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2013 Great Montrealers: Lise Watier, Kent Nagano, Julie Payette and Pierre Bourgie honoured

Montreal, November 14, 2013 – At a tribute reception this evening, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal will honour four luminaries who are joining the academy of Great Montrealers this year.

“Montréal is brimming with talented people, sometimes unfamiliar to the general public, who have helped make a name for our city well beyond its borders,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “Joining a long line of predecessors, the Great Montrealers we honour this year have enriched the economic, cultural, scientific and social life of our city through their vision and community involvement.”

This year, in the economic sector, the academy chose to recognize the exceptional career of Lise Watier, Founder of Lise Watier Cosmétiques and President of the Lise Watier Foundation. A pioneer of Quebec entrepreneurship ‒ predominantly a man’s world for far too long ‒, she built the largest cosmetics company Quebec has ever known, in a highly competitive industry where international giants do battle. Throughout her career, this business woman and great philanthropist has channelled her convictions and generosity into helping women and girls in need. Lise Watier is an inspiration for a new generation of entrepreneurs.

In the cultural sector, internationally renowned Music Director Kent Nagano has made the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal a powerful cultural emblem of the city. The wealth of his experience and his repertoire have made a major contribution to Montréal’s prestige and musical reputation. It is testimony to the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal’s excellence under his stewardship that Montréal can finally boast the Maison symphonique de Montréal, a universally recognized masterpiece of acoustics.

Astronaut Julie Payette, Chief Operating Officer of the Montréal Science Centre and Vice President of the Canada Lands Company, is honoured in the scientific sector for having helped re-establish the vital importance of the sciences in Quebec society. As the first Canadian to take part in an International Space Station mission, she consolidated Montréal’s reputation in astronomy and pointed the way to the stars for thousands of young Quebecers.

Finally, in the social sector, philanthropist Pierre Bourgie has raised awareness among Montrealers and Quebecers of the importance of increasing funding to social and cultural organizations. Combined with his passion for the visual arts and music, his great philanthropy allowed the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts to add a musical dimension to its mission with the construction of Bourgie Hall, named in honour of his family. Pierre Bourgie embodies a new generation of francophone business people who care about sharing the benefits of their success with the entire community.

“Montréal was built on the talent, vision, knowledge, creativity and generosity of these exemplary leaders,” Michel Leblanc said. “Their commitment has made our city one we can all be proud of.”

The names of the 2013 Great Montrealers will be engraved on the Constellation of Great Montrealers. Inaugurated last year for the Board of Trade’s 190th anniversary, this interactive work is located in the Palais des congrès de Montréal’s Hall Place Riopelle.

Since 1978, the academy of Great Montrealers has honoured 127 luminaries, including those this year. For photos and bios of the recipients for 2013, visit

The 2013 Tribute to Great Montrealers reception is presented by Hydro-Québec and produced in cooperation with Le Devoir and The Gazette.

About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal

The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of some 7,000 members. Its mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montréal and to provide individuals, merchants, and local businesses of all sizes with a variety of specialized services to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity, and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is Quebec's leading private economic development organization.

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

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