Special Events

Another successful winter carnival is in the books

I have such fond memories of the annual Côte Saint-Luc Winter Carnival. When I was a little guy growing up on Wentworth Avenue, the event used to take place in Kirwan Park right behind my house. I looked forward to it all year.

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As a parent I loved bringing my daughter there when she was little. She liked the pancake breakfast and all of the activities.

During my 14 years as a city councillor I have enjoyed winter carnival from a different perspective. Congratulations to our Parks and Recreation Department (notably Sarah Houle) for planning another outstanding day. The weather was also perfect for the occasion. Thanks to Public Works for setup, VCOPs and Public Safety for security detail  and some of our officers from Police Station 9 for pitching in.

"Thousands of smiling, taffy filled faces could be seen enjoying the activities," said Parks and Recreation Director Cornelia Ziga. "There were line ups for every station, but all happy ones enjoying the weather and fun to be had. I saw everyone from babies to seniors partaking in the day bringing them much joy. "

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The pancake breakfast sponsored by McDonald’s—Pierre Brunet franchisee was once again a big attraction.  A large crowd was on hand. Young and old alike loved the horse drawn carriage rides, taffy on snow, tobogganing on the hill, face painting and ice sculpture activities. Throughout the carnival we will were accepting donations for the Ronald McDonald House. A team from The Beat 92.5 FM was there handing out swag and playing great  music!

I did a fun walk through with Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and chatted with many familiar faces.

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Last week we hosted the Winter Carnival Valentine Dance at the Aquatic and Community Centre. It was another sold out affair and I was pleased to be on hand and see many constituents out on the dance floor. There were hot and cold hors d’oeuvres served at each table and catered full size buffet and sweet table by Blossom La Plaza. Guests were invited to bring their own wine. Entertainment and music was provided by the George Thomas Entertainment Group. IMG_7681


Another successful Winter Carnival

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It was nice to see young children like this having so much fun.

Ever since I was a little boy growing up in Côte Saint-Luc I have looked forward to our winter carnival. As a father, I got to experience it from a parental perspective when my daughter was young. Today, it still is a lot of fun and for the 2019 edition the weather was pretty good considering what we have become accustomed to these last few months.

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Adrian Mercellus and Camrynn Platt receive their awards.

All of the action took place at Trudeau Park. There was the traditional   pancake breakfast sponsored by McDonald’s franchisee Pierre Brunet at the Lawrence Bergman Chalet, horse drawn carriage rides, taffy on snow, face painting, ice sculpture activities, public skating, hockey games, a figure-skating exhibition, and more. Throughout the Carnival, we accepted  donations for the Ronald McDonald House. Including proceeds from the tournament, we raised $8,000 this year.

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The $8,000 cheque is presented.

Councillors David Tordjman and Mitchell Kujavsky co-chaired Winter Carnival festivities this year. Along with Councillor Ruth Kovac, who oversees the Parks and Recreation portfolio, Liberal Member of Parliament for Mount Royal Anthony Housefather and Elisabeth Prass (representing D’Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum), I took part in an awards ceremony for the Côte Saint-Luc Figure Skating Club.

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McDonald's executive Mitchell Libenstein oversees the pancake preparation.

Congratulations to our Parks and Recreation staff for another great job! It was so enjoyable seeing all of the families with young children enjoy themselves so much.

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The pony rides.
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The snow queens.
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Fun and games.
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Taffy on the snow.
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A makeshift slide was very popular.

 


Another successful winter carnival is in the books

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. 

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With the Dahan brothers and one of the mascots.

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.  

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Presenting our cheque to Manoir Ronald McDonald.

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.

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Everyone had a blast!

A great time was held by all. Hats off to Councillor Levine  and Parks and Recreation Assistant Director Cornelia Ziga and her entire staff.

 


CSL Winter Carnival 2015 a huge success despite the bitter cold

This has been a pretty horrible winter temperature-wise and Sunday, February 8, 2015 was no different. The thermometer read minus 17 degrees celsius and we had some blowing snow to boot. It was not pleasant to be outdoors. None of this stopped the 2015 Winter Carnival in Côte Saint-Luc from taking off nicely.

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Will the Clydesdale and myself in the bitter cold.

Activities at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park  included dog sled rides, horse-drawn carriage rides, ice sculptures, a snow mural, curling on ice, face painting, a figure-skating show and more. There was a free pancake breakfast and the first 1,000 people also free taffy in the snow

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Free taffy in the snow.
In addition to the main Sunday events, Winter Carnival Week also included the Peewee ‘A’ Outdoor Hockey Tournament, which actually began on February 8 at the open-air Confederation Annex building at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park. This year, Côte Saint-Luc  welcomed 14 teams from Quebec and Ontario,  playing a record 26 games.
 
Côte Saint-Luc also hosted an adult hockey tournament on  February 6 at the Samuel Moskovitch Arena. There was public skating at the arena on  February 7.  
 
On Saturday, February 14, the annual Winter Carnival Valentine Dance  will take place at the Côte Saint-Luc Gymnasium from 7:30 pm to 11:30 pm. Tickets for the dance are $25 in advance or $30 at the door.  The dance highlights include popular tunes spun by DJ George Thomas, hot and cold hors d'oeuvres served at your table, a hot buffet midway through the evening, and a sweet table to end off the night. It is also bring your own wine! Councillors Steven Erdelyi and Allan J. Levine serve as co-chairs.
 
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Presenting the cheque to Ronald McDonald House.
Proceeds from the public skating event and any donations we receive go to Ronald McDonald House. At a ceremony on February 8, Mayor Anthony Housefather  and some members of council were joined by D'Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum, Ronald McDonald House executive director Jacqueline Mallet, McDonald's franchisee Pierre Brunet (accompanied by Senior Vice-President & Chief Financial Officer for McDonald's Restaurants of Canada and treasurer for Ronald McDonald House Charities David J. Hederson and of course Ronald McDonald himself. We handed over a cheque of $5,000 to our local Ronald McDonald House on Hudson Avenue near Ste. Justine's Hospital. The Montreal Ronald McDonald House is a temporary home away from home for out-of-town (more than 70 km) families of children with critical illnesses who must travel to Montreal for medical treatments.
 
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Folks enjoying the pancakes.
Sponsors of the event include McDonald’s (Pierre Brunet Franchise), Domino’s Pizza, the Montreal police (SPVM), CPA Côte Saint-Luc, Rapid Hockey, Côte Saint-Luc Minor Hockey Association, École culinaire Loblaws (Cavendish), The Suburban, Canteen Samuel Moskovitch, Harrow, Holiday Inn, Groupe Atwill Morin, Métro, Jumbologo, and Trophées Pointe Claire. Photography by Randi Weitzner and Bianca Roberti-Even.
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Bev and Lacey Cammy, with dad Harold peeking out at the left.
A huge hats off to Director of Parks and Recreation David Taveroff and his staff, notably event coordinator Cornelia Ziga.  Harold "The Kid" Cammy of Parks and Recreation manned the pancake station, with his with Bev and daughter Lacey giving a helping hand.

 

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Councillor Ruth Kovac with Pierre Brunet (left) and David J. Hederson.

 


CSL hosts its most outstanding Golf Classic yet

Well before I became a city councillor in Côte Saint-Luc more than nine years ago I was involved with the annual golf tournament. I believe my association as  the emcee of their awards luncheon goes back at least 25 years. Originally, it was a Seniors Golf Outing and the event always attracted good numbers. When I was elected, I began co-chairing the program with Councillor Sam Goldbloom.

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Over the years we saw attendance begin to drop. Last year, we had only 42 golfers register. We knew it was time to either cancel the event or recharge the batteries. Sam and  I opted for the latter and thanks to the spectacular assistance of Harold Cammy and Alvin Fishman at our Parks and Recreation Department the revival began. We renamed the event the Côte Saint-Luc Golf Classic and made it available to people of all ages. Work on the 2014 event began during a cold winter day when we sat down with Harold and Alvin and drew up a plan to attract foursomes. Together we obtained a title sponsors in Gravel Auto Group, which has a successful dealership on Decarie.  Harold and Alvin signed up a few other sponsors, including Casey Cameron from Techsport Inc. "Why not have a celebrity honourary chairman?" I asked, thinking out loud that legendary jazz pianist and CSL resident Oliver Jones would be a good choice. Thanks  to our Chief Librarian Janine West and her husband Jim, Jones agreed. He was part of a foursome with the West's and one of their close friends.

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With Oliver Jones, Jim West and Sam Goldbloom,

When all was said and done, a total of 83 golfers registered. It rained the day before, but as I awoke on Tuesday, July 8 the weather was gorgeous and precipitation was only called for later in the day. This was also a day, once again, to showcase Meadowbrook Golf Course and how beautiful this large greenspace is. For the first time a foursome from Les Amis de Meadowbrook took part and that was wonderful. They lobby and hold meetings throughout the year, but what better thing to do than spend time on the very land they wish to preserve. We all golfed on the back nine.  I was part of a foursome with Goldbloom, Police Station 9 Commander Marc Cournoyer and Officer  Martin Bourgeois. Louis-Philippe Gravel,  director of sales at Gravel Auto Decarie, was on hand as well.

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Officer Martin Bourgeois, Sam Goldbloom, Commander Marc Cournoyer and myself.

This represents my only golf game of the year, so only when I near the final hole do I find my swing comes around.  But this is a great day out and for only $27 a person where else can you find a better bargain.

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This little groundhog was right next to the 17th hole.

The golf game is only half the fun. Afterwards everyone convened at our Aquatic and Community Centre for a very enjoyable luncheon coordinated by the team of Cammy and Fishman and their devoted committee: Toby Goldner-Shulman, Faygie Block, Dina Ancel, Naomi Jacobson, Fran Rosen-Miller, Kathy Nasr, Elaine Libman and Maurice Giobbi, Everyone was greeted with some wine and cheese, a few hor d'oeuvres and then a nice buffet of party sandwiches and salads.

Mayor Anthony Housefather provided opening remarks and then helped hand out the trophies.

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Sidney Margles, my loyal constituent from District 2 and man about town.

Closest to the pin on the 16th hole went to Patti Heller for the women and Ivan Kolti for the men. Longest drive at the 17th hole also went to Heller for the women while Steven Wise captured the men's side.

There was a wide array of doorprizes handed out.  This included a set of golf irons and  a golf bag (valued at $400) from Play It Again Sports on Decarie and a one week scholarship at the TSPA Tennis Academy  (valued at $270).  Gravel Auto donated a slew of prizes, as did Bench, Bugatti, Pharmaprix Cavendish, CSL Bagel, J & R Kosher, CSL Kosher, Massa Greek Grill, Rockaberry Monkland, The Snowdon Deli, the Range Golf Academy and many more. This was a testament to the tireless efforts of Fishman. Thanks to five year old Jeremy Nashen, who came on stage with his dad - City Councillor Glenn J. Nashen - to help choose the winners. We know Jeremy is honest because his grandfather George lamented later that he did not win anything.

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Three generations of Nashens: Glenn, my pal Jeremy and George.

Harold Cammy the Caterer then had one more suprise up his sleeve. On the eve of Oliver Jones' 80th birthday, out came  a huge cake designed like a piano. Oliver, who earlier addressed the crowd, was clearly touched. Everyone got a chance to taste this delicious dessert, as well as yogurt cups donated by Yeh! Yogurt at Quartier Cavendish.

We also wish to thank Michael Johnson, club manager at Meadowbrook and his staff. It was a great day to be sure.

Thanks to all. It was a great day. I can't wait until our 36th (Double Chai) event next summer!

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Gathering around Oliver Jones' birthday cake with members of council and staff.




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A perfect Canada Day in Côte Saint-Luc

For David Birnbaum, the newly elected Liberal Member of the National Assembly for D'Arcy McGee, July 1 marked his first Canada Day in Côte Saint-Luc. "What a great show you people put on," he told me, looking out in almost disbelief from the grand stage as a sea of thousands of people gathered for closing ceremonies and fireworks.

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Members of council and our Scotiabank representative prepare to hand out cupcakes.

A huge hats off to Councillors Mitchell Brownstein and Sam Goldbloom, their committee and our amazing Parks and Recreation team headed by David Taveroff.  Special marks to  Laura Trihas, Cornelia Ziga, Alvin Fishman, Harold Cammy and cast of others who are part of such a well oiled team that our Canada Day is the envy of other municipalities.

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Goldbloom, Mayor Housefather, Cotlerm Birnbaum and Judge Seal.

There were activities at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park all day. We formally began proceedings with our traditional Citizenship Ceremony, presided over by Judge Barbara Seal.  CJAD's Dan Laxer and Dr. Laurie Betito were terrific emcees. There were 40 new Canadian citizens sworn in from 17 different countries.

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With Birnbaum and Cotler.

Plenty of games for the kids were in place and the pedal boats had a lineup a mile long. Scotiabank Westminster sponsored our always popular Canada Day cupcakes. Their representative, investment and personal banking specialist Yannick Haim Amar, is a relatively new resident of District 2. People lined up at the different concessions and took test drives with some vehicles from Gravel Auto, which donated $10 per test to three local charities.

Airport 77 and Lorraine Klaasen  provided superb musical entertainment. The late Nelson Mandela was inducted into our Human Rights Walkway. Mount Royal Liberal MP Irwin Cotler, who was one of Mandela's counsels when he was incarcerated in South African prison for 27 years, spoke about how Mandela emerged as a metamorphasis and a message behind the struggle for human rights of our time. Mandela, of course, presided over the dismantling of apartheid  and at the age of 75 became his country's president. Cotler attended his funeral last December. Dierdre Viljoen, Minister (Plenipotentiary) of the South African High Commission in Canada, drove into Montreal especially to attend our ceremony.

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Prominent Conservative party man about town Neil Drabkin and his former law professor, Cotler.

We honoured former D'Arcy McGee Liberal MNA Lawrence Bergman for his stellar 18 years of representation for our community in Quebec City by naming our main chalet at Trudeau Park in his honour. Lawrence was showered with well deserved cheers for his nearly two decades of devoted service to the constituents of D'Arcy McGee. As Mayor Anthony Housefather rightfully said, it was Lawrence who stepped in and saved our Emergency Medical Services from being torn apart by the provincial government. And when we needed the province to take part in funding our $18 million Aquatic and Community Centre (ACC), he stepped up to the plate again.

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With Councillor Glenn Nashen, his son Jeremy and our representative from the RCMP.

The evening culminated with Alexandra Cohen singing O Canada and a spectacular fireworks display.

Thanks as well to our invaluable Volunteer Citizens on Patrol (VCOPs) and our team of EMS volunteers.

We were all very worried about the forecast for throughout most of the day it looked very much like rain might fall. That did not happen. It was an absolutely perfect night at a time when MNA Birnbaum could deliver the message from our new premier, who can declare quite openly: "Happy Canada Day!"

 See Councillor Glenn J. Nashen's very comprehensive blog, including audio and video.

 


Another exciting Canada Day planned in Côte Saint-Luc; now we pray for no rain

The Canada Day celebration in the City of Côte Saint-Luc on July 1 will include ceremonies honouring former South African President Nelson Mandela and former Member of the National Assembly Lawrence S. Bergman (pictured).
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“Our Canada Day event attracts thousands of people and it’s an opportunity to honour people who have made a difference, whether somewhere else in the world or here at home,” Mayor Anthony Housefather said. “We decided to induct Nelson Mandela on the Côte Saint-Luc Human Rights Walkway because of his fight against the abhorrent system in South Africa of forced segregation based on race and because he chose reconciliation over revenge when he was freed from prison and was elected President.
 
“We are naming Chalet 1 of Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park for Lawrence Bergman because of his huge contribution to the City of Côte Saint-Luc during his 20 years as MNA for D’Arcy McGee. He has been an incredible partner in many respects including through his dedicated work with us to secure a law protecting our unique EMS service and through his extraordinary efforts to assist us in obtaining the grants needed to build our magnificent Aquatic and Community Centre.”
 
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All Canada Day activities take place at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park on Mackle Rd. The Nelson Mandela induction takes place at 7:45 pm. The Lawrence S. Bergman Chalet 1 unveiling takes place at 9:30 pm.
 
Canada Day will also feature a Canadian citizenship ceremony for new Canadians, live music by Airport 77 and Lorraine Klaasen. Kids will enjoy storytelling, inflatable games, the children’s train, the roaming magician, arts and crafts and more. Other activities include free pedal boats on Centennial Lake, a model airplane show, a model boat show, free cupcakes, and the closing fireworks at 9:45 pm.
 
 
 
See the Canada Day schedule at www.CoteSaintLuc.org/CanadaDay2014.
 
The masters of ceremonies are Dan Laxer and Laurie Betito of CJAD. The event co-chairpersons are Councillor Mitchell Brownstein and Councillor Sam Goldbloom.
 
Event sponsors include Canadian Heritage, Qualitifruits, Domino’s Pizza, The Suburban, Maac.ca, Quartier Cavendish, RBC, Scotiabank, Gravel, Chartwell Castel Royal, Witt Realty and West Island Music Academy.
 
In case of sporadic rain, the majority of activities will take place in the covered Confederation Annex of Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park, with the exception of the Canadian citizenship ceremony, which will take place at the Aquatic and Community Centre (5794 Parkhaven Ave.) and the fireworks display, which will be postponed to Wednesday, July 2 at 9:45 pm. 
 
In the event heavy rain is forecast all day and the city cancels Canada Day on July 1, all planned activities will be cancelled or postponed (except for the Canadian Citizenship Ceremony, which will take place on July 1 at the Aquatic and Community Centre as listed above). The postponed activities will take place on July 2 starting at 9:30 pm and include the Human Rights Walkway Ceremony honouring Nelson Mandela, the Lawrence S. Bergman tribute, and the fireworks.


 


CSL Golf Classic open to our alumni

For a few decades now,  the City of Côte Saint-Luc has organized a Summer Golf Tournament for Seniors at the Meadowbrook Course. Councillor Sam Goldbloom and I co-chair this initiative and we are pleased to announce that on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, the Côte Saint-Luc Golf Classic will take place - split into two divisions: Seniors and Occasional (that is me) golfers and Alumni and Prestige golfers.
Everyone will play nine holes and we will then head over to the Aquatic and Community Centre for a 1 p.m. luncheon.  Brothers Marvin and Jon Gurman (pictured below) are honourary co-chairs. Their Yeh: Yogurt and Glacé, about to open at the Quartier/Cavendish Mall, is the event's official sponsor.
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We have 36 spots for Alumni and Prestige golfers and we would love to have individuals who played in Côte Saint-Luc sports leagues before. Think of the nostalgic foursomes which can be established? All of the details can be downloaded right here:  Download 2013 Golf Classic
  

Perfect conditions for CSL Winter Carnival

Mother Nature has been pretty cruel to us these past two months. However, she was indeed quite charitable for the main attraction of the Côte Saint-Luc Winter Carnival  on  Sunday, February 10 at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park. Hundreds of  people showed up, mainly those with young children, to enjoy a free pancake breakfast, horse drawn carriage rides,  inflatable games and more.

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Other kid-friendly activities included taffy on snow, snowshoeing,  kicksledding, tobogganing on the hill, puppet show, face painting, a  Scouts presentation, and snow games. Councillors Mitchell Brownstein and Allan J. Levine once again co-chaired the event. There was also a figure skating presentation and an outdoor hockey tournament. Our Parks and Recreation staff, this year headed by Jessica Weiss, had all of the logistics well in control.

The Côte Saint-Luc Winter Carnival runs until Saturday, February 16. Still to come is a Valentine's Dance  and a movie screening for  seniors. 

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All Winter Carnival events are free except for the Valentine's Dance. Tickets   are $25 in advance or  $28 at the door. Horses

 

 


Honouring our volunteers brunch style; Sid Margles captures top award

In Côte Saint-Luc we have chosen to honour our many volunteers in different ways over the years. But Sunday, September 23 marked a first as we organized a Brunch Celebration at our pride and joy, the one year old Aquatic and Community Centre (ACC).  Below, Councillors Sam Goldbloom, Ruth Kovac and I share a moment.
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The ACC was transformed into a small Olympic Village as the flags of many of the countries which have hosted the games were hoisted over the main stage.  Our Parks and Recreation Department coordinated this modest affair with all of the class our community has been known for. Congratulations to Director David Taveroff and his staff and in particular Councillor Kovac, who steered the ship.
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As hundreds of volunteers filed in with their families, they were greeted with small gifts, refreshments and good old fashioned conversation. They were then ushered upstairs to our multi-purpose hall (already very popular for community and social functions) for a light brunch of bagels and lox, salads, vegetables and sweets.  Above, that is longtime volunteer Irving "the Real Estate Tycoon" Schok, formerly "the Leopard of Louvain."
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Volunteers represent the engines that drive most of the programs in our city be it in the many facets of Parks and Recreation (individual sports, seniors, the CSL Dramatic Society), the Library, Public Safety (Emergency Medical Services and Volunteer Citizens on Patrol) and even the CSL Cats Committee.

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The Edward J. Kirwin Award for the Volunteer of the Year went to District 2 resident Sidney Margles (right and below with all of council), the devoted president of the CSL Senior Men’s Club. A former Town of Mount Royal councillor, broadcaster and radio executive, Sid and his wife Merle chose CSL to settle in for their retirement years. “Retirement” is a funny word because Sid is more active than some people who work fulltime. He has brought the Men’s Club to a level we have never seen before and worked alongside council and staff as the ACC took shape.
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Mayor Housefather spoke glowingly about the ACC. He listed the competitive swim team as just one example of what we should be proud of, making a bold prediction that when we reach the 2020’s there will be CSL swimmers in the Olympics.

Bravo to everyone involved with the Volunteer Brunch. That includes Douglas from Public Works and Kim from Recreation for providing the beautiful center pieces at each table (our own homegrown flowers) and Councillor Kovac for taking the dishes home to wash at her home.