SHERBROOKE – As part of its BLEU BLANC BOUGE program launched back in September 2008, the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation is proud to announce that its eighth BLEU BLANC BOUGE community outdoor rink will be built in the city of Sherbrooke. The Foundation thus carries on with its flagship program outside the greater Montreal area. Construction is set to get underway in August 2016 at Parc Alfred-Élie-Dufresne in Sherbrooke with the opening scheduled for winter 2017.
The BLEU BLANC BOUGE program, presented by the Canadian Tire Jumpstart Foundation, consists in building high quality outdoor multipurpose and refrigerated community rinks to provide kids from underprivileged areas with infrastructures aiming at giving them a reason to discover the benefits of healthy habits and a physically active lifestyle.
“This eighth BLEU BLANC BOUGE community outdoor rink is very significant for the Foundation. It represents another step towards the implementation of a first rink outside of the greater Montreal area. This rink will provide the city of Sherbrooke with an additional playground for kids and give them a new high end infrastructure that will help them discover the pleasures and benefits of living a healthy and active lifestyle,” said Canadiens owner, president and CEO Geoff Molson.
The city of Sherbrooke has been proactive in the awareness of healthy lifestyles to local youth with various active initiatives such as Ascot en Santé, Comité Énergie Jeunes-Est and Alliance sherbrookoise des jeunes en santé. Particular emphasis is put on kids from underprivileged areas with actions providing access to physical activity.
“The city of Sherbrooke is proud to have been selected as the recipient of a refrigerated outdoor rink donated by the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation. I am convinced that this new infrastructure will play a key role in motivating our youth to be more physically active and adopt healthy living habits,” indicated Bernard Sévigny, mayor of the city of Sherbrooke.
To ensure the success of this program, the Foundation formed a dynamic partnership with Québec en Forme, sharing 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 closely with the Foundation in selecting community partners and districts to implement the program, developing efficient programming and assessing the impact of this initiative.
About the BLEU BLANC BOUGE program
The BLEU BLANC BOUGE rinks are built in accordance with NHL standards and dimensions (200 feet by 85 feet) and feature ice quality that meets the highest professional rinks standards, while offering the versatility to enjoy other sports over the course of the year. The skating season takes place from the end of November until mid-March, while various types of ball games like basketball, soccer, in-line hockey and various other sporting activities are being played in the spring, summer and fall months. Since 2009, seven community outdoor rinks have been built on the island of Montreal, in the boroughs of Villeray-St-Michel-Parc-Extension, Montreal North, Verdun, Lasalle and Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce as well as in Longueuil and Laval.
About the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation
The Montreal Canadiens Children's Foundation provides help and support to children in need. Since its inception in August 2000, the Foundation has donated upwards of $18 million to more than 630 charitable endeavours from across the province of Quebec who work for the well-being of underprivileged children. The Foundation fulfills its mandate in two ways: first, through a unique flagship project – the BLEU BLANC BOUGE program - which consists of building community refrigerated and multisport rinks, secondly by providing financial support to organizations whose projects and programs allow children to adopt healthy lifestyles by being more active.