Tuques Bleues 2011: Hundreds of Montrealers revive the snowshoe tradition

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Les amis de la montagne celebrate the 14th Tuques Bleues Celebration and Snowshoe Event
Hundreds of Montrealers revive the snowshoe tradition in honour of Mount Royal

Montreal, February 18, 2011
– Mount Royal trembled under the footsteps of hundreds of snowshoers during the 14th Tuques Bleues Celebration and Snowshoe Event held on February 17th! On what appeared to be an early spring evening, nearly 700 mountain admirers strapped on snowshoes and sported blue toques, allowing Les amis de la montagne to attain their objective of raising $250,000 in support of education and protection programs for Mount Royal.

This most magical of benefit events, held as part of the Montreal High Lights Festival, recalls the famous snowshoe treks by torchlight organized by the sporting clubs in the 1840s, where members would gather at dusk for an evening of outdoor fun and camaraderie while ascending Mount Royal.

The Royal Canadian 2nd Field Regiment fired a ceremonial canon to signal the departure of the snowshoe race to over 100 runners. Racers competed for gold, silver and bronze medals in both women’s and men’s categories, while numerous corporate teams vied for the Corporate Challenge Cup, the Sports Club Cup, the Team Challenge and the Tuques Bleues Trophy. The snowshoe walkers, meanwhile, discovered the magic of Mount Royal’s forest at a more leisurely pace.


The event ended with a great gathering at the Chalet du Mont-Royal. Again this year, participants’ taste buds tingled to the gustative Québécois creations of caterer Java U. The ambiance of the Chalet was all the more spectacular thanks to the original audio-visual wizardry of VJ Choco Beets and DJ David Drury, who combined the traditional with the modern to terrific effect. Two short videos produced by Kalibre served to raise the awareness of the business community, especially the new generation of engaged entrepreneurs, to take up the Tuques Bleues challenge and become a “friend of the mountain”.

The honorary co-chairs of the event, Cyril Bendahan, Vice President, Group Benefits, Quebec Region, Manulife Financial, and Michel Leblanc, President and CEO, Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, presided over the awards ceremony inside the Chalet, together with the evenings MCs, Tobie Bureau-Huot of NRJ Week-End and NRJ Sur Demande, and Mark Shalhoub of CJAD 800 AM, both of the Astral Radio family.

Medals were awarded to: (click on the link for complete results on the Sportstats website)



L to R: Cyril Bendahan, Dierdre Douglas, Anne Doule, Michel Leblanc



L to R: Cyril Bendahan, Charles Perreault, David Leporha, François Ménard, Michel Leblanc

Corporate Challenge Cup:


Sports Club Cup:


Team Challenge:


Finally, the Tuques Bleues Trophy was awarded to:


Les amis de la montagne extend thanks to their partners for their commitment and contribution to the event: principal partner, Gold level: Manulife Financial; Silver level, Atmosphere and Mansfield Club Athlétique; with the support of Tubbs Snowshoes and Atlas Snowshoes.

Les amis also wish to thank their sponsors at the Bronze level: ECS School, TD Group Bank, MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier, McCarthy Tétrault S.E.N.C.R.L., s.r.l., Rio Tinto Alcan, Scotia Capital and Velan Inc.; and finally, their sponsors of products and services: Montréal High Lights Festival, Ville de Montréal, Brasserie McAuslan, Domaine Pinnacle, 2e Régiment de l’Artillerie du Canada, Centre de location Hewitt-CAT, Java U, Fromages BioBio by Gattuso Inc., La Mer, Weinstein & Gavino’s, Le Château, Pâtisserie Wawel, Eska, CJAD 800 AM, La Presse, The Gazette, C4 Communications and Groupe Samajam.

Last but not least, Les amis thank the exceptional contribution of close to 100 volunteers, including Circé Labelle and her team from CGI, and Nathalie Bossé, director of curriculum and the Centre for Learning Enrichment, and her 8 students from St-George’s High School of Westmount.

Photos: Andrew Dobrowolskyj, Karine Gagné

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