Montreal, September 30, 2003 Today, Mr. Benoit Labonté, president of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, unveiled the names of the four new Greater Montrealers, 2003 edition, during a press conference at Montreal city hall. This year, under the presidency of Ms. Michèle Thibodeau-Deguire, the Académie des Grands Montréalais, a group of Montreal's most illustrious figures, welcomes to its ranks Mr. Serge Godin, chairman and CEO, CGI Group Inc.; Dr. Yves Lamontagne, president, Collège des médecins du Québec; Ms. Huguette Oligny, actor; and Mr. Charles Taylor , philosopher emeritus, McGill University.
On behalf of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, our some 7,000 members, and myself, I wish to extend our warmest congratulations to the 2003 Great Montrealers who, through their exceptional contributions to the growth of our community and the influence of our metropolis both here and abroad, have, over the years, become a source of inspiration for all Montrealers, declared Labonté. The Board of Trade is proud to have patronized this prestigious annual event, the Gala des Grands Montréalais, to publicly acknowledge these leading lights of our society for their remarkable contributions to their respective spheres of activity, whether it be cultural, economic, social, or scientific. Their vision, passion, and perseverance have helped enhance Montreal's reputation and make it a more dynamic, humane, and prosperous city, he concluded.
On behalf of all her colleagues, Ms. Thibodeau-DeGuire, chair of the 2003 board of directors of the Académie des Grands Montréalais, then welcomed the new members to the Academy. It is with a great deal of emotion that I join the president of the Board of Trade today in presenting our four personalities 2003. The people honoured this year are authentic, extraordinary individuals who have earned our great respect for the admirable work they have done throughout their brilliant careers. She also thanked and congratulated the members of the academy for their contributions and the selection of individuals reflecting the diversity and vitality of Montreal.
Mr. Gérald Trembly, mayor of Montreal, invited the 2003 Great Montrealers to sign the ceremonial gold book in the presence of Mr. Labonté, Ms. Thibodeau-DeGuire, and the academy members.
The Gala des Grands Montréalais a unique opportunity
to pay homage to exceptional individuals
The four individuals chosen by the Academy's nominating committee will be honoured on October 30 during a gala evening in the Windsor ballroom. This annual Board of Trade event is made possible this year through the financial support of Economic Development Canada in association with Canadian National and SITQ Immobilier and will be a unique opportunity to meet and congratulate the Great Montrealers personally.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal created the Académie des Grands Montréalais in 1988. It now has 86 members, including the four selected this year.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has some 7,000 members. Its mission is to be the leading group representing the interests of the Greater Montreal business community. Its objectives are to maintain, at all times, relevance to its membership, credibility towards the public and influence towards government and decision-makers. The Board of Trade relies on its three service branches - Info entreprises, the Electronic Commerce Institute, and the World Trade Centre Montréal - to offer specialized services to the greater business community.