National City Parks Conference opens up talks to Montrealers to inspire them to leverage the power of parks

juin 7, 2019
Clemence Marcastel

Montreal’s role as a leader in parks and public spaces is what led Park People to select the city as the site of its second annual Heart of the City Conference on June 12-14. Now, the Conference organizers are inviting Montreal’s city builders, park professionals, volunteers and community groups to attend two special public keynote presentations by Vancouver’s Rena Soutar and Montreal’s Jérôme Dupras.

Rena Soutar is the first Reconciliation Planner at Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation. Her talk on Thursday June 13th 8:50 am-10:30 am at BAnQ (Bibliothèque et archives nationales du Quebec.) will highlight strategies she’s put in place to uphold Reconciliation strategies in Vancouver parks.  “For over 100 years, The Park Board was the narrator and curator of cultural narrative in Vancouver’s parks. This has long contributed to the erasure of the local First Nations,” said Ms. Soutar. “We are now in a prime position to correct these situations and demonstrate what a decolonization process within a Reconciliation framework can look like in a public institution.”

The second public keynote presentation will feature Jérôme Dupras, a Montrealer who is bassist for the Cowboys Fringants and President of the fondation pour la protection de l’environnement (Foundation for the Protection of the Environment.) Dupras talk on  Friday June 14th from 8:50 am-10:00 am at BAnQ will highlight his work to build a scientific method that can be used to value nature, including urban parks, to foster greater investment in green spaces.

Park People is the organization behind the Heart of the City Conference. The national charity supports and mobilizes people to help them activate the power of parks to improve the quality of life in cities across Canada. Dave Harvey, Park People’s Executive Director said: “Montreal is the perfect city to bring together the people who are enthusiastic about making awesome things happen in city parks across Canada. The tours, receptions, talks and workshops will put Montreal’s great community-animated green spaces on display to demonstrate what’s possible in our cities.”

TD is the Presenting Sponsor behind the Heart of the City Conference in Montreal.“Green spaces like those in Montreal are key to healthy, vibrant communities,” said Andrea Barrack, Global Head, Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship at TD Bank Group. “As part of TD’s global corporate citizenship platform, The Ready Commitment, we’re proud to support this important gathering of the people who work and volunteer in city parks across Canada, and extend the invitation to Montrealers.”



The Conference is generously supported by TD Bank Group, through its corporate citizenship platform, The Ready Commitment. Through this platform, TD is helping to open doors for a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow so that people feel more confident – not just about their finances, but also in their ability to achieve their personal goals in a changing world. As part of this, TD is committed to helping elevate the quality of the environment so that people and economies can thrive, by growing and enhancing green spaces and supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy. To learn more about The Ready Commitment visit