600 Montrealers experience a night-time snowshoe adventure on Mount Royal!

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Photo : Karine Gagné

16th Tuques Bleues Celebration, February 21, 2013

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

Montreal, February 22, 2013 – Close to 600 mountain enthusiasts gathered at Maison Smith at sundown on February 21, to take part in the famous Tuques Bleues Celebration, a benefit event that helped raise $225,000 in support of education and conservation programs on Mount Royal.

The event was organised by Les amis de la montagne together with principal partner, Manulife Financial, as well as other sponsors and partners, under the able honorary co-chairmanship of Cyril Bendahan, Regional Vice President, Group Benefits, Manulife Financial and Michel Leblanc, President and CEO, Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.

Left to right: Michel Leblanc and Cyril Bendahan, co-chairs of the Tuques Bleues Celebration for a fourth year, Jeffrey Drummond, co-chair of Les amis’ annual campaign and Sylvie Guilbault, executive director of Les amis de la montagne. Photo: Karine Gagné.

Held as part of the launch festivities of the Montréal en lumière festival, this night-time snowshoeing adventure does a modern take on the sporting tradition of the Montreal Snowshoe Club of the 1840s where members ascended Mount Royal by torchlight for an evening of fun and friendly competition. Towards the 1870s, members of the club began sporting blue toques as a sign of their competitive excellence.

Last night on Mount Royal, 600 “Tuques Bleues” took part in the snowshoe tramp along a new 2.5km, lantern-lit forest trail from Maison Smith, around the mountain cross and ending at the Kondiaronk lookout, which afforded spectacular views of the gleaming city below.

Photo : Andrew Dobrowolskyj

A resounding start to the snowshoe race was signaled thanks to two heart-pounding canon shots provided by the 2nd Field Regiment of the Royal Canadian Artillery! Nearly 100 runners competed for the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in both male and female categories, and numerous corporate teams vied for a series of cups and trophies.

Tubbs Snowshoes and Atlas Snowshoes graciously provided participants with the latest model of snowshoes, partners of the event since the very first edition.

Photo : Tzara Maud

After the invigorating snowshoe tramp, an evening of festivities were held at the Chalet du Mont-Royal, beginning with a gastronomic buffet carefully prepared by La Guilde Culinaire and featuring a variety of local Quebec products. The musical group MAZ entertained guests with their lively blend of jazz mixed with traditional-style Québécois music. Musion Canada, the talented and loyal partners of Les amis de la montagne, provided the indoor and outdoor ambiance through sound and light.

The Mayor of Montreal, Michael Applebaum, joined the festivities at the Chalet du Mont-Royal and extended words of thanks to participants for their support of Mount Royal. He was joined by Josée Duplessis, member of the Executive Committee responsible for Mount Royal, as well as a team from the Ville de Montréal. L to R: Nike Langevin, Patricia Guilbard, Alexandra Court, Daniel Desjardins, Jean-François Gendron-Bussières, Josée Duplessis, Daniel Groulx, Michael Applebaum, Mario Cicioli, Daniel Chartier and Céline Bouchard. Photo: Karine Gagné.

Les amis de la montagne thank their sponsors and partners for their dedication and contribution to the event: principal partner, Gold level: Manulife Financial; Silver level: Labatt, A Better World; with the support of: Tubbs Snowshoes and Atlas Snowshoes.

Les amis de la montagne also thank their Bronze level sponsors: McCarthy Tétrault, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier, Scotia Bank and Velan Inc.; 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, Eaux Naya, Metro, Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, Pâtisserie Wawel, Fromages Biobio and Grok from Gattuso and La Guilde Culinaire; and finally, their media partners: CJAD 800 AM, CHOM 97.7 FM, Rouge 107,3 FM and La Presse.

Finally, Les amis underline the exceptional commitment of the nearly 100 volunteers who helped to ensure the smooth running of the event and the security of the participants.

Herewith the winners of the 16th Tuques Bleues Celebration medals, cups and trophies:

Snowshoe race - Women:
Gold – Mélanie Nadeau, Club Sportif MAA, 13:42.0             
Silver – Élise Gelle, CN, 14:45.4
Bronze – Claire Doule, Club Sportif MAA, 15:40.0    


Photo : Tzara Maud               

Snowshoe race - Men:
Gold – David Le Porho, Club Sportif MAA, 11:05.5
Silver – Pierre-Olivier Boily, Club Sportif MAA, 11:41.5
Bronze – Philippe Viau-Dupuis, Club Sportif MAA, 12:38.8

Photo : Tzara Maud  

Corporate Challenge Cup:
Cordiant Capital

Sports Club Cup:
Club Sportif MAA

Team Challenge:
CN with their three best runners:

Élise Gelle, 14:45.4

Nelson Fernandes, 15:23.0

Jean-François Guy, 19:01.2

Tuques Bleues Trophy:
Astral Media Inc.



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