My friend Gil

Creating a web series based on ordinary life

This series hopes to do something different; it grounds itself in ordinary, everyday life, thereby revealing Gil’s extraordinary presence.

In a culture that is constantly seeking change and novelty, Gil’s capacity to remain joyful in his very simple life is exceptional. This reflects the reality of many other people with intellectual disabilities.

The series’ creator, Manu, meets Gil in a community space called the Dépanneur Sylvestre. As Gil washes the floor, cuts vegetables and washes dishes, he works with enthusiasm. Apart from a word every now and then, the two barely speak.

By offering presence to each other, without having to say anything, a mutual appreciation blossoms.

From the ordinary, something extraordinary breaks through. Friendship is freely given through a simple sharing of presence. 

MonAmiGil-3-En from L'Arche Canada on Vimeo.


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Project initiator: Gil Frois
Filming: Voices and Colors New Media
Production: Jean Vanier Association
Web series adaptation: L'Arche Canada
Filming and dissemination partners: L'Arche Agapè and Association des Arches du Québec

Sometimes it takes a long time to truly listen to people who express themselves differently, who don’t fulfill roles in society from which they can be heard.
These days, everyone is rushing everywhere, always seeking more, never feeling enough. Yet, you seem to be content being just where you are, present to people and the moment, and open to wonder.
I did not know Aurèle, but I was sad when I heard that he died. I was sad for him and his family and friends, for his friend Gil, their housemates and their L’Arche community.
Do you have an intellectual disability and dream of being a model? Gil invites you to step onto the stage and participate in our ExpressYourself Contest by posing in front of the camera!
Many thanks to everyone who answered our invitation and shared their smile for World Down Syndrome Day. We are now launching a new invitation… to share the stage with Gil. Do you know anyone with an intellectual disability who, perhaps inspired by Gil, would like to be in the spotlight? Write to us at
Why does my heart melt when I see a picture of Gil Frois in my Facebook feed or on I’m either rushing or exhausted, but I jump online to make sure I’m not missing yet another thing… there he is smiling at the camera, or captured at work, or making music. His photo makes me pause and catch my breath.
How can we describe Gil’s music? Innate, intuitive, inspired, free, without reference? Different, for sure!