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Community as an Extension of the Family
Archie Cifelli has a close-knit family and is a proud dad and
husband. Next year, he and his wife will celebrate 25 years of marriage. They
have three kids: Selina, 17, Giulianna, 20 and Luciano, 22. The Cifelli family
also has two dogs, Bella and Mia, two Shorkie-Zus (a mix between a Yorkshire
Terrier and a Shih Tzu).
''Family is very important to me,'' says Cifelli. ''That being said, compromising is not easy. If you want to work at it and accept the good with the bad, then you find ways of getting through.'' Cifelli aims to keep his kids as grounded as possible. ''For example, there are no cell phones at the dinner table, because the few minutes that we're together, we need to spend them together,'' he says.
Cifelli is a busy man. In fact, besides being the President of Fête de Quartier, he is also the Executive Vice-President of Groupe Kloda Focus, a company specialized in sound and lighting equipment. It offers quality service and equipment for a variety of events, such as weddings or corporate events. Cifelli has been working for the company for 21 years.
This year, Cifelli is also running for municipal councillor for the city of Laval in the November 5th election. Until then, Cifelli is spending time talking to people. ''I just finished my door-to-door, and I want to make sure that I'm being involved in the community,'' he says. ''Getting people at a table to organize Fête de quartier is great, but I wanted to do something on a more permanent basis, and this is why I decided to run for municipal councillor,” says Cifelli. If elected, one of Cifelli's priorities is to open a community center in Val-des-Brises/Val-des-Arbres for the neighborhood's youth. Cifelli has experience in the field. In fact, he sat on the board of Don Bosco Youth Leadership Centre in Rivières-des-Prairies for a few years, and the center quickly became a game-changer for the neighbourhood's kids.
''We have a lot of young kids in our area, but there's nothing for them to do. It's not their fault, but we’ve got to do something about that,'' he says. Cifelli also believes that there is a need for a new park in the sector. ''We don't have a real park with a soccer field, a tennis field, or even a building to go to the washroom or in the winter, put on your skates. We have an ice skating ring, but we have nowhere to put on our skates,'' he says.
In Cifelli's world, it's by getting involved that things can change. ''If you want something done, either get yourself involved or let other people deal with it, but then, you can't criticize. I always believed if you want to help, you come to the table and you find solutions,'' he says.
For Cifelli, community is an extension of his family. He believes that when people feel safe and welcome in the community, then it becomes a stress-free environment. ''If it's good for my family, then it's good for the community as well. This is why, from there, I wanted to run as municipal councillor, because I wanted to take it a step further,'' he says.
The future will tell if Cifelli gets elected in office, but for now, everything points to the direction that the Fête de quartier 2017 will be a tremendous success.
In 2016, the event was an outstanding success with over 5000 participants, the average being 3500 to 4000 people in preceding years. This year, the event is happening on Sunday, September 17th, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Parc du Royal-22e-Régiment. ''It's five hours of uninterrupted fun,'' says Cifelli. ''Basically, we're hoping that all the kids and families come out, enjoy the activities, have fun, and make it a great community event.''
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