Yves Tremblay and Sylvie Villeneuve have an extensive history of philanthropy and community involvement in Ottawa. It’s clear that being generous and making an impact have long been important to them — and they show no signs of slowing down.
In fact, they have just made their largest donation to date to any charity with a $5-million gift to The Ottawa Hospital’s Campaign to Create Tomorrow. This gift is a huge boost to a historic campaign that will help set in motion a vision to completely reshape healthcare by building the most technologically advanced hospital in Canada and taking groundbreaking research and innovation to unprecedented heights.
“We’ve been so fortunate throughout our life together, and it’s important to us to find ways to give back to the community,” says Tremblay. “When something matters to me, I don’t wait; I act.”
And supporting this campaign and the development of a new hospital campus on Carling Avenue was critically important — an investment in the future health of the city he loves. “With a project of this magnitude, that has the potential to have a transformative impact on our city, I felt there was a leadership component here. That’s why I stepped up,” he says.
In addition to stepping up with the transformational gift, Tremblay also saw an opportunity to lend his leadership experience and signed on to join the hospital’s Campaign Cabinet, dedicating his time and talents to helping the Campaign to Create Tomorrow reach its ambitious goal.
“Families like mine, who have the means to help this vision become reality, have a chance to be part of something special,” says Tremblay. “And I think it’s critical to seize those opportunities.”
Taking action on community projects and making a sizable difference through philanthropy is something Tremblay and Villeneuve don’t shy away from. In fact, their many contributions were recognized at this year’s AFP Ottawa Philanthropy Awards as the winners of the Outstanding Individual Philanthropist category.
This award is well-deserved recognition for their intentional decision to generously pay forward the success Tremblay had during his long career in high-tech. After several years at Bell Northern Research, he branched out with a company of his own that was acquired by JDS Fitel (later JDS Uniphase). As his successes grew, so too did his focus on community leadership and philanthropy.
Tremblay played a pivotal role in a historic, $15-million donation from group of current and former JDS employees that led to the 2007 opening of the JDS Uniphase Employee Legacy Critical Care Wing at The Ottawa Hospital. A few years later, he co-chaired the 20-20 Campaign, which raised more than $24 million for an expansion at The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre. He also served on The Ottawa Hospital Board of Governors, including three years as chair during the time the hospital decided to move forward with building a new hospital campus to replace the aging Civic Campus.
Three years ago, Tremblay also chaired a campaign at the Montfort Hospital that led to the creation of the hospital’s new Orléans Health Hub. He and Villeneuve donated $1.5 million to the project, which was the single largest gift in the hospital’s history.
Despite a long list of community projects and philanthropic undertakings, Tremblay is quick to point out it’s not about what they have accomplished together in the past, but rather it’s about looking ahead.
“I want our gift to motivate other business leaders to step forward for the greater good,” he says. “My message is that this new hospital is needed, but it’s not about a building — it’s about the incredible difference it will have on our community. We will all need care at some point, so join me in giving. Do it for your family and your neighbours. If you can afford to help, then I challenge you to help.”
Please join Yves and Sylvie in helping create a better tomorrow through a donation today.