February 14, 2012 marked the 39th anniversary since the first Portage centre in Prévost opened its doors to its first group of drug addicts who were looking to get back in control of their lives. Every year on Metamorphosis Day, Portage centres across the country celebrate the tens of thousands of lives that Portage has touched.
A grand celebration was held at the original Portage site in Prévost. All the residents and staff members from all Portage centres in the Montréal region were in attendance, along with partners, board members, and other friends of Portage. It was a full house of almost 300 people for the special lunch, prepared and served by the centre’s chefs and their team of resident sous-chefs. The directors of the Portage centres in Prévost, Beaconsfield, and of the Mother and Child and Mentally Ill Chemical Abusers (MICA) programs addressed the group, and then the residents took over the entertainment, with songs, poems, music videos, and touching testimonials. After lunch, guests enjoyed some basketball and hockey, as well as sledding and a bonfire.
At the Portage centre in Cassidy Lake, twenty-eight residents painted a butterfly mural to represent what Metamorphosis Day means to them. The metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly is a metaphor for the transformation that residents undergo while in therapy. The mural represents the freedom that residents feel once they have overcome their addiction to drugs.
The staff members and participants at the Portage centre in Québec City decorated the building with butterflies that they had made to celebrate Metamorphosis Day. They enjoyed a special lunch and a visit from a past participant, who shared his metamorphosis story with the current participants.