Loisir Outaouais marks 25 years of community building
Bristol Nov. 9, 2023
Loisir sport Outaouais is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a tour of the Outaouais region, to meet some of the many partners. The MRC Pontiac stop of the tour was held on Thursday evening at Pine Lodge in Bristol.
Loisir aims at supporting and stimulating regional development in leisure, sports and the outdoors, and in making these activities more accessible.
“If they [organizations] have a project, they come to talk to us about it, and we see if we can find money, or we can help them create partnerships with other people,” said Virginie Lacombe, deputy executive director of Loisir Outaouais.
“We work to bring everybody together,” she said. “We’re kind of like glue.”
According to Lacombe, in the last year alone Loisir has distributed nearly one million dollars to different communities for projects that promote physical and mental health.
“We believe that outdoor activities and sports and the arts, and all recreational activities, are a good foundation for communities to be together and to be healthy, mentally and physically,” Lacombe said.
“We think it’s a good way for people to socialize,” she added, explaining that the more municipalities and nonprofits are able to put recreational and sporting activities forward in their communities, the more opportunities people will have to form and maintain meaningful bonds with each other.
Danelle Bourque, an economic development officer at the MRC Pontiac who works in sport and leisure, said she consults with Loisir on every project she has.
“To have their opinion on it, or even to see if they can fund it,” she said, “Or if any nonprofit or school has a project, I’ll approach them [Loisir] to see if they can help in any way.”
Desiree Tremblay is the Pontiac coordinator for Les maisons des jeunes, a non-profit offering activities and support for youth. She said Loisir offers an impressive amount of support for different municipalities, nonprofit organizations, MRCs and volunteer committees within the Outaouais.
“We’ve applied for grants for transportation, to use for outings,” Tremblay said. “We’ve also had support with buying sporting equipment; they helped us out with planning, different types of training; with organizing…”.
“They help you build your dream,” she said.
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