August 11, 2011

Montreal Queer Sparks Speak: It’s A Roundtable

light a spark

In the next few weeks I will be very busy organizing a feminist roundtable over at – you should probably check it out because there are some awesome queer Montrealers ready to speak their minds on topics that may be of interest to you.

Earlier this spring, Montreal’s Girls Action Foundation launched the Light A Spark Campaign with the belief that “when girls are equipped with confidence, knowledge, and mentors.. they grow up courageous. They improve their own socio-economic situation and that of their communities. They help build a stronger economy, environment, and society for all.”

The Queer Sparks Speak roundtable addresses the gap however in leaders and role models in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community. This roundtable offers an opportunity for young queer women to learn about and to engage with another generation of out queer leaders in our community.

Over the next few weeks these women will discuss issues of sexuality, coming out, feminism, role models and more on We encourage you to join the conversation. Ask questions. Respond. Start a diaologue.

Meet the women:

Val Desjardins is the Artistic Director and part owner of the Royal Phoenix Bar in the Mile End of Montreal and is an artist whose work has been shown throughout Europe, Canada and the US. She has a master’s degree in photography from New York University.

Her activist work has led to her involvement with groups like StellaGris Montreal, ‘Rock camp for Girls’,Head and Hands, and L.O.V.E.. Montrealers might recognize her as the coordinator of Head and Hands popular ‘Faggity Ass Fridays’ or as the Montreal All-Star Roller Derby star ‘Smack Daddy. She recently became part of Team Canada and will play at the Roller Derby World Cup in Toronto in December.

Like the Royal Phoenix on Facebook

Vanessa Mc Lean is a Montrealer, Lesbian, Vegetarian, Yoga practitioner and a Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist for Mad June….She is also a long boarder and a wine drinker. (Please note: The adjectives in this description do not define who I am …but evoke the whole of my parts at the present moment….)

Like Mad June on Facebook or follow them on Twitter

Read The Gaily’s interview with Mad June here.


Pascale St-Onge est auteur, compositeur, bassiste et gérante de Mad June. Originaire de Montréal, Athlète, Végétarienne, Lesbienne, Syndicaliste….Passionnée des mots et de la musique, diplômée en Littérature et en Journalisme… Adore sa chatte, True Blood et le bon vin…

Like Mad June on Facebook and follow Pascale on Twitter

Read The Gaily’s interview with Mad June here.


EE Storey is a Montreal-based graphic designer and illustrator. She grew up in upstate New York and has been happily living in Canada since 1999. Storey is the co-founder of Revel & Riot, an LGBTQ rights organization and merchandising/art center. She also runs a design company called Storey Elementary and has many clients in the music industry, such as Tegan and Sara, Death Cab For Cutie, The Rentals and Paramore. For many years Storey was a part of Certain Days: The Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar Collective and for 4 years she sat on the board of Project 10, an LGBTQ youth advocacy organization in Montreal.

In her spare time, EE Storey likes to cook, discuss possible inventions, read serious books and appreciate folk art of all kinds.

Like Revel & Riot on Facebook and follow them on Twitter

Read The Gaily’s Revel & Riot interview here.


Jess Salomon was working as a war crimes lawyer for the U.N. when she decided to pursue a career in comedy. Frankly, she thought, it was time to get serious.

She now works out of Montreal, where she performs regularly at the Comedy Works and the Comedy Nest. She is the host and producer of the popular Le Comedy Bistro stand up show in Montreal’s Mile End and the writer and star of “Jess Salomon: Doing Good” which premiered at this year’s Montreal Fringe Festival.

Follow Jess on Twitter

See The Gaily’s interview with Jess Salomon here.


Dina Habib est organisatrice de soirées (PINK28 & Tease) pour femmes gaies à Montréal depuis quelques années et elle a fait partie de la campagne Provoquez des Etincelles 2011 de la Fondation Filles d’Action. Elle aimerait encourager les femmes gaies à devenir des modèles positifs pour leurs

Like Pink28 on Facebook or follow Dina on Twitter


Erika Jahn is the organizer of Queer Sparks Speak, and is also the co-founder and executive editor of The She is also the President ofCAEO Quebec, an organization that serves Montreal’s English-speaking LGBT community running essential services like GayLine and SILK. She recently graduated from Harvard University before moving to Montreal to work in the non-profit sector and explore a writing career. She has blogged in Girls Action Foundation’s Blogging Carnival on issues of activism and girls health, and is a regular blogger on

You can like The Gaily on Facebook and follow Erika on Twitter

About the Author

|Executive Editor & Co-Founder| A mostly hippy and always hungry cultural critic, closeted pop-culture lover, and food know-it-all. Half cowgirl, half Ivy leaguer. You will find me writing on the crazy sh*t that happens on my teevee, feminism, philanthropy, religion and politics. I like singing shows, high-waisted skirts, scotch, two-stepping, and all forms of breakfast foods (sweet AND salty).



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