Mayor Denis Martin and the organizing committee of the Canada Day festivities in Deux-Montagnes

The only official Canada Day celebration in the North Shore

As one more Canada birthday approaches, the mayor of Deux-Montagnes and the organizing committee announced on June 13th, 2022, the festivities program for the 1st of July. This is going to be the 51st edition of Canada day in the beautiful town and a break finally from the restrictions of the pandemic. Deux Montagnes is also the only North Shore city to host an official Canada Day celebration.

The Mayor of Deux-Montagnes, Mr. Denis Martin, and the President of the Canada Day Committee for MRC Deux-Montagnes, Mr. Tom Whitton have invited the entire MRC population to gather in large numbers on Friday, at Central Park in Deux-Montagnes. Mr. Whitton in an interview with NSN explained that for the first time there was going to be no parade this year since the organizing committee wanted everyone, volunteers, and attendees, to gather at the park.

“It is an honor for the City of Deux-Montagnes to be a partner for Canada Day.  After two years of the pandemic. The desire to gather around our common values is more evident than ever.  I salute the commitment of the organizing committee for putting together festivities which will allow for the entire population of the MRC, from young to old alike, to come celebrate here which collectively gives us pride in being Canadian,” declared Mr. Denis Martin, Mayor of Deux-Montagnes.

At the press conference Tom Whitton, emphasized that all the population has gone through difficult moments since Spring 2020.  “A return to our traditional, open-air celebration at Central Park is an important step towards a return to a normal life.”

The festivities

At noon, an opening ceremony will take place, with the signing of the national anthem, “O Canada” in the presence of dignitaries and this year’s Honorary President, Mr. Albert Allen. 

The day will continue with many family activities: face-painting, train rides, horseshoes tournament, bingo, inflatables and a circus workshop offered by les Forains Abyssaux.  New this year, a Zumba Class (presented by Sélection Retraite Deux-Montagnes) and an obstacle course race organized by Équilibre au Carré. Also, from 9:30am-4pm, the group “Véhicules Antiques des Patriotes de Saint-Eustache” will provide access to many of their vintage vehicles for fans of these fabulous machines.

Live music featuring artists from the region will be presented from 3pm to midnight.  The headlining band is “Journey to the Grand Illusion”, a special tribute to Journey and Styx. The city promises a grand finale with a spectacular fireworks display, presented by the City of Deux-Montagnes, which will fill the sky at 10pm.

Albert Allen, a true love story

At the press conference Whitton emphasized the importance of volunteers contributing to the well-being of a community.  He lamented the fact however that the pool of people willing to offer their time is dwindling.  “We need to find inspirations to show us the way and set the examples for the generations of today and tomorrow.  The Canada Day Committee always seeks to accomplish this in recognizing community members as our honorary president.”  For 2022, the Committee has chosen someone who, according to it, personifies this dedication, and who at his age, still offers his precious time today to the community.   The Canada Day Committee therefore announced as its honorary president for the 2022 Canada Day celebrations, Mr. Albert Allen.

Mr. Allen grew up in Montreal and began his career working as an electrician, eventually becoming a draftsman.  He married Sandy Potts in 1965, a love story which continued right up to Sandy’s passing in 2016.  Albert and Sandy moved to Deux-Montagnes in 1978, purchasing their house on 16th Avenue from Albert’s parents, a home where Albert continues to live in today.

According to the committee it is hard to disassociate Albert from Sandy when one talks about their volunteering.  For 30+ years, whether it was helping seniors at Manoir St-Eustache, offering food for Meals on Wheels, supporting the various Lions Club activities, or helping celebrate Canada Day, Albert and Sandy were always there to give their time and make our community better. 

Albert and Sandy continued their volunteerism well beyond Albert’s retirement in 2002.  After Sandy’s passing in 2016, Albert continued this legacy by offering his culinary skills for Meals on Wheels.  And Albert currently teaches a wood-carving class pro-bono.

Mr. Allen who was called to speak during the press conference was visibly emotional about the honor.  Mr. Whitton said that he will certainly be seen at the Canada Day kitchen this year.  “Albert has always been a do-ers, and because of his dedication to our community, we are all richer for it.” he added.