Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal inaugurated the worksite for its major development project, in the presence of Oratory Rector Father Claude Grou, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Seniors Sherry Romanado, Minister for Transport and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region Chantal Rouleau, Montréal Mayor Valérie Plante, and several representatives of the business community.
The Oratory used the occasion to also introduce the Campaign Cabinet for its fundraising initiative, Reaching New Heights.
The business community takes an active role
With a goal of raising $15 million—with the participation of the religious and business communities—the Campaign Cabinet will include some of Quebec's great builders of today.
Cabinet Chair Guy Cormier, President and CEO of Desjardins Group, will be supported by Serge Godin, CGI Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board, and Jean-Pierre Léger, Chairman of the Board for the St‑Hubert Foundation.
"We are pleased to be able to count on Quebec, Inc. leaders to mobilize the business community to help maintain this jewel of our religious and tourism heritage. In supporting the legacy that Saint Brother André has bequeathed to us, they are helping ensure that our sanctuary is preserved for future generations," said Father Claude Grou, CSC, Rector of Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal.
"I agreed to chair this major fundraising campaign, which will allow the Oratory to preserve its heritage buildings and provide an enhanced visitor experience through a sustainable development project. The Oratory was originally constructed by great builders from Quebec. In my mind, it is only appropriate that its future development be supported by the great builders of today. And I am proud to announce that we have already raised over 70% of our goal, or more than $11 million of our $15 million target. I would like to thank the members of the Campaign Cabinet for their close collaboration as well as all of our major donors," said Guy Cormier, Chair of the Oratory's Campaign Cabinet.
Quebec's business community has always stepped forward to support initiatives that reflect the collective sense of pride. Their support underscores the community's solidarity towards the completion of a project begun over 100 years ago.
Major development project
The work, which among other initiatives includes the construction of a new Welcome Centre and refurbishment of the dome of the Basilica, has been made possible thanks to the financial support of the Quebec government ($30.8 million), the Canadian government ($22 million) and the City of Montréal ($10 million).
"I am very pleased to be participating in today's launch of the development work for Saint Joseph's Oratory, which will reaffirm the important status of this tourist attraction. Visitors will enjoy an enhanced experience as they discover, or rediscover, the sanctuary and its breathtaking view of Montréal. Investing in cultural initiatives such as this allows us to celebrate our heritage and history while contributing to the economic development of our city, benefiting today's and tomorrow's generations," said Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Seniors, Sherry Romanado, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.
"The Quebec government is proud to collaborate on this major development project of Saint Joseph's Oratory, an architectural symbol of Montréal. We have a responsibility to preserve and enhance this extraordinary site that bears witness to our history. And today we are combining our resources to contribute to the development of this sanctuary, which represents both beauty and a rich heritage," said Chantal Rouleau, Minister for Transport and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region.
"The City of Montréal is proud to take part in the launch of the development work for this architectural masterpiece in our city that continues to inspire awe in so many people. The proof is in the two million visitors who come to the Oratory each year, making it Quebec's third most popular tourist destination. An important tourist attraction like the Oratory deserves to be preserved, enhanced and kept alive," added Montréal Mayor Valérie Plante.