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About Us

The Arts Save Lives

The Fondation Michaëlle Jean Foundation is the legacy of the 27th Governor General of Canada, the Right Honorable Michaëlle Jean. During her five-year mandate, she made serving Canadian youth one of her priorities. She travelled the country with her husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond, engaging with young people from coast to coast, many of them disenfranchised youth; listening to their stories, shedding light on their realities and concerns, making sure that their voices are heard and encouraging them to be socially engaged in their communities, using the full strength of their creativity. They developed a unique connection. In 2010, when her mandate ended, Madame Jean knew that her legacy would be all about serving young people and the arts as tools for social change in Canada.

“These young people confronted with harsh situations and difficult circumstances are far from being inactive. They are striving. In fact, they have shown us, through their very inspiring and creative initiatives, the importance and impact of the power of the arts to speak out, address sensitive issues and realities, be empowered as they regain their self esteem and confidence, break isolation and even to stay alive. With the help of young people across Canada, we have created an Urban Arts program, the Youth Dialogues series, the Citizens Voices web platform and the Art Matters forums. These opportunities to gather have proven to be truly essential in bringing together thousands of Canadian.”

— The Right Honorable Michaëlle Jean