Take your pick: adrenaline packed or slow and contemplative?
Published on Aug 18, 2020
Our “Cœurs villageois” are cities and towns that stand out because of their commitment to develop and showcase the best they have to offer, as much for the wellbeing of their citizens, their local businesses as for their visitors. Overall, they’re proud representatives of the Eastern Townships! But how was this network established and what motivated Tourism Eastern Townships to initiate such a project?
By Marie-Claude Masse
In 2016, the Cœurs villageois network officially was officially launched, after a pilot project was carried out a year earlier. The different sector stakeholders involved felt a strong sense of pride as they saw that its success greatly surpassed their expectations. The objective of Cœurs villageois? To support municipalities that wish to develop and improve their tourism offer, while still conserving their town’s local colour and character.
However, this privileged network, which presently counts 13 members, won’t just accept anyone! In fact, each town recognized as part of the Cœurs villageois network must comply with a grid containing very strict criteria including the elected officials’ political commitment and the quality of the site. It also takes into account the town’s economic and cultural vitality, its openness, the information offered to visitors and their interregional relations.
To belong to the Cœurs villageois network, also means that the town is committed to promote local products, to showcase exceptional services, activities and attractions, notably, by offering memorable experiences to its visitors. And all this, while keeping in mind a long-term vision. From the perspective of a sustainable and social development, everyone wins! Indeed, beautifying a town, highlighting its characteristics and activating its social and business sectors profits citizens, business owners and tourists alike. Plus, as a bonus, it promotes the town’s local identity and the perennity of its social ties.
The network, as it revitalizes communities by highlighting their authenticity and the distinctive character of their heritage, is unique in Quebec, and probably in Canada as well! Our proud representatives include the towns of Coaticook, Cookshire-Eaton, Danville, Dunham, Eastman, Brome-Lake (Knowlton), Lambton, Mansonville, Piopolis, Scotstown, Sutton, Ayer’s Cliff and Waterloo. They were all able to meet the 44 criteria necessary to receive a Cœur villageois certification. Each of these municipalities has established their own Cœur villageois committee, made up of members of the community, who make sure everyone respects their commitment, and introduce ideas to propose new activities every year.
Finally, the Cœurs villageois logo represents the citizens’ attachment to their community and stands for the principle that each town or city centre touches the hearts of visitors who discover them. As for the slogan, it is truly a promise these towns make to offer a rare experience in our modern-day world: “Here time slows down.” So, don’t hesitate any longer, stop your clocks awhile as you visit one of our 13 timeless Cœurs villageois.
2 metres, 20 seconds, a face covering... You know the drill. This summer, we all need to do our part to make this vacation season both enjoyable and responsible.
(In fact, I can even stand apart.)
(Anyways in #touristmode, I'm in no hurry!)
(Ring ahead to avoid the crowd... it’s that simple!)
(I promise... this is no time to joke around.)
Together - For a safe vacation - Let’s be responsible.