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News 29 November 2022

Saint-Jérôme to receive one of the two next BLEU BLANC BOUGE rinks

Saint-Jérôme to receive one of the two next BLEU BLANC BOUGE rinks

The Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation is pleased to announce today, on Giving Tuesday, that its 14th BLEU BLANC BOUGE community rink will be donated to the city of Saint-Jérôme.

The Foundation thus carries on with the expansion of its flagship program across the province of Quebec, with an eighth ice rink to be built outside of Montreal. Work will begin in the summer of 2023 in Melançon Park, for an opening in time for winter 2024. This donation offered by the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation to the city of Saint-Jérôme represents an investment of nearly of $2 million.

The BLEU BLANC BOUGE program consists of erecting outdoor, refrigerated, and multi-sport rinks, where children from less well-off backgrounds can gather, have fun, and practice physical activity, allowing them to discover the benefits of a healthy and physically active lifestyle.

“This new BLEU BLANC BOUGE community outdoor rink embodies the Foundation’s values of generosity and accessibility, and it represents another significant step for the Foundation towards the implementation of this type of high-quality multi-sport infrastructure outside of the greater Montreal area, in underprivileged and often underserved areas, in order to get young people from these communities to be more active. This rink will provide additional sports facilities for the children and families of Saint-Jérôme, allowing them to discover the benefits of integrating physical activity into their daily lives and the pleasure of being active throughout the seasons”, mentioned Geneviève Paquette, General manager of the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation.

The City of Saint-Jérôme is home to an important number of elementary and secondary schools with a high deprivation index. While its population is growing faster than the national average, several sectors of the city remain materially and socially disadvantaged, highlighting the increasing needs in terms of local and accessible sports facilities for all. There are also strong mobilization structures in Saint-Jérôme around the issues of healthy lifestyles among young people, such as the Collectif 0-25, which promotes accessibility to services and acts on the social determinants of health. In addition, the existing multi-sector groups have a history of successful joint projects, providing the region’s youth with more opportunities to be active and improve their health.

“Melançon Park is a prime location for this BLEU BLANC BOUGE rink, thanks to its proximity to many schools, as well as youth-focused community organizations and social housing. I sincerely thank the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation for having chosen to collaborate with the City of Saint-Jérôme for the realization of a promising project for our entire community,” added Marc Bourcier, Mayor of the City of Saint-Jérôme.

In order to ensure the success of this program, both in terms of activation and appropriation of the facilities by local youth, the Foundation formed a dynamic partnership with M361 – formerly known as Québec en Forme – both sharing the common ultimate goal of improving the health of children in underprivileged areas. It works closely with the Foundation in selecting the location of the next rink and community partners to efficiently implement the program and assess the impact of this initiative. 

Taking part in the great global movement of generosity, mutual aid and solidarity that is Giving Tuesday, the Foundation will also announce, during the first intermission of tonight’s game between the Montreal Canadiens and the San Jose Sharks, the name of the city that will receive the 15th BLEU BLANC BOUGE rink.

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, ball hockey and various other sporting activities can be played on the concrete base slab in the spring, summer and fall months. Since 2009, six community outdoor rinks have been built on the island of Montreal, in the boroughs of Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension, Montréal-Nord, Verdun, Lasalle, Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and Ahuntsic-Cartierville, as well as in Longueuil, Laval, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières, Joliette, Val-d’Or and Saguenay. The two new rinks that will be announced tonight will bring the total to 15. The BLEU BLANC BOUGE rinks built since 2019 are distinguished by the use of a new energy efficient refrigeration system powered by CO2 and by their universally accessible facilities for the practice of sledge hockey.