Des Bons Voisins keeps it local in Pointe Claire Village

By Lisa Baum

“All it takes is a few people with an idea and a motivation.” So claims Patrizio McLelland, an event coordinator at Co-operative des Bons Voisins in Pointe Claire Village.

In an interview with The Suburban, he explained how the venue has carved out a special place for itself and is now held dear in the hearts of local residents who are customers, volunteers and members.
The brainchild of three Pointe Claire residents, Nathalie Laplante, Sophie Laplante and Anne-Marie Angers-Trottier, they were motivated by a desire to develop a project that allowed ecological, cultural and community development to mix with civic engagement.
Thus, the Co-op was originally conceived as a way of providing a local alternative to residents and to offer a platform for local businesses. Since then, it has grown year on year and is now a bustling and thriving part of our community.

Explaining the evolution of the project, McLelland commented “at our core we wear a lot of different hats. We owe a huge part of our success to our volunteer staff and over the past three years they have really helped to shape the Co-op.”

So what have they shaped it into? Not only a cafe and restaurant serving 100 percent organic and locally sourced food, but also a meeting house for local groups, an arts centre and a music venue.

With live music every Friday and Saturday, des Bons Voisins is becoming one of West Island’s most happening venues, and notably, the bulk of this is achieved with the assistance of a dedicated team of volunteers, or “members”. This is a totally different way of running a business.

As McLelland explains “we offer different types of memberships. Some people just want to contribute financially, but we find that a lot of our members want to volunteer their time. Our volunteer staff generously gives their time on a monthly or weekly basis, and with this responsibility comes shares in the Co-op.”
These shares equate to voting rights, which they can use at the general meeting held every April. This means that the Co-op’s mission is moulded by the volunteers who run it.

The Co-operative des Bons Voisins is open seven days a week and will be holding an outdoor festival from 4-11 p.m. on Sept. 14 called The Happening des Bons Voisins. The festival will feature local beer, local food and local vendors and artists. For more information visit

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