The Foundation


Since its inception in 1989, the Literacy Foundation has created many projects that have made it known in Quebec, elsewhere in Canada, and on the international scene. Starting in 1996, it implemented sound strategic planning. The credibility of the social action proposed by the Foundation lies in the strength of its convictions and its profound faith in the need to generate change in society so as to enhance the quality of life of illiterate individuals and, consequently, the community.


Since Quebec is not immune to illiteracy, the representatives of the Équipe interrégionale en alphabétisation du Québec (interregional literacy team) mobilized for International Literacy Year, decreed in 1990 by UNESCO. Their aim was to mark the occasion with a major awareness campaign that led to the creation of the Literacy Foundation on November 14, 1989.


The Foundation through the years … From 1989 to 2009: highlights

November 1989

Creation of the Quebec Literacy Foundation

Team: No permanent staff


Official launch of the Foundation, May 4, 1990

Launch of the referral line

Launch of Quebec Literacy Week


First annual fundraising campaign


First issue of the Alpha-Link newsletter


Introduction of strategic governance

Start of Domtar’s Paper Christmas for Literacy project

1st participation in Opération Bonne Mine (initiative to minimize the impact of childhood poverty)

1st fundraising campaign targeted to companies


Inauguration of A Book and a Rose

1st symposium on corporate literacy training and basic training

Publication Éducation et démocratie : entre individu et société

Launch of the Foundation’s Web site

Code d’accès TV program on TQS (for people with reading and writing difficulties)


Inception of Option-compétences: referral service in the field of corporate training in basic competencies

Start of The Gift of Reading®

New name for the referral line: Info-Alpha line

2nd symposium on corporate literacy training and basic training

Publication La mondialisation de l'ignorance


Launch of the video À mots découverts (four portraits of illiterate people)

Final participation in Opération Bonne Mine


First edition of the Dictionaries: Pass it on! project

3rd symposium on corporate literacy training and basic training

Publication Nouvelle économie, nouveaux enjeux de formation


Launch of the Adult Learnline

Name change to Literacy Foundation

Establishment of the Referral Department – Companies section

End of Quebec Literacy Week: superseded by collaboration on Quebec Adult Learners Week, introduced by the Quebec Ministry of Education (MEQ)


The Foundation’s budget reaches its first $1 million

New organizational signature: Fill in the Blank!

First Reading Day

Letters in the City

Publication Des adultes à former pour et par un entreprise rénovée


15th anniversary of the Foundation

Poll on the Foundation’s profile by Léger Marketing: 45% of Quebecers are familiar with the Foundation

Launch of the À la une! electronic newsletter


Jacques Demers’s illiteracy revealed: record number of calls to the Info-Alpha line


Jacques Demers, honorary chairman of the annual fundraising campaign

Start of the Cascades of Paper for Literacy—Green Learning project

Creation of the Literacy Coalition


New organizational signature: Words of hope

Hebdos Québec survey: one in every four weekly newspaper readers knows someone who has trouble reading

Research Mieux connaître le parcours des apprenants potentiels en lien avec la formation et l'emploi : analyse du portrait des adultes faisant appel au Service de référence de la Fondation pour l'alphabétisation

Born elsewhere, learning here symposium

Last Reading Day


Inauguration of a public service campaign aimed at reaching immigrant women


10th anniversary of The Gift of Reading®

20th anniversary of the Literacy Foundation

In May, more than 30,000 brand new children’s books were distributed through The Gift of Reading.

Launch of the I Don’t Give Up, I’m A Winner! bursary program sponsored by the Desjardins Foundation

Drafting of a new three-year strategic plan
10th anniversary of the Adult Learnline referral line

In May, some 37,000 brand new children’s books were distributed through The Gift of Reading, more than 15,000 of them to infants and toddlers aged 0–4.
The Gift of Reading inaugurated an all-new visual concept.