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16 Aug, Tuesday
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Montreal Families

Snowpark opens at Olympic Park

Montreal’s up-and-coming snowboarders and freestyle skiers have a new snowpark where they can practice their sport — and it’s right in the heart of the city.

The Dillon Ojo Snowpark opened in late January and riders immediately took advantage of the recent fresh powder to try out the eight obstacles that dot the site. Beginners and those more advanced can test out their skills and practice on the medium-sized jump and rails of various levels of difficulty.

Completely free to use, the site is easily accessible thanks to its location beside bus routes and the Pie-IX and Viau metro stations. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until the end of March (weather permitting).

Snowpark opens at Olympic Park

Joseph Roby Copyright

Free access and available to all

Community members, friends, and family of the late Dillon Ojo gathered to pay tribute at the opening of the park. The idea of creating a snowpark came from the Dillon Ojo Lifeline Foundation, which was created by Ojo’s family to honour the memory of their son, a well-known snowboarder and artist who died in an accident in 2018 at the age of 23. Ojo’s two favourite activities were snowboarding and skateboarding, and the foundation worked to build the snowpark to give Montreal’s youth greater opportunity and accessibility to try out the sports, without the need for pricey lift tickets or having to leave the city.

Ojo’s mother, Elaine Charles, says it is fitting that the next generation of boarders and skiers will hone their skills on rails and jumps and share their creativity at a park named for her son.

“We want everyone to be able to discover and take part in this fine sport that our son loved so much,” said Charles, co-founder of the Dillon Ojo Lifeline Foundation. “We know he would have wanted to pass on his passion to the greatest possible number of people, so we took on this mission in his honour. Dillon was born in Montreal, and he would have loved to have a park like this one to train in without having to plan for transportation to a ski station. He wholeheartedly enjoyed life. He liked to laugh, learn, play, share special moments with loved ones, and help others. The Snowpark will be a place where these values will be shared and where young people can create lifelong memories.”

A collaboration with Vans and Montreal Olympic Park

For several years, Ojo worked with skateboarding shoe and apparel company Vans on numerous initiatives and was an athlete on its Global team. Vans partnered with the Foundation and the Montreal Olympic Park to construct the new outdoor space.

“We are delighted to be able to once again participate in the mission of the Dillon Ojo Lifeline Foundation through this new initiative,” said Alex Auchu, Marketing Manager at Vans Canada. “It is also important for us to make snowboarding accessible to all and allow Montrealers to immerse themselves in this culture. We hope the project will continue through the years.”

The snowpark follows the expansion this summer of the adjacent Vans Skatepark, where a 10,000-square-metre street course was added to the existing concrete bowl area that was completed in 2019 to host the Canadian stop of the Vans Park Series competition. The skatepark is a popular location free for locals and visitors.

“The Olympic Park is proud to offer these sports facilities free of charge to the community, at the very place where Montreal youth gathered nearly a hundred years ago, on the Morgan slope, for sliding sports. This snow park adds to our growing offer of sports facilities accessible to all.  A century later, we continue to support Montrealers in the practice of physical activity by revealing ourselves once again as a great urban park that is active, useful and a must in the city,” said Michel Labrecque, CEO, Montreal Olympic Park.

Snowpark opens at Olympic Park

credit: Parc Olympique

The Snowpark is a conception of the Quebec agency Dizzle Entertainment in collaboration with Today’s Park for the design, creation, and maintenance. Its production required more than 5,000 cubic metres of snow. Manual maintenance of the installations will be done every Thursday and mechanical maintenance every two weeks in order to ensure the quality of the modules.

There is no chair lift, and wearing a helmet is mandatory for all users.

For all information and regulations visit parcolympique.qc.ca.

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