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Close to 400 snowshoers and 80 racers got together on Mount Royal last Thursday, February 18, to take part in the 19th edition of the Tuques Bleues Celebration, both a sporting and gastronomical night-time adventure on snowshoes.
Inspired by the snowshoe excursions of the Montreal Snowshoe Club dating from 1840, this benefit event organized by Les amis de la montagne as part of the opening night of Montréal en lumière, is presented by Manulife for a 7th consecutive year, and raised close to $145,000 in support of educational and conservation programmes on Mount Royal.
The honorary co-chairmanship was held by Robert Tellier, Regional Vice President, Group Retirement Solutions and Group Benefits Québec, Manulife, and Michel Leblanc, President & CEO, Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. They both presented the medals and a trophy to the winners of the race:
Snowshoe race winners - Women:
Gold – Anik Archambault, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, 16 m. 05 s.
Silver – Ann-Julie Auclair, Savonitto & Associés Avocats, 16 m 09 s.
Bronze – Sarah Christiani, Revision Military, 17 m 44 s
Snowshoe race winners – Men:
Gold – Jean-François Bemeur, TUBBS & ATLAS Snowshoes, 11 m 17 s
Silver – Clément Coste, Ville de Montréal, 12 m 10 s
Bronze –Guillaume Laganière, Woods, 12 m 17 s
Eight companies registered to the Défi Équipes to win the Tuques Bleues Trophy: TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, GE Capital, Pembroke Private Wealth Management, Presima, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, Revision Military, Roma Food Products and Woods. The Tuques Bleues Trophy was awarded to Presima with the best combined time for their top three racers (41:50), with an average race time of 13:56 per racer.
The exhilarating hike on a 2.5 km forest trail culminated with a delicious gastronomic feast prepared by Java U Catering at the splendid Chalet du Mont-Royal. The sound and light ambience enhancing the beauty of the site was conceived by Musion Canada.
Manuvie Volunteer Award was presented to Annie Drouin for her outstanding commitment to Les amis de la montagne for more than 10 years. Mrs. Drouin chose to donate her prize of $1,000 to Les amis de la montagne to allow the organization to pursue its mission of protection and enhancement of Mount Royal.
Les amis de la montagne would like to thank and underline the remarkable involvement of the volunteers and partners who helped make the event such a success. A warm thank you to the Tuques Bleues Committee co-chaired by Jeffrey Drummond and Philip Belec; Diana Ferrara Scalia, Robert Fortier, Richard M. Hart and Érik Moisan for their important role in reaching the fundraising goals.
Les amis de la montagne wishes to thank the following key partners for their ongoing commitment and support of 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, Domaine Pinnacle, 2nd Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, Dornier Wines, Gattuso (Biobio and Grok), Hewitt Rentals and Java U Catering • Media Partner Bell Media and its affiliated radio stations Rouge 107,3 FM, CJAD 800 AM andCHOM 97.7 FM.
The complete race results are available on Sportstats official website.
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.