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Found 7 results

  1. http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/montreal-now-a-member-of-the-world-tourism-cities-federation-575257221.html MONTRÉAL, April 11, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Montréal is now officially a member of the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF). This non-profit organization is a select club made up of the world's leading tourism cities, such as Los Angeles, Paris, Berlin and Barcelona. Initiated in 2012 by Beijing, its primary objective is to promote exchanges between top international destinations and share tourism development experience. With its headquarters in China, the organization is committed to improving the attractiveness of tourism cities and promoting harmonious economic and social development in these centres. "We are delighted to see that Montréal has a seat at the table with the world's biggest tourism superpowers. This is an excellent opportunity to position our city among the very best urban destinations on the planet," said Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montréal. "Montréal will have the chance to draw inspiration from these reputed destinations to enhance its tourism potential. In addition to participating in discussions, we will seize the opportunity to forge closer ties with various Chinese institutions. China is an important market for Montréal, with very promising tourism and economic opportunities," added Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal. With new direct flights to China and increased economic missions to the country, Montréal is now in an excellent position to attract more tourists from this rapidly developing country. Moreover, tourist traffic from China is expected to increase 15% annually for the next three years. About Tourisme Montréal Tourisme Montréal is responsible for providing leadership in the concerted efforts of hospitality and promotion in order to position the "Montréal" destination on leisure and business travel markets. It is also responsible for developing Montréal's tourism product in accordance with the ever-changing conditions of the market.
  2. Montreal's Jews aren't going anywhere By Yoni Goldstein The history of Russian Jews in Montreal, Canada, began more than a century ago, when a coalition of Jews and Christians in the city raised funds to help Jews escape from the Russian empire in the wake of an onslaught of pogroms triggered by the assassination of czar Alexander II, in March 1881. There are widely varying estimates on the current size of the Russian Jewish community in Montreal: The local Jewish federation believes there are fewer than 10,000 Russian-speaking Jews in the city, while Russian community officials claim the actual number is more than double that figure. In either case, a community center and a Russian-language biweekly newspaper attest to the fact that Russian Jews have established a vibrant community in the city (whose total Jewish population is about 100,000). Of course, as in virtually every city outside Israel where there is a Jewish presence, life for the Jews of Montreal is not without challenges. The city has been home to some minor-league anti-Semitism in the past, and the province of Quebec is proving to be mildly hostile to anyone who can't speak in French and isn't willing to learn how. But the biggest threat to Montreal Jews, the Quebec sovereignty movement of the 1970s and then later, in the early-1990s, has more recently lost favor in the eyes of more Quebecois than ever before. Now is a good time to be a Jew in Montreal. Apparently, Nativ, the formerly clandestine organization that since the 1950s has shared responsibility for bringing Jews from what is now the Former Soviet Union to Israel, and Israel's minister of strategic affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, don't agree. According to recent stories in Haaretz and the European Jewish Press service, having apparently run out of Jews still living in the FSU to bring to Israel, Nativ is planning to make a new push in North America to recruit Russian Jews there to make aliyah. Target No. 1: Montreal. It's a peculiar strategy: aiming to do business in a country that has two significant, settled communities of Russian Jews (the other being Toronto, where some 90,000 live); a country that is safe for Jews and where Jewish communities have long prospered; and a country, moreover, to which disadvantaged immigrants flock and where they are welcomed in droves, where they can experience multiculturalism and inclusiveness. When you're trying to convince people to leave peaceful, thriving Canada for a better life in the Middle East, you know you're in trouble of some kind. The only ones that look bad in this story are Nativ and Lieberman. The decision to recruit in Montreal is, at best, misguided. Worse, it demonstrates that the brand of covert immigration missions that were Nativ's bread and butter between the 1950s and 1990s is no longer needed. For 30 years, the organization was solely responsible for assisting countless Jewish escapees from the Soviet scourge, but that very important work is now finished. Jews who, under the hammer and sickle, were unable either to express themselves Jewishly, or to leave for someplace else where they would be free to do just that, are now at liberty to choose where they want to live, including Israel. In fact, Nativ's decision to choose Montreal's as its first stop in North America proves just how out of touch the organization is. (Already in Germany, Nativ has provoked a protest from Jewish communal leaders because of similar efforts there to lobby Russian-immigrant Jews to depart for Israel.) According to estimates from the city's Jewish federation, 80-85 percent of Russian Jews living in Montreal actually moved there from Israel. These people have already been the beneficiaries of Nativ once, and yet, at some later point, they decided that Israel wasn't the right place for them after all. There's no reason to think that they would consider moving back now, no matter how hard aliyah-liaison officers try to convince them. Nativ's venture into Montreal is doomed to fail because the organization's brand of cloak-and-dagger aliyah recruitment simply isn't suited to today's Jewish global village. Its employment of old-style Zionist tactics, which depict the State of Israel as representing the final stronghold against a world of Jew-haters doesn't connect with people anymore. There are, after all, other perfectly suitable homes for Jews. Montreal is one of those places. Perhaps the time has come for Israel in general to reevaluate its relationship with Diaspora Jewry and acknowledge that there are other places in the world perfectly suited to Jewish living. Once it takes that first step, the next job would be to recognize that the overall relationship between Israel and the Diaspora must change. Instead of looking at the Diaspora as a temporary home for those Jews who can't or aren't ready yet to make aliyah, Israel should invest in forming bonds with Jewish communities around the globe. Nativ, which has been reorganized and reportedly has a fat new budget, might even consider investing some of its cash in making those communities healthier, much in the same way those communities have long invested in the welfare of Israel. Montreal's Russian Jews aren't going anywhere and neither are the vast majority of Jews - Russian-speaking or otherwise - in North and South America and Europe. The sooner the Israeli government realizes that fact, the sooner it can begin to forge a new, symbiotic relationship with all the Jews outside Israel who are quite content to stay right where they are. Yoni Goldstein is an editorial writer at Canada's National Post, and a columnist at the Canadian Jewish News.
  3. http://toughmudder.com/events/montreal-sat-july-6-sun-july-7-2013/?language=fr Tough Mudder: Fancy an obstacle course on steroids? Tough Mudder brings its bruising brand of insanely popular obstacle-course challenges to Quebec in July By René Bruemmer, THE GAZETTE May 31, 2013 Tough Mudder: Fancy an obstacle course on steroids? Tough Mudder brings its bruising brand of insanely popular obstacle-course challenges to Quebec in July By René Bruemmer, THE GAZETTE May 31, 2013 ason Ostroff ran competitively as a kid. He remembers it being a trying experience, with much training and gasping and worrying about best times. He doesn’t run much anymore, but one childhood activity he does miss is the jump and tumble fun of navigating obstacles, revelling in the elemental joy of getting over, under or through. Which is why he and three longtime friends will be taking part in the Tough Mudder event this summer near Montreal, a child’s obstacle course on steroids designed by military men that bills itself as “probably the toughest event on the planet.” “Honestly, it’s just that I like the idea of running an obstacle course — it’s just fun, and since I was a little kid, I kind of liked the idea of having to get through this stuff,” said Ostroff, a 26-year-old McGill medical student living in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. “It feels like an army boot camp kind of thing. And an opportunity to be a kid again.” In July, about 8,000 people are expected to sign up to test their strength, stamina and perhaps sanity at the first Montreal Tough Mudder event, taking place at the Bromont airport, one hour’s drive east of the city. Participants will navigate an obstacle course 15 to 20 kilometres long and scale 25 challenges designed by British Special Forces, most often with the help of teammates — entrants are encouraged to enter as part of a team, and about 80 per cent do. They will climb wooden walls, jump fire, receive electric shocks, crawl through fields of mud and immerse themselves in freezing water in challenges with names like Arctic Enema, Fire Walker and Ball Shrinker. At the end, they will be handed an ice cold beer, but they will not be told how long it took them to complete the course, because providing a change from timed marathon-type races is at the heart of the Tough Mudder philosophy. It also was a key selling point Ostroff used to coerce his friends. “None of them wanted to do it, until I explained it wasn’t timed,” he said. “They liked the fact we could just take it easy and didn’t have to sprint the entire race.” The Tough Mudder events are part of a growing phenomenon of adventure-type races offered worldwide with names like Muddy Buddy, Spartan Race and Warrior Dash for those seeking a new brand of challenge. In its second year in 2011, Tough Mudder had 140,000 participants at 14 events. By 2012, it had grown to 35 events, bringing in almost 500,000 participants. This year, 53 events are planned worldwide. The Spartan Race, a similar challenge that has a 20-kilometre event this year at Mont Tremblant on June 30, had 300,000 participants globally last year. Of those, most are corporate types joining with colleagues and “70 per cent of our people just came off the couch,” Spartan co-founder Joe DeSena told The Wall Street Journal. (Doing some training, however, is highly recommended.) When Will Dean presented his idea for Tough Mudder as part of a Harvard Business School contest, he was hoping to attract 500 participants to his inaugural event in 2010, drawn mostly through advertising on Facebook and word of mouth through social media, he told The New York Times. His professors considered that optimistic. The first race drew 4,500 participants to Allentown, Pa., and Dean, a former counterterrorism agent from Britain doing his MBA, discovered a new calling at the age of 29. It has grown into a $70-million company based in Brooklyn, N.Y. Modelled largely on events held in Europe, Dean’s premise was to create a challenge that involved more camaraderie and teamwork than standard marathons, and where participants don’t have to train for months. Participants are also allowed to skip obstacles they find too challenging. The organization takes a certain glee in poking fun at marathon-type races (“Fact # 1,” its website reads: “Marathon running is boring. Fact #2 — Mudders do not take themselves too seriously. Triathlons, marathons, and other lame-ass mud runs are more stressful than fun. Not Tough Mudder.”) The organization has also raised more than $5 million for the Wounded Warrior foundation, which supports injured soldiers. That being said, one does have to be a tough mudder to complete the race, which is why only 78 per cent of participants do so. Given the nature of the event, participants have to pay an extra $15 for insurance on top of the $85 to $180 it costs to register, depending on how soon in advance participants sign up. Spartan Race estimates an average of three people are injured in each of their races, and seven per cent will suffer “light” injuries. A 28-year-old died in April at a Tough Mudder event in West Virginia after leaping into a mud pond and failing to resurface, the first fatality in Tough Mudder’s history. The organization notes it is its only fatality in its three years among 750,000 participants, and the West Virginia event was staffed with more than 75 first aid, ambulance and water-rescue technicians. Ostroff trains five to six times a week at the gym, doing cardio and working on upper body strength, which should help, as might his intended specialty of orthopaedics. He hasn’t done any specific training for Tough Mudder — one day a year of climbing ropes and walking slippery planks over ice pits is enough, he said. He trusts his teammates, some of whom he has known for 20 years, although he’s a little concerned about the one who weighs 240 pounds, since he will have to help boost and lift that mass over wooden walls. His greatest concern is the running aspect of the race. “Honestly, I just hope to have a completely awesome day, as injury-free as possible,” Ostroff said. “I just want to have a great memorable event.” [email protected] Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/Tough+Mudder+Fancy+obstacle+course+steroids/8460617/story.html#ixzz2UziJ5r3o
  4. Didn't know where to put this: http://metronews.ca/sports/642253/olympics-montreal-presence-gets-boost/