Welcome to Les amis' newsletter - November 2009

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Les amis de la montagne’s next public forum will be held on Wednesday, November 25 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Smith House.
What does the future hold for institutional properties on Mount Royal?
The Mount Royal territory comprises numerous institutional properties rich in historic interest as much for their heritage assets as for their purpose. Yet these same institutions are undergoing an important transformation and many will eventually leave the mountain, often to the benefit of private developers, as in the case of the Sulpicians’ former philosophy seminary and the former Mother House of the Soeurs-des-Saints-Noms-de-Jésus-et-de-Marie. Is the inherent public land use character of these institutional properties on the mountain part of the heritage of Mount Royal to be preserved? How do we ensure the transfer of these properties and the protection of their heritage assets for the good of the community?
Invited guests:
For more information, contact François-Xavier Caron, public forum coordinator at 514 843-8240, ext. 241.

The mountain has its limits!
Les amis de la montagne dedicated their monthly public forum to the notion of the mountain’s limited capacity to receive new construction on October 14th at Smith House. For the last several years, this notion has been raised in reference to development projects on the large institutional properties located on the flanks of the mountain. What exactly does the expression mean? Can there be new construction on Mount Royal? (Continue reading here.)
“BunnyHop.ca”: a new site for mountain bikers in Montreal
Mountain biking enthusiasts in Montreal now have a virtual meeting place thanks to the creation of BunnyHop.ca, a new blog dedicated to the 50,000 cyclists who practice this sport on a weekly basis. The content of the site will be oriented towards awareness-raising in order to help change the negative image that Montrealers have of mountain bikers, to unite and to mobilize the mountain biking community and to demonstrate to decision-makers that the sport of mountain biking in Montreal requires a concrete and long-term sustainable solution, such as a dedicated site or installations for the practice of the sport on the island.
In an effort to make the BunnyHop community better known, a “tactical squad” of the BunnyHop crew took to the bicycle paths and other street surfaces in Montreal on October 28 to draw the BunnyHop logo using mud stencils, an environmentally friendly material. Click here to watch how mud stencils are produced.
Les amis de la montagne launched an important project in October 2007 to control the practice of mountain biking on Mount Royal in order to protect the natural environment from disturbances caused by the practice of this sport. Moreover, in 2008, Les amis produced a study providing data on the actual situation on the mountain and identified sites that could be developed specifically for the practice of mountain biking in Montreal. Les amis, who continue their work on this issue through awareness-raising campaigns with cyclists and the general public on Mount Royal, supports the cycling community in its endeavours to advance the project through concrete solutions in collaboration with municipal authorities.
The Institut de politiques alternatives de Montréal is born
The Institut de politiques alternatives de Montréal (IPAM) is a new independent and multidisciplinary organisation that has been formed to play a key role over the long term in the municipal debate on policy choices leading to an equitable and prosperous society. This citizen initiative seeks to contribute to viable urban planning in Montréal, to its economic and sustainable development, and local democracy.
Launched officially by, among others, Phyllis Lambert, architect, Founding Director and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the CCA, during a press conference on October 14th, IPAM’s intention is to contribute the expertise of individuals from different spheres within the community. Six working groups will be formed to tackle questions of long-term economic and cultural development: heritage, poverty, social housing and social justice, ecology, urban planning and transportation, and democracy
As a first initiative IPAM will, the day after the elections, call on the new City Administration to hold a citizens’ summit on the future of Montreal in partnership with civil society, permitting an exchange of ideas and experience, in order to help to establish the guidelines for the administration’s new mandate. Visit IPAM's website for more information.

Take an “Écotrip” with Les amis de la montagne
Les amis de la montagne participated in a video as part of an ecological roadtrip taken by “Écotrip”, a non-profit organization with a social mission to promote the environment, sustainable development and eco-citizenship.
Over the course of the summer, Audrée Favreau-Pinet and Mathieu Paradis, the dynamic-duo behind Écotrip, travelled around Quebec to uncover solutions to sustainable development and eco-citizenship challenges in order to better inform Quebec’s youth about current environmental issues and especially, provide them with concrete actions to be taken to make a difference in the here and now.
You can watch the Écotrip video featuring Les amis de la montagne by clicking here.
Tips on enjoying the in-between season on Mount Royal
The guided walking tours are over for the season and the snow has yet to fall! Worry not – Les amis de la montagne are pleased to provide you with a few tips on making the most of the mountain’s in-between season.
(1) Without the snow, the paths that wind through the Mount Royal forests can still be enjoyed by foot. Fascinating facts about the mountain are yours to discover through a series of self-guided walking tours along five different themes: natural landscapes, geology, sculptures, buildings and reservoirs. A brochure for each theme comes complete with a map and itinerary, and information and illustrations to enrich your walk. Available at the Smith House nature-boutique for only $2 each.
(2) Explore the mountain’s summit loop via podcast. Available through the “Mount Royal, A Territory to Discover” interactive map, short audio-video clips downloaded to your multimedia player lead you on a self-guided tour. You can download the clips for free directly from Les amis’ website or you may rent a multimedia player for only $5 at Smith House during regular opening hours.
(3) The time is right to get your winter sporting equipment ready for another season. Les amis’ rental and equipment service counter located on the main floor of the Beaver Lake pavilion will be ready for operation as of December 5, providing skate sharpening and cross-country ski waxing or tune-up services. Hours of operation are posted under the calendar of events heading on Les amis’ website.

Conference: The future of cemeteries and ancient burial places, October 30
The challenges facing cemetery managers today are rife with consequences. Does the cemetery as cultural landmark have a future? Are cemeteries relevant? Should the laws and management structures actually in place be reviewed, do they correspond to the new realities regarding commemoration practices? Are cemeteries solely the responsibility of their administrators?
These and other questions will be addressed during this conference organized by the Écomusée de l'Au-Delà on Friday, October 30, 2009, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Smith House.
For more information, call the Écomusée de l'Au-Delà at 514 528-8826.
You may download conference documents here (in French):
Enroll your children in “Jackrabbit” cross-country ski lessons on Mount Royal
Les amis de la montagne are now accepting registrations for the Ski de Fond Québec “Jackrabbit” initiation courses in cross-country skiing for children on Mount Royal. The registration period will close on January 4, 2010.
The Jackrabbit program is suited for children 6 to 10 years old and initiates students to both classical and freestyle cross-country skiing. The program features 4 levels and places an emphasis on the progressive integration of other ski-related knowledge and techniques. To ensure that students perfect their style while having fun, the instructor will use a variety of pedagogical materials including 70 activity files, as well as games, races, relays and trails.
The lessons include one evaluation session followed by seven (7) 1.5 hour lessons scheduled on 8 consecutive Saturdays from January 9 to February 27, 2010, at 10 a.m. and at 12:30 p.m. Children will be divided into beginner and advanced levels, with 8 children per group.
The cost of the program is $225 plus tax including rental equipment (boots, skis and poles) or $180 plus tax, if your children have their own equipment.
To register, please come in person to complete the registration form and make the payment in full:
For more information, please contact Daniel Leblanc.
Save the date for the 13th Tuques Bleues Celebration to be held Thursday, February 18, 2010
Back for a 13th consecutive year, the Tuques Bleues Celebration and Snowshoe Event will be held Thursday, February 18, 2010 on Mount Royal. Save the date and start forming your team of snowshoe walkers or racers, because hundreds of Montrealers are once again expected to participate in Les amis de la montagne’s signature fundraising event, a most colourful evening that helps collect funds in support of conservation activities on Mount Royal.
For more information, watch Les amis’ website for event updates or contact Anna Coscia at 514 843-8240, ext. 239.
Photo: Andrew Dobrowolskyj, 2009

Les amis’ nature-boutique: gifts that give twice!
The holiday season is gift-giving season! Les amis de la montagne’s nature-boutique, located on the main floor of Smith House, features little treasures with something to please everyone interested in Mount Royal’s heritage assets: publications and original souvenirs, as well as variety of items on the mountain’s natural environment. Numerous articles also help your appreciation and discovery of the mountain, such as a kit for bird watching and guides on flora and fauna.
Selected items are available for purchase online via Les amis’ website, including our new “amis de la montagne” shoelaces – the perfect stocking stuffer or gift for the children.
Revenues generated by the nature-boutique are reinvested in Les amis de la montagne’s services offered in Mount Royal Park, in order to promote the appreciation and conservation of this unique site in our urban midst.
We therefore invite you to support the activities of Les amis de la montagne by offering gifts from our nature-boutique this season, gifts that give twice!

Kudos to Samuel Montigné – Symposium Art Nature Pierre qui roule
Congratulations to Samuel Montigné, environmental educator with Les amis de la montagne, who received the Prix du Jury for his work titled, « Au cours du temps, au fil de l’eau : la création » as part of the 5th Symposium Art Nature Pierre qui roule held on October 5th in Saint-André-Avellin in the Outaouais region.

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