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2014 Great Montrealers: Marcel Côté, Oliver Jones, Bartha Maria Knoppers, Alvin Cramer Segal and Réjean Thomas honoured

Montréal, November 21, 2014 – The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is very proud to have paid tribute last night to five Great Montrealers, with Montréal Mayor Denis Coderre in attendance. Four Great Montrealers were chosen by their peers at the academy of Great Montrealers for their outstanding contribution to our city’s cultural, economic, scientific and social scenes. For the first time, the academy decided to honour an exceptional Montrealer posthumously, Marcel Côté, Founding Partner of SECOR.

“This tribute evening shines the spotlight on some of our city’s luminaries who, through their talent, commitment and generosity, have helped make Montréal what it is today,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “The 2014 Great Montrealers honoured this evening have devoted their lives to advancing the causes and issues that are important to them. They are role models for younger generations, showing them that it takes time and passion to achieve great things.”

“Every city needs to celebrate its builders, the men and women who, through their hard work and talent, contribute to its prestige and reputation,” said Montréal Mayor Denis Coderre. “The Great Montrealers honoured last night are perfect examples of this: their outstanding careers and many accomplishments are testimony to the city’s vigour and vitality. I am particularly touched that the academy decided to make an exception to pay posthumous tribute to Marcel Côté, a man who loved Montréal and an inimitable councillor with whom I had the privilege of working.”

This year, in the economic sector, the academy chose to recognize the exceptional career of Alvin Cramer Segal, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Peerless Clothing. A major figure on the Quebec entrepreneurial scene, he built the largest manufacturer of men’s clothing in North America. He has also played a key role in treatment and research at Montréal’s Jewish General Hospital, helping establish the new Segal Cancer Centre in 2006.

In the cultural sector, Oliver Jones, an incredible pianist and music legend, helped bring jazz to a broad audience. Making his career in Montréal, his home town, he achieved fame that has never stopped growing at home and abroad. Oliver Jones officially retired on January 1, 2000. To celebrate his 80th birthday, he nevertheless took to the stage one more time to play a concert for his fans during the Festival international de jazz de Montréal.

A great Canadian legal mind, Prof. Bartha Maria Knoppers was recognized in the scientific sector for her research into the ethical aspects of genetics, genomics and biotechnology. In 2007, she created the Public Population Project in Genomics and the Quebec biobank CARTaGENE. A distinguished figure, Prof. Knoppers has led the fight for the social appropriation of genetics and genomics.

In the social sector, Dr. Réjean Thomas, Founder, Chairman and CEO of the Clinique médicale l’Actuel, has devoted his career to sexual health and the fight against AIDS. In 1984, he co-founded a clinic that in 1987 became the Clinique médicale l’Actuel. One of the builders of Médecins du monde Canada, Dr. Thomas helped establish humanistic medicine in Canada and abroad. He recently opened the Clinique A in Montréal, which specializes in sexual health. The fight against prejudice and the defence of rights of people living with HIV has earned Dr. Thomas international credibility and esteem.

The names of the Great Montrealers for 2014 will be engraved on the Constellation of Great Montrealers, located in the Hall Place Riopelle at the Palais des congrès de Montréal. Since 1978, the academy of Great Montrealers has honoured 132 luminaries, including those this year. The photo and biography of each of the recipients for 2014 can be consulted at

The 2014 Tribute to Great Montrealers reception is presented by Hydro-Québec, co-presented by CN and organized in partnership with the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Génome Québec, KPMG, Le Devoir and the Montreal Gazette.

About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has over 7,000 members. Its mission is to be the voice of Montréal’s business community and to promote the city’s prosperity. It is involved in key areas of economic development, advocating a philosophy of action based on engagement, credibility, proactivity, collaboration and innovation. The Board of Trade also offers a range of specialized services to individuals and to business of all sizes to support them in their growth at home and abroad.

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Michelle LLambias Meunier
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4042

Twitter: @chambremontreal
Follow the discussion: #ccmmqcca

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