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Inauguration of a second outdoor community rink

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
MONTREAL – As part of its BLEU BLANC BOUGE program launched back in September 2008, the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation unveiled its second outdoor multipurpose and refrigerated community rink at parc Le Carignan in the Montréal-Nord borough. To mark the official opening, 50 children from the area took to the ice and skated alongside a few players from the Montreal Canadiens.

The artificial ice rink was built in accordance with NHL standards and dimensions (200 feet by 85 feet), including bright red and blue lines, just like a pro rink. Located in Parc Le Carignan the new rink offers the flexibility necessary to accommodate the practice of other seasonal sports activities. The skating season will last from the end of November until mid-March, while various types of ball games, such as basketball (the hoops have already been installed) or soccer, and other sports will take over for the spring, summer and fall months.

“Sports is a key element in the healthy development of our youth said and there is no doubt that the construction of this community rink in the Montréal-Nord borough provides children from the area with a tremendous facility for them to play outdoors and have some fun while being physically active,” said Pierre Boivin, President of the Montreal Canadiens and the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation.”

The initiative is part of BLEU BLANC BOUGE, the Foundation’s flagship project with the objective of building five outdoor multipurpose and refrigerated community rinks that can accommodate various sporting activities in less privileged neighbourhoods in the Montreal area. Eager to provide high quality infrastructures, the Foundation works closely with Roustan United, a leader in the area of arena products and services, in the implementation of this type of playing surface. To this end, the Foundation agreed to a five-year partnership with the FTQ (Fédération des travailleurs du Québec), Fonds de solidarité FTQ, City of Montreal blue collars, FTQ construction workers and local entrepreneurs who all contribute to the project by providing financial resources, materials and manpower.

“The FTQ and Fonds de solidarité FTQ take pride in our involvement in the construction of this community rink in the Montréal-Nord borough. We are particularly proud of the active role played by an important number of FTQ construction workers and City of Montreal blue collars who volunteered their time and skills to bring the project to fruition. The completion of this second community rink truly reflects the values of solidarity we promote. This accomplishment would not have been possible without the contribution of different contractors who participated in the project,” said FTQ President, Michel Arsenault.

These community rinks are characterized as animated gathering areas for sports and physical activity that will provide kids from these backgrounds to discover the advantages of a healthy and physically active lifestyle. To ensure the success of this program, the Foundation teamed up with Québec en Forme to create a dynamic partnership and share the ultimate goal of improving the health of children living in underprivileged areas. As an organization promoting the well-being of children, Québec en Forme works together with the Foundation in selecting the district and the community partners towards the development of an efficient activation of the facilities and to assess the impact of the program.

“For the second consecutive year, Québec en Forme is pleased to contribute to the development of the BLEU BLANC BOUGE program. The actions taken by the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation and its support towards underprivileged children are a source of inspiration for many partners, stated Quebec en Forme General Manager, Eric Myles.  We at Quebec en Forme take pride in this partnership because we believe that bringing happiness to the families is a priority.”

Last summer, following the construction of the first outdoor rink in the Villeray ? Saint-Michel ?  Parc-Extension borough, the Foundation announced the selection of Montréal-Nord and Verdun as beneficiaries of the second and third community rinks.

“Our Administration values the importance of providing our youth and the families with optimal conditions to enjoy the practice of sports and leisure activities. We are extremely proud to be associated with the Montreal Canadiens and their Foundation for the official inauguration of this multisport community rink. Such gesture is a commitment to the long term and a gift filled with hope that complements the efforts and initiatives of the City and its partners for the benefit of the Montréal-Nord community. I am convinced that the kids from the borough will embrace this new facility and spend hours playing the game and dreaming of starring with the Canadiens of tomorrow,” said Gérald Tremblay, Mayor of Montreal.”

The Montréal-Nord borough is widely acknowledged for the dedication of its deep-rooted multi-ethnic makeup, its needs in terms of sports and leisure infrastructures and its ability to actively mobilize resources and create outreach projects with various participants in the community.

“This new state-of-the-art facility will definitely improve the recreational activities already available to the kids in our borough. In fact, this outdoor community rink is part of several investments of millions of dollars for cultural and sports infrastructures in the borough” said Gilles Deguire, Mayor of the Montréal-Nord borough.   

Over and above the infrastructure, Montréal-Nord benefited from the generosity of Bauer Nike and its partner OneGoal who donated 100 pairs of skates, helmets and sticks to create a bank of supplies to fill the needs of various local organizations working with children.

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