Looking back: The Chartwells Tour

With this year’s Buy Nothing Day only four days away, here’s a look back at The Chartwells Tour, a theatrical jam performed by OTL and Uberculture Concordia last BND to challenge the monopolizing University food service provider controlled by Compass Group Canada.

Chartwells not only runs all the cafeterias at Concordia and McGill Universities, as well as campuses across North America, but they use the exclusivity contracts they sign with the University administrations to bring in companies like Tim Hortons and Starbucks and restrict any food or beverage sales not under their control. You can’t even have a bake sale without their okay.

Two main issues that helped to inspire our performance were the at the time recent annexing of the student-run Architecture Café by Chartwells at McGill and the meal plans forced on students staying in residence at Concordia.  Yeah, students still have free choice of where to eat, but who can afford to go elsewhere when you’ve just paid more than $500 to eat at Chartwells for the semester.

We performed our scene at McGill and Concordia.  It played on Chartwells monopolization of food services by bringing it to its naturally absurd conclusion.  A military drill seargent, the president of Chartwells (Mr. Wells) and ChartWater security arrive to inform students that not only do they have no choice where to eat, but now the company is going to tell them what to eat.

Have a look at the McGill jam:

We’re still looking for players for this year’s BND jam.  To get involved, please contact bnd@optative.net or call 514-699-3378

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