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By: Robert Janis

Quebec Federation of Quad Clubs

Quebec Federation of Quad Clubs Galvanize ATVers into Close Knit Community

The work of the Quebec Federation of Quad Clubs (Federation Quebecoise des Clubs Quads/FQCQ) is dedicated to strengthening the community of ATV riders and enthusiasts in the Canadian Province of Quebec. Founded in 1984, the mission of the group is to organize ATV riding activity in a way that respects the needs of landowners, citizens and wildlife. It is also the official voice for ATVers to the Quebec government.

Today FQCQ is strictly an ATV association, but it took time for this to evolve and for the organization’s name to finally settle on the Federation Quebecoise des Club Quads. According to Carole Jolin, editor-in-chief of the “Magazine Sentier Quad,” the official quarterly magazine of the FQCQ, when the group was founded, it was known as the Federation Clubs de Vehicules Tout Terrain du Quebec (Federation of All-Terrain Vehicles Clubs of Quebec). “A few years later, when the federation asked for financial help from the provincial government, we were advised by the government that there was only one federation that represented riders of off-highway vehicles. It turned out that organization was the Federation of Quebec Motorcycles Associations (Federation Quebecoise des Clubs de Motorcyclistes Associes/FQCMA). So in order to get what we needed, we had no other choice but to join the FQCMA. The organization was founded by motorcycle racers, but they soon started to abandon the group and by 1996 there was no reason to keep the name of an organization that referred to motorcycles. So the name was changed to the Quebec Federation of Quad Clubs (Federation Quebecoise des Clubs Quads).”

A Member Based Organization

At the time of its founding, the FQCQ immediately became an organization that individual ATV riders, enthusiasts and dealers could coordinate around. In fact, when the FQCQ was formed ATV dealers, riders and enthusiasts in Quebec were exploring ways they could create trails on which they could ride. “ATVers had to overcome the bad reputation created when three-wheeler ATVs were involved in many accidents due to their poor stability,” explained Jolin. “As a result, the city of Laval, Quebec voted to ban ATV riding on municipal territory. This contributed to the decline of sales of ATVs--even four wheelers. So, two ATV manufacturers in Canada--Suzuki and Yamaha--convinced ATV dealers to hold meetings with ATV owners with the goal of creating local associations or clubs that could build their own trails and provide appropriate places to ride.”  That is exactly what happened. Also, as the clubs were being created, many social activities began to take place around them. For example, said Jolin, “Many ATV clubs built shacks with wood stoves at strategic places along their trails so that members could warm up during the winter. Also, since the FQCQ is an association of ATV clubs, we began to assist by extending trails to each of the club’s trails to provide more interesting possibilities for rides.”

So an important element of FQCQ is to help organize and work with local clubs. Jolin explained that the association provides technical support to every club. There are already a lot of ATV clubs in Quebec. So when people want to create a new club, the regional association of clubs the FQCQ has to be asked to allow a new club in the area. “This is to avoid splitting the membership potential among too many clubs which would make clubs weaker and less self-sufficient. If there is no existing club in an area or if the existing clubs agree to let a new club form, then the FQCQ will provide all the information required to help that new club succeed,” said Jolin. In addition, FQCQ provides legal documents that are necessary for a new club to have. This includes Property Access Rights, Signage Catalogues and how to build trails information. Jolin pointed out that these documents are sold to the new clubs for a minimum fee.

FQCQ works directly with local clubs. It has one volunteer administrator per region, and they meet with the officers of the clubs on a regular basis to inform them about issues and events in which FQCQ are involved.

The FQCQ-membership connection is an important part of the group’s success. So motivating members to get involved is a major concern. The FQCQ uses the media and publishes its own quarterly magazine to serve as tools to motivate ATVers. “We use the magazine to propose some nice rides, vacations, and activities for ATV riders,” said Jolin. “We also make safety and education posters and buy publicity in other magazines and newspapers.  We also have been investing in a popular ATV show ‘Randonnee Quebec Quad’ for the last eleven years.”

This is truly a grass roots association. Two administrators are elected from each club, and they attend the FQCQ annual meeting. It is a two-day event where plans for the future are discussed and voted on. According to Jolin, more than 160 voting representatives attend.

Moreover, FQCQ helps local clubs with their events. “Local clubs organize their own rides, and they often invite us to participate,” said Jolin. “FQCQ also holds four events a year. A local club provides the accommodations for the event, and they can take advantage of it to make money for themselves. The FQCQ promotes the event and also help organize it.” Jolin also pointed out that FQCQ holds an ATV show known as the “Salon National du Quad” which takes place in Laval, Quebec each year. This year’s show will be held on November 13-15.

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