2020 laureates

Every year, the YMCAs of Québec celebrates individuals, groups and corporations who demonstrate vision, creativity and an extraordinary commitment to making our communities, our country or our world more peaceful and just.

With peace as their main focus, they invest tremendous energy in bringing it to life. They inspire us and they deserve to be recognized.

L. Jacques Ménard

Honorary laureate

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.

Lian Boily

Youth Peacemaker (for young people aged 25 and under)

Play Video

Lian Boily is a full-time college student, studying psychosocial intervention and education. For the past five years, she has also been volunteering at a CHSLD. When the current crisis began, there was no question in her mind: she had to help.

Since April, when not in class, she is on rotation at the CHSLD, working days, evenings or nights. Since there is frequently a shortage of staff, 16-hour workdays are quite common.

At the mere age of 17, she has been on the front lines of the pandemic, seeing people she has become close to succumb to the disease, often in a matter of days, or even hours. She noted a common wish among the residents: not to die alone.

Fabrice Vil

Individual for Peace

Fabrice Vil is a certified integral development coach, lawyer and former basketball coach. In 2011, he established “Pour 3 Points”, which is an organization that trains sports coaches to take on a life coach role for youths from underprivileged backgrounds. Driven by equal opportunity, he regularly speaks on this subject, specifically as a columnist, guest speaker and corporate workshop facilitator.

Fabrice is one of the instigators of the documentary “Briser le code”, which deals with the racism experienced by racialized and Aboriginal people in Quebec. Fabrice is also one of the coauthors of the works “11 brefs essais contre le racisme – Pour une lutte systémique”, “La révolution Z : comment les jeunes transformeront le Québec”, and “Lâchez pas les gars”.

Play Video

Kina8at

Organisation for Peace

Play Video

Kina8at, pronounced “Kinawat”, – means “together” in Algonquin. A fitting name for an organisation dedicated to promoting cultural reconnection among the First Nations people and sharing the First Nations culture with everyone, while simultaneously nurturing reconciliation and respect for Mother Earth.

Aware of the distress experienced in a great number of First Nations communities and the growing need for younger generations to finally rediscover their identity, Kina8at’s efforts focus patiently on reconciliation in all its forms.

Kina8at was founded in 2013 by Dominique (T8aminik) Rankin and Marie-Josée Tardif.

"Operation Welcome Home" (COGECO)

Corporate Initiative for Peace

Louis Audet embodies extraordinary values of openness and caring. In 2015, when there was a huge influx of Syrian refugees, he spoke out publicly, at the Montreal Chamber of Commerce and called on our federal government to take in more than the 25,000 refugees Canada had committed to taking at that time.

Under his leadership, Cogeco took a public and exemplary position in favour of welcoming refugees from Syria. In an effort to make a real difference in the lives of these refugees, the company launched the “Operation Welcome Home” project in partnership with United Way, and donated $500,000 (spread over five years) to the organization to establish the Refugee Fund, thereby contributing to the successful integration of newcomers in their host country.

Play Video

Jean-François Archambault

COVID-19 Hero (new category following this year’s health crisis)

Play Video

Jean-François Archambault’s journey began with a simple dream: a world where everyone can eat their fill. Sharing this dream with other daring individuals, he was able to establish The Chefs’ Table in 2002. An organization with several missions, The Chefs’ Table acts as a “sustainable food brokerage house” by forging connections between hotels and restaurants with food surpluses and agencies that feed the disadvantaged.

Drawing on this expertise and these invaluable relationships, Jean-François and The Chefs’ Table were able to quickly respond when the pandemic hit Québec. By rallying the food industry and chefs from all across the province, they set up the Solidary Kitchens, which have provided more than two million meals since March to support the Food Banks of Québec.

Fady Dagher

Coup de cœur​

A police officer by profession, Director of the Greater Longueuil Police Force (SPAL) and founder of the Immersion Project: Back to Reality, Fady Dagher has always distinguished himself by his ability to forge ties with various communities and by his passion for innovation. As a result, he developed Canada’s first policy on racial and social profiling. In fact, he has won several awards and accolades for his work.

The philosophy he introduced to the SPAL can be summed up in three words: humane, intelligent and efficient. Widely publicized in La Presse in January 2020, his “Immersion Project: Back to Reality” brought together police officers and community members for the purpose of breaking down barriers and better reconciling prevention and intervention practices. His goal is to establish a model of collaborative policing within the organization through a shift in culture, whose philosophy is to focus on prevention, by supporting the community and working closely with citizens and local partners in the field.

Play Video

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.

Selection committee

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

Monsieur Ménard a été à la fois un grand homme d’affaires et, surtout, un leader pleinement engagé envers la société. Reconnu comme l’un des grands défenseurs de la persévérance scolaire des jeunes au Québec, il s’est également investi dans des causes aussi diverses que la santé, les arts et la culture, l’avancement des femmes et le développement des communautés autochtones.

C’est en 2008 que L. Jacques Ménard, préoccupé par l’avenir, cherche un projet mobilisateur pour redonner au Québécois le goût de voir grand. Il écrit un livre « Si on s’y mettait… », un véritable cri du cœur quant à l’urgence d’agir collectivement pour bâtir une société dynamique pour la prochaine génération. Dans la foulée de cette réflexion en profondeur inspirée par des rencontres, il a créé le Groupe d’action sur la persévérance et la réussite scolaires. Grâce à son leadership, autant les instances publiques que les milieux des affaires et communautaire se sont mobilisés pour s’attaquer de front au défi du décrochage scolaire. Cette mobilisation a des impacts positifs et mesurables, particulièrement dans les communautés défavorisées.

Monsieur Ménard a toujours attribué une grande place à la philanthropie et à l’engagement communautaire. Couper ici en ligne avec « lire plus… » Pendant plus de 30 années, il s’est engagé au sein d’organisations et d’initiatives comme Oxfam-Québec, qu’il a cofondé et présidé, Centraide, la Fondation Mobilys pour la persévérance scolaire, Fusion Jeunesse, EPOC Montréal, la Fondation CHU Sainte-Justine, l’Institut de Cardiologie de Montréal, l’Université Concordia, l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, le Comité de travail sur la pérennité du système de santé du Québec, le mouvement citoyen « Je vois Mtl » et le Diamant à Québec. Il était reconnu de tous pour ses qualités de rassembleur et son leadership stratégique et efficace.

Dans son rôle de président émérite de BMO Groupe financier, L. Jacques Ménard a perpétué l’engagement de la banque de toujours mieux faire pour créer une société inclusive en s’engageant à éliminer les obstacles à l’inclusion. Par le biais de son implication à plusieurs causes et sa philosophie d’engagement, des initiatives comme BMOpourElles pour les femmes entrepreneures ont vu le jour. Il a appuyé l’engagement de la banque pour fournir des produits et des services conçus afin de répondre aux besoins des communautés autochtones, pour lequel BMO a été reconnu par le Conseil canadien pour le commerce autochtone.

En novembre 2013, Monsieur Ménard a été promu Compagnon de l’Ordre du Canada et en 2017 Grand officier de l’Ordre national du Québec, sans oublier sa nomination de commandeur de l’Ordre de Montréal. Institué à l’occasion du 375e anniversaire de Montréal, l’Ordre de Montréal a pris le relais de l’Académie des Grands Montréalais, dont M. Ménard était membre depuis 2009.

L. Jacques Ménard est décédé en février dernier, mais ses réalisations continuent d’avoir des répercussions dans la société et dans le monde philanthropique. Le YMCA est fier et honoré d’avoir l’occasion de les souligner, aux côtés d’autres citoyens engagés, lors de la 33e édition du souper-gala bénéfice des Médailles de la paix YMCA.

Play Video

Lian Boily - Youth Peacemaker (for young people aged 25 and under)

Lian Boily is a full-time college student, studying psychosocial intervention and education. For the past five years, she has also been volunteering at a CHSLD. When the current crisis began, there was no question in her mind: she had to help.

Since April, when not in class, she is on rotation at the CHSLD, working days, evenings or nights. Since there is frequently a shortage of staff, 16-hour workdays are quite common.

At the mere age of 17, she has been on the front lines of the pandemic, seeing people she has become close to succumb to the disease, often in a matter of days, or even hours. She noted a common wish among the residents: not to die alone. As she held their hands, and whispered to them that they were free to go, that they were not alone, that she would stay with them until the end, she was able to bring them some solace, and provide a sense of comfort to the families who were devastated by not being able to be there.

Despite experiencing grief on a daily basis, Lian continues to bring as much joy as she can to “her” residents, through arts and crafts projects, birthday celebrations, little moments spent singing together, having a cup of coffee, or just being together.

Play Video

Fabrice Vil - Individual for Peace

Fabrice Vil is a certified integral development coach, lawyer and former basketball coach. In 2011, he established “Pour 3 Points”, which is an organization that trains sports coaches to take on a life coach role for youths from underprivileged backgrounds. Driven by equal opportunity, he regularly speaks on this subject, specifically as a columnist, guest speaker and corporate workshop facilitator.

Fabrice is one of the instigators of the documentary “Briser le code”, which deals with the racism experienced by racialized and Aboriginal people in Quebec. Fabrice is also one of the coauthors of the works “11 brefs essais contre le racisme – Pour une lutte systémique”, “La révolution Z : comment les jeunes transformeront le Québec”, and “Lâchez pas les gars”.

Fabrice is a member of the Quebec Order of Excellence in Education and is an Ashoka Fellow, an organization that brings together a global community of social entrepreneurs who are recognized for the social impact of their innovation.

Fascinated by the question of human conscience, he hopes that people will be curious about the invisible violence in which they participate and that they will respond to this invisible violence by caring for themselves and others.

Play Video
From left to right: Marie-Josée Tardif and Dominique (T8aminik) Rankin, founders of the organisation Kina8at.

Kina8at - Organization for Peace

Kina8at, pronounced “Kinawat”, – means “together” in Algonquin. A fitting name for an organization dedicated to promoting cultural reconnection among the First Nations people and sharing the First Nations culture with everyone, while simultaneously nurturing reconciliation and respect for Mother Earth.

Aware of the distress experienced in a great number of First Nations communities and the growing need for younger generations to finally rediscover their identity, Kina8at’s efforts focus patiently on reconciliation in all its forms.

Kina8at was founded in 2013 by Dominique (T8aminik) Rankin and Marie-Josée Tardif.

A member of the Order of Canada, Knight of the Ordre national du Québec and recipient of numerous other awards, T8aminik is known for his commitment to promoting First Nations culture and philosophy, both in Canada and around the world. He serves as a Co-Chair on the World Council of Religions for Peace (a UN-affiliated organization) and as Senator for the Native Friendship Centres of Canada.

As for Marie-Josée Tardif, she has made a name for herself as a journalist and news anchor for national television networks and radio stations in several Canadian provinces. She sits on the World Council of Religions for Peace – Women of Faith Network, as well as on the Ethics in Action Committee, created by the Vatican to develop a multireligious moral consensus on the major challenges related to sustainable and integral development.

Play Video
From left to right: Philippe Jetté, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cogeco Inc. and Cogeco Communications Inc., and Louis Audet, Executive Chairman of the Board of Cogeco Inc. and Cogeco Communications Inc.

"Operation Welcome Home" - COGECO
Corporate initiative for Peace

Louis Audet embodies extraordinary values of openness and caring. In 2015, when there was a huge influx of Syrian refugees, he spoke out publicly, at the Montreal Chamber of Commerce and called on our federal government to take in more than the 25,000 refugees Canada had committed to taking at that time. Under his leadership, Cogeco took a public and exemplary position in favour of welcoming refugees from Syria. In an effort to make a real difference in the lives of these refugees, the company launched the “Operation Welcome Home” project in partnership with United Way, and donated $500,000 (spread over five years) to the organization to establish the Refugee Fund, thereby contributing to the successful integration of newcomers in their host country. The project offered training and support to organizations involved in integrating refugees, and also implemented awareness raising actions for citizens volunteering to work with Syrian refugees to create neighbourhoods that were welcoming to them. Indeed, Cogeco believes that inclusion in Quebec society is a process that implies reciprocity between the stakeholders involved and refugees, to create a life environment to which each person contributes fully.
Play Video

Jean-François Archambault
COVID-19 Hero (new category following this year’s health crisis)

Jean-François Archambault’s journey began with a simple dream: a world where everyone can eat their fill. Sharing this dream with other daring individuals, he was able to establish The Chefs’ Table in 2002. An organization with several missions, The Chefs’ Table acts as a “sustainable food brokerage house” by forging connections between hotels and restaurants with food surpluses and agencies that feed the disadvantaged.

Drawing on this expertise and these invaluable relationships, Jean-François and The Chefs’ Table were able to quickly respond when the pandemic hit Québec. By rallying the food industry and chefs from all across the province, they set up the Solidary Kitchens, which have provided more than two million meals since March to support the Food Banks of Québec.

A graduate in Hotel Management from the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec, the founder of The Chef’s Table still has many dreams left to accomplish, now that his sustainable food projects are starting to take root in France and Latin America.

Play Video

Fady Dagher - Coup de cœur

A police officer by profession, Director of the Greater Longueuil Police Force (SPAL) and founder of the Immersion Project: Back to Reality, Fady Dagher has always distinguished himself by his ability to forge ties with various communities and by his passion for innovation. As a result, he developed Canada’s first policy on racial and social profiling. In fact, he has won several awards and accolades for his work.

The philosophy he introduced to the SPAL can be summed up in three words: humane, intelligent and efficient. Widely publicized in La Presse in January 2020, his “Immersion Project: Back to Reality” brought together police officers and community members for the purpose of breaking down barriers and better reconciling prevention and intervention practices. His goal is to establish a model of collaborative policing within the organization through a shift in culture, whose philosophy is to focus on prevention, by supporting the community and working closely with citizens and local partners in the field.

Fady Dagher holds an Executive Master’s Degree in Business Administration (EMBA) from McGill University – HEC Montréal. He has more than 28 years’ experience serving in the police force, and has been the Director of Longueuil Police Force since 2017.

Play Video

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!