A storm rolled through eastern Canada last weekend, leaving behind roughly six inches of fresh snow in Montreal. It couldn’t have come at a better time. On Saturday morning the Dillon Ojo Snowpark, a free-to-ride terrain park located downtown at the Montreal Olympic Park, opened for its second season of no-cost snowboarding. Hundreds of snowboarders and spectators came out to ride, vibe and pay their respects to the late, great Dillon Ojo at this year’s kickoff party, Ojo Fest 2023. The atmosphere got rowdy quick yet stayed inviting all the while, amounting to a scene with something for everyone to enjoy—exactly how one might imagine that Dillon would’ve wanted it.
The idea for the park came from the Dillon Ojo Lifeline Foundation, a nonprofit founded in memory of the Montrealer who tragically lost his life in an accident at the age of 23 in 2018. The foundation’s mission is to support underprivileged youth through increasing opportunities for them to pursue sports programs and other meaningful activities. They partnered with one of Dillon’s sponsors, Vans, to help bring the snowpark to life last season. Unsurprisingly, in this city full of winter enthusiasts, it was well received.
Ojo Fest 2023 was a sight to see, with Dillon’s best friends and teammates and so many snowboarders who looked up to him gathered for an afternoon of hucking in the heart of Quebec’s biggest city. The park offered up a handful of options for jibbing and jumping. Looking downhill, the rider’s left side of the slope featured warmup hits including a Seen Snowboarding closet-to-flat box followed up by a rainbow box and a tube. Rider’s right was situated with larger, more challenging rails as well as a jump which could be attacked straight on or as a hip. At the base of the hill young children had the opportunity to try sliding around for their first time at the “Learn to Snow” area while Adamo pizza shop served up slices. Nearby the Adamo tent DJ Felix Patry made sure there was never a dull moment on the music front, which Mike Ravelson noted when describing the overall energy at the event as “one of the most fun days of snowboarding” he’s ever had.
These photos capture only a fraction of the fun that went down that day. A small nod to the big impact left by Dillon’s undying energy. Ojo forever.
Get involved with the Dillon Ojo Lifeline Foundation at dillonojo.org.
Special thanks to Vans for sponsoring the Dillon Ojo Snowpark and putting on Ojo Fest 2023. Thanks also to everyone else in the community that helped make this day one to remember.