The word that comes spontaneously to mind when I think of the Trudeau Foundation is community. Traditional funding organizations cannot rival what the Foundation offers in terms of meetings and sustained interaction with a whole panoply of researchers at the national and international level – scholars, mentors, fellows or other people met by chance at various Trudeau Foundation events. Through the Foundation I met many people from various fields who discussed my research with me. The fact that the Foundation actively creates these opportunities and has used its programs and events to make these occasions for discussion a veritable institution is an advantage that can simply not be equalled by other funding bodies.
I would also like to specifically mention the eminently democratic nature of the Foundation events, at which scholars are not only permitted but encouraged to discuss with intellectuals and practitioners who are well established in their respective fields. In the academic world, the student/professor divide is often quite perceptible. It is to the Foundation’s honour that it has created a space for discussion that is not only interdisciplinary but that could also be qualified as “intergenerational,” and that can only benefit both the students and their elders. I, for one, gained from it enormously.
Caroline Allard was born in 1971 and spent her childhood and adolescence in Saint-Roch de l'Achigan, in Lanaudière. Her first works of fiction were written on the bus to amuse her school friends.
In CÉGEP, she initially wanted to study accounting and then marketing, provoking a fair bit of hilarity among her family and friends. In 2003, she began a doctorate in philosophy at the Université de Montréal, but she has not completed it. She returned to writing fiction shortly after discovering motherhood. In 2000, she published short stories in English in online magazines such as Planet Relish, Dragonlaugh, Shadowkeep and The Murder Hole. In spring 2003, she won second place in the Solaris magazine short story contest, with a story called “Lueurs d'éternité.”
During her second maternity leave, in March 2006, champing at the bit at home and desperately looking for an outlet, she started writing a blog. An audience quickly formed and, to her great astonishment, a publishing house soon followed. Chroniques d'une mère indigne was published by Éditions du Septentrion, and it won the eighth Grand Prix littéraire Archambault in 2008.