Irish Canadians in Montreal will gather this weekend for the first Irish Family Day.

In an attempt to stimulate interest in Irish culture and heritage, organizers have put together an event which will focus on Irish cultural and sporting traditions.

Speaking about the upcoming event, organizers said: “Continuing in the tradition of the community atmosphere of the annual sports days that are still held throughout rural Ireland there will be kids games, some mini rugby, hurling and Gaelic football demonstrations, races and activities for the adults."

While the Montreal St.Patrick's Parade remains the most important date for Irish ex-pat celebrations, organizers wanted to celebrate their heritage during the summer also.

"We want to break the thought that nothing ever happens outside of March," said Alistair O'Hara, the outgoing president of Montreal's St. Patrick's Society and one of the day's organizers.

The Irish Family Day will take place in the off-island suburb of Ste. Julie.

Paul Loftus, president of the Montreal chapter of the Ireland Canada Chamber of Commerce, said his hope is the event will become an annual one, and that it will solidify the larger community year-round.

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