My friend Gil

It’s a contest!

Ask a friend or a relative to take your picture, if possible with a plain background.

Strike a pose, do a mime or a dance, and just express yourself!

Send us the photos taken during this photo session before Sunday, May 6, 2018 at gil.monami@gmail.com

We will share your photos on the Facebook page of Mon Ami Gil where everyone will see your talent.

Three expressive winners will be selected and each will be offered a photo session with a professional photographer (a $500 value). These photo shoots will be made into videos and published on social media, like Mon Ami Gil.

 

Why a contest?

One of Gil’s big dreams was to be in front of the camera and on screen, to become a model. His dream came true – his photo shoot was viewed more than 55,000 times and elicited over 1,200 reactions last week on Facebook.

Gil is not the only one to dream and hope to be seen. Other people with intellectual disabilities may also like to be photographed. This competition hopes to give them an opportunity to be “on stage”, to share their passion and talent.

The series Mon Ami Gil, initiated at the request of Gil himself, is an invitation to all persons with intellectual disabilities to make known their gifts.

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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

Percussion: Kéman Seck


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.
Most documentaries are inspired by exceptional subjects or unusual situations. In this film, the camera follows Gil as he goes about his everyday tasks. He completes each job with the same tireless enthusiasm, never giving up.
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!
One of Gil’s greatest gifts is his capacity for mutuality in friendships where each helps the other to grow, each brings out the best in the other. When he was young, Gil was fortunate to be accompanied by an extraordinary special educator, François Villemaire, who at the time worked for the “Pavillon du parc”, an establishment that is part of the network of health and social services in Gatineau, Quebec.
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 gil.monami@gmail.com.
Why does my heart melt when I see a picture of Gil Frois in my Facebook feed or on larche.ca? 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!