Honorary degree citation - Régine A. Chassagne
By: Sandra Gabriele, November 2016
Mr. Chancellor, it is my honour to present to you Ms. A. Régine Chassagne, an outstanding philanthropist, award-winning musician and Concordia alumna.
Ms. Chassagne grew up in St-Lambert, her family emigrating from Haiti during the dictatorship of Jean-Claude Duvalier.
Today, Ms. Chassagne is a leader in establishing educational, farming and health initiatives for the citizens of Haiti through the KANPE Foundation.
Ms. Chassagne co-founded KANPE with Ms. Dominique Anglade.
The word “kanpe” is Creole, and translates to “stand up”.
The foundation provides Haitians in need with tools and training, in addition to customized counseling and financial support.
The goal is to help Haiti’s most vulnerable families achieve financial autonomy.
Ms. Chassagne has been widely recognized for her philanthropic accomplishments.
In 2011, she was featured by the Globe and Mail as a “Canadian Changing the World”
In 2014, the Montreal International Black Film Festival honoured her with a Social Impact Award.
An alumnus of Concordia’s Department of Communication Studies, Ms. Chassagne is also a founding member of critically acclaimed indie-rock band Arcade Fire.
Since its inception in 2001, the band has won six Juno Awards, two Brit Awards, a Grammy, a Polaris Prize, and an Academy Award nomination for their work on the 2013 Spike Jonze film, Her.
Arcade Fire’s music has earned them a global audience and strengthened Montreal’s reputation as a dynamic source of popular culture.
Ms. Chassagne and her band have worked for many years with Partners In Health, a global organization committed to improving the health of poor and marginalized people.
Arcade Fire has donated $1 per ticket, both to Partners In Health and KANPE for every concert since 2005.
To date, Arcade Fire has raised over $2 million for Haiti, trained more than 1,000 volunteers and signed up over 50,000 fans.
Ms. Chassagne embodies everything we hope our graduates will be: successful, driven to give back to their communities, and conscientious citizens of the world.
She has achieved eminence in the music field and has demonstrated outstanding public service through her philanthropic initiatives and community service to her native Haiti.
As an honorary doctoral recipient, she will inspire our students to think broadly about the impact they could have on the world around them.
Mr. Chancellor, on behalf of Senate and the Board of Governors, it is my privilege and honour to present to you Ms. Régine Chassagne, so that you may confer upon her the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa.