The canal du Midi rowing rally: “A parenthesis out of time”, from Toulouse to Béziers

The canal du Midi – an exceptional yet familiar setting dating back to the 17th century, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is where the oldest rowing race in France takes place. The ATPPR (Association Toulouse Pierre-Paul Riquet) is hosting the canal du Midi Rally from Toulouse to Béziers, from August 15 to 20, 2022.

The canal du Midi Rally was created in 1982 by a group of rowing enthusiasts and professionals. The race has been approved by the French Rowing Federation and is geared towards experienced rowers. For five days, participants cover 200 km – alternating rowing, leaving boats at the locks and putting them back in the water and cycling. This is a race for long-distance rowers, so a good level of fitness is a must.


The race has been a real success and has attracted participants from around the world for many years: New Zealand, South Africa, the United States, Canada, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy… each year, participants are prepared to travel from all four corners of the world to row on the canal du Midi.


As for every edition, the canal du Midi Rally contributes to the preservation of our cultural heritage. The ATPPR donates part of the money raised to replanting the trees along the canal du Midi. It’s a beautiful way to pay tribute to the work of Pierre-Paul Riquet.


To find out more, visit the ATPPR website: canal du Midi Rally | (


Film screening for charity in Lézignan-Corbières on February 25 of the documentary about the “Ultra Marathon along the canal du Midi” by Hamim El Ouardi – pushing yourself to the limits to raise the profile of social and environmental causes.

Driven by a desire to push himself to the limits in pursuit of personal and spiritual development, Hamim El Ouardi, 37, who has worked as a coach and sports instructor in prisons for over 10 years, set himself the challenge of running 241 kilometers (150 miles) along the canal du Midi. Born and raised in Lézignan-Corbières in the Aude département, Hamim has always felt strongly connected to the canal du Midi. Even as a very young child, he loved ambling in the shadow of the plane trees, cycling along the canal banks, stopping to admire the wildlife… Currently based in Avignon, he decided to take up a personal challenge by creating an Ultra Marathon that reflected his identity and values.

With support from several partners*, Hamim embarked on his adventure on September 24, determined to run over two hundred kilometers along one of the celebrated gems of the Occitanie region, from Toulouse to the Onglous Lighthouse. The athlete ran six marathons over three days, after a solo training period lasting 20 months – a feat that delighted and impressed the many admirers who came to support him.

All amateur and committed runners were invited to take part by donating €1 per kilometer, with all funds raised being donated to the “Au-Delà des frontières” association, which aims to organize sporting events for people from vulnerable backgrounds. To raise awareness about environmental issues, and more specifically, the replanting of trees along the canal du Midi, Hamim joined forces with the O2 Drône production crew, who filmed him throughout the adventure in order to put together a souvenir documentary.

On February 25 at 8:30 pm, the film produced will be screened at Le Palace cinema in Lézignan-Corbières as part of a charity event. Admission costs €5, of which €3 will be donated to the canal du Midi replanting project. The film promises to be rich in emotions, offering an insight into what it means to push yourself to the limits, as well as unique images of the canal from every angle!

Dates for your calendar: Come along and support Hamim on September 24 this year, for the second edition, which will take the form of a Triathlon (3.8 km (2.4 miles) swim in the Bassin de Thau, 180 km (112 miles) cycling and a marathon). On your marks, get set, go!

* Lézignan-Corbières Town Council, Comité Régional Handisport Occitanie, SDAM Natural, Rock Distribution, Profylex, Biocoop, O2 Drône, Descorbières, Laurent Luchesse, Made for Sport, Holistic Academy, and Running Conseil Avignon.

More information:

  • Film: “UMCM 2021”
  • Date & time: February 25, 2022, at 8:30 pm
  • Address: Le Palace Cinema – 6 Cr de la République, 11200 Lézignan-Corbières
  • Admission: €5, of which €3 will be donated to the canal du Midi replanting project
  • Information: Hamim El Ouardi – +33 (0)6 23 56 60 53

The canal du Midi, a Giving Tuesday partner in 2021!

To celebrate the 5th Giving Tuesday in France, Nailloux Outlet Village wanted to celebrate the canal du Midi replanting project. Review of a two-stage operation.

Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement that was initiated in 2012. It was last held on Tuesday November 30, 2021 in France, with the aim of encouraging solidarity in all its forms. The event has become all the more important given the negative effects of the COVID crisis on society and solidarity. As a solidarity alternative to Black Friday, Giving Tuesday offers a wealth of inspiring initiatives to get involved in all areas, giving each of us the power to take civic action.

Although fairly recent, having arrived in France in 2018, this solidarity movement has gained momentum in a short period of time. Men and women, associations, organizations, businesses and communities are all contributing to #GivingTuesday. From South Africa to India, and from the United States to Europe, it is a movement that brings together more than 150 countries every year!

For the occasion, the Voies navigables de France patronage program and Nailloux Outlet Village, member of the canal du Midi Patrons Club, decided to join forces to encourage people to donate to the canal du Midi tree restoration program on Tuesday, November 30 and Saturday, December 4.

Why choose Nailloux Outlet Village as a site for Giving Tuesday?

The VNF patronage program began working with Nailloux Outlet Village in 2019, when the outlet village decided to join the canal du Midi Patrons Business Club. The village rapidly became actively involved in the cause, and hosted the “Nouveaux regards sur le canal du Midi” [A fresh look at the canal du Midi] photo exhibition – developed in 2016 to celebrate the canal’s 350th anniversary – in the same year.

In 2020, the shopping center’s exhibition area celebrated the work of Franco-Cuban artist Yoël Jimenez, with a collection of posters dedicated to the replanting project.

In the spring of 2021, the VNF patronage program launched the “Le canal en famille” app in partnership with Nailloux Outlet Village, with the aim of raising awareness among families about restoration of the canal du Midi’s green canopy and to teach them more about this regional heritage in a fun and engaging way.

Last summer, Nailloux Outlet Village hosted an exhibition of photographs of the canal du Midi taken by artist Daniel Banon entitled “A l’ombre du canal du Midi” [In the shadow of the canal du Midi]. The purpose of the exhibition was to spotlight the beauty of the canal du Midi’s green canopy, to raise awareness of the importance of recreating this emblematic landscape for future generations. The works presented were also available for sale to support the replanting program.

It was therefore only natural that Nailloux Outlet Village should be chosen for the two days of replanting awareness events organized for Giving Tuesday, as a continuation of the existing partnership.

The two days of action

Tuesday, November 30: €1 was donated to Voies navigables de France for each entry to Nailloux Outlet Village. Visitors were able to visit a canal du Midi stand where the VNF patronage program teams were present to answer questions about canker stain and the replanting program. The public was also invited to make micro donations of €3 at a kiosk set up in the outlet village over a period of several months.


Saturday, December 4: the VNF patronage program was once again present at the shopping center, offering several free activities for children and adults. Nailloux Outlet Village has welcomed various speakers, including author and illustrator Marie-Constance Mallard. Violette Mirgue, the mouse-detective created by Marie-Constance and popular among children, served as the theme for a meeting dedicated to discovering the canal du Midi.


The December 4 program of events, in detail:

  • From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Workshop for children led by Marie-Constance Mallard, author of Violette Mirgue, the little darling of the canal du Midi
  • From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.: Walkabout in the period clothes of important characters of the 17th century, organized by the association Historia Temporis
  • 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.: Concert by Archipels, the amateur vocal ensemble of “les éléments” from their Nougaro program, “Autour de Minuit.” The following artists were present: Claire Suhubiette, Hervé Suhubiette, Raphaël Fournié, Etienne Manchon
  • From 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Conference on the Biodiversity of the canal du Midi, hosted by Symbiosphere

A warm thank you to everyone who participated. We appreciate your support!

From Fanjeaux to Bram via Montréal: conquering Lauragais in a particularly lively Canalathlon!

After two successful editions in 2016 and 2018, the Lauragais cluster for regional and rural balance (PETR) once again invited local athletes for a marathon unlike any other, on Sunday, October 17 … read on to find out more about this 3rd edition of the Canalathlon, a solidarity sporting event in aid of the canal du Midi tree replanting project.

The morning mist hadn’t lifted yet when the starting signal for the Canalathlon was given. The 104 teams who had signed up for the event, representing over 400 participants in total – a record since the event’s creation –, took off in the streets of Fanjeaux for the first event of the day: the orienteering race. It wasn’t long before the first teams, some in costume for the occasion, found the markers hidden throughout the village. Next, they seized their bikes to cycle the 7.5 miles separating Fanjeaux from Montréal, where the second stage would begin: a race of one and a quarter miles. It was then the second pair’s turn to jump on a mountain bike for a 5-mile pedal to Béteille lock. For the last stage of the race, the four members of each team, reunited at last, boarded two canoes to reach Bram harbor. The water was cold, but the excitement kept the participants warm. Once moored in Bram harbor, a final effort awaited the teams to complete this sporting event: a 1-mile race to reach the finish line at Château de Lordat in Bram.

Meanwhile, the village of Bram, where the participants would arrive, had been busy preparing for the arrival of the first teams since 10 a.m. Families and passers-by were all able to enjoy many activities set up on site. From bicycles to smoothies, local producers’ markets and exhibitions – there was something for everyone! The VNF patronage program also had its own stand, where Marie-Constance Mallard, author of Violette Mirgue, Le trésor du canal du Midi, give children the opportunity to draw and complete a fresco dotted with Violette Mirgue mice. Once all the participants had arrived, the grounds of Château de Lordat were transformed into a stunning open-air restaurant!



At the end of the day, a check for €1,000 was handed over to Laurent Adnet, Head of the Voies navigables de France patronage program. All donations collected will be used to help finance the vast canal du Midi green canopy restoration project.

What had already been a wonderful day ended on a beautiful note in bright sunshine with the band “Baraka Groove.”


A big thank you to you, our weekend warriors (October 17)!

Carve your name into the “Friends of the canal du Midi” virtual tree!

Thousands of trees still need to be planted to restore the canal du Midi’s canopy that has been ravaged by the disease known as canker stain. You can help us by taking part in our new crowdfunding campaign, which begins on September 24, 2021!

Who hasn’t dreamed of carving their name or initials into the bark of a centuries-old tree along the canal du Midi? Except that,of course, this is forbidden… So why not do it virtually, and make that dream come true while also taking part in a gesture of solidarity?

This is what Voies Navigables de France (VNF) is proposing with their new crowdfunding operation, “Carve your name on the ‘Friends of the canal du Midi’ tree,” which can be found at

For each donation of at least €20, you can carve your name into a branch on a virtual tree, and even choose its species (oak, poplar, maple, linden, etc.).

The larger the donation, the more unique rewards you can claim: an “I’m drawing the future of the canal du Midi” sticker, a postcard of the canal du Midi, the children’s book “Violette Mirgue : le trésor du canal du Midi,” the CD “Nougaro, autour de Minuit” recorded by the choir Archipels and even tickets to the VNF gala dinner at Fouquet’s restaurant in Toulouse on December 9, 2021.

“Every little bit helps,” explains Laurent Adnet, VNF Patronage Manager. “We’re really counting on your generosity. Since people were often asking us if they could sponsor a tree, we came up with this idea.”

See more

VNF’s goal is to raise €60,000 by October 17, 2021, which would enable 400 new trees to be purchased for the canal du Midi.

The VNF patronage team is counting on your generosity and sharing on social media to make this operation a success.

Épargne Occitanie: the canal du Midi replanting project selected by the Occitanie Region

Get involved in the canal du Midi replanting project by making a donation on Wiseed, the solidarity savings platform set up by the Occitanie Region and the Occitanie Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Occitanie Region, in partnership with the Occitanie Chamber of Commerce and Industry and regional crowdfunding company Wiseed, is launching the citizen savings platform Épargne Occitanie that gives local residents the opportunity to invest their savings in regional companies or donate to recognized projects of general interest, thus funding the local economy. The canal du Midi replanting project is one of the 20 projects selected.

You have until the beginning of August to support the canal du Midi replanting project and help us reach our fundraising target of €50,000.

This will go toward:

  • Felling and replanting, to slow the spread of the disease through suitable prophylactic measures;
  • Restoring the banks, as the plane trees’ roots contribute to holding the soil in place;
  • Preserving biodiversity. In order to minimize the impact on the local animal population, felling takes place during two specific periods. During these periods, tree hollows are located and any animals living in them are safely removed. VNF then sets up nesting boxes to make up for the habitats lost due to felling.

Tax deduction and rewards

As with all crowdfunding projects, donors can claim rewards based on the amount they donate.

  • or €50 or more: a photo print of the canal du Midi signed by the photographer, Daniel Banon
  • For €150 or more: the previous reward + one ticket to an open-air film screening at the Cale de Radoub in Toulouse next September (5th edition of the solidarity event to benefit the Canal du Midi)
  • For €300 or more: all previous rewards + the book “L’eau et les siècles” (Editions Privat)

Finally, each donation is eligible for a tax deduction of 66% of the total.


Solidarity savings: what if your savings could help the canal du Midi?

In France, more and more people are deciding to put their money to good use. The idea is that a portion of the interest on savings and investments is donated to general interest projects.

Year after year, the number continues to rise. In fact, 2019 was even a record-breaking year: solidarity savings exceeded the fifteen billion euro mark (+ 3 billion euros, or + 24%)*1.

But how exactly does it work?

“Some of the money invested is donated to solidarity projects that favor social or environmental impact over the pursuit of profit,” explains Patrick Sapy, director of Finansol, to Echos2. Finansol is the leading charity in the sector and creator of the annual solidarity finance barometer. “There is a real sense of enthusiasm from the public. Savers see it as an important commitment to good causes.”

The aim is to combine economy (performance of an investment) and generosity (in support of solidarity projects). It is also sometimes referred to as “shared savings.”

The concept is simple: you put your money into an investment (savings, CIU, time deposit, life insurance) and a portion of the interest received (5%, 10%, etc.) is donated to a project: reintegration, sustainable development, access to employment, solidarity, environmental preservation, etc.

70% of “solidarity savings” involve savings accounts. More and more banks are adding sharing options to their various types of savings account. This is especially true for La Banque postale, Société Générale or Crédit Coopératif, which is the market leader.

There are now even debit and credit cards which donate a few cents to charitable projects or social and solidarity economy projects for each payment made.
“When you make a micro-donation with a credit card or by sharing the interests on your investment, it is relatively painless and more gradual than a one-time donation,” explains Julie Birs, Head of the canal du Midi Patrons Business Club. “On the other hand, for us, this allows us to benefit from stable and regular resources almost automatically.”

In order to diversify the resources of its private fundraising, Voies Navigables de France is therefore exploring partnerships, preferably with regional banks, to create new solidarity banking products in support of the Canal du Midi’s preservation and replanting project.

* (1) According to the 18th solidarity finance barometer published on June 8, 2020 by La Croix and the charity Finansol.

* (2) Les Echos.

Did you know…

There are four main types of solidarity finance:

  1. donation via solidarity savings (payment of all or part of investment interest)
  2. donation of financial securities (stocks or bonds)
  3. donation via a solidarity debit/credit card (payment of an amount along with social contributions or with each use)
  4. solidarity investment products (funding a project through a specific investment that is managed by the bank)

If you wish to take out solidarity savings products, please contact your bank




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