Montreal, Canada – Bell announced on August 21 it will be presenting the largest-ever fundraising event for mental health in Québec. Bal des Lumières, to be held March 20, 2013, at the Bell Centre in Montréal will raise funds for the Fondation de l’Hôpital Louis-H. Lafontaine, the Mental Illness Foundation, and the Douglas Mental Health University Institute Foundation.
“Bal des Lumières will set a new standard for mental health fundraising in Montréal and Québec,” said George Cope, President and CEO of BCE and Bell, and Chair of the event. “I’m very pleased to be joined by some of Québec’s most distinguished business leaders in building on the progress of the Bell Let’s Talk initiative and the fight against the stigma of mental illness.”
Joining Mr. Cope as co-chairs of Bal des Lumières are Serge Godin, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board, CGI; Geoff Molson, Owner, President and Chief Executive Officer, Club de hockey Canadien, Bell Centre & evenko; and Louis Vachon, President and CEO, National Bank. These leaders of Québec industry and culture have joined to shine a spotlight on mental health and raise funds for three of Montréal’s most important mental health organizations.
“The last two years have seen major progress in highlighting mental health while breaking the stigma of mental illness,” said Mr. Godin. “Collectively we are committing to making the next leap in converting awareness of mental illness – which after all affects 1 in 5 of us – into much needed funding for these three leading organizations in Québec mental health.”
Bal des Lumières is the first external charitable gala to be held at the Bell Centre in over five years. Some 700 guests will enjoy an evening of exquisite dining and inspiring entertainment in this unique venue.
“We are very happy to make the Bell Centre available for Bal des Lumières, working together as a team to inspire hope and support the incredible work of Louis-H. Lafontaine, the Douglas and the Mental Illness Foundation,” said Mr. Molson. “This issue touches us all and there can be no better expression of the commitment of our four companies to dedication and commitment of those on the front lines of mental health care here in Québec.”
“National Bank is proud to join with Bell, CGI and the Canadiens to not only raise awareness of mental health but raise funds for those at the forefront of research and care in Québec,” said Mr. Vachon. “With mental health issues the leading cause of workplace disability, costing our economy $51 billion every year, I look forward to seeing every business leader in Québec on March 20.”
The Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative is a $50-million charitable program based on 4 action pillars: Anti-stigma, care and access, research, and workplace best practices. To learn more about Bell Let’s Talk, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.
Bell is honoured to be named the recipient of the 2012 Freeman Philanthropic Services Award for Outstanding Corporation for the Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative. The prestigious international award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) was presented to Bell in March in Vancouver.