The launch of the 10th edition of The Gift of Reading®

Montreal Salon du livre book fair

Top 10 bookstores collecting the most books

Follow their example!

Special activities

Highly colourful launch

This past October 23 saw the launch of the 10th edition of The Gift of Reading® at Montreal’s Studio Juste pour rire, on the theme of the enchanted forest. Emotions, surprises and a fairytale mood were part of this anniversary event attended by about 100 guests, including performers and media.

For the occasion, the Foundation presented video testimonials on the history of the project, from its beginnings to its 10th anniversary. Sophie Labrecque, the Foundation’s former CEO and project creator, along with Marie Turgeon, actress and spokesperson, and numerous partners took turns to underscore the significance of The Gift of Reading® in the lives of thousands of underprivileged children in Quebec.

The new advertising and promotional campaign for The Gift of Reading®, designed without charge by the bleublancrouge advertising agency, was also unveiled during the evening. Hubert Sacy, the agency’s Senior Partner, presented the different elements of the campaign inspired by the world of fairy tales and their contribution to children’s imaginary worlds. Through radio, TV and print media, the general public is thus invited to buy a brand new book for needy children, so as to offer them a little imagination.

To close the event, the Foundation had a great surprise in store for its guests: the unveiling of Calendar 2009 – 10th anniversary of The Gift of Reading® (in French only). Produced with the collaboration of photographer Martine Doucet, this tool to promote reading as a family activity shows 12 Quebec performers and their families in their favourite reading activities. Several of the participating performers went up on stage with their children for a photo opportunity, along with project spokesperson, Marie Turgeon.


Marie Turgeon, project spokesperson, helps her daughter Béatrice as she gives a book
for the project, under the watchful eye of Foundation CEO, Maryse Perreault.


Martine Doucet poses by her work, the photos for Calendar 2009 – 10th anniversary of
The Gift of Reading®.


To inaugurate the 10th edition of The Gift of Reading®, Sophie Labrecque, the Foundation’s
former CEO, places her book in the collection box displaying the project’s new visual.


To close the evening, Marie Turgeon reads a story, to the joy of the children and guests of honour.


Left to right: Marie Turgeon; Richard Martineau; Francine Bois, General Manager, Salon du livre de Montréal; Richard Décarie, Head of Regional Communications, Domtar; Sophie Durocher; Stéphane Davignon, Lynda Johnson’s spouse; Jean Airoldi and his spouse, Valérie Taillefer; Sophie Labrecque; Andrée Racine, Adult Education and Community Action Branch (DEAAC), Quebec Ministry of Education, Recreation and Sport (MELS); Maryse Perreault; Maude Guérin; Martine Doucet; Lynda Johnson; and the children of the performers attending as well as of Foundation employees.

Special event at Montreal Salon du livre book fair

November 19–24, 2008

Despite our having worked with the underprivileged for 10 years, thousands such families are still having to do without the joy of reading. That is what prompts us to want to raise the awareness of the public and potential donors to the fact that reading stories does not hold a special place in most families targeted by the project. Special events scheduled for the Montreal book fair will help us convey to the public the importance of The Gift of Reading® and of its continued existence.



François-Étienne Paré




©Jocelyn Chevalier


©Anouk Lessard

©Martine Doucet

©Samuel Cloutier

©Éric Daudelin


©Martine Doyon

©Laurent Labatt

©Mark Husmann



©Monic Richard

©Monic Richard


©Martine Doyon          ©Courtesy

Top 10 bookstores collecting the most books

  1. Librairie de Verdun, Verdun
  2. Coopsco des Laurentides, Saint-Jérôme
  3. Librairie René Martin, Joliette
  4. Librairie Le Fureteur, Saint-Lambert
  5. Librairie Archambault, Anjou branch, Montreal
  6. Librairie Archambault, Place-des-Arts branch, Montreal
  7. Librairie Boyer, Salaberry-de-Valleyfield
  8. Renaud-Bray, Carrefour Angrignon branch, Montreal
  9. Librairie Lu-Lu, Mascouche
  10. Librairie Alire, Longueuil

Top 10 bookstores collecting the most money

  1. Librairie Moderne, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu
  2. Librairie Le Fureteur, Saint-Lambert
  3. Librairie du Nord, La Sarre
  4. Librairie Archambault, Chicoutimi branch, Chicoutimi
  5. Biblairie GGC, King branch, Sherbrooke
  6. Librairie des Galeries de Granby, Granby
  7. Librairie Boyer, Châteauguay
  8. Librairie Archambault, Berri branch, Montreal
  9. Librairie Archambault, Old Quebec branch, Quebec City
  10. Librairie Archambault, Anjou branch, Montreal

List of participating bookstores 2008–2009

Follow their example!

Variety and creativity mark fundraising at Mackay Centre School

Participating for the second time in the English-language component of The Gift of Reading®, teacher Mélissa Racine led three original fundraising activities in which her Grade 5 class were valiantly involved. For the cause, a bake sale, a hockey match between students and teachers, and a green bag sale were organized. Altogether, 248 brand new English-language books were bought with the funds raised.


Teachers and learners at Marguerite-Bourgeoys school board offer The Gift of Reading®

For their first time participating in the project, Commission scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys’s four adult education centres and Carrefour Multiservices collected 185 books!

Outstanding first collection!

School board staff were invited to donate a book or cash in aid of our cause. The funds raised then helped adults registered in literacy training to buy in turn a children’s book to give to The Gift of Reading®. A number of literacy teachers even added to the experience by organizing visits to a bookstore with the students to choose the books they wanted to give. Back in the classroom, the students took care to write an encouraging word on the dedication bookmark for the child who will be receiving their book.


A success such as this depends in particular on the commitment of Lorraine Boucher, who instigated this collection, and the support of her colleague Sylvie Roy.

Special thanks to all these learners and their teachers for their involvement!

These learners were pleased to take action for the cause!  


The official distribution of the books collected took place in the company of Maryse Dufresne, in charge of adult education, Wojtek Winnicki, deputy director general of the school board, and Lorraine Boucher and Sylvie Roy, academic advisors.

A second collection for Dégelis high school

For the second year in a row, École secondaire Dégelis organized a book collection for The Gift of Reading® on the occasion of its book fair. Some 165 books were collected, a 60% increase over last year. A big thank-you to Denis Clermont, library technician, and his whole team!

Selwyn House School’s youngest students get involved, too!

Claudine Martel, Head of French (Elementary School) at Selwyn House School in Westmount, spontaneously rallied to our cause by inviting parents of kindergarten and Grade 1 students to make cash donations for the purchase of books for The Gift of Reading®. Through this initiative, 51 books were collected.

A Christmas without presents

For Christmas 2008, the Quebec City office of Absolu communication marketing had the generous idea of replacing the traditional Christmas presents given to their clients at year end by a donation of books to The Gift of Reading® on their behalf. This original, creative initiative, headed by Élisabeth Lessard, consulting director, led to the collection of 86 books.

An electronic Christmas card, consisting of a story and, relating, in a video clip, the team’s adventures at each stage of their participation in the Gift of Reading® project, was sent to all the agency’s clients.

We are proud to thank the entire Absolu communication marketing team for their commitment to the cause!



Fifth successful collection

For the fifth year in a row, UQAM’s arts faculty organized a book collection and fundraiser in aid of The Gift of Reading® in the university’s different buildings. Enthusiastically orchestrated con brio by research and planning officer, Lucie Chartrand, the initiative this year collected 357 books and raised $571.67. A rousing cheer for all those involved for their outstanding dedication!

Special activities

In early May, the Foundation team had the great pleasure of sharing some reading time with more than 100 children and 30 or so parents, when they visited four schools 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 by a postcard rally and a draw for magnificent door prizes.

Her generosity made these visits highly memorable for all the participants, large and small, and for the team, not to mention the fact that the media were there to record the scene. This year, for the first time, on two of these visits a discussion/workshop was offered to the parents attending, presenting suggestions as to how to convey to children the love for and joy of reading.

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


École Lionel-Groulx, Longueuil

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Kindergarten pupils brought out their brightest colours to take part in the postcard rally, under the curious gaze of the parents attending.  

École Saint-Clément, Montreal
Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Comfortably installed in their classroom’s reading area, Grade 1 pupils listened attentively to not one, not two, but three great stories!  

École des Trois-Temps – Pavillon de l’Oiseau-Bleu, Saint-Lin–Laurentides

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The children of Carrefour 6/11 ans, an Association carrefour famille Montcalm initiative targeting kids aged 6–11, had fun thinking up various fantastic sequels to the story of Les Trois Brigands (The Three Robbers), which had just been read to them.  

École Saint-Nom-de-Jésus, Montreal
Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Grade 2 students rushed to discover their new gift of a book, sometimes even two of them at a time!