Welcome to Les amis' newsletter - October 2010

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Les amis de la montagne present their 2009-2010 Activity Report
Les amis de la montagne’s 24th Annual General Meeting held September 29th last featured the election of returning and new Governors to the corporation, as well as the presentation of the 2009-2010 Activity Report. The 7th edition of the “Map of Mount Royal: Issues and Challenges”, carrying the theme of accessibility, was also distributed to members on this occasion.

The Activity Report, presented in a new photo-calendar format this year, is available as a PDF file on Les amis’ website under the section “About Us”. The Map of Mount Royal is distributed during the public forum or other interpretive activities of Les amis de la montagne held throughout the year.


Presenting the winning photographs of the “La montagne en images” contest!
A slideshow of the winning photographs of the “La montagne en images” photo contest is now available on the web. The photo exhibit, which features five themes, Nature and biodiversity, Architecture, Art and the mountain, People and the mountain and Light, can be viewed at the Café Smith at Smith House, daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. All are welcome!


Tell us about your Mount Royal memory: “Holy Mountain” by the NFB
The NFB’s new web documentary “Holy Mountain” (Sacrée Montagne) launched recently at the Chalet du Mont-Royal, highlights the persistence of the sacred in our secular society explored through the mountain's symbolic sites and the rituals observed there. The reconstruction of religious battles in medieval times, the trance-like dancing to the beat of the tam-tams, the cemeteries, the many religious cultures that share the mountain’s Sunday picnic and barbeque sites; all of these rituals are testament to the role Mount Royal plays in our individual spirituality.

“Holy Mountain” is a participative project. The production team invites all mountain admirers to contribute content to the project by calling 1-877-55-SOUVENIR to leave a spoken memory or anecdote about the mountain on their answering machine. The messages will be integrated in the soundtrack of the website.


HEC Montréal receives a plaque from the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
On October 4th last, HEC Montréal received a plaque commemorating the national historic significance of the founding of the École des hautes études commerciales de Montréal in 1907 at a special event held at the school organized by Parks Canada. A plaque from the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada was unveiled before government representatives, school officials, partners and invited guests, in honour of the venerable institution now located on the mountain’s northern flank. The event was all the more significant as it was held on the anniversary of the school’s opening day, October 4, 1910.


Congratulations to Daniel Chartier, Fellow of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects
Daniel Chartier, landscape architect with the Direction des grands parcs et de la nature en ville de la Ville de Montréal, was inducted into the College of Fellows of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA) during their 2010 conference in Edmonton this summer. Considered an authority on the heritage of Frederick Law Olmsted and Mount Royal, he has worked for more than two decades on the design and execution of a multitude of significant landscaping projects on the mountain.

During the CSLA conference, the publication “Le mont Royal dans l’oeuvre de Frederick Law Olmsted” received a national honour award, one of the nine highest distinctions of the association’s awards of excellence. Several people collaborated on this work, including author Charles E. Beveridge, editor of The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted, and assistant editor, Wendy Graham, landscape architect with the Ville de Montréal. Daniel Chartier and Wendy Graham received the Frederick Todd Award earlier this year, an award that recognizes members of the Association des architectes paysagistes du Québec and public personalities who contribute in an exceptional way to the advancement of landscape architecture in Quebec. Kudos to all!



New interactive terminals at Smith House: Mount Royal at your fingertips
Les amis de la montagne are proud to present four interactive terminals newly installed at Smith House! These terminals invite visitors to test their knowledge about the mountain using their fingertips on the four touch screens. Each terminal features a theme that is fun and instructive, accessible to all ages. Youngsters and adults can discover Mount Royal Park’s treasures and take action to ensure its conservation.
The interactive terminals entitled, “Take action for the mountain”, “Mount Royal’s flora and habitats”, “The animals of Mount Royal” and “The park from past to present”, are the first phase of a project to renew the permanent exhibit in Smith House, slated for completion in early 2011. The exhibit renewal project is made possible thanks to financial contributions from the Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine and the Ville de Montréal as part of the Entente sur le développement culturel de Montréal, principal partners of the project, from the Fondation Hydro-Québec pour l’environnement for the terminal theme “Take action for the mountain”, and from the Fondation de la faune du Québec for the content related to the mountain’s fauna.


Wild animals are not cuddly toys: awareness campaign to discourage feeding raccoons
In collaboration with the Ville de Montréal, Les amis de la montagne are leading an important awareness-raising campaign to counter the escalating problems associated with feeding raccoons in Mount Royal Park. The campaign is being held on the Camillien-Houde lookout where visitors habitually feed raccoons that are now attracted to this site day and night. Raccoons are otherwise nocturnal animals.

Numerous mammal species on Mount Royal share their natural habitat with human visitors. Even though some of these animals become accustomed to the presence of humans and appear tame, they remain wild and unpredictable.

Feeding the animals can be fun and seem like a generous gesture. However, giving food to animals will encourage their dependency toward humans and cause them, over time, to lose their survival instinct. Animals can find all the food they need to survive in the park.

Feeding animals bread, peanuts or any other type of food causes health and weight problems and alters the animals’ behaviour:

Les amis’ Conservation Patrol will be present on the lookout until mid-November in order to prevent visitors from feeding and petting these wild animals for their security and well-being.



Registration is now open for Jackrabbit cross-country ski lessons for children
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 3, 2011.

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 activity cards, 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 8 to February 26, 2011, 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 $230 including rental equipment (boots, skis and poles) or $185 without the equipment rental.

Bonus offer! On March 5, 2011, a parent-child activity will be offered to registered families: a guided snowshoe walk with an environmental educator (snowshoes provided) and access to inner-tubing.

To register for the Jackrabbit program, please come in person to complete the registration form and make the payment in full:

For more information, please contact Daniel Leblanc.


THE fall favourite: Three Summits guided walking tour
Les amis de la montagne’s thematic walking tours made the front page of La Presse on October 6th as part of a major article in the paper’s travel section. Even the mountain’s most loyal visitors will be surprised by the diversity of Mount Royal’s heritage and natural environments, revealed during this 12 km guided walk along the entire territory of the mountain – offered by Les amis for the last 21 years. But hurry to register as space is limited! The tour is provided in French.


Last chance to visit the biodiversity kiosk this weekend
During your walk on the mountain this coming weekend, visit the new interpretation kiosk on Mount Royal’s biodiversity. Take a moment to chat with Les amis’ environmental educators about the mountain’s conservation challenges. Complete with colourful design and eye-catching content, the kiosk invites park visitors of all ages to enter, if only for a moment, the fascinating world of animals and their habitats on Mount Royal, in the midst of the city. The new kiosk was produced with the financial support of Gaz Métro and Groupe Yellow inc.


Environmental Stewardship Program: two weekends left to participate
There are two weekends left to take an active part in conservation activities on Mount Royal, on Saturday, October 9 and 16. Interested volunteers may join Les amis’ educators-patrollers to plant indigenous species and to control the spread of exotic invasive species on the mountain, in order to consolidate the ecological corridor that links the forest of Mount Royal Park to the forest of Westmount’s Summit Park.

On Saturday, October 16 at 12 p.m., join Les amis for an end-of-season celebration. All volunteers who participated in the Environmental Stewardship Program since May are invited to join Les amis’ conservation team for a well deserved thank-you gathering!


Land Art guided walk and workshop on Mount Royal
Join artist Samuel Montigné, environmental educator with Les amis de la montagne, for this unique guided walk to rediscover the mountain and its many riches and to create a personal work of art inspired by nature. Art materials supplied. Offered in French.


Les amis de la montagne are looking for a Coordinator, Community Relations. Click here to read the detailed job description and application procedure.

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