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04 Feb, Saturday
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Montreal Families

Snowpark opens at Olympic Park

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

January 21 marks the date of Ojo Fest 2023 which will feature athletes from the Vans Snowboard team, and also celebrates the grand opening of Parc Ojo for the winter season. The community snowboarding event Ojo Fest will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Riders can participate part in a snowboarding jam for all, take part in an activity sponsored by Empire Montreal which will reward successful maneuvers in cash, and there will be an initiation to snowboarding workshop for beginners (4- 8 years) in collaboration with the Association des Stations de ski du Québec. Special edition Ojo Hi-Standard OG boots will be raffled off among the participants; ADAMO, Dillon Ojo’s favourite restaurant, will offer pizza; while DJs Kazz and Felix Patry will take care of the festive atmosphere.

Riders can take advantage of the facility to try out the 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).

Credit: Joseph Roby

Free access and available to all

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 a tragic 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, said 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.

The snowpark follows the expansion in 2021 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.

Credit: Joseph Roby

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. Mechanical maintenance will take place every week to ensure the quality of the modules. 

There is no chair lift, and wearing a helmet is mandatory for all users. The snow park is open to all ages but adult supervision is mandatory for children 10 years old and younger.

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

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