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Gilles Desjardins receives the Meritorious Service Decoration (Civil Division)

November 05, 2018



Gilles Desjardins receives the Meritorious Service Decoration (Civil Division)


GATINEAU, November 5th 2018 Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, has recognized Gilles Desjardins for his numerous philanthropic achievements in the National Capital Region by presenting him with The Meritorious Service Decoration (Civil Division).


He was first informed of the decision by Rideau Hall on August 28th. The news was an emotional one, as giving back has always been central to his family and corporate values, and something he purposes to do every day.


“This recognition moves me deeply. My life misison is to create beauty, for my region and for everyone around me. My support is unwavering for causes that improve the quality of life in my community. I work tirelessly to bring forth projects that will attract major employers and philanthropists — this is a legacy that I want to leave for future generations.”


This concern for others, rooted in his core values and heart as a father and committed family man, is reflected in the many actions he has taken over the years. Recently, as a tornado ripped through Ottawa-Gatineau, he was among the first in the business community to take a stand and donate $100,000 toward helping the victims. He then quickly mobilized the support of others, which resulted in a resoundingly successful fundraiser that yielded almost half a million dollars for the Red Cross to assist local victims. Gilles Desjardins is well known for such magnanimous displays of generosity; others know him, however, for his many untold acts of kindness. About this, he says: “I have been extremely blessed, by life and by my family. The people of Gatineau and Ottawa have also been very supportive, and so I give back.”


His company slogan, proud to build a better quality of life, truly has become a way of life; it is carried by a vision and commitment that will endure over the course of generations. For someone whose heart is to build great communities to live in, the Medal received today provides yet another opportunity to express heartfelt thanks to this region, of which he is so very proud.




President and founder of the realty company BRIGIL, and recognized by Episode in 2015 as one of the top philanthropists in the province of Quebec, Gilles Desjardins believes in supporting all of the sectors foundational to community life. In this regard, he has donated millions of dollars in support of education (Fondation du Cégep de l'Outaouais), of the arts (La Nouvelle Scène Gilles Desjardins) and sports (Senators’ Rink in Gatineau).  His largest contribution, however, has been in support of health, as he donated $1.5 M to Fondation Santé Gatineau and $775,000 in combined donations to the Canadian Cancer Society, the Ottawa General Hospital, the Montfort Hospital, the Centre de pédiatrie sociale de Gatineau (for social pediatrics), and the Maison Mathieu Froment-Savoie (for palliative care).



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Photo credit : Le Droit

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