CLC Celebrates 60 years in Montreal, Canada

Article Date: 05/12/2013 12:14:02

CLC began in Canada when Ken and Bessie Adams, the founders of CLC, went to North America in 1947, settling first in Toronto before moving to the USA. A bookstore operated in Toronto for some time but was moved to Montreal in 1953.

A lot of water has flowed under the bridges of the St. Lawrence River in Montreal since those early days and, at the end of October 2013, CLC Canada celebrated 60 years in Quebec.

2013 was more than just an anniversary year for our team in Montreal however. Since January 1st there has been a change of leadership, when Oscar Cardozo took over from Rod Fowler as the National Director, a move from the central headquarters and bookshop in Westmount and two new bookshops have opened!

There are now four CLC bookshops in Montreal covering the north, south, east and west of the city – or at least they do according to Montreal’s unique perspective on directions which is not actually in line with the compass – in fact, Montreal has been called ‘the only city where the sun sets in the north.’!

CLC Brossard, on the ‘South Shore’ is not only a bookshop but also the main headquarters with offices and a wholesale warehouse which includes Video La Bergarie – a CLC owned non-profit company which specialises in the distribution of DVDs.

During the last week of October meetings were arranged for the CLC staff, visiting CLC members, the CLC board members and a number of Canadian publishers. Most of the proceedings were conducted in French, with translation into English for the visitors!

The bookshops all have books in French – in one shop around 70% of the stock is in French – and English. Sadly the cost of importing or buying French books is very high and the comparison between the price of books in English and in French is stark; French books can be three times the price or more! This is a constant concern for the team and ways to improve this situation need to be found.

There is also a growing demand for Spanish books as there is a large group of migrants from Latin America in the city. Oscar Cardozo is himself originally from Paraguay and he speaks Spanish, French, English, Portuguese and German – very useful given the incredibly multicultural society in the city. We have a multicultural team too. Currently the team members are from Paraguay, El Salvador, Guyana, Korea, Canada (from French and English speaking regions), Belgium, Haiti and France.

The culmination of the Anniversary Celebrations was a meeting that was open to the public. Over 300 customers and CLC supporters attended the event and enjoyed a mini concert and time of worship led by ‘Héritage’ – two gifted young men who feel called to play and sing classic hymns in a contemporary style that appeals to all generations. David Almack, the Director of CLC USA and grandson of Ken and Bessie Adams, gave an address looking back at the history of CLC, pointing out the challenges and privileges of serving in this organisation.
Keywords: Canada, Montreal
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