Montrealers "fĂȘte" the mountain in style at the 15th Tuques Bleues Celebration!

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Montreal, February 17, 2012 – At nightfall yesterday, Mont Royal was all aglow on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Tuques Bleues Celebration. Under a shining moon and glowing lanterns, luminous figures and projections, this benefit event for Mont Royal gathered nearly 500 Montrealers who care deeply about the future of the mountain.

Photo: Karine Gagné

Organized by Les amis de la montagne and their partners for a 15th consecutive year, and under the 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, this unique evening raised more than $200,000 in support of education and conservation programs for Mont Royal.

As one of the most magical events in Montreal, held on the launch evening of Montréal en lumière, the Tuques Bleues Celebration was created in homage of a centuries-old tradition where snowshoers united at dusk for the ascent of Mont Royal for an evening of friendly competition, camaraderie and good cheer.

L to R: Honorary co-chair, Michel Leblanc, president of Les amis de la montagne, Peter A. Howlett, C.M., "Flocon", honorary co-chair, Cyril Bendahan, vice chairman of the executive committee of the Ville de Montréal, responsible for sustainable development, the environment and parks, Alan De Sousa (Photo: Karine Gagné)

To underline this 15th anniversary edition, two shots of a ceremonial canon of the 2nd Field Regiment of the Royal Canadian Artillery were fired; the first to signal the start of the snowshoe race, where close to 100 runners began their journey to the finish line, and the second, to get the snowshoe walkers on their way. The racers competed for gold, silver and bronze medals in both the male and female categories, while numerous corporate teams vied for a variety of cups and trophies.

All the snowshoers benefitted from the excellent collaboration of Tubbs Snowshoes and Atlas Snowshoes, who provided snowshoes for the occasion for a 15th consecutive year! Close to 100 volunteers also provided a hand to organizers to ensure the smooth running of the event from beginning to end!

Photo: Karine Gagné

The luminous figures provided by L’Entrace, “Grande Dame” and “Snowflake”, provided animation at the snowshoe start and finish lines. The sound and projection production was provided by Musion Canada, generous and longstanding partners of Les amis de la montagne.

All of the participants continued the celebrations at the Chalet du Mont-Royal. Again this year, caterers Java U spoiled guests with their sumptuous, gastronomic buffet that featured delicacies from regional Québéc. Original animation in the Chalet was provided by VJ Choco Beets and DJ David Drury, who plunged participants in the authentic ambiance of the snowshoe clubs of yesteryear, at once traditional, but with a modern twist.

Photo: Delphine Delair

Les amis de la montagne wish to extend thanks to their generous partners for their commitment 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.

Photo: Delphine Delair

Les amis thank their sponsors at the Bronze level: Le Château, MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier, Rio Tinto Alcan, Scotia Capital, TD Bank Group and Velan Inc.; their sponsors of products and services: Montréal en lumière, Ville de Montréal, Métro, Domaine Pinnacle, La Mer, Weinstein & Gavino’s, Fromages BioBio and Grok by Gattuso, Java U caterer, 2e Régiment de l’Artillerie du Canada, Centre de location Hewitt-CAT, Pâtisserie Wawel, Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel and C4 Communications; and their media partners: CJAD 800 AM, NRJ Montréal 94,3, Rouge 107,3 FM, La Presse and The Gazette.

Les amis also underline the exceptional commitment of the volunteers who lent a most important hand, including the outstanding work of Circé Labelle and the team from CGI, as well as of curriculum director Nathalie Bossé and her charming students from St-Georges High School of Montreal.

Photo: Karine Gagné

Last, but not least, here are the snowshoe competition winners for this 15th Tuques Bleues Celebration:

Snowshoe race - Women:
Gold – Melissa Chenard (11:00.4)
Silver – Melanie Nadeau (11:19.0)
Bronze – Marie-Josée Dufour (11:23.0)

Photo: Karine Gagné

Snowshoe race - Men:
Gold – David LePorho (8:18.3 - un nuoveau record !)
Silver – Pierre-Oliver Boily (9:02.4)
Bronze – Philippe Viau-Dupuis (9:06.1)

Photo: Karine Gagné

Corporate Challenge Cup:
Scotia Capitaux

Sports Club Cup:
Club Sportif MAA

Team Challenge:
Scotia Capitaux with their three best runners, Jean-Philippe Boivin (12:22.8), Jeffrey Drummond (12:50.8) and Philippe Cantin (13:00.4)

Tuques Bleues Trophy:
Manulife Financial (for a 5th year!)

Photo: Delphine Delair

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