30 Years in Montreal
The First Granny Gaggle
The first group to call themselves Raging Grannies was formed in Victoria, British Columbia, in 1986-87. Many of the founders had been part of a protest group called “Extenuating Circumstances”. In 1989, the women joined the Greenpeace demonstration on board the Rainbow Warrior. They originally called themselves “NERT—Nuclear Emergency Response Team” as the members believed the presence of US Navy nuclear-powered ships’ in Victoria Harbour posed potential health and environmental risks to the city.
They attracted media attention by dressing in “granny style” clothes and wearing eye-catching hats. And they decided to “Get off their rockers and into trouble” by becoming “Raging Grannies”!
The Beginning of the Montreal Raging Grannies
The Montreal Raging Grannies were started in 1989 by four activist women. Joan Hadrill who headed the peace group “West Islanders for Nuclear Disarmament”, Mary Rowan, Barbara Seifred and Jean Laidlaw Perreault. Since then they have had added a long list of political actions to their credit.
What we've done
The Montreal Raging Grannies have participated in government hearings, made presentations to community groups and marched in countless demonstrations.
We’ve sung out about many environmental issues including nuclear waste disposal, fracking, pipelines and plastic pollution.
We’ve stood up for indigenous rights, woman’s rights, senior’s rights and equal rights.
We’ve raged against violence and gun use and the sale of violent toys to children.
We've made the news!
Women interested in joining us or starting sister groups are encouraged to contact us.
In 2000 Montreal Grannies supported the formation of a Francophone granny group appropriately named, “Les Mémés déchainées”. Contact them.
Granny Power-the film
Once, and only once, the Montreal Raging Grannies appeared without their “granny gear”.
When we heard that film-maker Magnus Isacsson needed financial support to complete his documentary chronicling the Raging Grannies’ history and activities, we decided to go boldly where few grannies have gone before. The result was our calendar, “Old, Bold, and Beautiful. We raised over $20,000 from sales.
The Montreal Raging Grannies have won several awards, including the “Helen Prize” presented to Joan Hadrill in 1999 and the “2001 YMCA Peace Medal”.
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights Exhibit
The Victoria Raging Grannies visit in 2017
Photo credits: The Canadian Human Rights Museum, Aaron Cohen