The Montreal Canadiens Children's Foundation inaugurates a fourth outdoor Bleu Blanc Bouge rink
MONTREAL – As part of its BLEU BLANC BOUGE program launched back in September 2008, the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation unveiled a fourth outdoor multipurpose and refrigerated community rink at Hayward Park in the LaSalle borough. To mark the official opening, 50 children from the area took to the ice and skated alongside a few players from the Canadiens including David Desharnais and Raphael Diaz.
The artificial ice rink was built in accordance with NHL standards and dimensions (200 feet by 85 feet) and features a quality of ice that matches the high standards of pro rinks. Located in LaSalle’s Hayward Park, 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 soccer, and in-line hockey as well as a variety of different sporting activities will take over for the spring, summer and fall months.
“Sports is a key component in the healthy development of our youth and we are convinced that the construction of this fourth community rink in the LaSalle borough provides children from the area with an outstanding facility for them to use and enjoy while being physically active,” said Geoff Molson, owner and President of the Montreal Canadiens.
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 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 Foundation also works closely with W. Graeme Roustan, Chairman of Bauer and Arena Design Services, a leader in the area of arena products and services, in the implementation of this type of playing surface.
“Once again the FTQ and the Fonds de solidarité FTQ are very pleased to contribute to this construction project. We are also extremely proud of the active role played by an important number of FTQ construction workers and City of Montreal blue collars who worked diligently to provide the LaSalle youth with modern and accessible facilities,” stated FTQ Secretary General, Daniel Boyer.
These community rinks are characterized as animated gathering areas for sports and physical activity that will provide youth 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 form 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 fourth consecutive year, Québec en Forme is pleased to contribute to the actions taken by the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation and the communities towards helping underprivileged children in Quebec,” said Québec en Forme General Manager, Eric Myles. “Thanks to the three rinks already inaugurated in Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc Extension, Montreal-Nord and Verdun, we realize the impact and the importance of projects providing kids with year-round access to high quality equipment and facility.”
Following the construction of the first four rinks in Villeray ̶ Saint-Michel ̶ Parc-Extension, Montreal-Nord, Verdun and now in the LaSalle borough, the Foundation announced last fall that Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce was the beneficiary of the fifth BLEU BLANC BOUGE outdoor rink scheduled for the winter of 2013.
The LaSalle borough is widely acknowledged for the concerted dedication of the Table de développement social, its vital needs in terms of sports infrastructures and the ability to mobilize resources to implement various projects with a broad spectrum of participants within the community.
“I am very happy to see this incredible project come to fruition. It’s a legacy for our youth that could not come at a better time as we are about to celebrate our centennial. It truly reflects the will of the elected members to establish meaningful partnerships in order to provide our citizens with a state-of-the-art and accessible facility that makes us all proud,” said Manon Barbe, Mayor of the LaSalle borough.
Over and above the infrastructure, Verdun benefited from the generosity of Bauer 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.
About the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation
The Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation is determined to provide a better and healthier future for children in need, and is committed to encourage and promote a healthy and active lifestyle among the youth. Since its inception in August 2000, the Foundation has donated more than $12 million to over 425 charitable groups working to support the well-being of children across Quebec.
An active way of life for kids in Saint-Michel, Montréal-Nord and Verdun With the completion of the first rink in the François-Perrault Park in the borough of Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc Extension, in 2009, the second rink was inaugurated at Le Carignan Park in Montreal-Nord in January 2010, followed by the third rink last year at Verdun’s Willibrord Park. Since the first inauguration back in 2009, a combined total of over 45,000 kids enjoyed playing their favourite game on the three BLEU BLANC BOUGE rinks as part of outdoor activities organized and supervised by their schools or various community groups spending active quality time their friends and family. BLEU BLANC BOUGE provided in excess of 14,000 hours of free access for kids to benefit from physical activity twelve months a year.
SPONSORS AND TECHNICAL INFORMATION
Bringing this type of ambitious project to life requires the support and involvement of numerous partners and collaborators. On behalf of all the young people who will enjoy this new facility, the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation wishes to sincerely thank all those who contributed to this exciting project:
- FÉDÉRATION DES TRAVAILLEURS ET TRAVAILLEUSES DU QUÉBEC - FONDS DE SOLIDARITÉ FTQ
- ARENA DESIGN SERVICES -ARRONDISSEMENT DE LASALLE - QUÉBEC EN FORME
- ACIER AGF - ACIER BOUCHARD - ASTRA COFFRAGES - BAUER - CAMI-TEC - CANADA GOOSE - COGECO DIFFUSION - ÉCHAFAUD PLUS - FTQ CONSTRUCTION - GARNIER CONSTRUCTION - GRUES GUAY - LES ENTREPRISES QMD - LOCAL 301 – SYNDICAT DES COLS BLEUS REGROUPÉS DE MONTRÉAL - LOCATION DICKIE MOORE - POMPAGE ÉLITE - SERVICE DE POLICE DE LA VILLE DE MONTRÉAL - TAPITEC - UNI BÉTON
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The community rink built by the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation features the same standards found in each NHL arena (200’ by 85’). The multipurpose refrigerated rink will welcome young skaters from November until mid-March.
The construction of the refrigerated rink required 50,000 feet (15,150 m) of fast freeze rink piping and some 11 tons of steel to build the flooring structure.
As many as 30 cement mixers were used to successively pour some 250 cubic meters (m3) of concrete.
Over 50 construction workers worked on this special site for over three months.