Photo by Bruno Guérin

Vans brings a major skate event and permanent skatepark to Montreal

A skateboarding legend and fierce competitors descend on the city next weekend as the Vans Park Series moves east.

After years of being hosted in Vancouver, Vans Park Series’ is moving its Canadian event to Montreal, along with a new legacy skatepark.

The West Coast has generally always been the hub of skateboarding culture, but in recent years, the east has been moving in to claim a piece of recognition. Now with Vans’ stamp of approval, Montreal continues to lead the Canadian skate scene in the east.

Already home to Dime Glory Challenge and Empire Am Getting Paid, Montreal is adding Vans Park Series (VPS) to the roster of world-recognized skateboarding competitions held in the city.

Previously residing at one of Vancouver’s oldest and most iconic skate spots, Hastings Skatepark, the decision was made to not only move the event, but also gift Montreal with Canada’s first permanent legacy skatepark.

“It was a challenging decision to move Vans Park Series,” says Vans Canada marketing manager Alex Auchu. “But the opportunity to bring the event to Montreal, alongside a legacy park, was something that we felt was the right thing to do given the city’s vibrant skateboarding community.”

For over two years, Vans has been working with Olympic Park to donate over 38,500 square feet of skate-dedicated space to the city. Though VPS will be the new park’s inaugural event, it’s built “not only for competitive skateboarders, but for the community at large.”

The annual park terrain world tour touches down in five countries every summer, competing to reach the VPS World Championship in September. For the first time at a Canadian stop, both men and women will be included in the event.

“Inclusion and diversity are deeply woven into Vans’ DNA,” says Auchu. “For 2019, we’re pleased to say that a women’s and men’s event is a part of every stop on the VPS World Tour and VPS remains committed to endorsing prize parity at every stop.”

Legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk will be on location as the official live broadcast commentator for the series alongside co-host Chris Cote, while skaters compete for a $160,000 prize total.

“I’ve seen overall skating talent evolve quickly in recent years,” said Hawk through Vans. “So I’m looking forward to watching that progression in the form of park terrain skateboarding unfold.”

Pedro Barros, the defending men’s pro tour champion for the Canadian stop, will compete alongside other Vans skaters for their chance of dethroning Alex Sorgente and Brighton Zeuner in the 2019 Pro Finals in Salt Lake City. ■

Vans Park Series is happening at the Vans Pro Park (Parc Olympique Esplanade, 4545 Pierre-de-Coubertin), prelims and semi-finals on Friday, July 12, finals and awards on Saturday, July 13, free, all ages