Top 10 bookstores collecting the most books

Montreal’s Salon du livre: a huge success!

Special activities

Follow their example!

“Letter to Jeason” By Bryan Perro

Gift of Paris! contest


Radio advertisements

Céréales (Cereals) and Circulaire (Flyer)

The Literacy Foundation and the Bleublancrouge agency have chosen to raise public awareness of the fact that economic poverty all too often leads to literary poverty. Two versions of the same concept illustrate how a young child has nothing to read but a cereal box or a grocery store flyer. Actress Marie Turgeon, project spokesperson, ends by inviting the public to buy a first new book for a needy child. The advertisement will be broadcast in November and December 2007.

To hear the Cereals radio advertisement
To hear the Flyers radio advertisement


Agency: Bleublancrouge

Consultant: Carol Jungpeter

Strategy: Benoît Chapellier

Creative director: Gaëtan Namouric

Creative team: Maxime Paiement and Mélanie Delisle

Production co-ordinator: Lisa Arduini

Sound: AudioZ


TV advertisements


Design and production: Stéphane-R. Tremblay

Animation: Maxime Gérin (special thanks to Collège Icari)

Original music: Jeremy Nicoll

Recording studios: Bell Canada and Audio Postproduction SPR Inc.

Reproduction: Technicolor Creative Services Canada Inc.

Scenario: A woman (Chantal Savaria) chooses a book in a bookstore and gives it directly to a young underprivileged boy (Thierry Lavallée). He then discovers the enchanted world of books, and the donor witnesses his transformation. This is an invitation to buy a first new book for a needy child, and at the same time to transform his life. Let yourself be enchanted!

To view the TV advertisement


Sensibilisation/Faites un don (Awareness/Make a donation)

Design and production: Stéphane-R. Tremblay

Animation: Maxime Gérin (special thanks to Collège Icari)

Original music: Jeremy Nicoll

Recording studios: Bell Canada and Audio Postproduction SPR Inc.

Reproduction: Technicolor Creative Services Canada Inc.

A variation on Promotion/Transformation, this TV message will be broadcast year-round except during the book collection period. It invites the public to make a donation to prevent illiteracy.

Results and distribution

In May 2008, through donations from the public, 27,755 underprivileged children received a gift many of them have never had before—a brand new book!

Participating organizations

In 2008, 430 organizations across Quebec answered the Foundation’s invitation and are taking part in the distribution of brand new books. The Foundation wishes to thank them, as their collaboration is crucial for the project to run smoothly.

  • 178 schools, including 4 English schools, for a total of 635 classes;
  • 153 members of the Quebec federation of Famille community organizations;
  • 79 childcare centres;
  • 20 other organizations working in underprivileged neighbourhoods.

List of participating organizations.


Distribution of books by region



Top 10 bookstores collecting the most books

  • Librairie René Martin, Joliette

  • Librairie J.A. Boucher, Rivière-du-Loup

  • Coopsco des Laurentides, Saint-Jérôme

  • Librairie Lu-Lu, Mascouche

  • Librairie Le Fureteur, Saint-Lambert

  • Renaud-Bray, Champigny branch, Montreal

  • Librairie Clément-Morin, Trois-Rivières (downtown)

  • Renaud-Bray, Côte-des-Neiges branch, Montreal

  • Librairie Alire, Longueuil

  • Biblairie GGC, Sherbrooke

Top 10 bookstores raising the most funds

  • Librairie Archambault, La Capitale branch, Quebec City
  • Librairie Moderne, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu
  • Librairie Le Fureteur, Saint-Lambert
  • Librairie Archambault, Anjou branch, Montreal
  • Librairie du Nord, La Sarre
  • Librairie Archambault, Brossard branch, Brossard
  • Librairie Côte-Nord, Sept-Îles
  • Librairie des Galeries de Granby, Granby
  • Librairie Sélect, Saint-Georges de Beauce
  • Librairie Archambault, Sainte-Foy branch, Quebec City

The Gift of Reading® at Montreal’s Salon du livre: a huge success!

For the 9th year running, visitors to Montreal’s Salon du livre book fair were more generous than ever, in many cases giving several books destined for children who have no books at all. A record 3,219 brand new children’s books were collected, to be given out in May 2008 to that many children! This represents a 50% increase over 2006. More than $2,500 was also donated to support the project and enable the Foundation to achieve its book distribution target.

The presence and enthusiasm of project spokesperson, Marie Turgeon, and the numerous volunteers and Foundation employees were a great help in attaining this outstanding result.

The Foundation wishes to thank the 60 volunteers who gave some 332 hours of their time in order to promote the Gift of Reading® project to visitors to the book fair.


Spokesperson Marie Turgeon cannot help admiring this book given by a donator!


Marie Turgeon explains the Gift of Reading® project to visitors to the book fair.


Maryse Perreault, Foundation CEO, joined the volunteer team to raise visitor's awareness with respect to encouraging young people to stay in school and preventing illiteracy.


Like many others, these donors thoughtfully added words of encouragement to go along with their books.


These smiling volunteers convinced numerous visitors to give a first brand new book for the project!


Special activities


In early May, the Foundation team had the great pleasure of sharing some reading time with more than 200 children, when they visited four schools and a childcare centre in Quebec in underprivileged areas. Once again this year, actress and Gift of Reading® spokesperson, Marie Turgeon, created some magic moments for these children by reading them a story, followed for pre-schoolers by a postcard rally and for older children by a lively discussion about reading. Her generosity made these visits highly memorable for these children, and for the team, not to mention the fact that the media were there to record the scene.

Each year, these activities enable the Foundation to be in direct contact with children benefiting from the project, and give the team the privilege of presenting the gift of a brand new book to the children in person!


École Hochelaga, Montreal
Monday, May 5, 2008

Even at the end of Caramba, The pre-K children

remained under the spell of the tale that

Marie Turgeon had just read them.


École Le Sablier, Saint-Amable
Monday, May 5, 2008

No sooner had they received their gifts than

the Grade 5ers dove into their books.


École institutionnelle de Charlemagne, Charlemagne
Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Grade 4 kids were proud and happy

to go back home with their new books.


CPE Pointe-Saint-Charles childcare centre, Montreal

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Once they received their new book, each child

was happy to make a coloured drawing on the postcard

as a thank-you to the donor, then enthusiastically placing it

in the specially made “mailbox”.


École La Petite-Patrie, Montreal

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Even the loud, happy noise of Grade 4 kids

who had just received The Gift of reading®

could not tear this little girl away from her very

own brand new book.

Follow their example!


Alstom gladdens our hearts
On May 14, 2008, Alstom Télécité—electronic media in the Metro—presented a cheque for $1,148.15 to The Gift of Reading®. The funds were raised at a very special activity held last winter by Alstom employees, who sold hundreds of scarves bearing the company’s insignia in aid of the project. The Foundation thanks Alstom for its commitment and support, year after year!

Left to right: Maryse Perreault, CEO, Literacy Foundation; Richard Lachapelle, Media Director, Alstom; and Christine Martin, Sales and Media Co-ordinator, Alstom.


Committed young people rally bowlers for the cause

In March 2008, four students from École d’éducation internationale de Laval organized a Bowl-a-thon in aid of The Gift of Reading®. Through their involvement and dedication, they successfully mobilized numerous participants, with highly impressive results. In fact, $456 was raised through this activity, and will be invested in the project by the Foundation this year. We are proud to thank Benoît Robillard, Jinnily Caron, Marialine Campeau and Esther Bourdage for their commitment to the cause!

Outstanding results for the first collection by École secondaire de Dégelis!

For the first year of its participation in the Gift of Reading® project, École secondaire de Dégelis collected 103 brand new books, which will be distributed to children in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region starting in May. Specially worthy of mention is the involvement of library technician Denis Clermont, the man behind this productive collection. Mr Clermont manned a booth concerning The Gift of Reading® at a regional book fair where he encouraged visitors to donate to the project.


La Traviata and The Mariage of Figaro in aid of The Gift of Reading®!

The New World Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir (Le Chœur et l’Orchestre philharmonique du Nouveau-Monde) have continued their tradition of commitment to great causes by donating part of the profit from their Great Italian Arias and Choruses concert to The Gift of Reading®. Close to $1,000 was collected at this gala evening, held on February 9, 2008. The funds raised were used to buy 100 or so brand new books at Librairie de Verdun, for distribution to needy children in the Montreal area. Sincere thanks to concert organizer, Vittoria Tassone, and to all who played a role, major or minor, in the concert!


Maria Knapik, soprano; Vittoria Tassone, concert organizer and choir member; Vasyl Vasylenko, guest conductor.


Outstanding results from UQAM collection!

The collection organized at the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) gathered 428 brand new children’s books and raised $610.88! These results were made possible through the special involvement of Lucie Chartrand, a research and planning officer with Faculty of Arts, who organized the collection for the fourth year running. The success of this collection would not have been possible without the support of collaborators from other departments, all of whom expressed their desire to take part again next year!


Special collaboration

Judith Poirier, a professor with UQAM’s design school, was assisted by students in boosting her book collection through the creation of a T-shirt reminding people to bring a book and make a cash donation. A silkscreen poster was produced, based on a postcard received last year by Ms Poirier from a child who was a project recipient. For each book brought in, a stamp was placed on the poster.


From left to right: Lucie Chartrand,

Lynda Gadoury, Gisèle Legault,

Vivianne Parr, Jonathan Deraiche,

Sylvie Boulet et Jacynthe Lalonde.

From left to right: Judith Poirier,

Vivianne Parr et Catherine Lebrun.


Librairie René Martin wraps it up again for the cause!

Librairie René Martin of Joliette held an activity again this year—gift wrapping in aid of The Gift of Reading®. Each customer was invited to make a donation to the project in exchange for having his or her purchases wrapped. This initiative brought in a total of $711, which was topped up by a $250 donation from the bookstore and $40 collected through the Harry Potter promotion. This fundraising activity enabled them to offer 84 more brand new books for children in the Lanaudière region—an unprecedented result for this committed bookstore!

Bookstores and collection initiatives join forces for The Gift of Reading®

For the great benefit of poor children in Estrie, two bookstores in the region offered collection initiative organizers a discount on the purchase of books given through the project. Étienne Caza of Sherbrooke’s Biblairie GGC was also personally involved in Emploi-Québec Estrie’s collection, offering his assistance with the selection of books. At the same time, Librairie Réflexion offered a discount on books purchased within the framework of the Physio Outaouais collection. We are very proud to count them among those who generously support our mission!

Coopsco des Laurentides and social work students—a productive twosome

Through the personal involvement of bookseller, Sylvie Viau and social work student, Mélissa Daigle and her colleagues, a great deal of effort went into making the cause known in the Cégep de Saint-Jérôme community. In particular, a talk was organized by the social work students, proof positive of their concern with helping people understand more clearly the scale of illiteracy in Quebec. These productive activities helped Coopsco des Laurentides rank third among the bookstores collecting the most books for this 9th edition of The Gift of Reading®. Congratulations to you all!

Librairie des Galeries de Granby offers underprivileged children the magic of a book!

Throughout the bookstore collection period, Librairie des Galeries de Granby generously offered its clientele a $3 gift certificate exchangeable on the purchase of a book for the project. With this fine idea, the team from this bookstore definitely encouraged their customers to embrace the cause!

“Letter to Jeason”

By Bryan Perro

Hi, Jeason…

Thank you for your postcard, which I was extremely pleased to receive. So my readers will understand, if it’s alright with you, Jeason, I’ll give them a little background about why I’m writing this column and this letter to you.

Last Christmas, I took part in a province-wide activity called “The Gift of Reading”. At my local bookstore, I bought a book to give a child. I had to select a book, write a dedication, fill out a postcard with my address, stick a stamp on it and slip it all into a plastic package. This gift, they assured me, would find its way into the hands of a child who, for one reason or another, would be in a position to appreciate it. And well, Jeason, This is what you wrote to me on the postcard I received last month. “Dear Sir, a big thank-you for the book you gave me. I’m really lucky.”

I’m the one who has to thank you, Jeason. First, for taking the time to complete the postcard. Second, for the quality of your language. Third, because for me, Jeason, nothing in the world is more important than writing, nothing on this earth is finer than a book. So it’s you who have made me a magnificent gift by accepting the present. I had the impression I was really sharing my passion with someone.

It’s not important to know a person to share something with them. I gave you Zachary Richard’s Conte Cajun book. I chose it because the author wrote, to my mind, a beautiful children’s story. But you see, I haven’t been a kid for a long time (although my girlfriend sometimes says otherwise) and, for a few minutes, I really wondered if I was making the right choice. I’m happy you like it.

You know, Jeason, all books and all stories exert power over those who read them. You’ll certainly have been told how great reading is, and that reading a story is always like going on a great trip, that you only have to let yourself be borne away by the story to discover new worlds and explore new horizons. In reality, it’s much more than that. It’s hard to read, to understand the words, to accept what an author puts before you. Writers don’t tell stories, they work so their sentences, their words and their imagination cause new worlds to spring forth out of you. You, as the reader, are the starting and finishing point for all the characters. It’s you who choose, willingly, to make the trip. It’s much easier to watch television than to read. On TV, everything is ready-made, everything is pre-thought so you don’t have to think. Your favourite shows take no effort from you… you take a seat and swallow it all whole. But reading works deep down. It speaks to your soul and confronts you with yourself. It forces you to think, to imagine yourself for your mind. People who read think better, they are less dependent on others and thereby become more free. Reading also lets you express your thoughts more clearly and communicate better with others. What I wish, Jeason, is for you to live in complete freedom, for your spirit to sail above life’s difficulties, for you future to be rich and you life to be complete. Indeed, that is my wish for all children on this earth.

I wish you much magnificent reading, Jeason, and great encounters with yourself.

PERRO, Bryan. “Letter to Jeason”, Le sorteux, September 2002, p. 4


Gift of Paris! contest


Congratulations to our winners!


1st prize: Audrey Boudreault from Coteau-du-Lac

2nd prize: Myrha Gagnon from Trois-Rivières

  Maryse Perreault, CEO, Literacy Foundation, and Amélie Marcotte-Losier, Co-ordinator, Prevention department.




1st prize

A 1-week stay for two in the City of Light with passes for the Paris Book Fair (mid-March 2008), including return flight and accommodation. Approximate value of $2,500.

This grand prize includes:

  • Montreal or Quebec City-Paris return flight in economy class and six nights’ accommodation in a 3-star hotel, courtesy of CAA-Quebec Travel;
  • Two VIP passes for the duration of the Paris Book Fair, and an invitation to the opening cocktail on March 13, 2008, all presented by the Association nationale des éditeurs de livres and Québec Édition.
2nd prize

Deluxe 2-night package for two at the Manoir Victoria Hotel in Old Quebec. Approximate value of $750.

This second prize includes:

  • Two nights in a luxury room for two;
  • Two American breakfasts;
  • One dinner (table d’hôte) at the Table du Manoir;
  • One 60-minute Swedish massage at the Spa du Manoir;
  • Meal service charges and applicable taxes;
  • Access to swimming pool, sauna and physical fitness centre, and to indoor parking lot.


Association nationale des éditeurs de livres
Québec Édition