Two Ville de Montréal professionals honoured for their life’s work
Wendy Graham and Daniel Chartier, recipients of the Prix du Mont-Royal 2012 (Photos : Karine Gagné)
As part of May, Mount Royal Month, the 8th annual Prix du Mont-Royal awards ceremony held May 22nd at Maison Smith in Mount Royal Park recognized two individuals whose vision and commitment towards the preservation of the mountain’s historic and natural heritage is an inspiration to us all.
The Prix du Mont-Royal, awarded by Alan DeSousa, Vice-Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Ville de Montréal, responsible for sustainable development, the environment and parks, and Peter A. Howlett, President of Les amis de la montagne, in the presence of Amélie Picher, Regional Director of the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, was given to Wendy Graham and Daniel Chartier, landscape architects with the Ville de Montréal, who have worked collaboratively for many years in the interest and the enhancement of Mount Royal.
Two honourable mentions were also awarded during the ceremony, one to the directors, teachers and students of the École Saint-Germain d’Outremont for their 5-year participation in the “Amis du mont Royal” program, therefore contributing to the dissemination of knowledge about Mount Royal. And the other, to the Mount Royal Cemetery for the special planning and maintenance of its garden-like property that encourages the presence of birds, thereby enhancing Mount Royal’s biodiversity.
“I congratulate all of the award recipients for their remarkable commitment towards the protection and enhancement of Montreal’s jewel. In particular, I thank Ms. Graham and Mr. Chartier for their professionalism and excellence in their work. Throughout their careers, they have invested their know-how and passion in numerous projects on Mount Royal. On behalf of the Ville de Montréal and the citizens of Montreal, thank you!” said Mr. DeSousa.
“The Prix du Mont-Royal awards ceremony is a significant event of the May 2012: Mount Royal Month calendar. For an 8th consecutive year, the Prix du Mont-Royal, together with the two honourable mentions, rewards actions and initiatives that help to protect and enhance Mount Royal. The remarkable contributions of our award winners this year help to promote the richness and the beauty of the mountain for the collective benefit of the entire community. I join my fellow citizens in celebrating your inspiring contributions. Bravo!” added Mr. Howlett.
Prix du Mont-Royal recipients
Left to right: Myriam Cloutier, directrice des programmes du patrimoine, Cimetière Mont-Royal, Peter A. Howlett, president, Les amis de la montagne, Alan DeSousa, vice-président du comité exécutif de la Ville de Montréal et responsable du développement durable, de l'environnement et des parcs, Daniel Chartier and Wendy Graham, recipients, Eric Rivard, directeur de l'École Saint-Germain d'Outremont, Pauline Bourassa, enseignante de 4e année du primaire, École Saint-Germain d'Outremont, Helen Meredith, member of the Board, Cimetière Mont-Royal, Amélie Picher, directrice régionale, Fondation TD des amis de l'environnement.
MOUNT ROYAL CEMETERY, honourable mention 2012
Located on the northern flank of Mount Royal, the Mount Royal Cemetery was built on former farming properties 160 years ago. While its foremost vocation is providing commemorative services to the community, the cemetery takes particular care of its landscaping development, enhancing the natural heritage of this historic site.
Designed to use the mountain’s topography and flora to its advantage, this jewel located in the green core of Mount Royal is an arboretum and an important site for the observation of birds. For many years, the cemetery has planted vegetation and installed nesting boxes to encourage the presence of birds on the property.
Moreover, the cemetery’s guided visits and activities contribute to the prominence of the mountain. The Mount Royal Cemetery is a unique sanctuary that provides an atmosphere conducive to contemplation and to peaceful walks in an environment rich in history and nature.
ÉCOLE SAINT-GERMAIN D’OUTREMONT, honourable mention 2012
Located at the foot of the northern slope of Mount Royal, this elementary school has participated in the “Amis du mont Royal” project since September, 2007, in partnership with Les amis de la montagne.
This program is designed to provide all students of the school the opportunity to discover the riches of the Mount Royal Historic and Natural District and to develop a sense of ownership for the mountain situated within reach of the school.
Since 2007, classes from Kindergarten to 6th grade have participated in educational outings and classroom activities on a variety of themes, including habitat exploration, animal tracks in the city and the birds of Mount Royal.
The project aims to bring the children into direct contact with the natural environment in order to enrich students’ learning experience of their integrated pedagogical material.
This honourable mention underlines the commitment of the school’s administrators and teaching staff by their open-mindedness and active participation in the program, contributing to the mutual enrichment of their students, as well as Les amis de la montagne’s educators.
This mention also strives to encourage each student’s pursuit of knowledge and personal commitment to the environment and to the community.
Left to right: Amélie Picher, directrice régionale, Fondation TD des amis de l'environnement, Alan DeSousa, vice-président du comité exécutif de la Ville de Montréal et responsable du développement durable, de l'environnement et des parcs, Wendy Graham and Daniel Chartier, recipients, and Peter A. Howlett, C.M., president, Les amis de la montagne
This year, the Prix du Mont-Royal is awarded to two individuals passionate about Mount Royal. These two professionals have worked together over many years in complementary fashion and have formed such an impressive team, that it was impossible to consider giving them this award individually!
Both landscape architects with the Direction des grands parcs et du verdissement at the Ville de Montréal, Wendy Graham and Daniel Chartier have worked for over 20 years on the enhancement and conservation of Mount Royal. Their work is distinguished first by the volume of contributions towards Mount Royal Park and more generally, the mountain in its entirety. Together, they have dedicated a total of 60 years of their careers to the Ville de Montréal’s parks and green spaces. Numerous awards have highlighted their achievements over time, to which we add the Prix du Mont-Royal today.
Over the years, they have participated in the design and execution of a multitude of significant landscaping projects on Mount Royal: redesign of the Peel entrance, signage design for Mount Royal Park, reconfiguration of the Parc/des Pins interchange, creation of the beltway, Camillien-Houde lookout, artificial skating rink, children’s playground, restoration of the Chemin Olmsted, consolidation of the network of pathways in the park, creation of wetland sites and waterfalls, the planting of tens of thousands of trees and thousands of shrubs … to name a few examples. They have indisputably left their mark on the mountain, each in their own manner.
Daniel Chartier, a leading specialist in the work of Frederick Law Olmsted, possesses an effusive passion for the mountain that he shares with great generosity. His expertise and knowledge developed over his many years of service to the mountain has made him a foremost scholar in the history of Mount Royal. Daniel Chartier has acquired an in-depth understanding of Olmsted’s legacy which he has widely shared and disseminated. He has remained loyal to the spirit of Olmsted’s design philosophy in his interventions. His patience and remarkable perseverance have resulted in landscapes that improve the mountain experience in perfect harmony with its existing heritage elements.
Wendy Graham shares this passion for the mountain and possesses an extraordinary understanding of the evolution of the mountain landscape. Her desire to comprehend the mountain’s characteristics and to facilitate their discovery while respecting the natural and cultural environments has resulted in landscapes remarkable by their natural poetry. Recognized for her outstanding aptitude in being sensitive towards the context and needs of users, she has translated this talent into the design of numerous exceptional projects on the mountain. Her projects carry her signature: harmony, sensitivity, poetry.
This year, the recipients of the Prix du Mont-Royal received a soapstone sculpture representing Mount Royal’s three summits. Each sculpture is unique and was painstakingly created to scale by Dinu Bumbaru, best known for his work with Héritage Montréal, but also a sculptor in his free time.
Daniel Chartier, Dinu Bumbaru and Wendy Graham