Walking Tour: Pioneers of the Picket Line: A History of Women in Montreal’s Shmatte Industry

Jun 16, 2024 - Jun 16, 2024

Sun. June 16th, 2 pm
Duration: 2 hours

Starting point: Parc Ethel Stark, corner of Prince-Arthur and Clark, in the Plateau Mont-Royal

Join this special walking tour.

The Great Divide is about young immigrants at the turn of the early 20th century, factory workers, who shaped history in New York. Learn about Montreal’s own labour movement, and the women who drove it, in this walking tour. From sweatshops to picket lines, discover the stories of women – union organizers, workers, and radicals – who paved the way for the modern labour movement, workers’ rights and women’s rights in Montreal. A special focus will be given to the life and work of pioneering labour organizer and feminist Léa Roback.

Book your spot quickly! Space is limited.

Price: $15  general / $10 students - Save 50% when you purchase a ticket to see The Great Divide.*

*If you have already purchased a ticket, a discount code will be sent to you.

Your Guide

Melanie Leavitt

Melanie Leavitt has worked on a variety of public history projects exploring labour and women's history, including walking tours, conferences, workshops, oral history and radio projects, with a focus on women's labour history in Québec's garment and textile industries. Since 2017, she has been a Board Member of Mile End Memories, a socially-engaged historic society, based in the Mile End district of Montréal. She has recently joined the Board of Directors of the Fondation Léa Roback, which provides scholarships to women in financial need who are active and engaged in their communities.

Presented in partnership with Jewish Public Library Archives and their podcast, recollections with the JPL. May 2024 marks the 110th anniversary of the Jewish Public Library, and the 40th birthday of the JPL Archives. The opening season of recollections with the JPL is a celebration of our Jewish Leftist roots in Montreal. In this podcast, the JPL Archives weaves together interviews with scholars, activists, teachers, and fellow archivists that discuss topics such as Jewish immigration to Canada, Jewish languages and culture, labour, and feminist movements in the 20th century, and the diversity of political ideologies that existed within the 'left'.