Grand  Splash

Photo credit: stiridemontreal.com

What's a Grand Splash ?

La semaine du Grand Splash, c’est une série d’événements festifs qui se déroulent habituellement du 1er au 10 juillet inclusivement, sur les berges de différents cours d’eau au Québec. Les citoyens et citoyennes sont invité.e.s à se lancer à l’eau à des endroits sécuritaires, qui n’ont pas le statut de plages publiques, mais qui ont tout ce qu’il faut pour le devenir.

L’objectif? Sensibiliser et mobiliser le public et les élu.e.s à l’importance d’aménager des accès publics à la baignade sur les rivières tout en y assurant la qualité de l’eau. Le Grand Splash est aussi…

Festive 

It's an opportunity to have fun and take concrete action. Positive energy, smiles and joy are the order of the day!

Mobilizing 

The Big Splash week brings citizens together with
a common goal: to democratize access to water!

Inspiring

The event aspires to a Quebec society where everyone can fully enjoy the waterways, in respect with nature.

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La semaine du Grand Splash 2022

Nearly a hundred people jumped into the water at the Old Port of Montreal!

The citizens were at the rendezvous at the Grand Splash of Montreal on July 1st, 2022, at the Jacques-Cartier Pier! The population was also invited to jump into the water in Trois-Rivières, Saint-Lambert, Sainte-Anne-de-Sorel, Sainte-Martine and Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu.

The members of the musical formation Clay and Friends The members of the musical group Clay and Friends were the honorary presidents of this edition. The theme of water is a central element in the approach of the group, which has established its headquarters in Verdun, one of the only place with a public beach near the center of Montreal.

Équipe Fondation Rivières Grand Splash - Nos événements
The Fondation Rivières team surrounded by its volunteers and the singer of Clay and Friends, Mike Clay, at the Grand Splash in Montreal

History of the Grand Splash

The concept of the Grand Splash was born in Quebec City in 1994. By taking the plunge, the Société des Gens de Baignade demanded a public swimming site at the Bassin Louise. This inspired the creation of a Grand Splash in Montreal in 2003. This project brought together a few participants in the Old Port to demand access for swimming. The Comité citoyen Montréal Baignade led the initiative, supported by the organization Jour de la Terre.

In 2018, the Fondation Rivières joined the adventure by organizing the Grand Splash. It became the main organizer the following years. In 2020, the pandemic pushed the organizers of the Grand Splash of Montreal to rethink the formula, in order to maintain the course of the event's claims, despite the health measures in place. The "Petit Splash deviendra Grand" contest was therefore launched. This virtual edition highlighted potential swimming sites throughout Quebec.

This led to the creation of La semaine du Grand Splash in 2021, which attracted more than 300 participants in 10 municipalities across Quebec: Montreal, Quebec City, Lachine, Trois-Rivières, Saguenay, Gracefield, Sainte-Martine, Saint-Paul-de-l'Ile-aux-Noix, Saint-Jérôme and Mont-Saint-Hilaire, in addition to two mini-splash events held in Chambly and at the Promenade Bellerive park in Montreal's Tétreauville district.

Results of the  Grand Splash

  • Grand Splash de Québec (2021): a pilot project for swimming in the Bassin Louise begins in 2022!
  • Lachine's Grand Splash in Montreal (2021): The City announced plans to develop a swimming area at the new Parc riverain de Lachine.
  • Grand Splash de Saint-Jérôme (2021): granting of a mandate to the Fondation Rivières to detect sources of contamination in the Rivière du Nord, in order to allow swimming from downtown Saint-Jérôme.
  • Grand Splash de Sainte-Martine (2021): federation of all municipalities along the Châteauguay River to entrust Fondation Rivières with a source tracking study to evaluate the swimming potential along 55 km of the river.
  • Mini-splash at Promenade Bellerive Park (2021): commitment by the Mayor of Montreal to open a swimming area in the St. Lawrence River in the coming years.

Community Eco Impact Award 2022 

The first edition of La semaine du Grand Splash, held in 2021 by the Fondation Rivières and several local organizations, has been awarded the ECO Impact Community 2022 Award! Awarded by Eco Canada, this distinction recognizes the efforts of groups or individuals who have demonstrated their environmental commitment through sustainable initiatives, projects and practices.

Since the contest was created in 2017, this was the first time a Quebec organization won this award. This award encourages and motivates the entire team behind La semaine du Grand Splash to continue its mobilization efforts in terms of water accessibility throughout Quebec.

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