National Philanthropy Day 2023 will be celebrated on November 15 IN THE EVENING!

Since 1986, November 15 is National Philanthropy Day! Each year on this date, over a hundred AFP chapters organise events across North America.

AFP Quebec marks the occasion by awarding its prestigious Excellence in Philanthropy Awards, which celebrate the leadership and extraordinary community involvement of exceptional individuals, businesses and organisations.

Here’s the program for the evening:

Welcome and networking cocktail: From 5 p.m., come to the 3rd floor of the Centre Mont-Royal to register and pick up your badge. Take advantage of the networking cocktail to meet colleagues and key players in the world of philanthropy.

Awards dinner: At 6:15 p.m., we’ll gather for a dinner on the 4th floor to recognize our 2023 laureates. We will be honoured to present our prestigious 2023 Excellence in Philanthropy Awards. It will be an opportunity to celebrate their outstanding achievements. Our winners will share their stories and experiences with us. You’ll have the chance to hear inspiring stories that remind us of the power of philanthropy.


The ceremony will be hosted by Michel Poulin, Senior Consultant



Michel Poulin’s Biography








Wednesday, November 15, 2023 from 5 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

Rate *

Early-bird price 2023 (up to and including September 8, 2023)

Table of 10: $1,500
Member: $140
Non-member: $165

Regular rate 2023 (from September 9, 2023)

Table of 10: $1,800
Member: $165
Non-member: $190

* pluapplicable taxes


Centre Mont-Royal
2200 Mansfield Street, Montreal, QC H3A 3R8



2023 Jury

The 2023 Excellence Awards Jury is made up of renowned individuals from the business community and charities.


2023 Recipients 

Award for Outstanding Major Donor
Marvin and Philippa Carsley, Carsley Family Foundation

Marvin and Philippa Carsley were nominated by the Montreal Heart Institute.

Marvin and Philippa Carsley stand out not only as veteran entrepreneurs, who have built an empire ranging from importing wines to exporting textiles, but above all as iconic figures in Quebec philanthropy. Having built business relationships that extend from Montreal to Hong Kong, they have left their most profound mark of compassion in their native province.

Their generosity has included major contributions to pillars of the health system in Quebec, such as the Montreal Heart Institute, the Jewish General Hospital and the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal. But their vision does not end there. In 1997, they created the Carsley Family Foundation, involving the next generation represented by their son, Robert, and ensuring that their philanthropic heritage lives on.

The scope of their altruism is vast. Thanks to their financial support of close to $15 million, the Montreal Heart Institute was able to push the limits of research and technology to fight cardiovascular diseases, the world’s leading health scourge. The Institute even named a pavilion in their honour in 2022 in recognition of their exceptional contribution.

The Carsley couple embody the very spirit of generous donors, inspiring the entire community through their devotion and vision. Their influence goes beyond the money donated; they are a source of hope and provide an example for future generations.

Award for Outstanding Corporate Major Donor
Sun Life

Sun Life was nominated by the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation.

Deeply rooted in Quebec for 158 years, Sun Life is much more than an insurance company. Its service offer has expanded to include wealth management and customized health programs. Today, it is a proud leader in its sector, serving a varied clientele ranging from individuals to major companies, in Canada and around the world.

Every action Sun Life takes is guided by a clear objective: to help clients attain lasting financial security and healthy lifestyle habits. This vision comes into focus particularly in its philanthropic activities in Quebec, Canada and across the globe. Deeply engaged in improving people’s lives and well-being, Sun Life has donated $45 million to date in the global fight against diabetes.

In 2018, its commitment to this cause took concrete form, in remarkable fashion, with the creation of the Sun Life Diabetes Prevention and Remission Clinic at the Centre ÉPIC of the Montreal Heart Institute. This clinic is a symbol of innovation in preventive medicine in Canada. It’s method, focussed on transforming the lives of patients, is a game changer in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes care.

Thanks to Sun Life, thousands of people have regained hope and benefited from a less conventional, but effective approach to fighting this chronic disease. It’s this avant-garde vision and profound commitment to the community that has make Sun Life an exemplary award winner.

Award for Outstanding Volunteer in Philanthropy
Isabelle Marcoux, C.M., Executive Chair of the Board, Transcontinental Inc.

Isabelle Marcoux was nominated jointly by the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation and Centraide of Greater Montreal.

Isabelle Marcoux has served as Chair of the Board of Directors of Transcontinental since 2012. She is a key figure in fundraising in Quebec. She started her career as a lawyer at McCarthy Tétrault, and quickly climbed the ladder to become an influential business leader.

Her passion for philanthropy is palpable, particularly at the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation (MCHF). Thanks to Isabelle, Transcontinental has generously supported the Foundation over the years, enabling, among other things, the creation of a clinic for children with esophageal atresia. She also co-chairs the Cabinet for the 2019-2026 Capital Campaign of the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation. In 2023, under her co-leadership, the Children’s Ball raised a record $1.5 million. Moreover, she has been a pillar of the “Thinking Outside the Box” campaign of the MCHF, which aims to raise $200 million in seven years. Isabelle contributed almost $3 million to this noble cause.

Isabelle has also invested generously in Centraide of Greater Montreal. In 2021, the organization presented her with the Michèle Thibodeau-DeGuire Award for her unwavering commitment to various committees and fundraising campaigns. Since 2021, Isabelle has been the Honorary President of the Major Donors Circle, which she chaired from 2018 to 2020.  She also co-chaired Centraide of Greater Montreal’s 2016 campaign and the 2015 Leaders’ Circle campaign. Throughout her career, Isabelle has co-chaired several fundraising events and participating in many major fundraising campaigns.

In short, Isabelle Marcoux’s commitment to fundraising in Quebec is immense. Thanks to her leadership, vision and devotion, she has transformed the lives of many families and children. She is a source of inspiration for anyone who wishes to bring positive change to their community.

Award for Outstanding Corporate Citizen (fewer than 500 employees)
Pacini restaurants
Pacini restaurants was nominated by the Véro & Louis Foundation

Pacini, much more than simply a restaurant chain, has become an iconic figure of Italian gastronomy in Canada. With 25 flourishing restaurants, the brand is well-known for its all-you-can-eat Bread Bar®, a signature feature. And that’s not all. Each year, inspired by visits to Italy, Pacini enhances its menu with new flavours that delight the tastebuds while preserving the authenticity of Italian traditions.

What truly sets Pacini apart is its unwavering commitment to philanthropy. Since 2019, the company has been engaged in a fruitful collaboration with the Véro & Louis Foundation. Pacini’s contribution goes beyond simple donations: a portion of the brand’s sales is generously donated to the Foundation, for a total of more than $205,000 to date.

Pacini’s involvement doesn’t stop at dollars and cents. In a genuine gesture of caring, it offers meals to workers on construction sites, organizes workshops for the Foundation’s residents and, above all, promotes integration by actively employing people with autism.

This process of inclusion, combined with awareness-raising initiatives, shows that Pacini is not only a restaurant chain, but a true social leader. Following AFP Quebec’s ethical standards to the letter, Pacini has ensured that each of its actions was transparent and integrated. Within the constellation of Canadian business, Pacini shines bright for its cuisine and—above all—for its generous heart.

Award for Outstanding Corporate Citizen (500 or more employees)
Danone Canada

Danone was nominated by Breakfast Club of Canada. 

Since 1996, Danone Canada has distinguished itself as a key partner of Breakfast Club of Canada, devoting resources and effort to feed children across the country. Its generosity is expressed through impressive donations of more 25 million products, and a solid financial commitment, including a pledge to invest $1.2 million to support the opening of school nutrition programs where needs are the greatest, including in remote areas and Indigenous communities.

Danone goes beyond simple financial donations: its employees, devoted to the cause, invest their time as volunteers, strengthening the tie between the company and the Club’s mission. Flagship initiatives, such as Feed a Child Challenge, translate Danone’s continuous commitment into education and nutrition. Danone is not content to act on its own—the company also mobilizes the community, encouraging others to get involved. Its active participation on the Club’s Board of Directors and events like Danone Day illustrate this fruitful collaboration.

Combining professionalism, ethics and passion, Danone makes a real difference, guaranteeing a nutritious breakfast to thousands of children every morning. Its holistic approach and unwavering determination make Danone a solid pillar of Breakfast Club of Canada.

Award for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy (ex-aequo)
Arianna Silla, student, Université de Montréal
Mateo and Rafael Cardenas, students, Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf

Arianna Silla, student at Université de Montréal

Arianna Silla was nominated by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC).

Arianna Silla is a young woman of 25 who stands out for her resilience and tireless commitment to the fight against blood cancers. A student at Université de Montréal, Arianna is not only a determined academic but a survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which she was diagnosed with when she was 23 years old.

Despite the challenges of the disease, Arianne became a source of inspiration and a pillar of support for the community of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC). In 2022, she brilliantly took up the challenge to raise funds, and single-handedly amassed $34,655, making her the top individual fundraiser for the Light The Night campaign. Her determination and story not only inspired her team, but also contributed to a global impact of nearly $161,000 in support of the LLSC’s mission.

Arianna agreed to become the spokesperson for the Light The Night campaign, becoming an influential ambassador for the LLSC. Through her testimonial, she encouraged other young adults to share their experiences and actively commit to the fight against blood cancers. Her story also enabled parents and loved ones to better understand and support the challenges faced by young people with cancer.


Mateo and Rafael Cardenas, students, Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf

Mateo and Rafael Cardenas were nominated by the Fondation du Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf.

Mateo and Rafael Cardenas, 16-year-old twins from Peru, live in Montreal and have been studying at Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf since 2019. Recognized for their team spirit, organizational sense and creativity, they stand out for their involvement in various school and extracurricular initiatives as well as for their altruistic commitment to seniors and disadvantaged children in Montreal and in Lima, Peru.

Both brothers are accomplished musicians: Mateo plays the transverse flute and Rafael plays the clarinet. Over the last two years, they have also participated in the show “100 génies,” broadcast on Radio-Canada.

Following their initiative to break the isolation experienced by senior women in Lima and in Montreal during the pandemic, the Quebec government’s 25th edition of Hommage bénévolat-Québec awarded them the 2022 Claude-Masson award for volunteer youth involvement and, in 2023, La famille du lait awarded them a scholarship as part of the contest “Les 15 jeunes essentiels du Québec.” Moreover, Rafael was named an ambassador of the St. Laurent Volunteer and Community Centre (St. Laurent ABC Centre) in December 2022 for his active involvement in the community.

Their sensitivity to the most underprivileged children motivated them to take on various projects when they were in high school. In recognition of their efforts, they received social commitment and leadership scholarships from Collège Brébeuf.

In February 2023, the twin brothers organized a benefit event at Brébeuf to fund stays and meals for disadvantaged youth at an integration centre for abandoned youth in Lima, and at the Lac Simon vacation camp, for children from the Montreal neighbourhhood of Point St. Charles,  in particular. The event brought together more than 400 people and raised over $10,000. This initiative, despite challenges, benefited from their leadership and their ability to mobilize public figures, including Gregory Charles and Georges Laraque.

Innovative and determined, Mateo and Rafael show remarkable leadership and a keen sense of ethics.



Mateo (left) and Rafael (right)

Award for Rising Star of AFP Quebec
Justine Lacasse, Communications and Philanthropic Development Coordinator, Fondation de l’Hôpital de Memphrémagog

Justine Lacasse was nominated by the Fondation de l’Hôpital de Memphrémagog.

Justine Lacasse is the shining light of the Fondation de l’Hôpital de Memphrémagog. A graduate in Communications from UQAM with significant experience at the Montreal Heart Institute, she was quickly able to bring energy and innovation to the Foundation. With unparalleled creativity, she has mobilized a new generation of donors with her refreshing and targeted approach.

Her successes include putting on original events, one of which featured a drag queen, and reinventing the Foundation’s communication campaigns, which has helped to define its image and initiatives, and attract new partners. She has also made use of local products, including exceptional maple syrup, to create unforgettable experiences.

But beyond her tangible successes, it’s her human commitment that makes her stand out. Whether it’s the warm support she gives to new members of her team or her constant quest for professional development, Justine is truly a rising star in the world of fundraising. Her respect for AFP Quebec’s principles is a testament to her devotion to the cause. In short, Justine is a source of inspiration for us all. 

Award for Outstanding Career in Philanthropy
Martin Munger, Executive Director, Food Banks of Quebec
Martin Munger was nominated by Food Banks of Quebec.

Martin Munger embodies excellence in philanthropy in Quebec. With more than three decades of experience, he has made his mark on non-profit organizations, proving himself to be a strategic leader with remarkable achievements.

At the Quebec Division of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, he oversaw a 110% increase in revenues in five years. At the Kidney Foundation, his vision drove an 85% increase in revenues in five years. Along with his team, Centraide of Greater Montreal’s campaign raised $50 million annually.

The Executive Director of Food Banks of Quebec since 2021, Martin successfully navigated the upheaval of the pandemic, tripling support from corporate partners and securing major subsidies from the Quebec government. But beyond the numbers, it’s his human commitment that stands out: as a mentor for a new generation, as a passionate instructor, and as a relentless advocate of ethics and transparency, which earned Food Banks of Quebec a 5-star rating from Charity Intelligence under his direction. 

Martin is not simply a leader, he’s a visionary, a builder and a source of inspiration for fundraising in Quebec. His successes, his passion and his integrity have made him an iconic figure in the field, deserving of all our respect and appreciation.

Crédits photo Stevens Leblanc, Le Journal de Québec

Award for Outstanding Non-Profit Organisation
Chez Doris

Chez Doris nominated itself. 

In the heart of Montreal, Chez Doris is a beacon of hope for women in precarious situations. Since 1977, this organization has been offering more than simply a shelter; it provides meals, medical care, social and recreational activities, and a safe, judgment-free space. Its origins, marked by a tragic event, are a reminder of the urgency to act  in support of women in need. 

When the pandemic hit, Chez Doris showed exceptional adaptability, extending its services and operating 24 hours a day with added service hours and the use of a hotel to lodge women overnight who were experiencing homelessness. Its recent initiatives include an emergency shelter for 24 women, and two residences offering permanent social housing for 46 women in precarious situations or experiencing homelessness. In one year, the organization  recorded more than 28 000 visits, distributed thousands of hygiene kits and served more than 41 000 meals.

Behind each statistic are stories, and the possibility of a new future thanks to Chez Doris’s commitment. This is living proof that in a complex city like Montreal, compassionate actions can have lasting positive repercussions. Chez Doris symbolizes the conviction that each woman deserves respect and dignity.

Award for Jury’s Special Choice
Les Lucioles du Phare

The Lucioles du Phare was nominated by Le Phare, Enfants et Familles.

Charlotte and Pénépole, two lively souls aged 9 and 7, made eye contact one day, and Les Lucioles was born. Today, it brings together 30 children between the ages of 6 and 12, working relentlessly for the noble cause of Le Phare, Enfants et Familles. The story started in 2020, during the Québec-Montréal challenge. Seeing Charlotte and her father fervently supporting walkers out raising donations, the idea took root and Les Lucioles found their raison d’être.

These children, filled with energy and motivation, decided to devote their time and passion to Le Phare. This gesture immediately touched the team. Mélanie Séguin, Marketing Advisor at Le Phare, Enfants et Famille, states: “Les Lucioles represent the next generation of philanthropists.”

Magalie Moreau, Charlotte’s mother and founder of Les Lucioles, sees this initiative as something that goes well beyond fundraising. For her, Les Lucioles represents a generation of children whose values are solidly anchored in sharing. Their commitment to the project not only reinforces their ties to the group, but also their sense of belonging to their community.

Les Lucioles is much more than a simple fundraising initiative. It’s a movement, it’s energy, carried by children and supported by parents who see in their offspring future citizens of a world filled with generosity. These children, through their actions, inspire those around them, reminding one and all of the importance of solidarity and sharing.