Born in Ziguinchor, Lenine Nankassa Boucal is a social entrepreneur and cultural worker based in Quebec since 2007. After travelling through this French-speaking province of Canada and living between its small and large cities, it was in Rimouski in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region (Est-duQuébec), where he finally dropped his bags in 2014. Very involved in his host community, Mr. Boucal is a key player in Eastern Quebec in terms of promoting cultural diversity, intercultural rapprochement and, above all, living together better.
Founder and coordinator of the Cabaret de la diversité and instigator of Black History Month Bas-Saint-Laurent, Lenine is at the origin of several inclusive projects that promote intercultural dialogue and better living together. Besides, several Senegalese artists such as Ilam, Bo Diaw, Karim Dabo, Zal Sissokho (best album of the year 2020, Quebec, Canada) or Simon Kouka, have already taken part in the unifying events of the Cabaret de la diversité. Since 2018, he has been involved in several projects at the Cabaret de al diversité, including the Arbre à palabres at the Salon du livre de Rimouski, the oldest of its kind in Canada. The Université du Québec à Rimouski hosted a conference by Mr. Kouka on the Y’EN A MARRE movement in November 2018.
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This award is collective. Born in Ziguinchor, a city with a cemetery where Christians and Muslims are buried together and have grown up in Senegal where Islamo-Christian dialogue is a given; I was deeply imbued with these values of solidarity and better living together. Moreover, I believe that we have a moral duty to leave our children a better world of love for tolerance, peace, justice, equity and better living together where every Human counts; without distinction of any race, religion, sex or socio-status.economic.” – Lenine Nankassa Boucal, founder of the Cabaret de la diversité and instigator of Black History Month Bas-Saint-Laurent
A recipient of the Lys de la diversité du Québec Award at the Grands Prix Mosaic (May 2019, National Bank of Canada), a favourite of the year for Bas-Saint-Laurent audiences (December 2019, Radio-Canada), Mr. Boucal was awarded on October 21, the prestigious Charles Biddle Award, which recognizes the exceptional contribution of people who have immigrated to Quebec and whose personal or professional commitment contributes to the cultural and artistic development of Quebec. The announcement was made jointly by Nadine Girault, Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie and Minister of Immigration, Francisation and Integration, and Brigitte Melançon, Director, Communication and Education, Culture pour tous. Through their achievements, these women and men are models of success, both in their field and for Quebec society as a whole.