Year in review — 2020
- Download the printable version of the Year in Review 2020 - Forillon National Park [PDF - 3 768 Ko]
A word from the Superintendant
“The year 2020 came in like a lion. Our heads were full of plans and we were excited to share and experience them with you. Superb activity programming to mark the park’s 50th anniversary had been developed with the help of our invaluable partners, including the Mi’kmaq Nation of Gespeg and the Association of Persons Expropriated from Forillon and their Descendants. You know what happened next: COVID 19 emerged. In no time, the health and safety of the Forillon National Park team and our visitors were guiding our decisions. I would like to thank the team, the community and the visitors for your adaptability and your amazing job of coping with a still evolving situation.
As you will see from our year end review, we were able to roll up our green sleeves, and you were by our side. The year 2020 has certainly put us to the test, but it has also taught us a life lesson: human beings are a force of nature too. We have learned to better appreciate our natural and cultural treasures and to reinvent ourselves to find what is most beautiful about ourselves and our surroundings. Two metres apart and masked, we came closer in heart and mind to this spectacular landscape that does us so much good.
Our heads and hearts are still full of plans and we are even more excited to share them with you. In 2021, we will continue our valuable collaborations in order to share, as widely as possible, the history and memory of these people who were present before the park was created. In the meantime, enjoy reading and happy holidays! ”
50th anniversary of Forillon National Park
The year 2020 kicked off with the announcement of Forillon National Park's 50th anniversary. The programming surrounding this anniversary, held under the theme 50 years of experiences, is intended to allow visitors to discover the park through the eyes of those whose lives have been impacted by this magnificent territory, from the past to the present day.
“We are pleased to be able to work with Parks Canada to share our culture and traditions on our territory, Gespe’gewa’gi, by organizing various interpretation activities. Being a part of the 50th anniversary events will be a significant platform for us.”
“Though the anniversary of the park’s creation brings up painful memories among those expropriated, it remains important for us to pursue our efforts with the current Parks Canada team to ensure that our story is shared as widely as possible.”
O the beautiful accommodation!
In the same press release announcing the 50th anniversary, several new features were included to allow visitors to enjoy the park in a different way. Among other things, campers should have an extraordinary night's sleep while admiring the stars in an Ôasis. This new type of accommodation, which can house up to two adults and two children, is equipped with a convertible table/bed, a suspended hammock loft, 180-degree sea-facing windows, heating and lighting.
Just five days after the release of the 50th anniversary press release, a potential audience of more than 3 million people was reached.
Thank you to the Human Resources team
We would like to highlight the outstanding work of the Human Resources team, which constantly strives to coordinate all Forillon teams by recruiting employees every year to ensure that operations continue to run smoothly while ensuring the well-being of colleagues.
Public consultations - Management Plan
From February 12 to March 15, Parks Canada invited you to participate in public talks as part of the Forillon National Park Management Plan renewal project.
A draft was submitted for comment. It describes the following four key strategies:
- A Vision to Achieve Together,
- An Evolving and Healthy Natural Environment,
- A Unique Cultural Heritage to Protect and Promote,
- A Top Destination Due to Its Wealth of Natural and Cultural Assets.
In the spring of 2019, an initial media announcement was made about the project "Maintaining Forest Balance" and about the hyperabundance of moose in the Forillon National Park. Approximately 35 moose/10 km2 were populating the park at the time of the last helicopter survey in 2017. Regular monitoring of their population over the past 10 years and the results of scientific research have led to this finding. There are more moose in the park than a healthy, balanced forest can usually support.
Two areas (Grande-Grave and Cap-Bon-Ami) have been identified as requiring a more supported management approach than the rest of the park. For Cap Bon Ami, the goal is to review the planning and to provide better accessibility to the sector and, for Grande-Grave, to improve the condition of the heritage buildings and structures.
In order to give as many people as possible the opportunity to express their opinions and comments, there were several ways to participate: at the open house, through the online questionnaire or by e mail.
Public consultations - Hyperabundant moose management plan
You were also invited to comment on proposals developed by Parks Canada, its partners and community organizations. Following public consultations, the park will adopt its Management Plan for the overabundant moose population over five years as part of the "Maintaining the balance of the forest" project to protect its forest and all the animal species that depend on it for shelter, food and reproduction.
Our human resources advisors made nearly 40 student employment offers at the Gaspé Campus of the Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles.
A new multipurpose trail
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Centre culturel le Griffon and the 50th anniversary of the creation of Forillon National Park, a newly traced multipurpose trail skirting the La Vallée trail, is being enjoyed by many winter enthusiasts. On snowshoes or on fat bikes, they followed a 7-km loop leading to the Répit Nord chalet.
Incidentally, the event had to be postponed due to a major storm. The volunteers had to cope with 50 to 60 cm of snow to groom the trails. They had all our admiration!
TDLG: Outdoor fun guaranteed!
A pioneer in winter tourism, the Traversées de la Gaspésie (TDLG), through cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, began its journey at Forillon National Park, where the snow shone as brightly as the eyes of the participants. Some of them discovered the Côte à la Mélasse, an excellent and memorable cardio experience.
A park in the heart of downtown!
On a particularly sunny day, “La Bordée”, an initiative of the Traversées de la Gaspésie, converted De la Reine Street into an incredible games area. This highly successful winter festival was the result of superb local stakeholder engagement. For the occasion, we took the park to the city! There, Andrée Anne Rouleau, Public Outreach Education Officer, and Antoine Plouffe Leboeuf, Ecosystem Scientist, facilitated a fun educational activity “Tracking wildlife”. Parka, who is too kind, whispered the answers to the participants in her own way. It’s not every day you see a female beaver mimicking a moose!
A new gain for the expropriated people of Forillon
The Board of Directors of the Association of Persons Expropriated from Forillon and their Descendants was proud to announce that as of November 2020, expropriated persons will benefit from the addition of three more generations, bringing to six the number of generations eligible for passes to Forillon National Park.
Their request for recognition of the persons aggrieved by the expropriation in 1970 was also granted by giving them the right to passes.
Promotion: meeting camping enthusiasts
We met hundreds of camping enthusiasts from March 5 to 8 at the Montreal RV Show. With approximately 36,487 attendees, this popular event is a strategic place to set up a booth for promotion with a direct service contact. Our Discovery Box provided an educational activity for the most curious.
New virus: COVID-19
The alarms are sounding across the country about COVID 19. Parks Canada is committed to protecting the health and safety of visitors and staff. As a result, the majority of its employees have begun working from home. The Agency also suspended visitor services and vehicle access to the Forillon National Park to support the Government of Canada's efforts to limit the spread of COVID 19. These suspensions have been applied at Parks Canada sites across the country.
In this context, all Parks Canada consultation activities related to management plans, including the Hyperabundant Moose Management Plan, have been postponed. The planning and timing of these plans should then be reviewed.
“Gaspe's dropping by!”
While uncertainty still hung over the upcoming tourist season in April and in support of all those who did not have access to the wide-open spaces of the Gaspé Peninsula, Parks Canada became involved in the tourism promotion committee led by Destination Gaspé and made up of local tourism organizations. Following several discussions and reflections, the temporary campaign “Gaspe's dropping by” was born. Its objective was to help Quebecers dream of wide-open spaces and freedom, as they waited to be able to see each other in person. Both soothing and stimulating content was shared on the Destination Gaspé blog and its social media in order to engage people in Gaspé-esque activities.
Thank you to the Finance and Administration team
Congratulations to the entire Finance and Administration team for providing exemplary support to all teams once again this year. Your energy and your concern for doing things right are a crucial part of Forillon’s success!
Thank you to the External Relations team
Continuing with the momentum of thanking our teams, we would like to highlight the quality work of the External Relations team, which constantly strives to communicate and promote Parks Canada’s values both internally and externally. The team’s professionalism and versatility are a big help year after year!
I plan, you plan, they plan...
At the start of the season, the managers of Forillon National Park had to review their planning from start to finish, considering a number of very different challenges: ensuring the safety of staff and visitors with respect to COVID 19, ensuring that programs are managed according to the latest measures and raising awareness of the rules among visitors to Parks Canada sites. They then looked at a series (huge understatement) of potential scenarios, taking into account numerous variables. Health and safety for all is a priority!
Get your markers out!
Parka’s visit to Cap-Bon-Ami is now immortalized in a colouring page available to all parents, teachers and daycares, on the Forillon National Park website. Share your #ParkaAtForillon artwork with us on Facebook.
In adaptation mode
Parks Canada is following the advice of public health experts and continuing to make every effort to limit the spread of COVID 19. The Asset Management team has completed the necessary work to allow for the imminent and gradual reopening of facilities and services. Plexiglas screens and distancing aids have been introduced, particularly in reception areas. Hand sanitizing devices have been strategically placed. Signs and notices adapted to the situation have been installed throughout the park, including in service buildings and pathway entrances. Parks Canada staff who specialize in visitor safety and emergency response were trained to use the proper equipment for responses during COVID 19.
Gradual opening of the park
As of June 1, Parks Canada will open parking lots and provide access to part of Forillon National Park, initially with a limited offer based on the autonomous use of certain trails, beaches, day-use areas and green spaces. The first phase of the reopening will attempt to minimize interactions between staff and visitors.
Plan your visit
Under the circumstances, all visitors, even regular park visitors, were asked to plan their visit in consultation with the (still active) "COVID 19 and your visit to Forillon National Park" web page, which provides information on what is open, what to expect and how to prepare for the visit.
Ready to respond
In order to be able to respond effectively in a real emergency situation, forest firefighters train annually to respond to forest fires in the park. Did you know that the team of fire fighters in Forillon has 18 trained members on staff?
Evaluation of heritage buildings
Christine Legault, Architect and Built Heritage Advisor for Parks Canada, devoted part of her summer in 2020 to Forillon heritage buildings. From early June to late August, she updated the 2016 evaluation and documented the condition of numerous buildings: the condition of the exterior siding, roofs, windows, foundations, etc. She also set up temperature and humidity monitoring in some heritage houses, which will help us better understand the changes in their condition.
Limited camping services
The health and safety of visitors and employees is of utmost importance to the Government of Canada. In the second phase of opening, Parks Canada announced a gradual resumption of camping activities at Forillon National Park starting on June 22. This offer was based on a 50% capacity limitation.
Operation: Changing a reservation
Visitors whose camping reservations were affected by our preventive closures were contacted by Forillon National Park staff to try to find an alternative solution. From June 18 to 22, four members of the Visitor Experience team changed more than 300 reservations, most of them from very understanding campers. This was done before the reopening of the Parks Canada Reservation Service on June 23, which logged 2,257 reservations for Forillon, whereas at the January 2020 launch, we had only logged 821.
Thank you to the Asset Management
We would like to thank the entire Asset Management team for their exceptional work once again this year. This team is responsible for the maintenance of the park’s various trails, buildings and grounds, ensuring optimal safety for visitors and employees.
Cleaner than clean
As we opened our buildings and facilities, we implemented a cleaning protocol that followed current health and safety practices. Our dedicated staff was equipped with the appropriate personal protective equipment and the necessary cleaning equipment and supplies. According to established schedules, frequent and thorough cleaning was carried out throughout the facility. A big thanks to this invaluable team!
All group and exhibit activities as well as public events at Forillon National Park have been suspended for an indeterminate period.
Between 10 and 30 kg of vegetation per day
An inventory of moose browsing on vegetation was conducted. It checked the condition of the moose food reserves. The moose are hyperabundant in the park. Among other things, it provided information on the quantity and quality of food available for them in Forillon. Considering that this large herbivore consumes between 10 and 30 kg of vegetation per day, the equivalent of a bathtub full of small branches, it is important to check the contents of the food reserve to anticipate the impacts on the forest!
Ensuring a fun and safe visit
Like the tourism industry as a whole, our interpreters learned new ways to interact with visitors under constantly evolving safety guidelines. Reluctantly, we suspended interpretation activities. Nevertheless, our team of interpreters played an essential educational role at trail detours or near attractions that generate a host of questions. In addition, for the first time ever, the team went on prevention tours among campers to give them a personalized welcome for a fun and safe stay. Despite the challenges, it is always a real pleasure to share in your wonder!
Decorating for the 50th
To mark the 50th anniversary of the creation of Forillon National Park, we have decorated it with beautiful colourful banners. The creative visual was developed in-house, by our team!
A visitor's guide revisited
Although it was released later this year, nearly 40,000 visitor guides were distributed. Readers found a wealth of relevant information, including tips on good pandemic practices.
Cruise season begins
Croisières Baie de Gaspé began operations on July 1st and a health measures plan was deployed, which included the hiring of a COVID-19 employee.
A new superintendent at Forillon National Park
This summer, at the height of the tourist season, Forillon National Park welcomed its new superintendent, Élisabeth Lacoursière. She previously served as Director of Outreach and Marketing at Parks Canada. Prior to joining the Agency, Ms. Lacoursière worked in community relations and public consultations in the Gatineau Ottawa region for 10 years. A native of Lanaudière, Quebec, and a business administration and tourism development graduate from the Université du Québec à Montréal, she is happy to connect with her mother's roots, her mother having grown up in Gaspé.
Virtual youth ambassador tour
The Youth Ambassadors, Anna Kobylansky and Blake Correia, were tasked with inspiring a love of nature and culture by showcasing a behind the scenes look at Parks Canada's exciting projects. Thanks to social media, they took close to 70,000 people on a virtual tour that included a stop at Forillon National Park and our historic sites. Our innovative actions to adapt to coastal erosion were featured in the "Tent Talks" series shared on Facebook and Twitter.
A story of pine cones
A total of 2,960 vigorous white pine seedlings, a rare species in the region, were planted in a location conducive to their growth in the park. The story began three years ago. From pine cones collected in Forillon, a specialized local nursery prepared seedlings with the same genetic background. In 2020, the seedlings were strong enough to be transplanted into the forest. Awesome!
Featuring Fort Peninsula
Fort Peninsula is the only World War II coastal battery that is fully preserved and accessible to the public in Quebec.
Listen to the radio program “75e anniversaire de la fin de la Guerre” (in French only) with host Jolyane Bourget Careau on Radio Gaspésie.
The site has drawn attention on the 75th anniversary of the end of this global conflict. Fort Peninsula hosted the film crew for the documentary series “39-45 en sol canadien”, hosted by Claude Legault. The broadcast is scheduled for spring 2021 on TV5.
“A taste for enduring”
As part of the Rencontres internationales de la photographie en Gaspésie, Judith Bellavance's photo exhibition entitled “A taste for enduring” was set up on the grounds of the Dolbel Roberts house. A cultural activity in the great outdoors for everyone!
Beginning on July 18, Parks Canada employees and visitors wore non medical masks or face covers at all inside locations.
Penouille: opening of the visitor centre
Penouille's visitor centre, including the shop, was open to visitors as of July 17, every day from 9 am to 5 pm. However, no food services were offered.
Welcome to Hyman & Sons!
Hyman & Sons reopened in a different form. Enthusiastically welcomed at the entrance to the general store by interpreters ready to answer any questions, masked visitors made their way around the store independently and, like at the museum, admired with their eyes only.
Thank you to the Visitor Experience team (reception)
At Forillon, our spectacular Reception centre team was able to keep spirits high and maintain a professional attitude throughout the season. Thanks to her, visitors have been able to fully discover everything our beautiful park has to offer. We’re lucky to have her!
Penouille: A more accessible beach
As a new addition to the services offered, a universal mat has been installed in Penouille so that people with reduced mobility can enjoy the benefits of the beach. Many parents have also enjoyed pushing their strollers effortlessly, or almost effortlessly, on it.
Driftwood in action
The many visitors we had in the Gaspé this year made it an ideal time to raise awareness about the essential role of driftwood. Various interviews were given on the subject. Driftwood creates a sheltered place for seaside plants, such as sand elymum and sea peas, to take root. Thanks to their roots, these plants retain sand and fight against bank erosion! Do your part by leaving the beach wood in place so that it plays its full role and avoiding walking on the vegetation.️
Listen to the radio program “Le rôle essentiel du bois de plage” (in French only) with host Jolyane Bourget Careau on Radio Gaspésie.
70 years: the lighthouse of land’s end
The year 2020 also marks the 70th anniversary of the construction of the current (concrete) lighthouse at Cap Gaspé. The lighthouse station was built much earlier, in 1873. A number of families of Anglo Norman lightkeepers have come and gone, including the Esnouf, LeHuquet, Langlois and Minchinton families. They reflect the important role that pioneer families from Jersey and Guernsey played in populating Forillon.
Listen to the “Cap-Gaspé, le bout du monde” (in French only) radio program with host Jolyane Bourget Careau on Radio Gaspésie.
In search of the Maritime Copper
It's small. It is copper coloured and found only in salt marshes of eastern Canada. Our team was therefore very pleased to be able to confirm this year that the Maritime Copper (Lycaena dospassosi) is still fond of the plants in the Penouille salt marsh. This highly protected area provides it a safe haven for breeding and foraging.
A banding station: a passport to science
The team from the Observatoire d’Oiseaux de Rimouski, with whom Parks Canada collaborates, has set up a banding station at l’Anse-aux-Amérindiens. Banding as in ring, and not as in music! Banding a bird is an extremely delicate action that consists of placing a ring, a small light metal piece, around its leg. Each banded individual is given a unique identification number, much like a passport, which, over time, will indicate their migration destinations, lifespan, etc.
Winged travel data...
Located throughout America, the Motus antennas form an extensive network, which makes it possible to follow the migration of birds equipped with transmitters. In collaboration with Environment and Climate Change Canada, Forillon National Park has installed this type of antenna at Cap-Gaspé and is thus opening itself to a world with many possibilities: telemetry. Parks Canada is proud to contribute to this project, which is part of an international conservation effort.
Penouille: An even more accessible beach
Another new addition this year, an all terrain wheelchair, was loaned out to people with reduced mobility who wanted to access the sandy Penouille beach. This new equipment also makes swimming possible.
We were very moved that, for the second time, a news story about accessibility has broken records. Our 1st Facebook post of 2020.
In the footsteps of the American marten
In collaboration with the Université du Québec à Rimouski, Parks Canada has undertaken a research project to learn more about the habitat of the American marten in and around the park. To do so, a dozen martens, weighing at least 650 g, were fitted with small transmitter collars (21 g, the equivalent of only 3 $2 coins!). Each collar records nearly 4 instances of location data per day. The information that can be downloaded remotely will provide valuable information on the movements of this little-known carnivore. To be continued...
Outstanding record at Cap Gaspé
French runner Mathieu Blanchard broke records by covering the GR°A1, that is 650 kilometres, in—brace yourself—7 days, 12 hours and 2 minutes—a distance that usually takes 1 1/2 month!
Stéphane Marchand retires
Stéphane Marchand, Superintendent of the Gaspé Field Unit, has left for a well-deserved retirement after 28 years of loyal service with the Parks Canada Agency, including 23 years in the Gaspé Peninsula. During his mandate, he developed structuring relationship with the Micmac Nation of Gespeg and with the Association of Persons Expropriated from Forillon and their Descendants. Under his leadership, Forillon National Park has become a veritable laboratory on coastal erosion thanks to the innovative Cap-des-Rosiers beach restoration project.
Thank you to the Management team
The entire team’s work is overseen by a visionary and passionate Management team. In August, Stéphane Marchand passed the torch to our new director, Élisabeth Lacoursière.
The centre's last day
The only visitor centre open in 2020 was the one in Penouille. L'Anse-au-Griffon was permanently closed in 2020, with no loss of jobs. Starting in 2021, visitors arriving from the north side of the park will be able to take advantage of the services at the new Information and Discovery Centre, the opening of which was postponed last summer.
Penouille visitor centre
- 2020: ± 135,000 visitors/53 opening days
- 2019: ± 175,000 visitors/115 opening days
Hyman & Sons thanks you!
From July to September, our interpretation team warmly welcomed and informed more than 10,400 visitors who passed through the doors of the Hyman & Sons general store.
Thank you to the Visitor Experience team (facilities attendants)
We would like to highlight the exemplary work of the visitors’ facilities attendants team this year, where cleanliness means safety. Always on the lookout, the team showed vigilance and professionalism in order to comply with health regulations.
Moose population update
With the new data collected for the "Maintaining Forest Balance" project, the Forillon National Park has noted a decline in the moose population that goes against the trend observed until 2017. Wildlife population variations are natural phenomena.
At about 22 moose per 10 km2, the moose population is approaching a level of abundance that would maintain the balance of the forest, but it still remains high. No moose population control measures were implemented in the fall. The priority is to apply our research program to identify the medium term trend and the probable causes of variations in the moose population over time.
Back to basics
One project that has reached the development stage this year will have some great surprises in store for you in 2021! The Beaver sector will be renaturalized. In other words, nature will be able to regain its place there. For this, the remains of old Route 132 will be removed and the area will be developed according to restoration and conservation principles. Without giving away all the details, we can tell you that other paths will be added to the park's list of trails!
An important site for the study of birds
With a banding season that ended with a total of 6,838 banded birds from 66 different species, there is no doubt that Forillon National Park is an important site for ornithology.
Occupation Double at Forillon
Together with Vincent Gaillard, Cap Aventure’s dynamic guide, we welcomed participants from Occupation Double, Stacey and Jamie, on an incognito getaway in Grande-Grave. On a calm sea, the couple paddled a kayak on a guided outing under the curious gaze of... seals! Their return was marked by a breathtaking sunset. Not to brag, but Forillon was a turning point in the couple’s adventure. With nearly 800,000 viewers watching this episode, visibility is guaranteed!
A new roof
The Hyman & Sons general store, the oldest preserved building in the park (built in1864!), has a new roof now. During the work, the contractor was surprised to discover a layer of birch bark under the cedar shingles! These large squares of bark, used at the time as a "waterproofing membrane," protected the original roof deck for more than 150 years. An impressive performance!
This imposing building was erected and occupied by William Hyman, a cod merchant and exporter and an influential public figure. As the boss's house and later a store, the building was the heart of Grande Grave. Its construction during the mid 19th century, when the fisheries were thriving, bore witness to Grande Grave's expansion and the social structure that shaped the Forillon settlement. At the time, nearly 400 people lived in Grande Grave, including Petit Gaspé, l'Anse Saint Georges and l'Anse aux Amérindiens!
Heritage conservation interventions
Interventions were carried out this fall to improve ventilation in heritage house cellars in Grande Grave. Moisture that had built up in the support beams was threatening the structural stability of some buildings. Ventilation grilles have therefore been added. The stone foundation of the Elias Gavey house was also drilled by a masonry contractor to help improve ventilation of these spaces.
To honour their memory
For expropriated people, several places in the park remain highly significant. Some evoke childhood memories or family stories. Others, such as cemeteries, represent deep family and community roots. Preventive conservation work took place in two of the park's five cemeteries: the Saint Augustin cemetery in l'Anse Saint Georges and the United Church cemetery in l'Anse aux Amérindiens. Damaged and fallen black wooden crosses were replaced. Posts were straightened, sanded and repainted, and new chains were installed and painted to clearly delineate the places of reflection. A memorial was straightened and its base stabilized.
What were Gaspesian youths reading at the turn of the century? Some 90 books from St. Peter's Church Library have been entrusted to the care of the Musée de la Gaspésie, which will keep them in its archives centre. These are primarily youth novels published between 1860 and 1915, many of which are associated with Sunday school.
Remember that, in the 19th and early 20th century, in the Gaspé as in all rural parts of the country, books were rare, difficult to access and expensive. Parish libraries such as the one at St. Peter's Anglican Church were therefore a treasure trove for young worshippers and their families. In accordance with the wishes of the Anglican Diocese of Quebec, these books will now be kept at the regional archive centre and be accessible to researchers.
That is the number of 2020–2021 family planners distributed to parents of children aged 0 to 12 in La Côte-de-Gaspé RCM. Among the new additions this year, all of the partners shared their ideas for activities to do as a family throughout the year. For the month of September, kids were given a stamped postcard to colour of Parka at Cap-Bon-Ami. There are more activities to discover later in the calendar!
Education and awareness
October arrived, signifying the end of operations at Forillon National Park. Like health and safety, education and awareness were particularly recurring themes within the work teams. Parks Canada continued to work hard to ensure a safe, healthy and enjoyable experience for all visitors, many of whom were visiting a national park for the first time.
Over the course of the season, some 40 new information and awareness posters were produced using various materials to inform visitors and to respond adequately to the health situation.
The 2020 season started on June 1 and ended on October 14.
- More than 146,000 visitors
Limited camping offer
The campgrounds opened on June 22. Usually, these services are offered at the same time that the season is launched. Only certain loops of the Petit-Gaspé and Des-Rosiers campgrounds were open, and the Cap-Bon-Ami sites remained closed throughout the season.
- by 39%
Positioning Forillon in the group tourism industry
Parks Canada participated in the Bienvenue Québec event, presented virtually this year, to promote national historic sites and parks to the tourism industry in Quebec, Canada and internationally. In a tourism-themed speed networking format, some 60 contacts were created with travel agencies, destination management companies and tour operators.
Whales in sight
The 2020 season was quite a challenge, which the Croisières Baie de Gaspé team successfully met. Croisières Baie de Gaspé had record traffic for the months of July, August and September. Its clientele was mainly from Quebec and Ontario. A new online booking system and computerized ticketing also contributed to this success. There was also the presence of a large number of whales in the northern sector of Forillon National Park, between the Cap-des-Rosiers lighthouse and Cap-Gaspé.
Creativity and imagination areas
During the 2020 season, two playgrounds in the park began undergoing a facelift. In 2021, budding explorers will have great fun with the brand new low zipline (for children aged 5 to 12) near the Des Rosiers campground. They will also love the brand-new sea-themed modules at the recreation centre.
A new service to come
Work has begun at the Cap-des-Rosiers beach parking lot, near the start of the Du Banc trail. A new service building with toilets will be available to citizens and visitors for the 2021 season. This is great news!
After the last campfire...
The Petit-Gaspé Campground closed on Thanksgiving. Up until its last prevention tour, the interpretation team fully embraced its new role with 5,000 campers. Throughout the season, the team informed them about the health measures to be taken in the park and kindly explained the range of practical advice for outdoor situations.
Teaming up with you
From July to October, interpreters welcomed and informed nearly 24,000 visitors. And, let’s be honest: the season was a success thanks to you! Health and safety was a shared responsibility between us and visitors—a responsibility that both sides assumed to the letter. A sincere thanks for having chosen Forillon National Park as a vacation destination, since travelling in 2020 has taken on a whole new definition!
Pass Program for the 4th, 5th and 6th generations
In response to the request by the Association of Persons Expropriated from Forillon and their Descendants, Parks Canada has begun implementing the Pass Program for the 4th, 5th and 6th generations of expropriated persons, who can now request a pass. This is an important step in rebuilding relationships with local communities and helping affected families preserve memories and stories related to these places. To date, more than 6,700 passes have been given to expropriated families and their descendants.
A breath of fresh air!
The Centre culturel le Griffon and its team of volunteers kicked off its season to the great delight of skiers, snowshoers and cyclists (fat bike). Thank you to all of them for getting involved in the development of low-cost winter activities for the local population and the tourism industry. A balm for both physical and mental health!
Forillon National Park wins an Award of Excellence from the Canadian Parks Council!
Each year the Canadian Parks Council presents Agency and Individual Awards of Excellence to recognize and encourage extraordinary achievement, innovation, organizational leadership and the advancement of park and protected areas programs by Canada's national, provincial and territorial park agencies.
Having become a leader in climate change adaptation in the country, Forillon National Park was awarded the 2020 Award of Excellence to an agency for its Cap-des-Rosiers beach restoration project. This pioneering project aims to restore and preserve natural environments for several different species. Visitors and the community alike can enjoy a place of leisure or gather around the Irish Memorial.
A great way to end the year!
Thank you to the Projects team
We are grateful for the work of all our teams at Forillon. We would be remiss if we failed to mention the Projects team, which works hard every year to maximize Forillon National Park’s development potential.
Thank you to the Resources Conservation team
We can also count on a reputable team to conserve our natural and cultural resources. We owe our sound resource conservation to them, a team that really embodies the Parks Canada mandate. Thank you!
We are privileged to work with Destination Gaspé, Tourisme Gaspésie and Québec maritime. Our collective promotional efforts considerably increase the visibility of Forillon National Park at the regional, provincial, national and international levels.
A year in the news
- More than 450 mentions in the media
- A reach of early 300,000,000
- 2019: approximately 250 subscribers
Facebook picks up the pace
- by 5,000 subscribers
- Total: 21,800 subscribers
We have the constant renewed pleasure of exchanging with our subscribers on our Facebook pages. There are 5,000 more this year, for a total of 21,800. Continue to follow us and share your own 2020 highlights!
Thanks to an incredible team
Throughout the Year in Review, we’ve introduced you to most of our teams. You should know that there are many people who work hard to make the Forillon National Park what it is now. We would like to thank them all, without exception! Thanks to an incredible team: 117 employees and 24 students!