For more than 50 years, the Fondation J. Armand Bombardier has been involved in helping communities through its philanthropic, educational and cultural actions. Its history is constantly evolving, in the image of the man whose name it bears.
After Joseph-Armand Bombardier’s death in 1964, Yvonne L. Bombardier establishes one of the first Francophone family foundations in Québec. Along with her daughters Janine, Claire and Huguette, the famous inventor’s wife continues his work with the charities he had supported throughout his lifetime.
The Foundation’s brand-new head office is constructed at 1000 Avenue J.-A.-Bombardier in Valcourt, in the Eastern Townships. In the basement, cultural activities and a library are accessible to Valcourt residents.1967
The J. Armand Bombardier Museum is inaugurated in Valcourt to promote the life and work of Joseph-Armand Bombardier through his inventions. The visitors discover, among other things, the old Bombardier Garage, the inventor’s first workplace, which has been annexed to the Museum.
From the beginning, the Foundation assigns an important place to cultural and educational activities for the people of Valcourt. Initially held in the basement of the Foundation’s head office building, these activities quickly grow to such a scale that a building must be constructed to accommodate them.1972
In 1978, after the death of Yvonne L. Bombardier, the building accommodating the Foundation’s cultural activities is named the Yvonne L. Bombardier Cultural Centre. Janine Bombardier then succeeds her mother as President of the Foundation.
After 16 years of existence, thanks to the financial assistance of the Bombardier family and corporation, the donations bestowed by the Foundation pass the $1 million milestone. The Foundation is active in four fields of intervention: education, healthcare, community support, as well as arts and culture.1981
The rapid growth of the Foundation leads to the opening of the Philanthropic Activities Office in Montréal. The Foundation, which is Canada-wide in scope, thus moves closer to the organizations it supports.
After 45 years of existence, the Foundation’s donations pass the $100 million milestone. The Foundation paid out its 100 millionth dollar to Moisson Montréal, the largest food bank in Canada.2010
Closely involved in the advancement of the organizations it supports, the Foundation launches an organizational capacity development program. Through different workshops, activities and conferences, the Foundation offers its partners and their staff opportunities for learning and networking, with the goal of creating a community of practice.
In 2014, the co-development cohort on the culture of change and social innovation is born. Each year, ten to twelve executive directors of organizations meet to deepen and exchange their knowledge on different issues.2011
An opportunity to bring together foundations, community organizations, partners, collaborators, social entrepreneurs, Foundation Governors… under the theme of social innovation.
The Foundation adopted a new visual identity and the various components of its capacity building program were united under the name Philagora.
Closed for a year, the Museum re-opens to the public. Celebrating the ingenuity of the human mind, it draws on the work of Joseph-Armand Bombardier and his successors to present ingenious solutions, developed in order to meet specific mobility needs.
The Museum deploys two multimedia experiences, numerous artifacts, an interactive environment, an idea studio and even a Fab Lab, along with an animated patent showcase, a room dedicated to educational workshops, and relaxation areas.
After 53 years of commitment, the founders, Mrs Janine Bombardier, Huguette Fontaine and Claire Beaudoin withdraw from the Foundation. Several new members join the board. Nicole Beaudoin, who has been involved with the Foundation for more than 20 years, becomes president.
To this day, the Foundation has donated close to $147 million to the community.