Because outside is the best side: MEC is stoked to announce first ever MEC Outdoor Nation Weekends in Toronto and Montreal, with hundreds of young people urban camping for a cause

VANCOUVER, March 26, 2015 /CNW/ - MEC Outdoor Nation Weekends are coming to Toronto and Montreal, turning city landmarks into overnight campout parties for the outside tribe. 150 young adults will camp out at Montreal's Old Port and at Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto, experiencing two days in the great urban outdoors alongside some of their favourite things: good friends, live music, outdoor activities and campfires.

MEC Outdoor Nation is thrilled to have Universal Music Canada's Sam Roberts Band's "We're All In This Together" as the official song of MEC Outdoor Nation 2015. The Juno-nominated track off the band's new album "Lo-Fantasy" echoes our commitment to collaboration and moving forward together. The song also rocks!

The Weekend campouts are about celebrating a love for being outside while dreaming-up projects that can help other young people experience the outdoors in new ways. As Canada's favourite outdoor collaborator, MEC is helping make it happen through MEC Outdoor Nation, which is fully funded through our commitment to 1% for the Planet. 

Between paddle-boarding, yoga, live music and camping under the stars, there will be hands-on workshops, amazing speakers and time to plan project ideas designed to help get young people outside. MEC will be giving away $20,000 in grants to support these MEC Outdoor Nation projects. MEC has been enabling Canadians to experience the outdoors since the 1970's. However, the methods used to inspire young people to get outside have changed radically and it's young adults driving this change, often incorporating technology in surprising ways. MEC is proud to support these novel projects. See below for the latest pro-outdoor projects developed by 19-30 year olds and funded by MEC Outdoor Nation.

As today's young people enter adulthood, their level of physical activity declines the fastest out of any other age group. MEC started MEC Outdoor Nation in order to support a movement of young adults sharing their love of being active outside with other young adults. MEC Outdoor Nation events are held across the country throughout the year. Events have so far taken place in Vancouver and are scheduled for Montreal and Toronto in 2015.  

Spokespeople from the projects below are available for interviews, as well as Canadian Olympic athlete in sprint kayaking, Hugues Fournel, who sits on the MEC Outdoor Nation's Leadership Council. Examples of projects funded through MEC Outdoor Nation:

Rad Girls Collective
They describe themselves as "messengers of rad" aiming to inspire women to explore the outdoors through social media and organized events. Their inspiring Instagram site has organically grown to include 10,000 followers since the MEC Outdoor Nation Weekend in Vancouver. Check out Instagram.com/radgirlscollective.

Girls Gone Wilderness
This project aims to get more women outdoors in a fun, party-like environment. There's no need to know where to go or what to bring when adventuring in the outdoors - Girls Gone Wilderness teaches these skills and more in a pressure-free setting. Their most recent event involved taking a bus from a favourite local brewery to the forest for a fun hike adventure. There was entertainment along the way, hidden treasures, al fresco disco balls and a ride back to the city.

Nature as a Second Language
It's pretty hard to get outside if the information you need is in the wrong language. Nature as a Second Language takes reliable information about Greater Vancouver's outdoors and translates it into Traditional Chinese. Then, that material is distributed to local universities, colleges, and community organizations so anyone can commune with nature.

MEC Outdoor Nation Montreal
Date: Saturday, May 16, 2015 - Sunday, May 17, 2015
Fee: Free
Location: The Old Port, Montreal
Register: Register at outdoornation.mec.ca. Registration closes on April 10th, 2015. 
The Weekend will be facilitated in French.

MEC Outdoor Nation Toronto
Date: Saturday, June 27, 2015 - Sunday, June 28, 2015
Fee: Free
Location: Evergreen Brick Works, Toronto
Register: Register at outdoornation.mec.ca. Registration closes on May 8h, 2015. 

Our Commitment to 1% for the Planet
Every year MEC members' purchases allow us to donate one percent of sales ($3.2 million in 2014) to Canadian non-profit organizations. It's a relationship called 1% for the Planet, and MEC Outdoor Nation is part of it. These funds go to conserving Canada's beautiful spaces and give everyone a chance to get outdoors and enjoy them. It turns out, 1% is a really big number.

About MEC
Canada's leading outdoor retailer, MEC is passionate about inspiring and enabling everyone to lead active outdoor lifestyles. From city streets and yoga studios to backcountry trails and pristine waterways, MEC matches people with the expertise, experience, enthusiasm and gear they need for camping, snowsports, watersports, cycling, climbing, hiking, running and fitness. MEC has over 3.75 million members across Canada. Become part of MEC with a $5 lifetime membership and visit us at our 17 stores, at www.mec.ca and our Shop MEC iPhone® app.

SOURCE MEC

Image with caption: "MEC Outdoor Nation Weekends are coming to Toronto and Montreal, turning city landmarks into overnight campout parties. (CNW Group/MEC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150326_C6905_PHOTO_EN_13598.jpg

Image with caption: "MEC Outdoor Nation Weekends are coming to Toronto and Montreal, turning city landmarks into overnight campout parties. (CNW Group/MEC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150326_C6905_PHOTO_EN_13599.jpg

Image with caption: "MEC Outdoor Nation Weekends are coming to Toronto and Montreal, turning city landmarks into overnight campout parties. (CNW Group/MEC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150326_C6905_PHOTO_EN_13600.jpg

For further information: Johnny Santilly, Media Profile, 416-342-1841, johnny.santilly@mediaprofile.com


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