“Achetez Aylmer, c’est gagnant!”
---APICA invites community to get active and support local businesses
The Aylmer professionals, industrials, and merchants association (APICA) got the community moving last weekend, launching another initiative aimed at supporting local businesses and stirring some vibrance in the sector.
Collaborating with BougeBouge, a non-profit organization founded by former Olympian Kathy Tremblay, the event is all about getting people active while stimulating the local economy at the same time, according to APICA’s Director General Nathalie Rodrigue.
The event, accommodating people of all ages, includes three group walks and runs scheduled throughout the day – group A, 8:30 am to 10:30 am (active walk), group B, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm (active walk) and group C, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm (run) – with pre-determined rest stops for coffee or beer.
There will be a different local artist working on a painting in downtown Aylmer every weekend from 9 am to 2 pm. Participants will also be able to add their own contributions to the artworks, such as their name, a shape or an image. Each painting will be displayed and sold in a local business with all the funds going to the Kathy Tremblay Foundation, whose aim is to make exercise more inclusive and accessible to vulnerable people.
With limited spots available because of the coronavirus, people are invited to register (for free) for the walks/runs on BougeBouge’s website. The events will take place regardless of the weather and everyone needs to wear a mask. For $20, participants will be eligible for $25 gift cards for a designated business during the activity they choose, according to APICA’s Director General Nathalie Rodrigue.
The initiative is part of APICA’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan called “Achetez Aylmer, c’est gagnant!” and made possible by the city of Gatineau’s plan to revitalize local economic arteries, Rodrigue said. The initiative will take place every Saturday until October 3.
In the Lucerne district, BougeBouge will be collaborating with the Jardins Lavigne Residents’ Association and councillor Gilles Chagnon to host a walking club every Wednesday morning from 9:30 to 10:30 until October 7. Also led by a BougeBouge coach, the courses will be 5 km, long starting at the Parc Jardins Lavigne and will be free and accessible to everyone.
Excited to participate and encouraging others to do the same, Aylmer councillor Audrey Bureau said the event is very good news for Old Aylmer’s residents and businesses.
---Rue Principale open for vehicles on weekends until 2021
Gatineau’s Executive committee has postponed the closure of rue Principale to vehicle traffic to next year. Despite having planned it for several months, the city said it’s hoping to table its economic recovery plans before doing so.
Noting that the closure had been delayed until 2021, Bureau, who initially proposed that the streets be closed every second Saturday during the summer to host events, said that locals would be consulted on the possibilities of implementing cycling routes, shared streets, one-way streets and street closures during events. “We’re going to have a public consultation to see what people want,” Bureau said.
She added that construction activities at the British Hotel that was restricting vehicle access to certain streets was a factor in the decision. “It became too complicated for emergency services to have access in case of emergency,” Bureau said. While the decision was somewhat disappointing after having waited for rue Principale’s closure for some time, Rodrigue said that it was still positive because it gave APICA more time to prepare itself. “Everything was happening very fast,” Rodrigue said. “At least we’ll be able to have better programming when we do it next year.”
For Rodrigue, the best outcome would be a partial closure of rue Principale extending to the Marina during the summer, making it accessible to one-way vehicle traffic. “We still want cars to be able to circulate,” Rodrigue said. Bureau’s proposal asked for the complete closure of a portion of the street to vehicles, from Place des Pionniers to rue Parker.