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Illustration Pascal Blanchet
The 20th edition of the Tuques Bleues benefit event brought together close to 400 snowshoers and 75 runners on a snow-laden Mount Royal last Thursday evening, February 16. Presented by Manulife for an 8th consecutive year, and featured each year as part of Montréal en lumière festivities, the event raised $145,000 in support of Les amis de la montagne’s environmental conservation programmes on Mount Royal.
Inspired by the treks of the XIXth century Montreal Snowshoe Club, this exceptional outdoor event combined an athletic climb up Mount Royal, fine food, music and entertainment in the majestic Mount Royal Chalet. The participants enjoyed a full evening of entertainment including an electro traditional duo with DJ Doro a.k.a. Dominique Rheault and violinist Tim Savard, a light show by FogoRasto’s Le Peuple des Glaces and a bagpipe performance by the St. Andrews Society, reminiscent of Montreal’s Scottish community. Prizes were drawn by Tubbs Snowshoes and Atlas Snowshoes, partners of the event since its very first edition, and by Lolë.
The event was held under the honorary co-chairmanship of Robert Tellier, Regional Vice President, Group Retirement Solutions and Group Benefits Québec, Manulife, and Michel Leblanc, President & CEO, Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, represented by Michelle LLambías Meunier, Director, Corporate Affairs and Community Relations. Medals and a trophy were awarded as follows:
Snowshoe Race Winners – Women
Snowshoe Race Winners – Men
Team Challenge – Tuques Bleues Trophy
Fourteen companies participated as Défi Équipes Partners competing for the Tuques Bleues Trophy: 3 Macs, a division of Raymond James, Ben-Jac Capital Inc, DNA Capital, Pembroke Private Wealth Management Ltd, Presima, PWL Capital, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, Resolute Forest Products, Revision Military, Roma Food Products, Samcon Inc., TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, Ville de Montréal and Woods L.L.P. PRESIMA won the Trophy for a second consecutive year, with the best combined time for their top three racers of 47 m. 46 s, and an average race time of 15 m. 55 s. per runner.
Complete official race results are available on Sportstats official website.
As part of the Tuques Bleues awards ceremony, the Manulife Volunteer Award was presented to Nathalie Bossé, Assistant Head, Curriculum & CLE, St. George's School of Montreal, for her outstanding commitment to Les amis de la montagne over the past 6 years, and and her positive influence on the school’s young people who volunteer for selected organisations.
Les amis de la montagne wishes to highlight the outstanding involvement of volunteers and partners who helped make the event such a success. Heartfelt thanks go to the Tuques Bleues Committee for their important role in reaching the fundraising objective: Jeffrey Drummond and Philip Belec, co-chairs, Diana Ferrara Scalia, Kathryn Lund Drummond, Françoise E. Lyon, Érik Moisan and Robert Tellier.
Les amis de la montagne is also grateful to the following key partners for their ongoing commitment to the event: Lead Sponsor Manulife - Premium Partners Tubbs Snowshoes and Atlas Snowshoes - Public Partner Ville de Montréal - Bronze Sponsor TD Friends of the Environment Foundation - Products & Services Sponsors Montréal en lumière, 2nd Field Regiment Royal Canadian Artillery, Coureur des bois, Dornier Wines, Gattuso (Biobio and Groksi), Musion Canada, Java U Catering, Bierbrier Brewery and Les Fermes Kavalier - Media Partner Bell Media and its affiliated radio stations Rouge 107,3 FM, CJAD 800 AM and CHOM 97.7 FM.
Photos Credit: Tzara Maud Images / P.-O. Contant
Les amis de la montagne is a registered, charitable organization that works to protect and enhance Mount Royal through community involvement and environmental education.
The Montreal Snowshoe Club was founded in 1840. Its members would gather each week at nightfall on Sherbrooke Street near McGill College for a 20 km snowshoe hike through the forest of Mount Royal. This winter sport was one the main social, recreational and philanthropic activities of the time and provided some of the most influential businessmen of Montreal the opportunity to socialize together. Around 1870, the Club members started wearing the blue tuque, a symbol of their excellence in competition.
Photos: Tzara Maud Images / P.-O. Contant