PRIZES AND HONOURS
2023 CECOBOIS AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE GALA
At the eighth edition of the Cecobois Awards of Excellence Gala held in February 2023, three Sépaq projects won special mention for the quality of their architectural concept, structural design, quality of execution, aesthetics, functionality, and effective integration of wood. Station touristique Duchesnay's nautical centre took top honours in the "Architectural Details Ensuring Sustainability" category. Camp de Touage Discovery and Visitors Centre, in Parc national de la Pointe-Taillon, was named winner in the “Light Frame” category. Last but not least, the Expérience chute (waterfall experience) project at Parc de la Chute-Montmorency won in the “Landscape Infrastructure” category.
AWARD OF EXCELLENCE TO AN AGENCY - CANADIAN PARKS COUNCIL
The Sépaq étoilée (Starry Sépaq) project, aimed at reducing light pollution in order to preserve the quality of the night sky in national parks, was honoured with the Award of Excellence to an Agency.
Grand Prix d’excellence en architecture 2022 - Ordre des architectes du Québec (OAQ)
Parc de la Chute-Montmorency
The Expérience chute (waterfall experience) project at Parc de la Chute-Montmorency was honoured at the OAQ’s Prix d'excellence en architecture 2022 ceremony, notably for the quality of the landscaping, the use of wood, and the harmonious integration of infrastructure with the surrounding landscape. In fact, the architectural signature of the first three phases of the project - the contemplative crossing, the mineral trail, and the nature trail - was awarded the Grand Prix d'excellence en architecture (grand prize for architectural excellence) for 2022. In addition to this major distinction, the project was also a winner in the "Outstanding Works" category.
What's more, the project was honoured at the Chicago Athenaeum's prestigious International Architecture Awards 2022, in the Urban Planning/Landscape Architecture category.
Prix excellence tourisme - Alliance de l’industrie touristique du Québec
Réserve faunique Ashuapmushuan
At the Prix excellence tourisme 2022 awards ceremony organized by the Alliance de l'industrie touristique du Québec, Réserve faunique Ashuapmushuan was one of the finalists in the "Partnership and Sponsorship" category for its collaboration with the territory's guardians and the Innu community of Mashteuiatsh to inaugurate the Nicabau sector in summer 2021, the first phase of its accommodation redeployment plan. The harmonious cohabitation of ancestral practices and the activities and services offered to customers in this sector were at the heart of the project. This establishment has been managed in partnership with the Innu community since 2010, and has become a model of collaborative management.
Association québécoise des interprètes de patrimoine (AQIP)
On November 4, 2022, at the Association québécoise des interprètes de patrimoine (AQIP) awards ceremony, Donna Murphy of Parc national de Miguasha and Camil Langlois of Parc national du Bic each received an Award of Excellence in recognition of their impressive careers and the legacy they leave to the heritage interpretation community. With careers spanning more than thirty years, their contribution to the education, conservation, and promotion of the national parks in which they work is remarkable, and was recognized with the Prix du mérite en interprétation du patrimoine, volet carrière (career award of merit in heritage interpretation).
Award of Excellence to an Agency - Canadian Parks Council
The CPC Award of Excellence to an Agency is presented annually to recognize the extraordinary achievements of a CPC member agency. Sépaq received this award for its invasive alien species control strategy. The Council recognized that "Sépaq's unparalleled ability to develop and implement this strategy, in collaboration with other partners, has contributed significantly to the fight against biodiversity loss and the protection of nature for future generations.” Invasive alien species represent a significant risk to biodiversity, to the quality of visitor reception, and to the maintenance of facilities and infrastructures, particularly for the national parks of southern Québec. They can also have a significant impact on the quality of fishing. Sépaq has invested more than one million dollars in the last two years as part of this strategy.
Award of Excellence to an Agency - Canadian Parks Council
On December 2, 2021, Sépaq received an "Award of Excellence to an Agency" from the Canadian Parks Council for its innovative and effective strategy to control invasive alien species in Quebec's national parks and wildlife reserves. Sépaq's unparalleled ability to develop and implement this strategy, in collaboration with other partners, has contributed significantly to the fight against biodiversity loss and the protection of nature for future generations.
Côte-Nord tourism awards gala - Sépaq Anticosti
On April 1, 2021, at the Gala du mérite touristique de la Côte-Nord (tourism awards gala), Sépaq Anticosti was awarded the Attraction touristique – Grande entreprise (tourist attraction - large business) prize for its efforts in 2020 to hold the season and maintain jobs despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Highlighted at the ceremony was the team's determination, which allowed many customers to discover Anticosti Island during the 2020-2021 season.
Qilak 2021 award - ASTROLab of Parc national du Mont-Mégantic
This award is given annually to underline the contribution and efforts of volunteers in promoting astronomy to youth or the general public during the year. The ASTROLab education team received this award to recognize the value of renewed activities put in place during the pandemic, which allowed the ASTROLab to expand the reach of its services. As a result, since March 2020, over 100 live presentations have been offered. In addition, more than 900 school telegroups have been served by the team since the implementation of the initiative.
Dark Sky Place of the Year 2021 - Mont-Mégantic International Dark Sky Reserve
This international recognition, called Dark Sky Place of the Year, highlights the exceptional work of a location that has distinguished itself during the year by its numerous efforts in protecting the night sky and reducing light pollution.
The Mont-Mégantic International Dark Sky Reserve was the very first international dark sky reserve in the world to be certified by the International Dark-Sky Association. Since its designation in 2007, the Mont-Mégantic team has been working tirelessly to bring about a change in practices in order to protect the night sky in the region, both within Sépaq and throughout the province. Education and consciousness raising goals have been achieved through several hundred online and interactive presentations on astronomy to elementary and high school youngsters, reaching thousands of children across Québec. The importance of the night sky and the reduction of light pollution are integral parts of these presentations.
In addition, during the pandemic lockdowns, the team distinguished itself by broadcasting Facebook Live presentations on the night sky and the importance of its preservation. These live shows went beyond the borders of Québec and were viewed in a number of French-speaking countries. The team also has a long list of accomplishments including the dissemination of good lighting practices and the development of a new methodology for monitoring light pollution in Sépaq's national parks, among others.
Every month, the International Dark-Sky Association also selects a Star of the Month among the worldwide network of volunteers working to protect the night. In February 2022, the work of Rémi Boucher, park warden and night sky technician at Parc national du Mont-Mégantic, was recognized for his efforts to protect the night sky.
Association québécoise des interprètes du patrimoine (AQIP)
In 2020, the national park education teams were recognized at the Association québécoise des interprètes du patrimoine (AQIP) awards ceremony.
Meggy Tremblay, a park warden and naturalist and guide-interpreter at Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata, received the Sépaq Interpreter of the Year award. She particularly stood out for her enthusiasm, her thirst for learning, and her original approach to interpreting for clients.
The ASTROLab team at Parc national du Mont-Mégantic received the award for excellence in heritage interpretation for its ASTROLab @Distance program. Although the team was unable to welcome visitors under the stars, it did everything it could to bring the stars to all of Quebec by developing a diversified program of online and live activities for schools and the general public, in which more than 13,000 students in 535 classes participated.
Winner of a Tourism Excellence Award - Parc de la Chute-Montmorency
On November 13, 2019, Parc de la Chute-Montmorency won a Tourism Excellence Award in the digital marketing initiative category for promotion of its zipline activity with a new automatic video replay service. Parc de la Chute-Montmorency used to rely on digital contagion to promote its zipline activity. Thanks to a new automatic video replay service - in collaboration with Kool Replay - the intensity of the participants' experience is captured in multiple perspectives. Once their descent is complete, participants obtain an immediate hyperlink to view their immersive memory video absolutely free of charge.
Agency Merit Award - Canadian Parks Council
Sépaq received the Canadian Parks Council's Agency Merit Award for the development of its winter offer. The award was presented on October 7, 2019 at the Canadian Parks Council's General Assembly held during the Canadian Parks Conference in Quebec City.
Cecobois Awards of Excellence Gala - Îles-de-Boucherville and Mont-Orford national parks
The sixth edition of the Cecobois Awards of Excellence Gala was held on February 21, 2019. This festive evening celebrated the growing use of wood in commercial, institutional, and multi-residential construction as well as the architectural, engineering, and innovation expertise of Quebec construction professionals. This year, Sépaq won three Cebocois awards. The Discovery and Visitors Centre of Parc national des Îles-de-Boucherville was honoured in the categories of Institutional Building (under 1000 square metres) and Sustainable Development. Opeongo Visitors Centre of Parc national du Mont-Orford won honoured in the Architectural Details for Sustainability category and was a finalist in the Institutional Building under 1000 square metres category. It should be noted that the new Étoile ready-to-camp was also a finalist in the Outdoor Fittings and Other Structures category.
Award of Excellence in Heritage Interpretation – Association québécoise des interprètes du patrimoine (AQIP)
Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata received the Award of Excellence in Heritage Interpretation of the Association québécoise des interprètes en patrimoine for the Curieux de nature trail (2018). Stretching over a distance of .7 km, this trail is a fun-filled route for young people aged 6 to 12. Along a specially designed trail near Grand Lac Touladi, young people are introduced to hiking and discover elements of the park's natural and cultural environment through six play stations. Through discovery, they are encouraged to develop an awareness of heritage and to reconnect with nature. The originality of the route, the anchoring of the themes in the history of the territory, the complementarity of the interactive instruments, and the quality of design and execution are the keys to the circuit’s success.
Architecture Masterprize™ 2018 – Parc national du Mont-Orford
Le Bonnallie Visitors Centre of Parc national du Mont-Orford was recently honoured in the Recreational Architecture category of the Architecture Masterprize™ (AMP), which celebrates creativity and innovation in architectural design, landscape architecture, and interior design from around the world.
Award of merit presented to Sépaq – Canadian Parks Council
Sépaq has received a Canadian Council of Parks Agency Merit Award for its Family Experience.
Our agency initiated its hugely successful Family Experience in an effort to connect more young people and families with nature, using all sorts of means to facilitate access to Sépaq destinations and activities, involving our national parks, wildlife reserves, and tourist establishments.
Association québécoise des interprètes du patrimoine (AQIP)
Sépaq received two mentions of honour during the AQIP awards ceremony held on November 3, 2017 at Parc de la Chute-Montmorency. The organization won the award of excellence for heritage interpretation for its S.O.S. chauves-souris activity, a joint creation of the various national parks. For her part, Lise Genois, a 40-year or so veteran of Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier, picked up a merit award for heritage interpretation (career award). Ms. Genois is behind a number of the park’s successful endeavours in the area of interpretation and school reception.
Tourism Personality of the Year for Pierre Goulet - Tourisme Cantons-de-l’Est
On February 23, 2015, Tourisme Cantons-de-l’Est named Pierre Goulet, Director of Parc national du Mont-Mégantic, the 2014 Tourism Personality of the Year.
The Cantons-de-l’Est tourism organization has rewarded this exceptional man for his work, which has transcended the boundaries of the park to impact the entire region.
Cecobois Award of Excellence 2014 – Interior design
Parc national du Mont-Tremblant Discovery Centre
On September 24, 2014, Sépaq won the interior design award at the Gala Cecobois honouring best achievements in the areas of architecture, engineering and innovation. The award was presented at the Parc national du Mont-Tremblant Discovery Centre, located in the La Diable sector of Parc national du Mont-Tremblant.
The unique and elegant architecture of this Sépaq building was inspired by the surrounding natural environment. The jury commended the use of a large variety of local species as having helped showcase the rich textures and colours of the site.
Award of merit presented to Sépaq (Parcs Québec) – Canadian Parks Council
The Canadian Parks Council presented the Société des établissements de plein air du Québec with its Merit Award, given to an agency having put in place the “Ecological Integrity Monitoring Program” (EIMP). The award goes to a member organization of the Council in recognition for its extraordinary achievements, innovation, leadership and promotion of parks and protected areas in Canada.
Sépaq’s implementation of the EIMP was recognized as being an outstanding achievement for many reasons, but it especially confirms the primary mission of Québec’s national parks, which is to ensure the permanent protection and conservation of its habitats, at the same time as making them accessible to the general public for educational and recreational purposes.
Grands Prix du tourisme québécois (GPTQ)
Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata – a most worthy representative of eastern Québec
Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata distinguished itself during the national gala of the Grands Prix du tourisme québécois (GPTQ) organized by the regional tourist association (ATR) network. The park was awarded a bronze medal in the camping and open-air, sports and recreational sites category. Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata is clearly a true source of pride for eastern Québec and, more specifically, for the Bas-Saint-Laurent tourist region.
FIHOQ emerging talent award – La coop fédérée
Valérie Roy, horticulturalist at Parc de la Chute-Montmorency
On October 29, the Fédération interdisciplinaire de l’horticulture ornementale du Québec (FIHOQ) awarded Valérie Roy the Prix de la relève (emerging talent award) for her horticultural beautification project at Parc de la Chute-Montmorency.
In order to carry out her project and meet her objectives, Ms. Roy set up a partnership with Québec City’s horticultural school at the Fierbourg vocational training centre.
Prix Parcs Québec for interpreter of the year- Association québécoise des interprètes du patrimoine (AQIP)
Émilie Grenier, park warden-naturalist at Parc national d’Aiguebelle
On October 16, 2014, the Association québécoise des interprètes du patrimoine (AQIP) awarded Émilie Grenier the Prix Parcs Québec as interpreter of the year, in recognition of the professional qualities of this park warden-naturalist who works with visitors to Parc national d’Aiguebelle.
Each year, the AQIP recognizes the merits of institutions and individuals who help develop the natural heritage of all Quebecers. Parcs Québec has been sponsoring this award since 2006.
Certificate of honour in landscape architecture
On April 5, 2014, during the 2014 Tourism + Landscapes Congress, the Association of Landscape Architects of Quebec paid tribute to the landscape architects of Sépaq’s capital assets and physical resources department, a team made up of Denise Blais , Marjolaine Lascelles and Jonathan Cléroux, by presenting them with a certificate of honour. The recognition was given to thank them for their outstanding contribution to landscape architecture and to underscore the constant nature of these contributions to Sépaq’s projects.
Prix Coup d’Éclat! A big splash!
On November 12, 2013, Parc de la Chute-Montmorency was named the winner in the radio publicity category during the presentation of the Prix Coup d’Éclat! (big splash awards) organized as part of the Congrès des festivals, événements et des attractions touristiques (festivals, events and tourist attractions convention). The Prix Coup d’Éclat! awards provide the Société des Attractions Touristiques du Québec et Festivals et Événements Québec (SATQ-FEQ) with an opportunity to honour the promotional initiatives and managerial talents of its members.
Prix Grande Distinction for Manoir Montmorency
This year, Manoir Montmorency received the Prix Grande Distinction in the breakfast-lunch-brunch category at the 25th Gala de la restauration de Québec, held on October 22, 2013. This great honour is given to a restaurant establishment in the above category.
Cecobois Awards of Excellence
Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata received three Cecobois Awards of Excellence presented by the Centre of Expertise on commercial wood construction during the 3rd edition of the Cecobois Awards of Excellence held on May 30, 2013. The park services building won a first award in the “Institutional building, less than 1 000 m2 category,” a second in the “Architectural Design and Details” category, and a third, the People’s Choice Award, voted by the public.
Prix de l’excellence touristique to François Boulanger, Director of Parc national de la Gaspésie
On the occasion of the Gala of the 27th Grands prix du tourisme gaspésien, held on April 4, 2013, the Association touristique de la Gaspésie gave the Award of Excellence in Tourism to the director of Parc national de la Gaspésie, François Boulanger. This tribute award is given to a member of the industry for his or her outstanding achievements. Under Mr. Boulanger’s leadership, the national park, a tourist icon of the Gaspé Peninsula, has experienced a tripling in the number of visitors over the last 10 years.
Tribute award to Raymond Desjardins, President and CEO of Sépaq
On the occasion of the 9th Gala des Grands prix de la relève en restauration, tourisme et hôtellerie, held on March 13, 2013, the Fondation québécoise de la relève en tourisme gave its tribute award to Sépaq’s president and CEO, Raymond Desjardins. This annual award is presented to an industry member for outstanding achievements and initiatives in promoting the emerging talent essential to the tourist industry.
People's Choice Award for Manoir Montmorency
For the third straight year, Manoir Montmorency received the Prix Grande Distinction in the breakfast-lunch-brunch category at the 24th Gala de la restauration de Québec, held on November 5, 2012. This is the highest honour granted a restaurant establishment in the category. The award received by Manoir Montmorency is a source of pride for Sépaq, which features a number of establishments offering a distinctive restaurant experience.
Award of excellence in heritage interpretation
On October 12, 2012, the Association québécoise des interprètes du patrimoine (AQIP) presented Parcs Québec (Sépaq), and the masterminds of Park Path Explorer, with an award of excellence for the exemplary way that they have renewed the visiting experience in national parks. Every year, AQIP highlights excellence in the interpretation of Québec heritage by recognizing those deemed most meritorious in the field.
Award of excellence in geomatics
On September 26, 2012, Sépaq received an award of excellence from Esri Canada, a supplier and leader in the field of GIS software. This recognition capped off Sépaq’s efforts in the area of geomatics, designed to improve the client experience. Sépaq received the award of excellence in geographic information systems (GIS) for the exceptional work of its geomatics team, especially with Park Path Explorer.
Parc national d’Oka was awarded the Mention Kéroul during the ceremony for the 2012 Grands Prix du tourisme québécois held on May 28, 2012. Introduced in 1991and awarded every year since, the Mention Kéroul recognizes the work of managers from the tourism and cultural industries who offer adapted services to persons with restricted physical ability.
Mérite du français Award in Information Technologies - Online Learning for Park Path Explorer
On the occasion of the Francopub Prize Event, held on March 29, 2012, the Office québecois de la langue française awarded Sépaq the Mérite du français prize in information technologies, in the category of “Online Learning”, for its mobile technology tool, Park Path Explorer. This award recognizes a company or organization that has made a significant contribution that reflects the vitality and richness of the French language in the world of information technology. This prize attests to Sépaq’s creativity and the value the organization places on the French language. Park Path Explorer was completely designed and mainly produced by Sépaq teams.
Manoir Montmorency, Winner of the People’s Choice Award
Recognized for its spectacular waterfall, Parc de la Chute-Montmorency has also been honoured for its expertise in the field of gastronomy. At the 23rd Gala de la restauration de Québec, which took place November 15, 2011, Manoir Montmorency received the People’s Choice Award in the Brunch category for the second consecutive year. This is the highest honour in this category given to a restaurant. This prize awarded to Manoir Montmorency is a source of pride for Sépaq. Many of its restaurants offer a distinctive dining experience. Sépaq is very successful with brunches throughout the network, notably those served at Aquarium du Québec, Gîte du Mont-Albert and Station touristique Duchesnay.
Sépaq – 2011 Winner Associate Partner of Choice
Aventure Écotourisme Québec (AEQ) gave Sépaq a token of appreciation in the form of the “2011 Associate Partner of Choice Award”. An agreement between the AEQ and Sépaq facilitates access for members of the association to adventure activities and stays in Québec’s national parks and wildlife reserves. Based on strict selection criteria, the Ministère du Tourisme recognizes the AEQ as the principal representative of adventure tourism and ecotourism.
Award of Excellence from the Canadian Parks Council
In 2011, Mr. Raymond Desjardins, President and CEO of Sépaq, was given the Award of Excellence by the Canadian Parks Council in recognition of his outstanding leadership in relation to the corporation’s establishment and growth. This award aims to honour people who have distinguished themselves through achievement, innovation, leadership and advancement in the field of parks and protected areas in Canada.
Manoir Montmorency Wins People’s Choice Award
At the 22nd Gala de la restauration de Québec, Manoir Montmorency won the People’s Choice Award in the Breakfast/Brunch category, the highest distinction in this category and a testament to the public’s confidence and the culinary quality offered at Manoir Montmorency.
National Prize for Excellence in Tourism
Société des établissements de plein air du Québec won the Prize for business of the year – multiple units. The ceremony was held on November 2, 2010 by Association de l’industrie touristique du Québec (TIAC) in recognition of people, places, organizations and events that went beyond the call of duty to provide visitors with superior tourism experiences.
At the 9th Excellence Gala held by the Mont-Tremblant Chamber of Commerce, Parc national du Mont-Tremblant won the award in the category of Tourism business with over 20 employees. The park's candidacy was solicited by the Chamber of Commerce, who wished to highlight the dynamic work of the park team over the past few years in repositioning this area in the overall regional and national tourist supply.
Coup d'Éclat! Prize
At the 9th edition of the Coup d'Éclat! prize ceremony, Aquarium du Québec won in the category of promotional poster with a budget of over $500,000, highlighting its success for the establishment's 50th anniversary.
Bronze Tablecloth - Regional cuisine and game
On the occasion of the 3rd edition of the event "Tapis rouge pour nappes blanches" presented by Le Chef magazine on May 19, 2009 at the Casino de Montréal, Gîte du Mont-Albert won the Bronze tablecloth in the category of "Regional cuisine and game".
Online Campaign and Marketing Microsite
The Web site for the advertising campaign, This Summer, Experience Québec's National Parks, won a Gold Davey Award in the category of Online Campaign, and the Silver Award in the category of Online Marketing Microsite.
Water Safety Prize
During the Water Safety Campaign organized by Conseil québécois du nautisme (CQN), which took place on May 17, 2008, Sépaq was awarded the 2008 Water Safety Prize for its contribution to the promotion of water safety in Québec.
Administrator of the Year
At the Desjardins Recognition Gala, presented by the Haute-Gaspésie Chamber of Commerce, David Dubreuil, Director of Hotel Services for Gîte du Mont-Albert, was named administrator of the year. In addition to contributing to the Chic-Chocs Development Plan, Mr. Dubreuil used innovative management methods. His creativity made Gîte du Mont-Albert a leader among Gaspésie hotel businesses.
Award of Merit
Normand Blanchette, park warden-naturalist at Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier, received the 2007 award of merit. This prize recognizes the exceptional quality of Québec heritage interpretative activities created by one person.
Boomerang Prize Finalist
During the 13th edition of the Boomerang Awards, the contest recognizing the best interactive communications and Web sites designed by Québec companies, the Web site for the advertising campaign called This Summer, Experience Québec's National Parks was named a finalist in the interactive marketing section of the promotional site category.
Scientist of the Year
Chloé Legris, engineer and project manager for ASTROLab in Mont-Mégantic, received the 2007 Scientist of the Year prize from Radio Canada. Ms. Legris piloted a project creating the world's first international Dark Sky Reserve in an inhabited area. For five years, she participated in creating a 5,500 km2 protected dark sky zone in the Mégantic region, where one of the largest observatories in Eastern North America is located. Last September, this achievement culminated in the reserve being recognized by UNESCO and the International Dark Sky Association.
Award of Honour
Jean-François Dubé received the award of honour from Aventure Écotourisme Québec, given to a guide in recognition of his overall career.
At the Charlevoix Reconnaît Gala, held by the Charlevoix Chamber of Commerce, the Grands-Jardins and Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie received a meritas award in the category of attraction, tourism activity and recreation.
Excellence Gala - Tourism Services
The Groupe Maritime Verrault Excellence Gala organized by the Matane Chamber of Commerce recognized the Auberge de montagne des Chic-Chocs in the tourism service category as a unique product in Eastern North America due to its degree of isolation, operating methods and mountain setting.
Coup d'éclat! Prize
The Société des attractions touristiques du Québec awarded the 2006 Coup d'éclat! prize to Parc Aquarium du Québec. It was honoured in the category of television advertising with a budget of over $500,000
Best Online Marketing Campaign Prize
Internet prize - the best online marketing campaign prize was awarded to Sépaq at the Grands Prix du tourisme Gala for the Québec City region.
Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé was awarded the Metro Public Prize at the Québec Grands Prix du tourisme Gala.
Tourism Employee of the Year
Lise Genois, park warden-naturalist, won the tourism employee of the year prize at the Grands Prix du tourisme Gala for the Québec City region.
Tourism Business of the Year
The regional prize for tourism business of the year in the public sector went to Réserve faunique La Vérendrye, Abitibi-Témiscamingue sector.
Ambassador of the Year
The tourism industry ambassador of the year was awarded to Raymond Desjardins by the Association of Tourism and Hotel Industry Students from the University of Québec in Montréal.