Boucher and Garber

Anne-Marie Boucher and Mitch Garber.

The team at the Jewish National Fund Montreal always thinks outside of the box. Such is certainly the case for their own distinct version of the hit CBC TV program The Dragons’ Den. Next Monday night at Evo Montreal downtown, five teams of Montreal’s most promising entrepreneurs will have the potential to win up to $500,000 in investment funds when they showcase their unique ideas before a Hall-of Fame roster of Canadian business leaders at the JNF’s TechShuk 2020 (Shuk is the Hebrew word for market).

The panel of “Lions” consist of power couple Anne-Marie Boucher & Mitch Garber; pharmaceutical giant Jonathan Goodman & Victoria Park Medispas boss Jeff Hart; Clementia Pharmaceuticals Canada CEO Clarissa Desjardins & Michael Kors Canada President Debra Margles; and Group RMC Principal Nick Bakish & INCapital Ventures Co-Founder and Managing Partner Inbar Haham. For all of the details log on to

WHEEL CLUB ON A ROLL: Man about town, musician and hotel executive Stewart Rubin has added another role to his busy schedule as chief publicist for the Wheel Club at Cavendish and Sherbooke in NDG. Upcoming attractions include a country line dance soiree Jan. 23 with Kathryn Jacob and on Saturday Jan. 25 the return to town of the ever so popular folk singer and guitarist Dan Bern. He has written over 1,000 songs, released 21 albums and six EPs. His material challenges genre categorization, but has been compared stylistically to Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Bruce Springsteen, Phil Ochs and Elvis Costello. Singer-songwriter Orit Shimoni is on the card along with indie music scene fixture Greg Halpin. Speaking of Bern, he and local performer Ryan Stotland wrote a song together about the great bagel rivalry between New York and Montreal called the Great Bagel Debate. “While we wrote the song I mailed him a dozen bagels to California, where he currently resides,” Ryan shared with me. Ticket info is on evenbrite.

SUNG HEROES: The Yellow Door Choir, referred to by many as the unsung heroes within our community, will hold their next two benefits on the evenings of Jan. 24 and 25 at the Unitarian Church of Montreal downtown for the benefit of Innovation Jeunes, whose mission it is to offer a community space for youth and families living downtown, opening up the possibilities of integration into academic, family, and social life. This group of 40 volunteers or so, has been singing their hearts out for over 30 years. More than 50 charities have benefited from its efforts. Info:

COHEN CHATTER: Joanne Cutler and her team at B’nai Brith Canada Community Services continue to pack The Adath Synagogue in Hampstead for their regular musical brunches for seniors. The next one occurs on Sun. Jan. 26, featuring classic vintage music with Nasr & Thorpe and a kosher buffet. You must call the synagogue and purchase your tickets in advance… …Annie DeMelt is leaving CTV Montreal to join the communications team at the MUHC. Elysia Bryan Baynes will “retire” from Global TV Jan. 31 at the young age of 38. See my blog for more on the latter two developments…. Eli Batalion, co-creator of the acclaimed web series YidLife Crisis, has some good news to share about his very clever and funny locally made film Appiness. It will be available to rent or own Jan. 28 on streaming services (including Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, Google Play and Vudu) and Cable VOD (including Comcast, Verizon, DirecTV, and Dish) in the United States… The Sad Music, Sad Comedy Tour featuring the collaboration between comedian/actor Nick Thune and singer songwriter/legendary musician Damien Jurado stops in Montreal at L’Astral this Friday night. See my blog for more.

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