Catherine Éveillard was born in 1954 in Rennes, France, and studied architecture in Rennes before leaving in 1971. She moved to Quebec in 1974, where she became active in the urban resistance movement in working-class Montreal neighbourhoods. She helped found the Comité logement St-Louis. Her film on tenants on Emile Nelligan St., shot in collaboration with Hilda Ramacière and edited at Vidéothèque, dates from this period. She then became interested in the establishment of housing cooperatives, which made it possible for many tenants to partake of collective ownership and injected new life into the community.