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Human towers, or castells, are one of the great symbols of Catalonia and its culture. From the UK to Australia and from South America to China, they're a tradition steadily catching on around the world. Now, Canadian public broadcaster CBC has dedicated a long report to the colla (team) in Montreal.

The colla was created by Serge Mainville in 2007 after he'd spent a year in Barcelona where he'd joined a team himself. Speaking to CBC, Mainville says that on his return to Canada he "couldn't imagine no longer doing it", meaning castells.


He says that the group started with only seven or eight members, but that news spread quickly and many Catalans living in the city were keen to join.

The current club leader is Ian Ericksen, who every week manages to bring together up to 35 people to practise in La Fontaine Park, or Collège Brébeuf in Côte-des-Neiges when it's cold.



The reporter writes that "it's clear that some of the Montreal club's members feel a kinship with Catalonians that goes beyond acrobatic thrills to a sense of solidarity with Catalan aspirations for independence from Spain". They make this feeling of solidarity clear by wearing yellow, the colour of support for the political and social leaders in pretrial detention for their roles in 2017's independence push.