The 2018 Excellence Awards Jury was made up of renowned individuals from the business community and charities, as well as being all award winners from previous editions of the event.

The Chairperson of the jury is Ms. Marjolaine Lachance, Senior Manager, Community Investment, Bell Canada and past recipient of the AFP Outstanding Corporation Award (2015).

The other members who participated in the deliberations are:

  • Myer Bick, President Emeritus, Jewish General Hospital Foundation and AFP Award for Outstanding Career in Philanthropy (2017)
  • Pierre Boivin, President and CEO, Claridge Inc. and AFP Award for Outstanding Volunteer (2012)
  • Jacques Chartrand and Andrée Robert, AFP Award for Outstanding Volunteer (2014)
  • Marie-Andrée Farmer, Manager, Corporate Donations, Manulife
  • Geneviève Paquette, Vice President, Community Engagement and Foundation General Manager, Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation
  • Lucie Rémillard, President, LR Strategies and AFP Award for Outstanding Career in Philanthropy (2016)
  • Fabrice Vil, Co-Founder and President, Pour 3 Points and AFP Award for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy (2015)
  • Jonathan Wener, Chairman & CEO, Canderel, AFP Award for Outstanding Corporation (2016)

Recipients 2018

Award for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, under 18 years old
Jérémy Plourde, Volunteer, Opération Enfant Soleil

Determination, courage and leadership are the qualities that define this award winner. He inspires and rallies people around the causes he supports, making him an exceptional ambassador. Affected by a neuromuscular disease and an immune deficiency, Jérémy Plourde made it his mission to bring hope to other sick children. In just two years, he has managed to raise $178,630 for Opération Enfant Soleil, a cause that is particularly dear to his heart, since he himself is an Enfant Soleil.  Despite his young age, Jérémy has taken part in 10 fundraising initiatives and does not plan to stop there. He is filled with the sense of humanity and boundless generosity that are at the very root of philanthropy.

Award for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, 18-35 years old
Olivia Monton, President and Founder, Live for the Cause

This inspiring young woman has been actively involved in philanthropy for more than 10 years. A fractured spine at the age of 13 motivated Olivia Monton to begin volunteering. In 2014, she founded Live for the Cause (LFTC), creating a platform for young Montrealers to learn about different causes and discover what they feel most passionate about. Collectively with the LFTC committee, Olivia has raised more than $120,000 for various local and grassroots organizations in Montreal and has engaged over 10,000 Montrealers in local philanthropy. Today, Olivia is a full-time medical student at McGill, and most of her free time is still dedicated to her philanthropic initiatives.

Award for Outstanding Corporation, Fewer than 250 employees

Bitumar was founded in Montreal in 1977. Passed down from father to son, the philanthropic values of its leaders have made Bitumar a compassionate corporate citizen engaged in the community. The company believes in the importance of forging lasting ties with the organizations it supports, in particular, the CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation, which has received support from the Thériault family for 20 years. In addition to supporting organizations devoted to health, education and poverty alleviation, Bitumar strongly encourages social engagement among its employees and has even set up a donation-matching program to double their donations. Beyond question, Bitumar’s entrepreneurial identity is deeply rooted in its commitment to making a real difference in the community.

Award for Outstanding Corporation, 250 or more employees

Promoting a healthy lifestyle is the cornerstone of Saputo’s community engagement. With philanthropy at the heart of its corporate values, Saputo has invested over $11.25 million Canadian dollars in the communities where it is present. Thanks to its various partnerships and programs, 2.1 million people have benefitted from its support. In addition, through its Legacy Program, $2.36 million dollars have been invested in 38 communities to improve their sports and health facilities. Finally, Lino A. Saputo, Jr.’s exemplary community engagement, including with Centraide of Greater Montreal and the Montreal Heart Institute, is an inspiration not only to Saputo employees, but to the entire business community.

Award for Outstanding Philanthropist
Paul Desmarais, jr, O.C., O.Q., Power Corporation and Power Financial

Paul Desmarais, Jr. considers philanthropy to be a fundamental value in our society. Guided since childhood by respect, responsibility and humanitarianism, he realized very early on the importance of giving as a way we can enrich ourselves as human beings. His engagement, persuasiveness and strong leadership have inspired many others to invest in important causes with the same unwavering spirit of loyalty that he has demonstrated. Through his work with Centraide of Greater Montreal, in particular the Major Donors Circle, which he founded in 1997, Mr. Desmarais, Jr. has made his mark in the world of Canadian philanthropy by creating long-lasting synergies between business people and social entrepreneurs. Many other organizations have benefited from his support, including Sainte-Justine, True Patriot Love, and the Nature Conservancy of Canada, to name just a few. He embodies the true meaning of the word “philanthropy”: love of humankind.

Award for Outstanding Volunteer
Harvey Levenson, Jewish General Hospital Foundation and Power to Heal campaign

Harvey Levenson has a contagious personality. He also has the ability to motivate and lead high-performing teams of volunteers. Harvey’s personal conviction to build a healthier, more resilient society has distinguished his life-long, successful “career” as a dedicated and generous volunteer.   Charitable dollars raised were simply a means to a higher purpose – to elevate the quality of life of those less fortunate. Harvey’s twenty-year service on the Board of the Jewish General Hospital Foundation and, in particular, his Chairmanship of the most recent Power to Heal Campaign, is a most tangible expression of translating dollars into direct programs and services which benefit the thousands of patients who pass through the JGH on every day.

Award for Outstanding Career in Philanthropy
Catherine Rowe, CFRE, CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation

Catherine Rowe’s brand of philanthropy is driven by passion for important causes, the conviction that in working together we can go further and the ability to rally talented individuals to achieve ambitious goals. One of the first in Quebec to obtain CFRE certification, she held key positions at Centraide of Greater Montreal and the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital before joining the CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation. She plays a major role in advancing funding for research and is pivotal in maintaining partnerships with other institutions, a reflection of her conviction that the philanthropy of tomorrow will see causes working hand in hand. Highly engaged with her philanthropic peers, she offers mentorship and training as part of AFP Quebec Chapter activities.

Award for Jury’s Special Choice
Kathy Fazel, Women Investing for Impact and Foundation of Greater Montréal

For Kathy Fazel, philanthropy is a passion. She lends her expertise in finance to foster local and international  philanthropy , support good causes, and empower women. She co-founded Women Investing For Impact because she believed in the power of investing to create a positive social impact beyond financial returns. She sets an example of philanthropic engagement for all Montrealers as a member of the Board of the Montreal Community Foundation. Kathy is a governor emerita of McGill University and served as president of the Boards of Directors of CFA Montréal, The Financial and Estate Planning Council of Montreal as well as the Fondation Projet Chance, which provides subsidized housing to low-income single mothers pursuing full-time education.