PEACE PARK DOCUMENTARY | EPILOGUE
Despite the fact that skateboarding was illegal in Peace Park, skateboarders have been skating there since its inauguration in 1994.
It’s the park’s perfect design and central location that incited skateboarders to continue skating there, which resulted in a long history of them receiving tickets in the park. When the city increased all their bylaw fines in 2006 the skaters started getting tickets for over $600.
The SAT who moved in next to the park in 2002 noticed the problems the skaters were having with the city and decided to help David Boots legalize skateboarding in the park in 2004. They saw how the skaters brought a positive energy and balance to the park, and that without them the park was simply overrun with seediness. Unfortunately at that time there were many factors that prevented the legalizing from moving forward.
Once the Peace Park documentary was completed in April 2013 the SAT invited Jessica and I to the premier the movie in Peace Park as the closing for Cinéma, DJ, et chef invite. Together the SAT and David Boots turned the For the People Premier into a huge event, which consisted of a skateboard contest, free food, and music performances. It was the most successful event in the park to date with a 1000 people attending.
Due to the massive success of the Peace Park documentary that depicted how the park become the heart and soul of skateboarding in Montreal, and its premier in the park in 2013 that included a skateboard contest, the city’s attitudes towards the legalizing of skateboarding in the park started to change. It was time to put the legalizing of skateboarding in the park back in motion.
Since 2006 the Society for Arts and Technology [SAT], has been animating the problematic park that no one cares about by organizing movie screening. They wished to include skate events, but before they could do that they needed skateboarding to be legal.
Boots again with the support of the SAT approached the mayor Denis Coderre at a city council meeting in June 2014 with a pilot project to legalize skating in the park for the summer, and a month later the project was approved!
That summer David Boots and the SAT organized four legal skateboarding events in the park, with the support of the Quartier des spectacles and the Ville-Marie borough.
There were three cash on the spot Jam sessions and a Best Trick competition that marked the 20th year anniversary of Peace Park and the closing of the pilot project.
The success of these events was crucial. They needed to proved that the skateboard community wants to make a difference in the park and showed the city that skate events are a fun and positive way to help animate the park; that fits well into the Quartier des spectacles
David Boots, The SAT, Quartier des Spectacles, and Ville-Marie are proud to announce that the pilot project was a huge success and skateboarding in Peace Park has been legalized!
Peace Park is now the first public park in the world to have skateboarding legalized, and the 3rd place to be legalized after South Bank in London and the West End Court House in Los Angeles. As of now it is legal to skate in Peace Park 7 days a week from 10am to 9pm until year round.