June 11, 2008 - Press releases
Montreal, June 9, 2008 – Today, before the project's major partners and neighbourhood school children, the co-chairs of the fundraising campaign, Sophie Brochu, President and CEO of Gaz Métro, and Jacques Ménard, President of BMO Financial Group Quebec, launched the construction work for “80, ruelle de l'Avenir.” A joint initiative of Gaz Métro and community organization Projet 80, this project is aimed at reducing the dropout rate, which stands at 70% in this, one of the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods in all of Canada.
The construction, estimated at close to $3.2 million, is set to be completed by September. The centre will be housed within Garneau elementary school and will foster a unique and stimulating educational environment for the children of the Centre-Sud and Hochelaga Maisonneuve districts.
“The time is ripe for mobilization in this community, and in particular for a partnership between the community and the private sector. As a socially responsible company, Gaz Métro has chosen to invest in and commit to this trail blazing project so that we can make a difference in a world full of differences. We must provide young people with a learning environment that allows them to grow and believe in the future,” said Ms. Brochu. “80, ruelle de l'Avenir is a path that will show children the way to overcome obstacles in a neighbourhood where almost 78% of families are living off an annual income of less than $21,000. Here, children will learn through cooking, horticulture, science, sports, arts and the multimedia,” explained Daniel Paquin, General Manager of Projet 80.
A $5 million fundraising campaign is currently underway to ensure the realization and longevity of this important project. “If we just apply ourselves, we can achieve great things in the ‘alleys of the future,'” added Mr. Ménard. “I appeal to the business community to get actively involved and show its support by generously giving to this nurturing project, which can serve as a model for supporting young people in other areas of Montreal and indeed across Quebec.”
This all-important project would never have been possible if it weren't for the invaluable collaboration of the Commission scolaire de Montréal (CSDM) and the dedication of the administration and staff at École Garneau. “The Commission scolaire de Montréal is very proud to join hands with the various partners of this wonderful adventure, “80, ruelle de l'Avenir”. This completely revitalized environment will inspire our children to give the best of themselves and dream big,” underscored Louise Mainville, Commissioner of the St-Louis – Mile End district and member of the Executive Committee of the CSDM.
Whether in the form of a donation, the offering of services or the involvement of individual volunteers, a great many partners have climbed on board in support of this initiative, whose single aim is to significantly improve the quality of life for thousands of children. For more information on this project and a complete list of its partners, please visit www.80ruelle.com.