Donors expand creative arts therapies programs through $1.5M in support to Campaign for Concordia: Next-Gen Now

Programs for youth as well as adults with neurodiversity and developmental challenges to be strengthened by gifts from the Fondation Sandra et Alain Bouchard and Fondation Famille Mongeau
May 24, 2022
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Adults with neurodiversity and developmental challenges, including autism spectrum disorder, as well as youth in foster care and other groups in need of accessible service, will get added support thanks to gifts from the Fondation Sandra et Alain Bouchard and the Fondation Famille Mongeau to the Campaign for Concordia: Next-Gen Now.

Founded by Concordia grad Sandra Chartrand, BA 85, and Alain Bouchard, co-founder and chairman of Alimentation Couche-Tard, the Fondation Sandra et Alain Bouchard is giving $1 million to advance the Concordia Arts in Health Centre (CAiHC) and the Centre for the Arts in Human Development (CAHD).

The CAiHC is being additionally supported by a $500,000 donation from the Fondation Famille Mongeau. Led by Guylaine Leduc and Claude Mongeau, former chief executive officer of Canadian National (CN) Railway, the foundation’s gift was made possible with support from CN’s Helping Hand Program that was launched by the couple in 2012.

The gifts from both foundations will support programs that coexist within the Department of Creative Arts Therapies in Concordia’s Faculty of Fine Arts:

  • A clinical creative arts therapies program in French at the CAHD for adults on the autism spectrum
  • Creative arts therapies programs for children and adolescents in English and French youth centres
  • Creative arts therapies for the broader community, with a focus on people who have been socially marginalized and may have less access to services
  • Financial assistance for graduate students in the Department of Creative Arts Therapies
  • Research in creative arts therapies

“Outreach programs in service of our community have always been part of Concordia’s culture,” says Concordia President Graham Carr. “We’re beyond grateful that two new donors — the Fondation Sandra et Alain Bouchard and the Fondation Famille Mongeau — are providing such generous support to help the university to expand our groundbreaking creative arts therapies programs to the benefit of our students and members of the community in and around Montreal.”

Since it was established in 2012, the Fondation Sandra et Alain Bouchard has donated millions to empower artists and cultural programs in Quebec, and assist people with disabilities.

Concordia graduate Sandra Chartrand, co-founder and president of the Fondation Sandra et Alain Bouchard, says her alma mater’s priorities line up with her foundation’s mission.

“Concordia has a tradition of offering teaching and learning rooted in practice,” Chartrand says. “We were encouraged by how this approach is being used by the Department of Creative Arts Therapies at its state-of-the-art facilities on Sir George Williams Campus, and through its partner centres at the university.

“Providing support for adults with special needs is a major objective of our foundation — we are excited to see how this comes together through art, drama and music therapy programs pioneered at Concordia.”

The Fondation Famille Mongeau supports a number of Montreal organizations, such as Centraide of Greater Montreal, Chez Doris shelter for women and Sun Youth.

“The principal driver of our philanthropy is the needs of the Montreal community,” says Mongeau. “When we learned more about Concordia’s leadership in creative arts therapies education, particularly at the graduate level, and its related work helping young people, we knew we wanted to contribute.”

Adds Guylaine Leduc: “It’s always been very important to us to support children with special problems or health issues.”

Find out more from five key members of the university community.

Thanks to this support, the new Concordia Arts in Health Centre (CAiHC) will hire staff to provide creative arts therapies services to the community on Sir George Williams Campus in downtown Montreal and beyond. The gift from the Fondation Sandra et Alain Bouchard will also accelerate the work of the Centre for the Arts in Human Development (CAHD).

Established in 1996 as a first-of-its-kind clinical training and research development site for graduate students in art therapy, dance-movement therapy, drama therapy and music therapy, the CAHD uses the creative arts to enhance the well-being of participants facing a range of physical and cognitive challenges.

“The Faculty of Fine Arts is thrilled to have this significant support,” says Annie Gérin, dean of Concordia’s Faculty of Fine Arts. “Creative arts therapies have tremendous potential to benefit diverse cohorts of society. The gifts from the Bouchard and Mongeau families will enable us to build on our strengths as a leader in this burgeoning field and foster experiential learning for our students.”

Paul Chesser, BA 94, GrDip 97, vice-president of Advancement, is pleased the two foundations joined the Campaign for Concordia. “We are so grateful that the Fondation Sandra et Alain Bouchard and the Fondation Famille Mongeau are investing in Concordia so we can expand creative arts therapies programs into the community.”



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