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Nicole Marcil-Gratton’s Vision

Without Nicole Marcil-Gratton, The Lighthouse’s Maison André-Gratton simply wouldn’t exist. This exceptional woman, mother, and Université de Montréal demographer, moved by the suffering and exhaustion of parents with terminally ill children and the lack of available resources, saw her most personal values reflected in this daunting project and embraced it from the outset.

Invaluable partner of The Lighthouse, Children and Families founder Michèle Viau-Chagnon, Nicole spent countless hours working in the field, lobbying the government, and soliciting private donors to bring to life what had become a personal mission. Armed with unquestionable integrity and an unshakeable faith in the project, she put her formidable powers of persuasion to work, knocking on door after door and taking every opportunity to further the project. Patient and strategic, she acted as a between her passionate colleagues and the rest of the world, encouraging them to save their strength for the opportunities that would truly move the project forward and help them to reach their goal. Intelligent and disciplined, she prepared her public appearances with great care, convincing decision makers and company directors of the project’s credibility and viability with tact and grace. A passionate, petite, bright-eyed woman, she won over major government and industry players with her charisma and quiet strength.

Nicole Marcil-Gratton – September 2008

When Nicole Marcil-Gratton received noncommittal, reluctant replies, she simply rolled up her sleeves. To her, such dismissals weren’t an affront—they were an opportunity to educate people about the cause, as well as a reminder to keep going. There were roadblocks over the years: finding a construction site for Maison André-Gratton, the change in government in 2003 at a time when the project was building steam and had already garnered numerous commitments, and the constant and ever-growing need for funding. But Nicole never gave up. Her tenacity heartened colleagues and partners when they grew discouraged at the sheer size of the task. Straightforward, discrete, and utterly humble, she tackled every challenge with a strength of character, vision, determination, and conviction that forged the very foundations of the organization.

Nicole Marcil-Gratton with Michèle Viau-Chagnon, founder of The Lighthouse, Children and Families, and Paul Desmarais Jr., Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Director of Power Corporation of Canada, during an evening to recognize donors in the campaign to build Maison André-Gratton – September 2008

The Lighthouse, Children and Families will remain forever linked to this formidable woman, who this year was named honorary chair of the board. Maison André-Gratton owes not only its existence, but its soul and values, to the extraordinary vision of this exceptional woman. The big and small accomplishments of The Lighthouse, Children and Families would not have been possible without her.

Michèle Viau-Chagnon and Nicole Marcil-Gratton with Jean Charest, then Premier of Quebec, being appointed Knights of the National Order of Quebec – June 2009

Nicole Marcil-Gratton with Dr. Philippe Couillard, then Minister of Health and Social Services, for the opening of Maison André-Gratton – September 2007

Text by: Courtesy of Mélanie Dugré

Translation by: Courtesy of Anglocom