2020 HONORARY LAUREATE

L. JACQUES MÉNARD, C.C., G.O.Q., C.O.M., LLD.

Mr. Ménard was a great businessman, but mostly, he was a leader with a high level of civic engagement. Known as an ardent advocate for student retention among youth in Quebec, he was also involved in causes ranging from health, arts and culture, women’s advancement and the development of Indigenous communities.

Play Video

This video has been produced thanks to the generosity of NATIONAL

Past Peace Medals laureates

People and groups who have received a Peace Medal have come from all walks of life: artists, volunteers, community or health workers, support groups, etc. To see the profiles of past laureates or to join our community, visit our website.

L. JACQUES MÉNARD, C.C., G.O.Q., C.O.M., LLD.

Mr. Ménard was a great businessman, but mostly, he was a leader with a high level of civic engagement. Known as an ardent advocate for student retention among youth in Quebec, he was also involved in causes ranging from health, arts and culture, women’s advancement and the development of Indigenous communities.

In 2008, worried about the future, L. Jacques Ménard was looking for a project that would mobilize Quebec and prompt its citizens to think big. He wrote Si on s’y mettait…, a book that stressed the urgent need to join forces to build a dynamic society for the next generation. After the publication of this in-depth work inspired by interviews, he founded the Groupe d’action sur la persévérance et la réussite scolaire. Thanks to his leadership, public authorities, business and community groups mobilized for the cause of student retention. This mobilization had a positive and measurable impact, particularly among underprivileged populations.

Mr. Ménard always made philanthropy and civic engagement a priority. Cut here with “read more…” For over 30 years, he was active in organizations like Oxfam-Québec, which he co-founded and ran, Centraide, Fondation Mobilys for student retention, Youth Fusion, EPOC Montréal, Fondation CHU Sainte-Justine, the Montreal Heart Institute, Concordia University, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Comité de travail sur la pérennité du système de santé du Québec, the Je vois Mtl citizens movement and Le Diamant in Quebec City. He was known for his ability to mobilize others and his strategic and effective leadership.

In his role as President Emeritus of BMO Financial Group, Jacques Ménard advanced the bank in its mission to double the good for an inclusive society by committing to zero obstacles to inclusion. Through his involvement in various causes and his philosophy of civic engagement, he launched initiatives like BMO for Women for female entrepreneurs. He supported the bank in its commitment to provide products and services tailored to the needs of Indigenous communities, a BMO initiative recognized by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.

In November 2013, Mr. Ménard was appointed companion in the Order of Canada, and in 2017, was named grand officer of the National Order of Quebec, not to mention his appointment as commander of the Ordre de Montréal. Launched on Montreal’s 375th anniversary, the Ordre de Montréal took over from the Academy of Great Montrealers, which Mr. Ménard joined in 2009.

L. Jacques Ménard passed away in February, but his work continues to impact society and the philanthropic community. The YMCA is proud and honoured to highlight his contribution, along with other engaged citizens, on the 33rd edition of the 2020 YMCA Peace Medals dinner-gala.

Play Video

YMCA Holiday Raffle

Support youth in your community and get a chance to win fabulous prizes!