500 Montrealers feel the Olympic vibe on Mount Royal for a night-time snowshoe adventure!


Les amis de la montagne’s benefit event in support of Mount Royal

Photo: Karine Gagné


Les amis de la montagne’s benefit event in support of Mount Royal

Montreal, February 21, 2014– It wasn’t quite the Sochi podium, but a total of six individuals and one team received medals last night for their snowshoeing prowess during the 17th Tuques Bleues Celebration on Mount Royal!

The medal winners were joined by about 500 fellow Montrealers on the launch night of Montréal en lumière for this unique benefit event organized by Les amis de la montagne and presented by Manulife Financial for a fifth consecutive year, in order to raise $225,000 for educational and conservation programs on Mount Royal.

Ably co-chaired by Robert Tellier, Regional Vice President, Group Retirement Solutions and Group Benefits, Manulife Financial, and Michel Leblanc, President & CEO, Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, replaced for the evening by his colleague Sévrine Labelle, Vice-President, Strategy and Public Affairs, the Tuques Bleues Celebration welcomed, among others, Pierre Desrochers, chairman of the Executive Committee of the Ville de Montréal, Peter A. Howlett, C.M., president of Les amis de la montagne and Éric Morisset of TD Securities, co-chair of Les amis de la montagne’s annual campaign.

Photo: Tzara Maud. L to R : Robert Tellier, Éric Morisset, Peter A. Howlett, C.M. and Sévine Labelle.

Back from the spectacular opening ceremonies in Sochi, the Montreal circus collective, Les 7 doigts de la main, provided their own flavour of comedic clownery to the evening that recalls the sporting tradition of the Montreal Snowshoe Club founded in 1843 whose members ascended Mount Royal by torchlight for an evening of friendly competition.

The resounding boom of the canon operated by the 2nd Field Artillery of the Royal Canadian Army signalled the departure of the snowshoe racers, followed by the rest of the snowshoeing pack along a 2.5 km trail that circled the majestic mountain cross and ended at the Kondiaronk lookout with views of the sparkling city below.

Photo: 2nd Field Artillery of the Royal Canadian Army

At the Chalet du Mont-Royal, everyone’s efforts were rewarded by the gastronomic buffet created by La Guilde Culinaire featuring local Quebec products. Domaine Pinnacle offered a tasting of their specialty beverages and renowned ice cider. Musion Canada, the talented and loyal partners of Les amis de la montagne, provided the indoor and outdoor ambiance through sound and light.

An event of this magnitude couldn’t take place without the dedication and the exceptional contribution ofvolunteers and sponsors, as well as the cooperation and dedication of the park employees of the Ville de Montréal.

Photo: karine Gagné. Thanks to all volunteers!

Les amis de la montagne wish to thank their principal partner Manulife Financial, as well as Tubbs Snowshoes and Atlas Snowshoes for graciously providing participants with snowshoes, as they have since the very first edition.

Les amis de la montagne also wish to thank their sponsors in the Bronze category: TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, Velan Inc. and GE Capital; their sponsors of products and services: Montréal en lumière, Ville de Montréal, Domaine Pinnacle, Location Hewitt Inc., 2e Régiment de l’Artillerie du Canada, C4 Communications, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Pâtisserie Wawel, Fromages Biobio and Grok from Gattuso and La Guilde Culinaire; and their media partners: CJAD 800 AM, CHOM 97.7 FM, Rouge 107,3 FM and La Presse+.

Winners of the snowshoe race medals and trophies

Seventy-three women and men participated in the exhilarating snowshoe race this year with individuals competing for Gold, Silver and Bronze, and corporate teams competing in the Défi Équipes.

The Tuques Bleues Trophy was awarded to the Autorités des marchés financiers with a best combined time for their top three racers of 45:06.0, for an average race time of 15:02.0. However, due to a technicality in nomenclature that identified the TD Bank Group as a Bronze level sponsor and not a participant in the Défi Équipes, the TD Bank Group was awarded the Corporate Challenge Cup, since the best combined time for their top three racers was 43:09.0, for an average race time of 14:23.0.

Snowshoe race - Women

Gold – Claire Doule, Club Sportif MAA, 12:54.7
Silver – Peggy Labonte, Club Sportif MAA, 12:55.3
Bronze – Sophie Amyot, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt S.E.N.C.R.L./s.r.l.,14:28.6

Photos : Tzara Maud

Snowshoe race – Men
Gold – David Le Porho, Club Sportif MAA, 09:27.6
Silver – Stephen Debardi, Club Sportif MAA, 11:09.6
Bronze – Francois Menard-Kilrane, Club Sportif MAA, 11:20.1

Tuques Bleues Trophy

Autorité des marchés financiers 

Corporate Challenge Cup

TD Bank Group

Photo: Karine Gagné
Photo:Tzara Maud
Photos: Karine Gagné
Photo: Samuel Montigné