About the Lighthouse

A Mission Based on Caring Attention

Created in 1999, The Lighthouse, Children and Families is a non-profit organization that contributes to the well-being of children whose lives are threatened by illnesses that require complex treatment, and provides respite and support to their families.

To carry out its mission, the Lighthouse provides three types of services: care provided at Maison André-Gratton, in-home respite care and support services.

  • Children and families are invited for variable length-stays or provided with end-of-life care at Maison André-Gratton, the first pediatric care facility in Quebec.
  • In-home respite care provided three times a week by volunteers who are trained to care for children whose condition requires special attention.
  • Support services for parents and siblings in order to help them experience every stage of a sick child’s life as serenely as possible.


The Values of the Lighthouse Children and Families:


Engagement is like embarking on the same boat; it implies that we are ready at all times to sail or to anchor. Anchored in a same philosophy and common vision, the crew submerges and takes risks that engage each’s will and intention to participate in the same action.


From the simple sailor to the captain, each has the same desire to take the men and cargo boat safely to port. In this shared vision and collective vigilance, each one considers the other’s work vital. From the rudder to the forecastle, through the crow's nest, the ship stays its course through maneuvering and observation, demanding each one’s consideration, integrity and, indulgence.


From his observation post, the watchman scrutinizes the fog to guide the ships to port and avoid the obstacles in the turmoil. His role is at the same time modest and essential; he must hold back any doubt and pretense of saving the others from sinking. Just like a small and precious oil lamp whose flame must never be extinguished, it instills in his soul the tranquil force that drives him to protect life.


Each link in the chain connecting the anchor to the boat is in solidarity with the one preceding it and the one succeeding it. If one of them separates, the anchor become useless, unable to fulfill its purpose of keeping the building at bay and averting its drift. Each element that constitutes the rigging of a ship - from the rope to the wing, from the hold to the top of the main mast - harmonizes with the whole which then acquires all its consistency, solidity, and direction.

A Two-Step Process

The first step for the Lighthouse was to develop an in-home respite care program, where volunteers were trained to work with families who required support. It was only the beginning however, because parents need more than a few hours of respite a week to restore their energy.

The second step began in 2003: the board of directors, staff and volunteers from the Lighthouse undertook a fundraiser to build a home where children could stay for several days in a safe environment. Construction work began in 2006 and Maison André-Gratton officially opened its doors 2007.

Expanding Care Services

Maison André-Gratton, the first pediatric care facility in Quebec, was named in memory of a young boy named André (the son of Mrs. Judith Dufour and Dr.Bernard Gratton) whose brother, Robert Gratton, is one of the Lighthouse, Children and Families’ major donors. André died of leukemia in 1954, at the age of three years and three months.

In the first year of its activities, the organization welcomed 56 children for periods of respite. Barely one year after it opened its doors, the Ministère de la Santé et des Services Sociaux recognized the Lighthouse as an Accredited Palliative Care Center, thus certifying the quality of care and services provided.

Families caring for sick children quickly adopted this privileged respite care center. In 2008 and 2009, more than one hundred children were admitted. Maison André-Gratton, with a maximum capacity of 12 children on weekends, is almost always full.

In-home respite care and support services are adapted as the number of families requiring help from our devoted volunteers grows.

Next Generation

The Lighthouse, Children and Families celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2009. On this special occasion, the organization restructured its Board of Directors. Nicole Marcil-Gratton, Chair of the Board from 2000 to 2009 was replaced by Louiselle Paquin and Michèle Viau-Chagnon, Founder and Director General since 2003, was replaced by Lyse Lussier.


In 2009, the Lighthouse began collaborating more closely with different partners from the health care network, by formalizing its partnership with the Montreal Children’s Hospital and CHU Sainte-Justine. The organization also implemented service agreements and defined different arrangements for the transfer of patients, information and data.

The dedication of the Lighthouse’s staff is echoed by the community’s generosity. A growing number of businesses, foundations and individuals support its mission by becoming donors and partners, and thus contribute to new projects, purchasing high tech equipment and special activities for sick children and their families.

This year, the Lighthouse's leaders’ numerous efforts were highly honored. Mrs. Michèle Viau-Chagnon received a recognition award from the Réseau de soins palliatifs du Québec for her contributions throughout her career. She was also appointed, along with Mrs. Nicole Marcil-Gratton, President between 2000 and 2009 and Associate President afterwards, Knight of the Ordre national du Québec, for their remarkable work since Maison André-Gratton was opened.

Administrative Staff


Lyne St-Martin
Executive Director

Élisabeth Vallée Lachance
Assistant to the Executive Director


Nicolas Limoges
Accounting Analyst

Véronique De Vreeze
Human Resources Advisor


Adam Mongodin
Assistant Executive Director

Patricia Laurence
Team Leader and Advisor, Philanthropic Development and Communications

Benoit Beaudoin
Webmaster and Digital Platforms Coordinator

Julie Lafrenière
Coordinator - Communications and Public Relations

Samuel Trottier
Associate Executive Director Assistant
514 789-4009

Julie Sauvageau
Senior Officer, Major and Planned Gifts

Mélanie Séguin
Marketing and Community Relations Advisor


Dr Silvana Barone
Medical Director

Ariane Parent-Lemay
Nurse Manager Health Care Services

Antoinette Petti, nurse
Nurse counsellor pediatric palliative care

Annick Gervais
Family Services Coordinator

Marion Onno
Social Worker

Medical Staff

(physicians, nurses, registered nurses and orderlies)

  • Doctor
  • Nurse
  • Licensed Practical Nurse
  • Patient Attendant

Karine Morissette (intérim)
Liaison Nurse

Support Staff

The support staff includes:

  • Child Life Specialists
  • Social Worker
  • Zootherapist
  • Music therapist
  • Massage therapist
  • Art therapist
  • Volunteer

To contact us: info@phare-lighthouse.com

A Team of Volunteers and Interns

The organization and its operations depend on the contribution of volunteers and interns, which is why they are considered as full members of the Lighthouse’s team. Their precious support is fully appreciated by children (at Maison André-Gratton or at home), the administration and support staff.

For more information on services provided by volunteers, please visit How you can help us or click on this link.

Board of Directors


François Gratton
Group President, TELUS and Chair, TELUS Quebec

Vice President

Marcel Martin
District Vice President, Quebec and Eastern Canada - AGF Investments Inc.


Viviane Croux
Vice President, National Accounts - TD Commercial Banking


Serge Lalonde
Counsel, Dentons Canada S.E.N.C.R.L.


Michèle Viau-Chagnon, C.Q.


Dr Louis Beaumier
Assistant professor, Department of paediatrics - McGill University, Faculty of medicine

Rita Benyahia
Senior Manager, Finance Transformation - Bell Canada

François Charpentier
Parents' Representatives

Isabelle Desmarais
Assistant Syndic - Chambre de la Sécurité Financière - Parents' Representatives

Dr Marc-Antoine Marquis
Attending physician, General Pediatrics and Pediatric Palliative Care - Ste-Justine Hospital

Dominic Paradis
Vice President, legal and corporate secretary, National Bank

André Pratte
Director, Navigator


Maison André-Gratton was built with thanks to these dedicated, committed and very convincing people!
The home officially opened in 2007 and after all these years, several of these people remain just as strongly attached to the Lighthouse, Children and Families.


Michèle Viau-Chagnon


Paul Desmarais Jr.
Ginette Godin
Serge Godin
Eddie Leschuitta
Andrew Molson
Stéphane Quintal
Pierre Shedleur