth Prass. She runs D’Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum’s office. David, following the lead of his predecessor Lawrence Bergman, provides us with an annual donation of $500.


Mr. Birnbaum could not attend because he was sitting in a Parliamentary Commission in Quebec City. But Ms. Prass explained how Mr. Birnbaum has been proud to report to his colleague, the provincial Minister of Agriculture, that  Côte Saint-Luc is a leader in the welfare of cats and humanitarian practices towards pets. “In the spirit of this, in December of last year, our Liberal government was proud to adopt Bill 54, the Animal Welfare and Safety Act, which legislates for the better protection of animals and defines them as sentient beings with biological needs, rather than as objects,” she explained. “Our government's goal with this ground-breaking legislation is to better protect pets and ensure humanitarian treatment of animals raised for food production.”


Alexandra Cohen served as our emcee and opened up with two songs, Corner of the Sky from the Broadway show Pippin and Life is a Cabaret from the Broadway classic Cabaret. 


The Musicians of the World Symphony Orchestra are nothing less than outstanding. This year some members also presented superb solo performances. Founded in 2006 by conductor Milo and his wife Lucy Ravinsky,  this one of a kind orchestra is composed of 55 musicians: about 80 percent of its members are from 15 countries around the world, while the remaining 20 percent are natives of Montreal who successfully facilitated the integration of the newcomers. They have been rehearsing at Côte Saint-Luc City Hall for many years

TrioAristocrats
Anna Levitina, Rami Negev and Sean O'Brien.

I could have listened to them all night. The first half was dominated by classics. After intermission we heard many Broadway tunes from the likes of The Lion King, West Side Story and Phantom of the Opera. Every year Joseph surprises us with something dedicated to cats. Sean O’Brien, Anna Levitina and photographer Rami Negev belted out Everybody Wants to Be a Cat from the Aristocrats. It was a feel good way to conclude proceedings. We all left truly happy, very much looking forward to doing the same thing next August.


Nutrience Pet Food by Hagen served as a sponsor as did Expedia Cruises, which even set up an information kiosk. The latter had a lot of traffic.  Scotiabank Cavendish generously donated some door prizes. I thank them for supporting us.

Thank you to Alvin Fishman, who steered the ship on logistics from day one and went the extra mile on the day of the concert with Mo Giobbi; to Harold Cammy, while on a well-deserved break, always gets things started for us by booking the auditorium and getting ticket sales going; to Regine Banon, who takes care of printing the tickets, overseeing our flyers/programs and all publicity related to the event (this year she went the extra mile and came to video tape); to Lisa Milner, who keeps us regularly up to date on crucial sales at the library; and of course Marymount Adult Education Centre head caretaker Michel Leblanc who stays after work to ensure to oversee the crucial component of sound.


There are so many people on our committee I can single out, from Rebecca Katz who oversees our Facebook page and takes care of our hotline to young Liz Brenhouse who fosters and socializes cats in her own bedroom and seeks homes for them. True cat lovers exist in our community and I want to meet more of them.


We received a lot of media coverage leading up to the concert. You can review it all here.


L’Orchestre symphonique des musiciens du monde donnera un concert bénéfice au profit du Comité des chats de Côte Saint-Luc le 23 août

Le Comité des chats de Côte Saint-Luc (CCCSL) tiendra son concert de financement annuel le mardi 23 août à 19 h 30, à l’auditorium Syd Wise du Centre d’éducation des adultes Marymount, au 5785, avenue Parkhaven.

Le concert mettra en vedette les musiciens de l’Orchestre symphonique des musiciens du monde (www.musiciansoftheworld.ca), sous la direction de Joseph Milo. Certains membres de son orchestre interpréteront aussi des pièces en solo. Les fonds recueillis lors du concert A Bouquet of Classics: The Music We All Love seront versés au Programme du CCCSL.

CatsSingers

« Ce concert bénéfice permet aux gens qui aiment les animaux de profiter d’une soirée de belle musique tout en contribuant à une bonne cause, a dit le maire Mitchell Brownstein. Voilà un autre exemple des mesures concrètes que prend la Ville pour faire la promotion des arts et de la culture dans la communauté. »

Les commanditaires officiels de la soirée sont le député libéral de D’Arcy McGee, David Birnbaum, et Nutrience Pet Food de Hagen.

« Il y a beaucoup de chats errants dans la communauté, explique Mike Cohen, conseiller municipal responsable de la protection des animaux dans la ville. L’équipe de bénévoles du CCCSL a pour objectif d’en attraper le plus grand nombre possible et de les faire stériliser, pour ensuite les donner en adoption ou les retourner à l’endroit où ils ont été trouvés. Le comité porte aussi secours aux chatons abandonnés en leur trouvant un foyer. Il y a quelques années, la Ville a adopté un règlement régissant l’octroi des licences pour chats. »

L’Orchestre symphonique des musiciens du monde (OSMM) a été fondé en 2006 par le chef Milo et son épouse Lucy Ravinsky. Cet orchestre unique en son genre regroupe 55 musiciens : environ 80 pour cent d’entre eux proviennent de 15 pays différents et 20 pour cent sont originaires de Montréal, ce qui a grandement facilité l’intégration des nouveaux venus. Les répétitions ont lieu à l’hôtel de ville de Côte Saint-Luc depuis plusieurs années et, dans le cadre d’une entente avec la ville, l’orchestre offre un concert bénéfice une fois l’an. Cette année, les bénéficiaires de cette initiative sont le Comité des chats de Côte Saint-Luc et Educhat.

Les billets sont présentement en vente à seulement 12 $ (taxes incluses) aux endroits suivants : au comptoir principal de la Bibliothèque publique Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc, (5851 boul. Cavendish), au Centre communautaire et aquatique de Côte Saint-Luc (5794, av. Parkhaven), et à l’Hôpital vétérinaire de Côte Saint-Luc (7930, chemin Baily). Aux deux premiers endroits, les paiements sont acceptés par carte de débit ou de crédit, ou comptant, mais seulement en argent comptant à l’Hôpital vétérinaire.

Les conseillers Mike Cohen et Sam Goldbloom, coprésidents de l’événement, précisent que de l’information sera disponible le soir du concert pour les personnes qui voudraient se joindre au comité ou adopter un chat. Une vente de pâtisseries se tiendra à l’entracte. Pour plus d’information, appeler au 514-485-6806, poste 2200 ou consulter www.cotesaintluc.org/cats.


Fourth annual benefit concert for the CSL Cats Committee another successful

Well we did it again! The fourth annual benefit concert for the  Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee (CSLCC)   and Educhat was sold out as more than 300 people joined us at the former Wagar High School  on Parkhaven to hear the Musicians of the World Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Joseph Milo and outstanding young singers Alexandra Cohen and Nicole Raviv.

Funds raised from  A Bouquet of Classics and Other Fun Music  will go towards the CSLCC’s Trap, Neuter, Release and Adopt Program and Educhat, the volunteer organization headed by Shelley Schecter which has spearheaded efforts in Côte Saint-Luc and elsewhere. There are many feral cats in the community. The CSLCC’s team of volunteers sets out to trap as many as possible, have them sterilized and then adopted or returned to the spot where they were originally found. The committee has also rescued a number of  kittens and found homes for them. Our city also has a cat licensing bylaw. 

As  the city councillor responsible for Animal Protection, I was proud to be the main organizer of the event. I thank Councillor Sam Goldbloom – like me a true cat lover- for his support. Mayor Anthony Housefather and Councillors  Glenn J. Nashen, Ruth Kovac, Mitchell Brownstein and Allan J. Levine were all on hand. Since I launched the CLSCC five years ago, the mayor and council have been 100 percent behind my initiative.

On this night we  honoured our treasurer Ruth Kleinman, Finance Administrative secretary Elizabeth Ruhry  and accounting agent Maria Picciuto  for the support they have given the committee.  In addition, they have set a wonderful example for others to follow by feeding a homeless cat outside the library on a daily basis. They have even named him “Eli.” Stated Ms. Kleinman: “We are just supporting the mission of the Cats Committee. The three of us have cats of our own. My job is to manage the budget. Elizabeth and Maria go out of their way to help.”

Cheque
MNA David Birnbaum presents Sam Goldbloom and I with the cheque.

Nutrience Pet Food by Hagen and D’Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum were our sponsors. Birnbaum, whom I have known for many decades, joined us for the event with his press attaché Christopher Savard. On stage he presented Sam and I with a $500 cheque for the committee and rightly acknowledged the excellent job his Agriculture Minister  Pierre Paradis is doing in regard to animal protection.

The Musicians of the World Symphony Orchestra (MWSO) was founded in 2006 by conductor  Milo and his wife Lucy Ravinsky. This one of a kind orchestra was formed when it was discovered that a great pool of professional musicians, recently immigrated to Montreal, had no opportunity to make use of their valuable talent in their new home. The MWSO was created, not only to provide these new Canadians with the opportunity to engage in their main passion; making beautiful music in an orchestral setting, but to give them back the professional dignity they had enjoyed in their homelands and most especially, to share their wonderful talents with the music lovers of Montreal.

The MWSO is composed of 55 musicians: about 80 percent of its members are from 15 countries around the world, while the remaining 20 percent are natives of Montreal who successfully facilitated the integration of the newcomers. To date, the orchestra has entertained Montreal audiences with over 30 performances, including several benefit concerts as well as having produced several recordings. The orchestra has also been selected as the subject of four documentary films. They have been rehearsing at Côte Saint-Luc City Hall for many years and as part of the arrangement, they agree to perform a free concert once a year.

DanceNicole
Joseph Milo shares a dance with Nicole Raviv,

Joseph Milo and his team were nothing less than outstanding. You could see the smiles on everyone`s face in the audience as they hung on to every tune. There was a wonderful balance of music, from classics to Broadway. This included the William  Tell Overture,  Moon River, music from Star Wars and the “Let it Go”  theme from the Disney blockbuster Frozen. By popular demand they brought back two favorites from our previous shows—The Typewriter (in which a musician actually plays the typewriter as an instrument) and a cats duet by Raviv and Anna Levitina.

Alexandra Cohen, who has been performing in musical theatre since she was six years old, and acting in film, TV, and radio productions, sang    “Don’t Cry for me Argentina” from the musical Evita, and “Being Alive” from the musical Company.  See the  video clip here or below.

 

Alexandra  is frequently invited to sing the national anthem at many events including Cote Saint Luc’s Canada Day celebrations. Alexandra has won the title of Top Female Triple Threat performer at the Show Choir Canada National Championships. As a member of the Cote Saint-Luc Cats Committee, Alexandra produced a film about the Trap, Neuter, Release and Adopt Program.  She has brought this film to many elementary schools to teach children about responsible pet ownership. Last year she was recognized as Cote Saint-Luc’s Youth Volunteer of the Year. She is currently  in her second year studying health sciences at Marianopolis College, where she created and directs a group called Singers for a Cause. 

Nicole Raviv is a singer-songwriter, actress and dancer. She was a child actor in the touring cast of The Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre and is a recent graduate of The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. Recent New York theatre credits include The Butterfly's Day (Off-Broadway), Be Our Guest (Off-Broadway), and Crossf8- A New Musical. Nicole has made TV appearances on The Good Wife and The Dr. Oz Show, and is currently working on her own EP album as a recording artist with producer Chris Young.  She sang I Feel Pretty (West Side Story), On My Own (Les Misérables) and  I Could Have Danced (My Fair Lady) as well as the duet.

Now for a few thank yous.  To Shelley Schecter, Diane Liebling and Barbara Hilliker who lead the charge in terms of trapping and fostering; Alvin Fishman, Regine Banon, Harold Cammy, Lisa Milner, Ruth Farrugia and Mauricio Giobbi from the city who really steered the ship for us;  Alexandra Cohen, who besides her performance worked on the script, hosted the evening and determined our sound needs; Michel Leblanc whose work on the sound and lighting was invaluable; the Volunteer Citizens on Patrol, who kept law and order; and committee member Fern Collier-Pereira and her group whose bake sale raised almost $400 for Educhat.


More municipalities and boroughs must step up to save homeless cats

When it comes to cats, my favorite animal creatures on earth, I wish I lived in a world where more people wanted to have them as pets and that the homeless cat population would disappear. But this is not going to happen and while we continue to deal with the latter problem globally, here on the island of Montreal some municipalities and boroughs are making efforts to deal with the issue.

Five years ago, in my capacity as a city councillor in Côte Saint-Luc and with the backing of Mayor Anthony Housefather and council, I started a Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) and Adopt Program in conjunction with Shelley Schecter and her organization Educhat. Working with a very small group of volunteers, homeless cats are trapped, neutered, vaccinated and either returned to their original location where they are fed, sheltered and kept an eye on or adopted.

KittensJuly2015

We all feel very uncomfortable with the release part, especially in regard to kittens. The only alternative is for more members of the public to step forward and adopt those which are socialized. If left outside they will remain feral. As Shelley notes, “more cats are dumped than are adopted.  If everyone would take in one homeless cat, this problem would not exist.”

There are also certain owners of outdoor cats who exacerbate this problem by not sterilizing their own animals while letting them outside to impregnate others over and over again.It is estimated that over a period of seven years two unaltered cats can exponentially create over 400,000 offspring.  “For those who pooh, pooh these numbers, you can half the numbers a few times and you are still looking at an alarming amount of cats,” points out Shelley.

Right now the only municipalities and boroughs on the island of Montreal which have TNR Programs, besides Côte Saint-Luc are Dollard des Ormeaux, St. Laurent, Anjou, Montreal North, Sud-Ouest, Verdun Lachine, Ahuntsic-Cartieville and Côte des Neiges-NDG.  Hochelaga Maisonneuve and Rosemount are looking into starting ones of their own.  More municipal bodies must step to the plate. People who do not have allergies and like animals should consider adopting a cat. They make for the most remarkable pets. Unlike dogs, you need not take them for a walk as they do their business in a litter box. You can apportion their food for the day or night when you are out. They even bathe themselves. These are affectionate and brilliant animals who really make a difference in one`s life.

The Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee (CSLCC) will hold a fundraising concert on Tuesday, August 25 (7:30 p.m.) at the former Wagar High School (5785 Parkhaven).  Featured performers will be the Musicians of the World Symphony Orchestra (http://www.musiciansoftheworld.ca), conducted by Joseph Milo and  Montreal-born singer, dancer and actress Nicole Raviv. Funds raised from  A Bouquet of Classics and Other Fun Music  will go towards our  TNR  and Adopt Program . Tickets are only $10 each (tax included) and can be purchased now at the following locations: the main desk at the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library (5851 Cavendish Boulevard); the Côte Saint-Luc Aquatic and Community Centre (5794 Parkhaven Avenue); and the Côte Saint-Luc Hospital for Animals (7930 Baily Road). For more information call 514-485-6806, ext. 2200 or log on to www.cotesaintluc.org/cats.   All of the details about the concert can be found on this link.

 


Come support our Cats Committee and enjoy amazing music on Aug. 25th

The Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee (CSLCC) will hold a fundraising concert on Tuesday, August 25 (7:30 p.m.) at the former Wagar High School (5785 Parkhaven). Featured performers will be the Musicians of the World Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Joseph Milo and featuring Montreal singer, dancer and actress Nicole Raviv. She now lives in New York, where she has performed in a number of Off Broaday productions.

IMG_0021
Nicole Raviv

Funds raised from A Bouquet of Classics and Other Fun Music will go towards the CSLCC’s Trap, Neuter, Release and Adopt Program and Educhat, the volunteer organization headed by Shelley Schecter, which has spearheaded efforts in Côte Saint-Luc and elsewhere. There are many feral cats in the community. The CSLCC’s team of volunteers sets out to trap as many as possible, have them sterilized and then adopted or returned to the spot where they were originally found. The committee has also rescued a number of kittens and found homes for them. The city has a cat licensing bylaw.

The CSLCC will honour the city`s treasurer Ruth Kleinman, Finance Administrative secretary Elizabeth Ruhry and accounting agent Maria Picciuto for their support they have given the committee. In addition, they have set a wonderful example for others to follow by feeding a homeless cat outside the library on a daily basis. They have even named him “Eli.” Stated Ms. Kleinman: “We are just supporting the mission of the Cats Committee. The three of us have cats of our own. My job is to manage the budget. Elizabeth and Maria go out of their way to help.”

IMG_3636
These two kittens were adopted last week via the CSL Cats Committee. They are shown here familiarizing themselves with their new home.

As the city councillor responsible for Animal Protection in the city I wish to note that the concert   will be an opportunity for people who love animals to enjoy an evening of fine music while contributing to a good cause. I also wish to announce that Nutrience Pet Food by Hagen and D’Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum, will be the evening’s official sponsors.

The Musicians of the World Symphony Orchestra (MWSO) was founded in 2006 by conductor Milo and his wife Lucy Ravinsky. This one of a kind orchestra was formed when it was discovered that a great pool of professional musicians, recently immigrated to Montreal, had no opportunity to make use of their valuable talent in their new home. The MWSO was created, not only to provide these new Canadians with the opportunity to engage in their main passion; making beautiful music in an orchestral setting, but to give them back the professional dignity they had enjoyed in their homelands and most especially, to share their wonderful talents with the music lovers of Montreal. The MWSO is composed of 55 musicians: about 80 percent of its members are from 15 countries around the world, while the remaining 20 percent are natives of Montreal who successfully facilitated the integration of the newcomers. To date, the orchestra has entertained Montreal audiences with over 30 performances, including several benefit concerts as well as having produced several recordings. The orchestra has also been selected as the subject of four documentary films. They have been rehearsing at Côte Saint-Luc City Hall for many years and as part of the arrangement, they agree to perform a free concert once a year.

The CSL Cats Committee and Educhat are the 2015 beneficiaries. Nicole Raviv is a singer-songwriter, actress and dancer. She was a child actor in the touring cast of The Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre and is a recent graduate of The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. Recent New York theatre credits include The Butterfly's Day (Off-Broadway), Be Our Guest (Off-Broadway), and Crossf 8 - A New Musical. Nicole has made TV appearances on The Good Wife and The Dr. Oz Show, and is currently working on her own EP album as a recording artist with producer Chris Young.

Tickets are only $10 each (tax included) and can be purchased now at the following locations: the main desk at the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library (5851 Cavendish Boulevard); the Côte Saint-Luc Aquatic and Community Centre (5794 Parkhaven Avenue); and the Côte Saint-Luc Hospital for Animals (7930 Baily Road), Tickets can be purchased at the first two locations by credit and debit card or cash and cash only at the Animal Hospital. Councillors Cohen and Sam Goldbloom note that information will be available that night for people interested in possibly joining the committee or adopting a cat. Educhat will hold a bake sale before the concert and at intermission.

The committee wishes to thank Jacques Monfette, Michel Leblanc, Hipolito Corral and the staff at the Marymount Adult Education Centre for their cooperation, as well as key event organizers Alvin Fishman, Harold Cammy, Maurizio Giobbi, Regine Banon and Lisa Milner for their help.

For more information call 514-485-6806, ext. 2200 or log on to www.cotesaintluc.org/cats. 


Support the SPCA's petition to halt rental units from not allowing pets

Did you know that every year, thousands of Quebecers are forced to part with their pet in order to move into a rental unit where animals are not allowed? 

Did you know that according to a 2012 statistic by the Régie du logement, only  three percent of landlords accept tenants with dogs? 

Kitties


Quebec is considered to be the worst province for animal protection. It’s unthinkable to allow outdated, abusive clauses to force so many avoidable pet abandonments that cause undue stress and hardship for the families they tear apart. 

It needs to change! Like me, you can act at www.spca-mtlaction.com/keepingfamiliestogether/?g=ma&lang=en

As the city councillor responsible for animal protection, it disturbs me greatly that these measures exist. There are such buildings in Côte Saint-Luc. We have a similar problem with high rise condos, but in those cases we cannot intervene. I would like to reach out to those condo boards and sensitize them to the issue. So often I get calls from animal lovers eager to adopt, but held off because their board says no. I must ask the question- what harm does  a cat that stays indoors all the time really do? Attitudes like this need to change.


VCOPs come aboard to assist Cats Committee

A huge word of thanks to Eric Goldapple, a member of the Volunteer Citizens on Patrol (VCOP). He has agreed to be the official liaison between the VCOPs and the Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee, something I have been trying to establish for some time now.

Eric Goldapple
Eric Goldapple makes his points.

With support from Councillor Glenn J. Nashen and Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson, I believe we are moving in a positive direction. The VCOPs patrol the streets of Côte Saint-Luc regularly, so it makes perfect sense for them to be our eyes and ears.

Eric and his wife Joan were cat owners. “I personally adopted two cats, although I am highly allergic, on two different occasions when I noticed them wandering around in my backyard,” says Eric. “One died after six months as he had a heart murmur and the other lived for five years as he had Feline immunodeficiency virus or FIV. I knew that both must have been abandoned as they had been fixed. They made great pets.”

At a VCOPs meeting, Eric asked his fellow patrollers to begin looking out for strays, , kittens, as well as domestic cats that may have been abandoned and become homeless. “I mentioned how important it was to keep the feral cat population under control and emphasized the need to rescue kittens as well as domesticated cats if they can be identified as such,” he said.

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