My memories of the Côte Saint-Luc Winter Carnival go back some 50 years (yep I am 53) when I grew up on Wentworth Avenue. At the time Wentworth Park (now Kirwan Park) was the hub of activities organized by our Recreation Department and I looked forward all year to seeing the different mascot, taffy in the snow, athletic competition, fun and games and loads of people.
I got to relive that experience as a parent a number of years ago, but today as a city councillor the kid in me still enjoys a day at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park for some winter fun.
Our Parks and Recreation Department really gets into the Winter Carnival spirit these days, with a week's worth of activities. It all began this year with the popular Valentine's Dance on February 13. That was followed by an outdoor PeeWee "A" hockey tournament throughout the week, an adult hockey tournament, public skating, figure skating, the Youth Hockey all-star game and finally the February 21 finale at the park and arena. There was a a free pancake breakfast sponsored by McDonald’s (Pierre Brunet Franchisee horse-drawn carriage rides, inflatable games , taffy on snow, tobogganing on the hill, face painting, ice sculpture activities and snow games. Representatives from 92.5 The Beat FM were on hand to play music. The weather was terrific for mid-February. At our Aquatic and Community Centre, there was even a Winter Carnival Swim Meet.
I joined Acting Mayor Dida Berku, Councillors Allan J. Levine (Winter Carnival Co-Chairman with Dida) and Ruth Kovac, Federal Liberal MP for Mount Royal Anthony Housefather, Quebec Liberal MNA for D'Arcy McGee David Birnbaum on the ice at the Moskovitch Arena to present trophies to the figure skating winners. Mayoral candidate and long-time city councillor Mitchell Brownstein was present all day. We presented a cheque for $6,500 to Manoire Ronald McDonald, the wonderful facility on Hudson Avenue in Côte des Neiges which provides a place to stay for out of towners caring for children requiring medical attention. This has been one of our designated charities for years and one of the rooms in their building even has the Côte Saint-Luc name on it. Stay tuned for some exciting new regarding our next event with them.
A great time was held by all. Hats off to Councillor Levine and Parks and Recreation Assistant Director Cornelia Ziga and her entire staff.