Montreal flooded by a monster crowd to celebrate Earth Day
April 23, 2012
Author of article : Quynh Nguyen, Community Manager
On April 22 every year, Earth Day is celebrated around the world and has been for the last forty years. It’s an event that aims to teach people about environmental issues which includes everything from reducing the impact people have on the planet to the threats to wildlife and natural areas like the rainforest. It’s also meant to get people thinking and participating in raising public awareness when it comes to water pollution, air pollution, habitat destruction and climate change, just to name a few.
Earth Day is a really big deal to me. Not just because I work for the De Gaspe Beaubien Foundation (a non-profit that focuses on water, amongst other things), but because I believe our planet is in jeopardy. From the air to the water, there is very little in the environment today that I don’t think and worry about. If you were to take water, for example, and think for just a second about its impact on the planet and then imagine living without it, you really can’t imagine it, can you? Water is life – think about that for a minute! All life forms – animal, fungus, plants – need to consume water to stay alive. Imagine trying to live without water for an extended period of time? Think about the millions of people around the world that have zero access to clean water…Earth Day, here I come!!
When the weather is lousy, you won’t generally find me setting foot outside my house, but on Earth Day, that’s another matter entirely. On April 22, despite the cool temperatures and grey skies overhead, I was more than excited to leave my house to go to Quartier des Spectacles, located in the heart of Montreal, to join the much anticipated environmental event of the year. Quartier des Spectacles is described as a “living, creative space, open to cultural diversity and cross-pollination; it’s a place where people congregate to share exciting moments that bring colour and energy to their lives.” There is no better place to celebrate Earth Day and that’s where I was headed.
I really wanted to be part of what was sure to be a huge gathering. I began the journey using public transportation and the best part about it, was that everyone on the bus – children and adults alike – were all unified in what was to be a shared experience – the atmosphere was electric and the singing didn’t stop on the entire trip into Montreal!
Once at the Quartier des Spectacles, there was no shortage of people carrying flags and banners not to mention all the faces painted green in support of Earth Day. It was truly a site to see! Everywhere you turned, there were huge crowds of people – the energy was palpable and the ambiance was unbelievably lively. At 2pm, celebrations began. Local artists and public figures gave engaging speeches that energized the crowd even more. Then, the march began towards Mount-Royal to form the famous “human” tree (photo reference : Le Devoir).
When all was said and done, local media reported that a record-breaking participation of 250,000 joyful people made this day unforgettable. The festivities continued with live shows and music performed by local artists. And on this day, I realized how much Montrealer’s and Quebecers truly cared about the planet we live on. It was quite a memorable day. Every day should be Earth Day.
How about you, how did you celebrate Earth Day?