Media Advisory – Chez Doris to serve 300 vulnerable and homeless women for its annual holiday meal

MONTREAL, Chez Doris will serve 300 women a holiday meal, a 25% increase from last year. In order to respond to the growing number of women in need, Chez Doris will host two back-to-back holiday parties, a lunch and dinner service, at the reception hall of Evangel Church. Women who are affected by poverty, homelessness and/or health and mental health problems will be served by police officers from Stations 12, 20, and 50 as well as volunteers.

Entertainment will be offered by showman extraordinaire, Sheldon Kagan, who has provided performances for weddings, corporate and special events for 50 years. To kick-off the party, Guy Trottier, one of Sheldon’s long-time DJ’s, will animate. A performance will be provided by Barbara Diabo, who specializes in Aboriginal hoop dance, there will also be dancing, games, and during the meal, women will be serenaded by singer, Matt Mardini. To culminate the event, foot patrol Officer Éric Charbonneau, from Station 20-Secteur Ville-Marie, will be dressed as Santa and will distribute gifts.

DATE: Wednesday, December 12, 2018

TIME: Hall doors open at 9 AM for the women of Chez Doris

WHERE: Evangel Church, 2154 St. Catherine Street West, Montreal, QC H3H 1M7

The schedule for the first lunch seating is :

9 AM:            Hall doors open for the women of Chez Doris. Holiday music will play. Fruit, pastries, and juice will be on all the tables.

9:30 AM:     Bingo and Prizes

10:15 AM:  Performance by Barbara Diabo who specializes in Aboriginal hoop dance.

10:35 AM: Dance Floor Opens for the women, police officers and volunteers – animated by Guy Trottier; prizes to be won.

11:30 AM: Holiday lunch starts and Matt Mardini to serenade the women in several languages.

12:40 PM: Distribution of wish list gifts, shoebox gifts, and chocolates – with foot patrol Officer Éric Charbonneau as Santa.

MEDIA is invited to schedule interviews or photo opportunities from 9 AM to 1:30 PM.

Interview opportunities for the media by appointment:

  • Interview with Executive Director, Marina Boulos-Winton
  • Interview with one or more clients of Chez Doris to learn more of their trajectories
  • Interview with Police Officers
  • Interview with Sheldon Kagan and his entertainers

For the afternoon animation, Sheldon will be joined by DJ Allan from Sam Music, and Matt Mardini will take the mike once more. They will be followed by Pow Wow style dancing performed by Sedelia Fazio and Northern Traditional dancing performed by Don Barnaby.

A big thanks!

Both events would not be possible without the generosity of the following: Conseil d’arrondissement de Ville-Marie, Evangel Church for the space, an anonymous donor for all the personalised gifts, B’nai Brith for the turkeys, Sheldon Kagan for the animation, the Montreal chapter of the Shoebox Project for 300 shoeboxes filled with gifts, and Divine Chocolatier for truffle chocolates for all the women. A special thank you to our many volunteers and to photographer Valentina Gryban who will be capturing the joyous moments of the day.

ABOUT CHEZ DORIS: Chez Doris offers services and programs to provide for women’s most basic and immediate needs related to coping with homelessness, poverty, mental illness and/or addictions. It is the only women’s day shelter in Montréal open 7 days a week, from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM. Services include: breakfast and lunch; access to showers, hygienic products, and a clothing depot; emergency food bags; 6 respite beds; telephone information and referral assistance; custodial services and a financial management program; an Inuit assistance program; an Aboriginal housing program; health and mental health services; legal & tax filing services; as well as educational and socio-recreational integration programs. Chez Doris’ drop-in program welcomes up to 100 women per day. This fiscal year, Chez Doris will receive more than 2,000 different women and serve more than 42,000 meals.

ABOUT SHELDON KAGAN: In 2015, Sheldon Kagan decided to call it a career after 50 years of being a well- established DJ, party planner, concert promoter and impresario in Montreal. Aside from enjoying his retirement, he now devotes his time to mentoring young musicians and charitable work.

ABOUT MATT MARDINI: Matt Mardini is a crooner singer based in Montreal, originally from Aleppo, Syria, who moved to Canada to make a new life for himself and his family. He is now a Canadian Citizen. He has more than 20 years of professional experience singing for a wide range of events all over the world, from corporate get-togethers, to weddings, to private parties, and everything in between. He is working now on his first album of original songs.


To schedule interviews or photo opportunities:


Véronique Arsenault, Communications, Exponentiel Conseil,
Cell: 514-238-6836,

Chez Doris Women’s Shelter Foundation, Marina Boulos-Winton, Executive
Director, Cell: 514-654-7597,


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