Montrealers old and new encouraged to bond over food at Place des Arts

Fatma, a Palestinian refugee, shares her lentil soup recipe at the Cuisine Ta Ville event.

Place des Arts is lined with tents this weekend. Inside those tents, Montrealers old and new — including recent refugees who’ve settled in the city — are coming together over a warm meal.

It’s all part of “Cuisine Ta Ville,” one of many events celebrating Montreal’s 375th birthday.

Organizers hope the event helps to break down barriers between new Montrealers and longtime residents.

READ MORE: Thousands converge on Place des Arts for Women’s March in Montreal

Visitors to the exhibit are invited to come in and cook. Soup is served on a stage where people are paired up with perfect strangers so they can get to know each other and learn about each other’s cultures and cuisine.

The event is not only about food, but also brings together several artists. Inside the tents, photo and video exhibits depict the lives of refugees.

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The tents are meant to evoke what a refugee camp looks like, but also serves as a reminder of Tempo car shelters used during winter in certain Montreal neighborhoods.

WATCH: Syrian refugees mark one-year anniversary in Montreal

“When we do a project like [this], it’s really so people know each other for real, and not just virtually,” said organizer Annie Roy.

“I think it really breaks the barriers and it makes people have a more real sense of who we are as human beings.”

The event continues until Sunday at 11 p.m.

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