Rain holds off for March of the Umbrellas

Umbrellas became sunshades on Wednesday as cheery McGillians sporting red and white umbrellas joined the Montreal Centraide campaign’s annual March of Umbrellas in downtown Montreal.
McGillians proudly sport their school umbrellas as part of yesterday’s March of the Umbrellas. / Photo: Owen Egan

By McGill Reporter Staff

Red and white umbrellas glowed in the bright fall sunshine and the McGill flag atop the Arts Building snapped in the warm breeze on Oct. 4 as McGillians prepared to walk through the downtown in support of the annual Centraide Campaign.

Marty the Martlet, Campaign co-chairs Ollivier Dyens, Deputy Provost (Student Life & Learning);  Dilson Rassier, Dean of the Faculty of Education; and Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) President Muna Tojiboeva led the McGill contingent from the Y intersection down to McGill College, joining thousands of umbrella carrying supporters of Centraide Montreal.

Happy participants danced to music as the multi-hued march wended its way along McGill College Ave. and Ste. Catherine St. to the Quartier des Spectacles.

For Dyens, supporting Centraide means lending a helping hand to neighbours in need. “Our aim is to help our fellow Montrealers, through even the smallest of donations,” he said. “This is not about McGill, but about the larger community we live in. It is really important to give back.”

Rassier is proud of the University’s Centraide tradition. “It’s a cause we have supported for many, many years. It’s important for McGill to be part of helping those in need because one in seven Montrealers benefits from Centraide-funded programs.”

McGill’s target is $500,000. Last year, shooting for the same goal, generous staffers surpassed that sum, raising more than $513,000. Staff can make donations, as small as $2.00 every two weeks, as deductions from their paychecks. If every staff member committed the minimum $2.00 per pay period, the University would raise a whopping $700,000. For all McGill Centraide questions, including how to make deductions from your pay, contact Linda Webb.

In Greater Montreal, Centraide’s network funds over 350 groups. Those groups use the money raised to break the cycle of poverty and social exclusion.

Centraide-supported groups provide assistance to about half a million people, including isolated seniors, families in need of food or other necessities, students in danger of dropping out of school, immigrants needing a hand to get settled in a new country, and people struggling with mental health issues.

Get more information on Centraide

McGill’s Centraide co-chairs (from left to right): Dilson Rassier, Dean of the Faculty of Education; Ollivier Dyens, Deputy Provost (Student Life & Learning); and SSMU President Muna Tojiboeva. / Photo: Owen Egan