Several outstanding men and women from Ahuntsic-Cartierville were honoured by the Honourable Mélanie Joly with a Canada 150 Commemorative pin last November. Their contribution to the community is an example for us all. Those people, who distinguished themselves in our constituency, helped improve the lives of their fellow citizens through their relentless work in areas such as education, communication, culture and in the community.
Chantal Comptois has been the Executive Director of SNAC (Service de nutrition et d’actions communautaires), for the past six years. Through her dedication, she has restructured SNAC’s internal organization and developed a strong rapport with important donors. During the last five years, Chantal also explored various funding opportunities, which brought excellent financial results. She is surrounded by an efficient team advocating the ideals of the economy and the environment, values that are strongly shared by Chantal. She is constantly working on new projects in Ahuntsic-Cartierville with her five employees and SNAC’s 225 devoted volunteers. She is attentive to the needs of others and goes beyond the call of duty for the good of her clientele. With her expertise and commitment, Chantal offers the necessary food assistance that brings joy and comfort to many: she is a dedicated person who works for the common good and promotes the well-being of the residents of the neighborhood.
Nathalie Corbeil has worked as a press secretary and radio promotion agent for the past 18 years. She is passionate about her work and has been involved in the marketing and release of several hundred albums. In 2011, she founded her own Public Relations and Communications Agency “Nat Corbeil,” which is located in the beautiful neighborhood of Ahuntsic-Cartierville. Her flourishing company has six dedicated employees. “Nat Corbeil” received a total of five nominations at the ADISQ gala in seven years through the promotion of record label artists as well as independent freelance artists. Nathalie and her team work hard with those artists that they believe could offer something unique to the industry. They pay special attention to all the projects presented to them and have a sincere desire to contribute to the success of the artists. It is with passion and devotion that “Nat Corbeil” offers quality professional services that help artists keep a prominent place in our music scene.
Recipient of 23 awards for charitable work, Mr. Cornoyan is the “king” of volunteerism. In 1985, he landed in Montreal. Five years later, he began volunteering at the Saint-Joseph de la Providence Hospital. During his long years of service, Mr. Cornoyan has been involved with such major organizations as the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Quebec, the Canadian Cancer Society and Entraide. He is also multilingual: he speaks French, English, Arabic, Armenian and Turkish fluently. His mastery of languages has allowed him to volunteer for many years as an interpreter. A poet in his spare time, he used his talents to charm donors during the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s fundraising campaigns, resulting in generous donations for the foundation. Always ready to help his neighbour, Georges Cornelius Cornoyan is a man who truly wears his heart on his sleeve.
Line Fleurent is a retired teacher who has volunteered on various boards of directors of organizations in the constituency of Ahuntsic-Cartierville for the past 20 years. These include Acadia of Montreal, an organization that helps youth and seniors in sports and cultural activities in our community, as well as the Remu-Ménage organization that offers services to seniors. Line has also generously supported an immigration agency, helping newcomers to easily integrate in our community. She is one of the citizens of Ahuntsic-Cartierville, who have helped create a flourishing neighborhood, where everyone feels at home. She is a perfect example of generosity and kindness.
Creator of educational games promoting literacy, it was upon her return from Africa and Haiti that she developed an innovative concept that had a positive impact on children here and around the world. The primary goal of these games is to educate young people about health, cultural diversity and the environment. With its growing popularity, some of these games have even been acquired by the International Organization of la Francophonie. By contributing to the literacy of developing countries, Véronique has raised awareness on issues of utmost importance such as the environment, biodiversity and health. Her contribution is admirable and certainly makes the world a better place for our children.
Denis Lemieux has been involved for the past twelve years in an organization entitled “Dream Travel” that offers children from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to fulfill their dream of visiting the wonderful world of Walt Disney. Two years ago, Denis raised more than $ 300,000 for the Fondation des pompiers du Québec pour les grands brûlés by organizing a cycling event with fifteen colleagues, who pedaled from Montreal to Vancouver. In addition, during the recent floods in Ahuntsic-Cartierville, he implemented a project to protect the houses on his street by inviting his neighbours to erect walls. Denis is a man who has always helped his neighbour: he truly exemplifies the definition of an outstanding citizen.
Marie-Josée Leroux is President of the Board of Directors of the Conseil de la Sculpture du Québec after having served as Vice-President from 2012 to 2016. Committed to our community for many years, Marie-Josée is a member of several boards of community organizations such as Centre de Plein-Air Kennebec, CEGECOM, Petite Bourgogne Quartier en santé and ASPM-Sculpteur sur pierre. Previously, from 1999 to 2005, she led the Fondation Marie-Vincent for the prevention of child abuse. During her six years, she successfully fundraised and spearheaded numerous awareness campaigns. She also acted as media spokesperson and participated in the development of three conferences on the issue of child abuse. Today she turns to her favourite art; sculpture. In addition to promoting her organization, Marie-Josée and her team are responsible for the creation of 73 works of public art throughout Quebec. Her projects continue to flourish as she participates in exhibitions in China this year.
Selected as Montreal’s 375th Ambassador, Mada Liyous has been a resident of Bordeaux-Cartierville all of her life. She has been involved in several community organizations such as Entraide Bois-de-Boulogne in its homework assistance program and as an associate counselor for Loisirs l’Acadie. In addition, Mada has volunteered her time at La Corbeille’s Christmas food drive, at the legal clinic at Concertation Femme, and volunteered at Le Cartier Émilie. She is currently an active participant at the youth council and the 16-25 years old committee of Table Jeunesse. Mada Liyous is a perfect example of the dedicated youth of today.
Since his arrival to Montreal in 1953, Menelaos Pavlides has devoted more than 60 years of his life to the scouting movement and as a mentor has influenced several generations of Canadians. He inspired many young people to give back to their community and their country. Menelaos offered them the values and the foundations of volunteerism, as well as the benefits of community participation. In addition, he has been involved with other organizations such as the Montreal Citizenship Council and the Canadian Citizenship Federation. It is with this sense of duty that Mr. Pavalides has guided his actions towards society and we are forever grateful. He is an example and model for future generations.
Resident of Ahuntsic for more than 30 years, Marie-Louise Pépin is a former college teacher, primarily at Collège Bois-de-Boulogne, where she taught visual arts for several years. In 2004, she set up a student partnership and exchange program between Quebec and Cuba. Her roles included teaching, coordinating the arts’ department and curator of the art exhibits. More than fifteen art displays have been organized over the years between Quebec and Cuba. In 2009, Marie-Louise benefited from a teacher mobility grant from CEGEP International to teach in Cuba. This was a pivotal point in her career. She organized annual student exchange trips and along with her students formed a delegation representing the College, Quebec and Canada. In 2014, Marie-Louise received the CBIE (Canadian Bureau for International Education) award for dedication to international education. She is a source of pride to the teaching profession as well as to both Quebec and Canada.
In Canada since the early 1960s, Varoujan Seropian, at the age of 20, joined the Royal Bank of Canada as a Project Manager and became a volunteer in Montreal’s Armenian community. While this community was still in its infancy in Montreal, he believed that through sport and physical activity, immigrant children would have a much easier time integrating and adapting Canadian values. Varoujan embarked on the promotion of the construction of a training facility and completed the feasibility study in 1969, which led to over $1.5 millions of fundraising in the community over ten years. This gym was eventually built in 1979. It has since helped to provide services to generations of young Canadians, professionals and artisans. In recognition of his valuable contribution to the Armenian General Sports and Scouting Movement Varoujan was honoured with the highest award of the organization by its world executives.
Co-founder of the Rêvanous organization, which offers social housing to people with mild intellectual disabilities, Marjolaine Saint-Jules is an expert in issues related to intellectual deficiency. A graduate of social work, she pursued her career at Saint-Justine Hospital in the departments of neonatology, neuro-oncology and trauma. Marjolaine, a defender of the rights of people with mental conditions, is constantly fighting for their inclusion in society. In 2015, the first tenants arrived at the Rêvanous affordable housing project. This organization also offers a range of personalized services including individual and community support that promote residential autonomy. Also, 18 workshops will be created that will focus on the development of residential self-sufficiency. In addition, Marjolaine has been on the Board of Rêvanous since its foundation. She is also involved in such organizations as the Archipel de l’avenir and Solidarité Ahuntsic-Chantier Services Sociaux. She is a model of self-transcendence and a leading expert in issues of mental deficiency.
Born in New Zealand, where he obtained a Master’s degree in Physics in 1965, Christopher-John Thompson moved to Canada and for four years at the Commercial Products division of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL). In 1970 he was hired by the Montreal Neurological Institute of McGill University (MNI), which had just acquired one of the first laboratory computers. In 1978 he built the first PET scanner made in Canada using a newly introduced detector material which was later adopted by all PET scanner manufacturers and used for over 15 years. Since 1990 his personal research projects in PET technology have been supported by the Natural Science and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC) through the “Discovery Grant” program. In 2008, he received the “Edward J Hoffman Imaging Scientist” Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) at their Medical Imaging Conference in Dresden, Germany. Mr. Thompson is a man of innovation. While his children attended school, he was an active member of the parent committees. He also served two terms as a warden at Transfiguration of Our Lord Parish. Mr. Thompson is a man of innovation and an inspiring citizen.
As a teacher of English as a second language at CEGEP Ahuntsic, an accomplished and innovative author in instructional design, Nicolas Walker is passionate about his work. In his exemplary teaching, he incorporates the competency approach, the communicative method, and the mastery model in his courses. During his teaching years, he published three textbooks to help students in their academic journey. His college course materials both online and paper-based focus on fluency, accuracy, cooperative learning skills, and digital literacy to prepare learners for the 21st century. His books are now used by his colleagues in several different CEGEPs. Mr. Walker is a dedicated man whose work has marked his students by his innovation.
A web pioneer, Yves Williams is the founder of the Toile du Québec, the jewel of the Quebec web. It is with this platform that many internet users today have learned to browse the web. A tremendous amount of energy and effort went into this initiative at the time. In addition, almost simultaneously, Yves developed Netgraphe, the first Quebec company fully connected to the internet that went public. It is thanks to his inspiring projects that Yves is attracting attention and becoming a model of audacity and perseverance for young people who wish to pursue a career in the digital world.
Calgar Yilmaz has been an SPVM officer for over nine years and is a volunteer policeman for the transportation of organs. He is “on call” at any time of the day and offers his time for this invaluable life-saving service. In 2012, The Canadian Organ Donation Association awarded him a medal for his volunteerism. In addition, he was honoured with the title of Great Samaritan. Calgar is dedicated and passionate to the cause of organ donation.
Zouina Zaidi, originally from Algeria, followed a unique career path in her new homeland. Since immigrating to Canada, she went from an Olympic athlete to a professional engineer. Zouina is also involved with several community initiatives, such as organizing reading nights at Louis Colin School and volunteering for activities at her children’s school, such as the “Garden of Peace” or the OPP (parental involvement organization). She also sits on the board of directors of the coordinating office of family daycares.
Being a scout for over 50 years, Ron Zemancik is an inspiration to youth. Indeed, he is an avid supporter of the Scout movement. Ron was a member and a scout leader of the St. Rita Scout Group and the David Thompson Group, both organizations were established in Ahuntsic. He is known within the scouting community for his contribution in making scouting fun! To this day, when he participates in the events of the organization, he is welcomed as a true hero, and all are excited to meet him. Ron has also twice organized a joint camp with a group from the Northwest Territories led by one of his former scouts. Monthly day trips to Camp Tamaracouta, badge work, sports, supporting parents and youth alike, that is Ron. Along with his troop, he also helps out in community events held at the local elementary school like packing Christmas donations. His generosity is second to none!
Karima Aĩnenas is the perfect example of integration in our community. A geologist by profession, she immigrated to Canada in 2003 from Algeria. After embarking on a challenging path and with much persistence, she found a position as a technician and registered with the Ordre des Géologues du Québec. Today, Karima continues her career in environmental and business development for major Quebec companies that are internationally renowned such as SNC-Lavalin. Her passion for volunteerism continues to flourish at the Fondation Club Avenir and the Women’s Y. She is a model of courage and perseverance to all immigrant women who are searching for long-term employment stability.
Dany Benoit-Lafond is an inspiration to everyone in terms of social involvement. At the age of 19, he became engaged as a member of the Board of Directors of Christ Roi’s recreational centre and two years later, was appointed as the Director. Now at 23, Dany is still at the helm of the centre. Very few individuals have Dany’s vast knowledge in Montreal’s community recreational sector – he is an invaluable asset to Ahuntsic-Cartierville.
© 2018 Mélanie Joly. All rights reserved.