On August 28, Wikipedia will be organizing an all-day scavenger hunt in Montreal for their 10th anniversary. The idea is simple. It’s a free content photography contest where contestants compete against other teams to capture as many local Montreal sights for Wikipedia as they can within the time frame. Each landmark is allotted a certain amount of points, and the further away they are the more points they’re worth…
The scavenger hunt began in Manhattan in 2008 and the first installment was called First We Take Manhattan, after the Leonard Cohen song. Since then, the scavenger hunt has spread to over 25 other cities. For the 10th anniversary the event chose Montreal because it’s Leonard Cohen’s birthplace. Maybe the Leonard Cohen angle is a clue to one of the locations on the target sheet, but don’t take my word for it.
Participants arrive at L’Escalier at 552 St. Catherine East (between Berri and St. Hubert) at 10am on August 28. Once there, participants will register, receive a breakfast and size up competitors. Then contestants will receive a participant kit that includes a t-shirt and a target list. The target list is basically your bible and includes addresses and cross streets of the landmarks that Wikipedia wants photographs of. Then, the scavenger hunt begins. There doesn’t appear to be any restrictions on how to get from one target to the next. If you’re fiercely competitive, you should consider hiring a sports car and a driver with an excellent understanding of the city and an affection for speeding tickets. After all, it’s a competition.
After a day of running around town in a delirious Wikipedia content snapping fervour, contestants meet back at L’Escalier for the scores to be counted. The three teams with the highest number of points get $300 dollars each, there’s also a mysterious Grand Prize (that may or may not be an amazing camera) and $150 for whoever snaps the best single photo. All in all, it seems like a great way to explore the city and a nice and competitive way to honour Wikipedia, the website that has given us hours of entertainment and user-generated information. Plus, maybe you’ll even win the scavenger hunt. Maybe not. But Wikipedia does so much for us; maybe it’s time to give back.
Wikipedia Takes Montreal, August 28, 2011 (10 am to 6 pm)
Homebase: L’Escalier de Montreal, 552 Ste-Catherine East, (514) 670-5812