ARP: Retrospective of Beginnings to Celebrate 30 Years of History

ARP: Retrospective of Beginnings to Celebrate 30 Years of History

It is a great honor that Karyn Vaucher, the current president of the Plateau Residents Association (ARP), bestowed upon me last October by asking me, as the co-founder president of ARP, to write this series of articles on the beginnings of our neighborhood association to commemorate its 30th anniversary.

I won't reiterate the excellent and comprehensive 'History of the Plateau Residents Association 20th Anniversary (1994-2014)' written by Camille Renaud in November 2014. I will only attempt to elaborate as accurately as possible on the lived perspective from the inside by its founding members during 1993 to 2000.

In May 1993, Pierre Chénier, then municipal councillor of the newly named neighborhood, known by developers and real estate agencies as the 'Plateau de la Capitale,' holds an information meeting where he discusses the possibility of founding a neighborhood association. He invites interested residents to a meeting to analyze the feasibility of such an association.

Only having settled in this new neighborhood for barely a year, driven by the desire to create a sense of belonging to the area and instill in young families the enthusiasm to actively participate in the development of their new environment, about a dozen people gather at Pierre Chénier's home to discuss the project. From memory (forgive me if I forget someone), those present include Marc-André Marleau, Suzanne Rollin, Raymond Carrier, Janine Doyle-Cormier, Caroline Karpoff, Karl Boutin, Sylvie Lamarre, Bernard Breton, Monique Ferlatte/Paiement, Richard Enright, and myself.

Already, discussions revolve around the official steps necessary for the association's creation: drafting a charter, gaining recognition from the City and the Quebec Ministry of Financial Institutions. Pierre Chénier informs us that the City will provide a subsidy of around $875 to help cover the costs associated with creating what will become ARP.

In the following months, meetings occur at various residences. Tasks are distributed, and each member takes on a task that corresponds to their field of expertise. The principle is that each member contributes a specific leadership role to the group based on their skills. In simple terms, each member is already a professional in their work and knows what to do to be effective. Quickly, the pleasure of volunteering is added through the camaraderie and conviviality that develop through meetings and activities.

Marc-André Marleau is appointed president, Suzanne Rollin vice-president, Raymond Carrier secretary, Caroline Karpoff treasurer, Sylvie Lamarre and Bernard Breton for the newspaper, Janine Doyle/Cormier as budget auditor for activities, Monique Ferlatte/Paiement in charge of the newspaper's sponsors, and myself as spokesperson.

The drafting of the charter is done in the first few weeks.

The objectives are defined:

  1. Contribute to the conservation and improvement of the physical, social, cultural, and sports environment of residents.
  2. Serve as a tool for establishing a communication network within the sector.
  3. Ensure the representation of residents' opinions and interests.

The choice of a name for the association is based on the criterion of simplicity: ARP (Association of Plateau Residents), and the creation of a representative logo becomes a priority. Early on, the creation of a neighborhood newspaper as a communication tool becomes evident.

On July 20, 1994, ARP is incorporated as a non-profit legal entity in the Recreation Clubs category in the Quebec business registry.

Given my intention to discuss activities according to their progression throughout the seasons, I will first talk about one of the first led with exceptional dedication by Richard Enright: the skating rinks.

For about four years, Richard took care of the Méridien Park skating rink; then, that at the École du Plateau in the winter of 1997 and subsequent years. Following the crowds at Méridien Park, the City had then installed another rink at the Plateau School. The first year, a friend and a few volunteers helped him supervise the park rink, seven days a week. He spent at least four evenings a week from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM. There were hours reserved for hockey and others for skating only. Richard also took care of snow removal. Exceptional volunteering!

Also, in these early years, the Winter Carnival was added under the guidance of Monique Ferlatte/Paiement. This activity took place at Méridien Park during the March break and was quickly rewarded with the addition of maple syrup tastings on the snow.

In my next articles, I will discuss the various activities developed throughout a 12-month cycle.

Finally, I take this opportunity to wish all ARP volunteers and all neighborhood residents a 2024 that is just as committed to the well-being of our community and neighborhood. May we continue to develop this sense of belonging and pride in living on the Plateau with an open-minded spirit!

Marc Jacques Girard