The Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation is pleased to announce a new BLEU BLANC BOUGE bursary program, presented in collaboration with the Canadiens’ cycling teams who took part in the Grand défi Pierre Lavoie’s 1,000 KM event.
Motivated by a common goal to encourage the adoption of a healthier and more active lifestyle, this partnership will provide financial support to schools across Quebec for the purchase of equipment for learn-to-skate initiatives.
Thanks to the commitment of the Canadiens’ cycling teams that have taken part in the 1,000 KM event of the Grand défi Pierre Lavoie since its inception, a total of $300,000 in bursaries spread over three years will help provide youth from underprivileged backgrounds with an environment and conditions conducive to the practice of physical activity during the school year, and especially during the winter months.
Teachers and youth workers wishing to set up their own introductory ice-skating sessions were invited to submit their project last fall. This winter, $96,000 in bursaries were awarded to 24 elementary and secondary schools, all presenting a high socio-economic deprivation index, thus allowing more than 10,000 children in 13 administrative regions of the province to get active during the first year of the program. Each of these $4,000 grants were mainly used for the purchase of skates, helmets, and sticks in sufficient quantity so that students could safely practice the sport. Part of this amount was also used to cover the costs associated with transportation to the neighborhood rink or arena, as well as human resources needed to hold such activities.
Teachers could access free content on the BLEU BLANC BOUGE Skills portal, featuring a six-lesson teaching plan, inspired by the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation’s tried-and-tested learn-to-skate program, offered every winter on the 13 refrigerated outdoor rinks built by the charity since 2008. Launched in 2018, the BLEU BLANC BOUGE Skills platform, which also offers a turnkey ball hockey initiation program and individual fitness activities, is now used by more than 1,300 members across the province.
To highlight all the efforts made by teachers and their students to be more active during the school year, eight of the schools that received a bursary this winter had the chance to participate in a closing party, which took place on Tuesday at the Bell Centre. Kids and adults skated on the Bell Centre ice and got a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility, in addition to meeting goaltender Jake Allen, defenseman Jordan Harris and Youppi!, the team’s mascot.
Beneficiary schools in 2022-23
About the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation
The Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation encourages physical activity and the adoption of a healthy lifestyle among underprivileged youth aged 4 to 17 years old. Since its inception in 2000, the Foundation has invested close to $40 million to over 900 charitable endeavors from across the province of Quebec working towards 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 and activating community refrigerated and multisport rinks; secondly, by providing financial support to non-profit organizations whose projects and programs enable children to adopt healthy lifestyles by being more active. For more information, visit foundation.canadiens.com.
About the Grand défi Pierre Lavoie
Our primary objective: to create a culture of preventive health in Quebec by adopting healthy lifestyles. The Grand défi mobilizes people of all ages, in Quebec and elsewhere. Various major and unifying events take place annually to bring about lasting change in the population: The School Tour, The Mini Cube Tour, Force 4, La Petite Expé, the Energy Cubes Challenge, The Great Prize at Your School, La Course, The 1,000 KM, La Boucle, La Grande Marche and the 1 000 000 de KM Ensemble.