Our History

The Michaëlle Jean Foundation was born of the actions taken to support youth, the arts and culture during the mandate of the former Governor General and her husband Jean-Daniel Lafond. These actions involved grassroots organizations, business people, artists, elected officials and young people across Canada. All called for the creation of a national organization that would continue to support innovative initiatives that enable underserved youth to unite, share ideas, and act positively in their community. Mme Jean and M. Lafond chose to dedicate the legacy of their mandate to fulfilling that pan-Canadian vision.

To learn more about the 2005-2010 governor general mandate, please visit the online forum Citizen Voices. The site was the result of careful consideration by Mr. Lafond and a team of young enthusiastic collaborators on how to renew the tools to facilitate debate and dialogue at Rideau Hall. As a novel, interactive and highly dynamic medium, the website allowed the Web community to communicate more easily, to expand contact networks, to share ideas and to establish a durable link with Rideau Hall.

On October 1, 2010, the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, declared, “I am proud to announce support today for the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, which will help more young people become active citizens in their communities.”

The Foundation was established with a contribution of $3 million from The Government of Canada. A challenge grant has been set up, through the assistance of The Department of Canadian Heritage, to give the Foundation the opportunity to receive matching funds for donations made by individuals, corporations and foundations.

All Canadians are invited to join us as we pursue our mission. Learn how you can get involved.