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Joel Ceausu – The Suburban LJI Reporter

NDG Reads on Thursday night!

To celebrate the power of literature and a love of reading, the NDG Community Council is hosting the fourth edition of Combat des Livres NDG Reads, a free event, open to the community. This year’s focus is Stories that Challenge what it means to be Canadian, inviting people to read books that reveal the hard truths of being Canadian, along with the joys of being Canadian.

Moderating the event will be Kadi Diop, a long-time youth worker in NDG who many may know from OFF-JFL, Zoofest, the Black and Funny Improv Festival, Ottawa Improv festival, Montreal Sketchfest, MProv and Ladyfest. Kadi performs improv and storytelling regularly in Montreal on various teams, and is one half of the sketch duo Inside Scoop.

The Half-Guinean, half-Senegalese queer, fat, bilingual and multi-hyphenate comedian will be joined by many special guests, inclouding Barbara Kaneratonni Diabo is Kanienkeha:ka (Mohawk) of mixed heritage originally from Kahnawake and is currently artistic director and choreographer of A’nó:wara Dance Theatre. Dakar born Ayavi Lake is a teacher and mother of two children who arrived In Quebec in 2007 after pursuing studies in France. In 2019, she published a noted collection of short stories, Le marabout (VLB éditeur), currently being adapted for the screen. La Sarzène is her highly anticipated first novel.

NDG friends and neighbours will be championing the following titles: Brother by David Chariandry, championed by Jillian Witt; Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta, championed by Rina Kampeas; La Sarzène by Ayavi Lake, championed by Mathieu Lauzon-Dicso; and Namwayut by Chief Robert Joseph, championed by Annabel Huerta Estelli.

The evening will also feature surprise performances by members of the NDG and Montreal community. The NDG Community Council thanks local bookstores and libraries for supporting this event recognizes the generous financial support provided by Desjardins and everyone who participated in the La Ruche campaign.

NDG Reads Thursday March 16 at 7 p.m. at Maison de la Culture Botrel, 3755 Rue Botrel. Reserve a seat at

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