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The Circuit du Paysan celebrates 25 years of agritourism

On May 18, the Circuit du Paysan celebrated its 25th anniversary at Parc Safari in Hemmingford.

“Today we are celebrating the businesses that have completed their start-up journeys, and we are grateful for the commitment of our region’s businesses, both to their employees and to their communities,” said Sonia Dumais, the director of the CDC des Jardins de Napierville.

Sylvie Gagnon-Breton, the mayor of Saint-Rémi, agreed. “I think it is important to highlight and celebrate local entrepreneurs,” she said, while noting that the presence of business owners, who create jobs, generate economic value, and help build a supportive network, are all signs of the richness within the community.

“The Circuit du Paysan is at the heart of tourism development in the region, and it showcases our terroir with its multiple itineraries that allow visitors to discover the many facets of the “garde-manger du Québec,” she continued.

Huntingdon MNA Carole Mallette hailed the work of Michel Charbonneau, who was a driving force behind the creation of the Circuit du Paysan. “Bravo for all of this work, which is being continued admirably under the leadership of Sonia Dumais,” she said. Mallette also congratulated the partners and members of the Circuit du Paysan, whose annual financial contribution helps to ensure the Circuit remains a valuable tool for discovering this region.

 

Huntingdon MNA Carole Mallette and Sonia Dumais the director of the CDC des Jardins de Napierville during a celebration marking the 25th anniversary of Le Circuit du Paysan at Parc Safari on May 18 PHOTO Marie Nirva Louis

 

The evening included a series of presentations to celebrate the producers and artisans who have managed to reinvent themselves and who demonstrated exceptional resilience over the past few years.

“The Circuit du Paysan is our local identity, our food heritage,” said Charlie Deschamps, the agrotourism agent responsible for the circuit with the CDC des Jardins de Napierville. “We are proud to be able to contribute to the development of local producers. Our local producers work very hard to provide us with quality products.”

Awards ceremony

The following businesses were recognized for having been members of the Circuit du Paysan for 25 years: Boucherie Viau, La Cabane à sucre et bistro l’Hermine, Vignoble Morou, Vergers Cassidy, Aux 3 chocolats, Cidrerie du Minot, Vergers écologiques Philion, Parc Régional Saint-Bernard, Parc Safari, and the Lavandou.

A second category highlighted the entrepreneurs who started their projects during the COVID-19 pandemic and who are still in business despite the difficulties of the past three years. Those recognized include: JFC construction renovation, Services Steve Harbour, virtual assistant Josianne Laurin, Danny Guérin, RTH Construction, Simon Bouchard, Mobile 4 saisons inc, La Vallée du Tilleul, Jardins Sauvé Lafrance, Accès compétence Chantal Perusse, Inter Généraction, Le Mariner, and Soudure mobile Blais inc.

Dumais then thanked the local politicians for their contributions. Carole Mallette was instrumental in obtaining a $1,000 grant to the Circuit du Paysan from the minister of Tourism, Caroline Proulx. Chateauguay MP Brenda Shanahan contributed $700, and Salaberry-Suroît MP Claude DeBellefeuille donated $300. “This money has greatly helped us in the preparation of our 25th anniversary activities,” said Dumais.

More information on the Circuit du Paysan can be found online at lecircuitdupaysan.com.

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