Major Support for Youth Success - Desjardins Makes a Generous Contribution of $1M to the YMCAs of Québec

Québec City, May 14, 2018 – Both driven by a desire to support Québec’s youth, the YMCAs of Québec and Desjardins are celebrating today the financial group’s generous contribution of $1M to the charity, which marks a unique collaboration between two organizations in Québec that are more than one hundred years old. The announcement took place at the Coopérative de solidarité Notre-Dame de Jacques-Cartier in the Saint-Roch neighbourhood, a few steps away from the new community and sports centre that will be managed by the YMCAs of Québec, in the presence of Régis Labeaume, Mayor of Québec City; Guy Cormier, President and CEO of Desjardins Group; and Stéphane Vaillancourt, President and CEO of the YMCAs of Québec.

The YMCAs of Québec have counted on the support and collaboration of Desjardins for more than 25 years. This major contribution is part of the YMCA’s ‘Springboard for Life’ campaign, which hopes to raise $20M over 5 years. Funds will go towards the development of thousands of youth per year in school success programs and TeenZones as well as two critical investments to increase the YMCA’s impact on the community:

  • Furnishing the Saint-Roch community and sports centre that will be managed by the YMCAs of Québec and extending its services to the most vulnerable population groups;
  • Providing even more youth of all backgrounds with a camp experience and environmental education by building a new community hall.

“For Desjardins, supporting the YMCAs of Québec and their activities is a key way to contribute to the economic and social well-being of people and communities,” said Guy Cormier, President and CEO of the Desjardins Group. “The YMCA’s energy and values makes it a unique partner, in keeping with our dedication to supporting the development of youth of all backgrounds.”

“Desjardins’ pledge to support the development and success of youth from all backgrounds has made it an indispensible partner for the YMCA and the Québec community,” said Stéphane Vaillancourt, President and CEO of the YMCAs of Québec. “On behalf of thousands of youth who will benefit from this contribution, I would like to thank Desjardins for its commitment to building stronger communities and supporting the success of youth with the YMCA.”

“The new, modern and bright Saint-Roch community centre will be even more so thanks to Desjardins and the YMCA. The Saint-Roch community and especially the youth who will use the centre will benefit from the donation, which will meet important needs in our area,” said Mr. Régis Labeaume, Mayor of Québec City. I would like to thank Desjardins for its generosity and for making a difference by supporting youth who will now have an opportunity to fully realize their potential at their new community centre.”

A brand new YMCA centre in Québec City
The YMCAs of Québec will return to the Capitale-Nationale region with the inauguration of a new community and sports centre in the Saint-Roch neighbourhood, helping to make it a vibrant and inclusive place to live. With the help of Desjardins, this centre will enhance services offered by other organizations in the area, benefitting people who need them the most.

Unforgettable experiences in nature for thousands of youth
Established in 1894 in Saint-Sauveur in the Laurentians and a 45-minute drive from Montréal, Camp YMCA Kanawana is the oldest summer camp in Québec and one of the oldest in Canada. Now a ‘green’ centre, it welcomes thousands of children per year and provides financial assistance in order to make the camp accessible to all. Part of Desjardins’ contribution will go towards building a community hall, the new ‘heart of Kanawana’, which will increase the camp’s capacity and expand its mission to raise environmental awareness.

We would like to take this opportunity to recognize the generous involvement of the co-Presidents of the Campaign Cabinet: Gregory Chrispin, Executive Vice-President, Wealth Management and Life and Health Insurance, Desjardins Group; Sean Finn, Executive Vice-President, Corporate Services, CN; Geneviève Marcon, co-President, GM Développement Inc.; and Richard Payette, President and CEO, Manulife Québec. We would like to also thank the City of Québec and the governments of Canada and Québec, who have made it possible to open the Saint-Roch community and sports centre managed by the YMCAs of Québec.

About Desjardins Group
Desjardins Group is the leading cooperative financial group in Canada and the fifth largest in the world, with assets of $275.1 billion. It has been rated one of the Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt. To meet the diverse needs of its members and clients, Desjardins offers a full range of products and services to individuals and businesses through its extensive distribution network, online platforms and subsidiaries across Canada. Ranked among the World's Strongest Banks according to The Banker magazine, Desjardins has one of the highest capital ratios and credit ratings in the industry.

About the YMCAs of Québec
The YMCAs of Québec is a charitable organization that builds stronger communities by providing opportunities for everyone to lead fulfilling, active, healthy and engaged lives. Its ten YMCA centres, International Language School, Residence, Camp YMCA Kanawana and its 36 points of service across the province are visited each year by more than 120,000 people. The first YMCA in North America was founded in Montréal in November 1851. The YMCAs of Québec is part of the Canadian network of 47 YMCA associations. For more information, visit ymcaquebec.org and our Facebook and Twitter pages.

About the community and sports centre managed by the YMCAs of Québec
Other than a gym and a pool, the Saint-Roch community and sports centre offer sports equipment, a conditioning room, a collective kitchen, a café, a drop-in daycare, multifunctional spaces and IT equipment. The City of Québec is also planning to create office space on the upper levels of the building. The City of Québec has asked the YMCAs of Québec to manage the Saint-Roch community and sports centre’s programs, services and facilities as well as develop and coordinate all of its sports, recreational, community and commercial activities. This management agreement is valid for 25 years. The centre will be built on the site of the former Charest Cinema on Du Pont Street in Québec thanks to an investment of $17.9M from the gouvernments of Canada and Québec as part of the Fonds Chantiers Canada-Québec, volet Grandes Villes. The City of Québec is contributing $7.9M to this amount.

Jacques Bouchard
Public Relations, Desjardins Group
1-866-866-7000, extension 5557940

Nathalie Viora
Director, YMCA Campaign Communications, YMCAs of Québec Foundation

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