At Echo Lake, several events punctuate the summer season. These activities are organized by the Association following a tradition that, in some cases, goes back more than a hundred years. Residents and their families take part in their organization. Some residents make their land and water facilities available to all for these events to take place.
Since 1912, the regattas and the Commodore party have been the main events of the summer. For the past ten years, a new activity, Jazz on the Rocks, has been inserted between the two and is now part of the tradition.
Time and place
Regatta day takes place on the last Saturday of July. The exact date and schedule of the competitions are published ahead of time and on numerous occasions on the Association’s Facebook page.
Program of activities
The Day program begins with swimming competitions, followed by diving and canoe races. There is something for all age groups: very young and young children, teenagers, adults, seniors and senior plus. A treasure hunt and a race for finds occupy the youngest throughout the day.
The traditional gourmet BBQ closes the activities. It ends with a medal ceremony presided over by the Commodore. Originally organized for children, this event has become very popular with all the residents of the lake.
The nautical competitions, with the exception of diving, take place in the bay formed by Birch Point.
The BBQ takes place on the grounds of a resident according to a precise schedule of events and a traditional menu where hotdogs, chips and Swiss rolls are mandatory !
For more information
The first edition of the sailing regattas dates back to 1912 or 1913. At the time, the only competitions were sailing races. While today’s programme has evolved and no longer includes sailing, the term Regattas has nevertheless remained as a celebration of activities between neighbours. Like so, the race manager continues to call himself the Commodore.
Regatta Day is the most obvious expression of the community spirit that prevails between the neighbours of Echo Lake. This tradition would not have been possible without the voluntary participation of all owners and residents. Regattas, such as the Commodore’s Dinner and now the Jazz on the Rocks event, reflect a unique lifestyle at Echo Lake.
JAZZ ON THE ROCKS
Time and place
This event takes place at the lake in August, on the Saturday between the regattas and the Commodore’s party. The exact date of the event is published for members on the Facebook page or by email.
Programme of activities
JJazz on the Rocks is a music concert organized since 2011 by one of the owners at Echo Lake, known for his creativity and dedication to the lake community.
The musicians and singers are seated, facing the lake, on a rocky point part of the owner’s property who himself acts as show producer for the evening. The acoustics are very good, which allows all the residents to hear the music.
But that’s not all, residents are invited, along with their family and friends, to get closer to the show with their boats and better enjoy the concert. The atmosphere is both calm and festive.
For more information
This private initiative, aimed at the enjoyment of the whole community, has become a must-see summer activity at Echo Lake. Organized in accordance with tradition and in the style of Echo Lake, the Jazz on the Rocks event, like the regattas, undoubtedly helps to strengthen the ties that unite the Echo Lake community.
Place and Date
The Commodore’s Party takes place two weeks after the regattas.
The time and place invitation is sent to Association members by email. Traditionally held at the Commodore’s house of the previous year, this event now takes place in turn among residents who volunteer.
This is a community meal where everyone brings a dish and a drink, which are shared with the other participants. This activity normally takes place outdoors.
To learn more
It is during this evening, mainly reserved for adults, that the trophies are presented to the families of the winners in the major categories of activities held during the regattas. Some of these trophies have been around since the 1910s.
The Association also presents trophies in recognition of the community and volunteer activities of its members.
The municipality of Morin-Heights also has its trophy, the beneficiary of which is chosen by the executive of the Association.
Driven by the success of the regattas and Jazz on the Rocks, several owners organize annual activities for the entire riverside community: the crossing of the lake in July, the petanque tournament and the golf tournament follow one another in August. These activities are supported by the Association.
Winter is a quieter time socially, except during the broomball game that takes place on the lake on December 31st in front of the residence of an owner who delights the players with an outdoor buffet and pogos.
On regatta day winners of various competitions are awarded a medal; gold, silver or bronze depending on their order of finish (swimming, canoe) or the number of points accumulated (diving).
Those who have cumulated the most points by age category are further rewarded with a trophy. Participation and team spirit are also recognised with a special trophy presentation.
The Lake Echo Owners Association also recognises the outstanding contribution of a particular resident to the development of the community and the protection of the environment. Trophies are presented as part of the celebrations surrounding the annual Regattas and the Commodore’s supper.
Trophies have been donated by families very involved in the organization of the regattas. Some are very old and have been in circulation since the fifties. The names of the first recipients, almost erased, bear witness to this.
Participants are categorized by age group:
- Pre-Midget: 4 to 5 years old
- Midget: 6 to 7 years old
- Bantam: 8 to11 years old
- Junior: 12 to 16 years old
- Senior: 16 to 39 years old
- Senior plus: 40 + years old
Scores are calculated as follows for the swimming and canoeing competitions:
- First place: 3 points
- Second place: 2 points
- Third place: 1 point
- Scores for the diving competitions are set by a panel of three judges.
Note: Results of the centipede and war canoe competitions are not accounted for in the cumulative points count to determine winners in each age category.
The MARTEL-THIBAULT Trophy
Pre-Midget Champion : Most points, boy or girl, 4 to 6 years old
This trophy, presented by the Martel-Thibault family, was first awarded in 1999. The Martel-Thibaults’ were Commodores for several years. Parents of very young children, they thought that the best (and most courageous) of the brave little participants in swimming and diving competitions also deserved to receive a trophy.
The GNAEDINER Trophy
Midget Champion: Most points, boy or girl, 7 to 8 years old
The Gnaedingers were the first owners of the house at the intersection of Log Village and Pine Road. Children at that time gathered and crossed the Gnaedinger property to reach the water hole on the lake where a springboard had been built over a huge rock. Young people of all generations have been swimming at the water hole and diving from the springboard.
The LESLIE Trophy
Bantam Champion : Most points, boy or girl, 8 to 11 years old
This trophy was donated by the Robert Leslie family whose members were all excellent swimmers. During the weekend of the regattas, they organized a dance in their garage for teenagers. Both the Leslies and the Gnaedingers must have liked very much being involved with the younger generation.
The JENNINGS Trophy
Junior Aggregate Junior Champion : most points, boy or girl, 12 to 15 years old
An American couple (she was Jamaican), Eileen and Winslow Jennings, lived on Log Village Road in the current Turgeon cottage. They were good friends of the Groves family who also have a trophy in their name. It is very likely that both the Jennings and the Groves made a significant contribution to the organization of the regattas in the 1960s and 1970s.
Ralph Leavitt, who still lives at the lake, on Birch, remembers the Jennings family in a singular way and in particular Mrs. Jennings. Ralph was born prematurely in Log Village, and Dr. Robb delivered him (2 months premature). Neighbours all came to help, and evidently Mrs. Jennings came with dinner napkins which became my clothes for the trip to Montreal.
The LAKE ECHO REGATTA Trophy
Senior Champion: Most points, boy or girl , 16 to 39 year sold
The EKERS Diving Trophy
Bantam Champion: most points, boy or girl
This trophy was donated by the Ekers family, formerly owners of Ekers Brewery. Their imposing stone house, despite its uniqueness, is part of the heritage of Lake Echo. It is still occupied by family members. Over the years, the Ekers have made a significant contribution to the success of the regattas as organizers, but also as formidable competitors, both in terms of performance and originality.
The GROVES Trophy
Junior Champion: most points, boy or girl
This trophy was donated by Craig Grove and his wife, both very involved in the social and community life of the lake in the 60s and 70s. They are the first owners of a cottage on Log Village Road. This house is now occupied by their daughter.
The TELLIER-LEACH Trophy – Diving Trophy – Senior
Senior Champion: Most points, man or woman
This trophy was donated by two excellent diving moms: Margareth Tellier (Millar) and Eleanor Leach (Binns). They were judges at diving competitions for many years. The third judge at the time was Enid Larin, representative of the next generation and a very good diver herself who continued to be a judge at diving competitions until 2018.
The BAILLIE Trophy
Junior Champions : War Canoe
This trophy was donated by Doug Baillie and dates back to the 1950s. Doug Baillie owned a brake and bearing company and was a supplier to the CPR and the CNR, the major railways of the time. Interesting fact, Mr. Baillie’s two neighbours on Cottage road have on their properties facilities equipped with brakes and bearings, respectively a rail lift and a wharf. The latter can be pulled from the water vertically to protect it from the ice in winter. Both are still in operation.
The LATIMER Trophy
Senior War Canoe Campions
This trophy was donated by L.W. Latimer of Latimer Motors in Montreal and was first awarded in 1956. The family lived on Log Village Road. Although not participating in the regattas, Mr. Latimer was known for his generosity to the lake community.
The LARIN Trophy – Centenial
This trophy was donated by Guy Larin and was first awarded in 1967 as part of the centennial celebrations of Canadian Confederation. The trophy is awarded to the junior or senior participant with the highest number of points in individual competitions. The Larins lived on Birch Road.
The ERIC KAPLAN Commemorative Trophy
This trophy was donated by Marty Kaplan in memory of his son Eric who bravely battled leukemia, and unfortunately passed away at the age of 13. This trophy rewards the junior or senior participant who has demonstrated the best spirit of competition, either through effort or participation. The Kaplans owned a house on Log Village Road.
The PANCRAZI -MCDONALD Trophy
CENTIPEDE JUNIOR MILLE-PATTES
This trophy was donated by the Pancrazi-McDonald family on Echo Lake Road and was first awarded in 2014. Odile McDonald was Commodore in 2000 and 2001. Her enthusiasm and unifying spirit revived the event among young people whose participation rates had been declining over the years.
The TAN-LARIN Trophy
CENTIPEDE SENIOR MILLE-PATTES
This trophy was donated by Guy J. Larin, son of Guy and Enid Larin, and his wife Alice Tan. The trophy recognizes the collective effort required to win this event, to say the least, original. The Larin family, from generation to generation, remains a pillar of the Echo Lake community.
OTHER TROPHIES AWARDED BY THE LAKE ECHO HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION
The ANDRÉ THIBAULT and MARIE POIRIER Commemorative Cup
“NOUS GARDERONS TOUJOURS ANDRÉ THIBAULT ET MARIE THIBAULT AU CENTRE DE NOS FÊTES”
We will forever keep André Poirier and Marie Thibault at the heart of our celebrations.
This beautiful large cup was offered in 2015 by Jane Hope and Paul Lavoie in memory of the Poirier-Thibault couple who were intensely involved in the Echo lake community as permanent residents on Echo Lake road. André and Marie represent the memory and the heart of our community. They passed away very quickly and left a big void amongst us. This cup, which still serves as an ice bucket at our gatherings, testifies to the unifying spirit and the important place that this couple occupied in our community. At the Commodores’ dinner, the cup sits in the middle of the table surrounded by delicacies everyone brought for the enjoyment of all.
The MAYOR’S Trophy
Presented by Morin-Heights Municipality
On behalf of the community of Morin-Heights and, in particular, residents of Echo Lake, the Mayor’s Trophy is awarded to a resident of the lake in recognition of its outstanding contributions to the community of Echo Lake or the protection of its environment. The trophy was first awarded in 2015. The nominee is selected by a member of the Echo Lake Homeowners Association and submitted to the Board for approval.
MAUREEN PALLETT was the first recipient of the trophy in 2015. For many years, she has helped the Echo Lake Homeowners Association in a variety of ways, including translating all documents produced by the Association, ensuring that the bilingual culture prevailing at Echo Lake is preserved. It should be noted that Maureen is a member of the Cleyn family of Echo Lake Road, which has been hosting the regattas’ swimming and canoeing competitions for several generations.
MATHIEU REGNIER was presented with the Mayor’s Trophy in 2016 for his extraordinary contribution and expertise in environmental matters, which benefited the Association and all its members. He also established a community movement for environmental protection and development of the Jackson Creek. This natural protected area covers 20 km2 of the territory on three adjoining municipalities. Since Jackson Creek is the main source of water for Echo Lake, the Association fully appreciates the importance of this visionary project.
In 2018, the Mayor’s Trophy was awarded to JANE HOPE, founder of the Lake Echo Buyers Club comprised of 29 families. The role of the club was to finance the acquisition of 215 acres within the Ruisseau Jackson watershed by the Municipality of Morin-Heights, to create LA RÉSERVE NATURELLE RUISSEAU JACKSON. Donors received charitable donation receipts for tax purposes. The purpose of the project was to contain proposed development, and protect the natural character of lands within the watershed of Ruisseau Jackson, the source of more than 50% of Echo Lake’s water, to ultimately protect the health of the lake for generations to come.
PAUL LAVOIE was awarded the Mayor’s Trophy in 2019. Paul conceptualized, produces and carries all costs related to JAZZ ON THE ROCK (see social activities). All lake residents and their friends are invited to enjoy from their own boats a musical performance staged on the Hope Lavoie property, sights and sounds reverberating onto the lake. This highly anticipated annual event reflects the lifestyle favoured by lake residents and reinforces their community spirit.
CHRISTIANE LANGEVIN received the Mayor’s Trophy in 2020 to recognize the extensive research and synthesis work done by Christiane to conceptualize, write and update the Echo Lake website. While being a hub of practical references, the website also hosts in a user friendly way, the history of Echo Lake, its traditions and the Laurentian way of life of its residents. In addition, easy to refer to chapters, allow users to have access to government regulations with regards to residential construction, shoreline development and environmental protection in Morin-Heights.
The following trophies do not awarded for regatta-related activities. However, as they have a history associated with Echo Lake and are won at events to which all residents are invited, we thought they should be mentioned here for the record.
TROPHY: CLUB DE PÉTANQUE du lac Écho CHAMPIONS
The game of Petanque has been popular at Echo Lake for generations. There are still a few Petanque fields on private homesteads that are witness to the popularity of the game. We do not know who introduced the game to the lake, but it is probably because of its friendly and inclusiveness qualities that the game has become so popular. In the 1970s, there was even an Echo Lake Petanque Club. The Club had its trophy awarded each year from 1973 to 1977. The Hope-Lavoie family has revived this passion for Petanque at Echo Lake by designing a new field on their property and inviting lake residents to a friendly tournament the day after the Jazz on the Rock event. The original trophy of the Petanque Club was recently found (in the old Kaplan house) and has since been awarded yearly.
The SMOLSKI MICHAUD GOLF Trophy
The first Echo Lake golf tournament was part of the 2012 Echo Lake Centennial Celebrations program. The event was so popular that it became an annual event. It takes place at the Balmoral Club in Morin-Heights where several lake residents are members. However, it is the trophy awarded to the winning team that is noteworthy. It was created for the Centenary from an ice bucket, bearing the crest of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, found half buried in the mud on the waterfront of a property that belonged to the Smolski family on Log Village Road, a family renowned for its lifestyle of fun and celebration, pure assumption it goes without saying since we have no proof!