MONTREAL – Thibaut Desiront did not have to look far for inspiration when creating the visual identity for the Canadiens’ The Goal is Green Night, presented by National Bank.

The Canadian-French artist, also known as MEKA, quickly saw a parallel to his long-running KEEP PUSHING project.

Since 2015, the appropriately-named illustration series has depicted a variety of pop culture characters skateboarding – always kicking and pushing forward despite the tumbles inherent to the sport.

It’s that same mentality of perseverance that Desiront wanted to portray in his artwork for the Habs’ Apr. 2 cause night; continuing to push in the right direction for our planet.

After all, green living has always been important to the multidisciplinary artist, thanks to an environmentally conscious upbringing. And now that he’s a father himself, he has Mother Nature on his mind.

“I have a seven-year-old daughter, and I’d like her to be able to live in a world that isn’t ‘apocalyptic,’ like we sometimes say,” explained Desiront, who has been vegan for 10 years now. “We live in a society, and we’re all part of a community, so it’s important that we all do our part to keep evolving with the times.”

The same goes for the city of Montreal, and the role the Canadiens play in its urban fabric.

“We underestimate the significance of voices in the entertainment industry, including sports. Professional athletes are like influencers by nature, so it’s important for them to set an example. A message can get across better when it comes from a sports team, or another organization in that field,” added the designer who has likewise worked with the NBA. “A team like the Canadiens is a bit like your family, in that folks have been following them for generations, so they’re a part of your daily life.”

His most recent collab centers around a Canadiens fan on a skateboard pushing forward towards a future destination. In the background, a subway car, a cyclist, a pedestrian, a wind turbine, solar panels, and Mount Royal can all be seen. The new National Bank headquarters in Montreal also figures in the illustration – a new skyscraper inspired by LEED v4 Gold and WELL standards that’s transforming the city’s skyline. The addition of a school meanwhile references the Cool Your School! initiative, which awards Montreal-area campuses with landscaping and greening projects to combat urban heat islands.

All steps that have sprung up to create a greener future for the city and province.

“It will soon be 16 years that I’ve been living in Montreal, and I’ve seen the way the city has changed over that time. It’s a great place to live,” continued Desiront.

The Canadiens and National Bank have several initiatives planned for the Apr. 2 evening, including a used equipment drive in front of Tricolore Sports (Lucien-L’Allier station), a Cool Your School! information kiosk and seed paper giveaway (section 112), a concourse game with prizing made from recycled jerseys (section 116), and more.

Also on hand will be 50 students from this year’s Cool Your School! winning school, and a Waste Management truck in Canadiens Plaza featuring drawings by the next generation of artists.

To purchase tickets to the game, click here. For more information about the Canadiens’ The Goal is Green program, presented by National Bank, click here.