Little Burgundy rallies to save NCC

Photo courtesy the Gazette

A community rally will be held Saturday afternoon in the hopes of saving the Negro Community Centre in Little Burgundy.

After years of neglect, the ageing building' wall crumbled last month, leading to the NCC declaring bankruptcy.

The 124-year-old building's ultimate fate is still unknown, but the rally's organizers say they want the city to stop and think for a minute before they demolish it.

The rally itself is being billed as both a celebration of the NCC's 100-year history and a call for a moratorium on any demolition plans.

Michael Farkas of Little Burgundy community group Youth in Motion is one of the organizers. He says it would be a mistake to write off the NCC completely.

"It's never too late," he says. "That's what we're saying. There are many new residents, there's a new generation of kids and that's for whom we're really doing this. We want a voice at the table and we'll see what happens."

Farkas says the South-west borough has been receptive to requests for dialogue, and Montreal mayor Denis Coderre said earlier this week that he did hope to meet with stakeholders and come to some sort of arrangement soon.

He hopes that the NCC does not disappear from the map - and the community's collective memory - forever. But he is realistic about its future.

"A cultural or community centre would be great, something modernized, and at the same time we recognize that the game has gone into the hands of trustees," he says. 

The rally takes place at 3 pm at Oscar Peterson park in Little Burgundy

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