Meet Félicia | Portraits of merchants & professionals of Côte-des-Neiges
As part of the Portraits of merchants & professionals of Côte-des-Neiges project, we invited Zeineb Khalfallah (@zeineb_conscience on Instagram) to join us in our visit of 11 businesses of the SDC Côte-des-Neiges who have participated in the project. In addition to the exhibition on Promenade Jean-Brillant of the pictures taken by Drowster and Gaëlle Leroyer, Zeineb shares with us the moments she took with the owners and managers. Learn more about your merchants and professionals of the Côte-des-Neiges district! // Find out more on Zeineb talks and meet Félicia Balzano, Executive director of the SDC Côte-des-Neiges and who is behind the artistic direction of the project!
Who is Félicia Balzano, the young woman at the head of the Société De Développement Commercial (SDC) Côte-des-Neiges?
Of French mother with Italian-Spanish origins, Félicia was born in Montreal and more precisely at the Jewish General Hospital. In 1966, her grandparents and their small family moved to Canada and lived, first, in Côte-des-Neiges.
Decades later, their granddaughter, Félicia, was named executive director of the SDC Côte-des-Neiges at only 32 years old.
Moreover, a few weeks before her appointment, the young woman toured the neighborhood with her mother, who spent her childhood in the borough.
“She made me discover Côte-des-Neiges from another angle, we walked through the whole commercial artery and she showed me her school and we went to lunch at the Caravane Café in incognito mode. It was a great memory!” shared Félicia with fun.
Since the beginning of her mandate in the fall of 2019, the leader has been multiplying projects with the aim of highlighting the various merchants and making the area shine.
“I am a city person and I had a crush on the SDC Côte-des-Neiges. I told myself that this is where I want to evolve. In my daily life, I work on a multitude of aspects that improve both the quality of life of citizens and the experience of visitors to the neighborhood.” Explained Felicia with sparkling eyes and brimming with passion and creativity.
Before starting her mandate at the SDC Côte-des-Neiges, Félicia worked in various cultural projects and was also the head of the marketing department of a fashion company. In 2019, she wanted to get even closer to her values and what drives her professionally.
This reflection was the starting point of Félicia’s adventure within the SDC Côte-des-Neiges. By occupying the position of executive director of the organization, she now has the chance to combine her passion for culture and her vision of the business world.
Her background in the cultural milieu and her creativity lead her to use art to promote the neighbourhood. By collaborating with creators from all fields, Félicia’s ambition is to promote the merchants of Côte-des-Neiges, to offer a warm experience to its citizens and to improve the stay of its visitors.
Writer-journalist-reviser: Zeineb Khalfallah | Photo credit: Drowster
Complete the experience by visiting the free exhibition on Promenade Jean-Brillant from September 15 to December 5, 2021. Info: here
ABOUT THE PROJECT: Portraits of merchants and professionals of Côte-des-Neiges is a project aimed at connecting citizens with businesses in the territory of the Société de développement commercial (SDC) Côte-des-Neiges. Through a series of portraits taken at 11 businesses and businesses, we discover 16 owners and managers of businesses in the area. This social and cultural project is intended to be a real encounter with the people behind the professional. Through this very first edition, you will discover women and men, young professionals and seasoned entrepreneurs, from different cultures, from different backgrounds, offering a varied commercial offer and all having in common their love for Côte-des-Neiges. Discover the exhibition section here on the Promenade Jean-Brillant and continue the experience online thanks to the touching interviews carried out with each of them and available on the SDC Côte-des-Neiges blog and via QR codes on each panel. This project is an initiative and is under the artistic direction of the SDC Côte-des-Neiges. The exhibition component was produced in collaboration with the Maison de la culture Côte-des-Neiges and the Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough.