Montreal, September 6, 2022
The YMCAs of Québec Foundation has unveiled its list of laureates for the 2022 edition of the YMCA Peace Medals, a benefit event presented by BLG and with Mr. JeanGuy Desjardins, Executive Chairman and Founder of Fiera Capital, as this year’s honorary laureate. On October 18, 2022, various individuals and groups will be honoured at the gala, hosted by the Y’s Foundation. This event aims to raise money to help struggling youth succeed in school and in life. Together with guests, the Y will celebrate individuals, organizations, and companies who contribute to building more united, inclusive, and harmonious communities.
“JI’m so proud of this year’s list of laureates. Every one of them stands out for their community engagement on important social issues and for their concrete actions in support of peace.” - Brian Bronfman (Peace Network for Social Harmony), cBenefit Gala and Selection Committee Co-President.
Jean-Guy Desjardins C. M., L. Sc. Com., CFA,
Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board of Fiera Capital
Having followed a rather unconventional path, business man Jean-Guy Desjardins is all too aware of the various challenges many young people face. “It’s an honour to be the YMCA Peace Medal honorary laureate and to support the organization’s important mission. The programs offered by the Y have a real impact on engaging young people from all walks of life, giving them the opportunity to thrive in all areas. By prioritizing young people’s success in all its forms, we can build more resilient and prosperous communities and I’m happy to be able to contribute in my own way.”
To read Mr. Desjardins’s full biography, please visit: 2022 YMCA Peace Medal Honorary Laureate
Shina Novalinga, Indigenous Activist
This Montreal-based business student gained fame when she posted a video of herself and her mother throat singing on TikTok. With 1.9 million followers on Instagram and 4.1 million on TikTok, Ms. Novalinga has truly touched people all around the world, introducing them to the beauty and richness of Inuit culture and teaching them more about it.
She recently raised $12,000 in one week on TikTok and GoFundMe for local women’s shelters and sewed 100 gift bags, which she filled with feminine hygiene products, earrings, food, clothing, and more.
Individual for Peace
André Michel, Painter of Indigenous People
For over 50 years, world-renowned ethnographic painter and sculptor André Michel has been teaching the world more about the First Nations of Canada, with whom he regularly shares a way of life, through exhibitions, books, conferences, and museums that he founded.
His latest initiative, the Maison des peoples autochtones in Mont-Saint-Hilaire is the only multinational space outside Indigenous communities that is managed by an exclusively Indigenous board of directors, whom he gave the keys to on the day it opened.
In 2001, Mr. Michel was awarded the Government of Quebec’s Anne-Greenup Prize for his work in fighting racism.
Organization for Peace
Shelter Movers, Movers Saving Lives
Intimate partner violence does not stop after the relationship ends. Shelter Movers knows this only too well. These incredibly courageous volunteers offer free moving and storage services to women and children fleeing abuse.
Working with local businesses and community services (such as women’s shelters, the police, CLSCs, Crime Victims Assistance Centres and others), Shelter Movers takes all the necessary measures to help victims of abuse move out safely and offers them a place to store their belongings. As such, they contribute to giving survivors back their independence and help them transition to a life without violence.
Corporate Initiative for Peace
Groupe 3737: Supporting Entrepreneurs from Diverse Backgrounds
Groupe 3737 is a national non-profit organization that provides coaching and tools to business owners from multiethnic backgrounds. With an ecosystem of over 1,000 entrepreneurs in Canada, Groupe 3737 embodies pride in accomplishment, economic independence, the opportunity to claim one’s space in Canadian society and contribute to its wealth while preserving one’s ethnic identity.
Present in twelve cities with the largest Black communities, the organization works all over Canada to truly change the lives of entrepreneurs from multiethnic backgrounds, who are all too often marginalized.
Coup de coeur
Mothers Step In: Activists Fighting for Future Generations
Mothers Step In is a movement born out of a sense of urgency regarding the threat of the climate crisis, shared by thousands of mothers and grandmothers who stand together to protect the future of their kids and generations to come. Their actions are meant to remind decision-makers that they have a duty and a responsibility to make environmental protection a policy priority, and to take bold action to address the climate and biodiversity crisis.
They also organized large-scale actions such as the Veillée pour la suite du monde in 2021 and 2022 and the Bread and Forests march on Mother's Day in Quebec City, bringing together more than 5,000 people.
To read the full biographies of the laureates, please visit: 2022 YMCA Peace Medal Laureates
(To buy your ticket, please visit the YMCA Peace Medals online box office)
About the YMCAs of Québec and its Foundation
The YMCAs of Québec is a unique charitable organization whose mission is to encourage and inspire all people to fulfill their potential, thrive and contribute to their community. As the first YMCA in North America, the YMCAs of Québec has been present in Montreal since 1851 and its impact reaches across the entire province. Since 1984, thanks to the generosity of its volunteers and donors, the YMCAs of Québec Foundation has been supporting the YMCA’s mission and ensuring the organization’s financial sustainability by promoting the impact it has on the community and raising funds to support it.
Source : Véronique Lettre, Director of Communications, The YMCAs of Québec.
To schedule an interview with our honorary laureate or with another laureate, with representatives from the Y Foundation, or to order high-resolution photos or get more information, please contact: