After more than 25 years of absence, the Société de protection des forêts contre le feu (SOPFEU) is happy to announce the great return of a character that captured the imagination of a great many children during the 1980s. Garofeu, the proud little chipmunk, is back on duty at SOPFEU and will be the organization’s spokes-creature with children and families to promote forest fire prevention.
Knowing that young people are a vector for social change, SOPFEU wishes to contribute to training a new generation of responsible citizens about the use of fire. While targeting young people, the organization is also calling on parents to be models for their children. Throughout the 2020 season, a series of 12 vignettes presenting “Garofeu’s tips for the whole family” will be disseminated on social media. In addition, over the coming months, the SOPFEU prevention team will develop learning material for preschool and elementary school children.
Garofeu made a first public appearance on May 31, 1979, with the Minister of Lands and Forests of the era, Yves Bérubé, on the occasion of a banquet for the 40th anniversary of the Association forestière québécoise. The likable character then became the figurehead for prevention campaigns conducted by Conservation-Québec, an organization of the seven conservation agencies tasked with forest protection before the creation of SOPFEU.
Garofeu is a chipmunk, commonly referred to as an eastern chipmunk. This creature was chosen over all other animals because, of course, it’s adorable, but also because of its forest skills. The reputation of the chipmunk is beyond reproach. It is likeable and farsighted. It is often seen in the forest and has excellent conservation habits.
The name Garofeu was chosen following a competition organized by Conservation-Québec during which more than 10,000 suggestions were received. Young Marc Bérubé, from La Tuque, won the $100 promised by the Ministère des terres et Forêts.
To mark the great comeback, Garofeu is launching a colouring contest for children 12 and under, aimed at promoting compliance with open fires prohibitions as well as the use of fireplaces with spark arrestors. Another goal is to present safe and environmentally friendly options for the burning of waste and green residues, which cause about 150 forest fires each and every spring.
This contest is open to all children in Québec aged 12 and under with the permission of a parent or guardian.
Each child can submit up to three different drawings, sent on three separate occasions.
Drawings and registration forms must be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to Garofeu, 715, 7e rue de l’Aéroport, Québec (Québec) G2G 2S7.
Contest winners will be chosen by random draw among the drawings received by June 1, 2020 at 9 a.m.
A total of 75 children’s backpacks, worth $20 each, will be awarded by random draw among all entries. The draw will take place at SOPFEU’s head office, on June 2, 2020, at 3 p.m. The list of winners will be unveiled on SOPFEU’s Facebook page. Winners will be contacted by phone or email. They will receive their prize by regular mail.
The same child cannot win more than one prize. Children and grandchildren of SOPFEU personnel are not eligible.
A dispute regarding the organization or conduct of a publicity contest can be submitted to the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux for a decision. A dispute regarding the awarding of a prize can be submitted only for the purpose of an attempt by the Régie to resolve it.