A private family foundation

A private family foundation

Fondation Dufresne et Gauthier (FDG) was established in 2001 by Hélène Dufresne and Daniel Gauthier. It supports projects in Quebec and Mongolia designed to make a difference in the lives of the many children who live in underprivileged communities and young people who are at risk.

For strategic reasons, and given the resources at its disposal, FDG concentrates its efforts in Quebec on Greater Montreal, Greater Quebec City and the Charlevoix region.

In Mongolia, we support locally managed community projects designed to assist the children of that country, where disparities among its people are constantly widening.

FDG’s mission

FDG’s mission

Our mission is to assist the children of the most vulnerable families and young people who are at risk by supporting unifying projects that involve the families and organizations in a particular neighbourhood or community, and enhance the well-being of children and respect for their fundamental rights.

An enlightened vision

An enlightened vision

FDG’s vision is one of a society that is more just, and gives central prominence to the development of its members’ capabilities.

FDG favours philanthropy that seeks necessary change in the lives of children, their families and their communities, to which the Foundation contributes through and with the support of local organizations.

Values that make sense

Values that make sense

In approving grants, the FDG board is guided by all the values adopted by its founders: social justice, guidance for families and young people, partnership, participation, innovation and eco-citizenship.

  • Social justice

    FDG seeks to combat poverty and restore hope to children and families in difficulty by helping them to take their rightful place within their community (empowerment).

  • Guidance for families…

    FDG believes that the family functions as a microcosm of society. By providing the needed tools to the most vulnerable children and families, it improves their chances of developing their full potential and helping to build a fairer society.

    … and young people in difficulty

    Some young people have broken away from their families and the other institutions of society, or are marginalized for reasons of religion, prejudice or social status. FDG believes that these young people need guidance to ease their sufferings, bolster their resilience and secure their commitment to life plans that improve their self-esteem and promote their self-reliance.

  • Partnership

    FDG seeks to work with partners committed to their community that have a clear concept of their mission, and a strategic vision that guides their actions and promotes the active participation of children, young people and their families in the application of solutions for the problems that beset them.

    FDG attaches special importance to dialogue, mutual respect, candour and transparency in its dealings with its partners, and to strong adherence to democratic values and good governance on their part.

    FDG likes to think of its involvement as “neighbourly philanthropy”.

  • Participation

    FDG is interested in the participatory nature of processes established to bring lasting change that primarily benefits the children and young people of the most vulnerable families, in ways that respect their fundamental rights.

    Children and their families will follow a more certain path to a better future if they are directly involved in choosing solutions that enhance their development and receive timely and appropriate support.

  • Innovation

    FDG seeks to encourage innovative practices and approaches to the protection of children’s fundamental rights through pilot projects, for example, or the validation of selected preliminary indicators, provided specific conditions are met.

  • Eco-citizenship

    FDG believes that children and young people, as full citizens, have rights as well as responsibilities with respect to the social and ecological impact of their day-to-day activities on the environment in which they live.

    They should be encouraged to develop behaviours that are responsible towards their peers, their surroundings and their natural environment.

The FDG team

The FDG team

The members of our team have worked at the community level and within organizations that serve children. The team is not large, but has a very broad range of experience.


Johanne Beauvilliers

Executive Director

Johanne Beauvilliers has worked in Quebec, in the countries of the South and in Africa for more than 30 years with people who have to cope with a variety of social issues. What motivates her now is the ability to apply her management skills and the experience she has gained to a variety of social, cultural, public and private ventures.

Having worked to develop local partnering networks, coordination panels, youth movements and women’s groups, she still believes in the effectiveness of dialogue, and the pooling of expertise and interests that supports adaptation to the significant changes that now confront us.

The ability to make a difference today so that tomorrow, children and young people can live in a world that is a little less unjust, a little less unfair and a little greener is what underlies her commitment to such activities and to FDG’s vision and mission.


Dulmaa Luvsansharav

Coordinator for Mongolia

With her master’s degree in science and engineering, Dulmaa had set out to work in textile technologies. However, due to the political changes Mongolia had undergone and with the development of a free market economy, Dulmaa’s career took a quite different turn. She became involved in social development, which she found very rewarding. She is very happy to be able to help so many families and children through her work.

Dulmaa used to work for Save the Children UK, where she acquired experience with humanitarian aid work.

At the Mongolian branch of FDG, she supports innovative projects to ensure the well-being of children in need and to give them access to educational activities and opportunities to develop their full potential. She also promotes partnerships between local organisations supported by FDG, in order to create an even more efficient network dedicated to protect children’s rights and their living conditions.

Board members

Board members

The team includes committed managers who contribute their respective skills to the Foundation’s outreach, the achievement of its goals and the success of its operations.


Hélène Dufresne


Hélène was one of the initial innovators of Cirque du Soleil, with which she was involved from 1984 to 1998, and has chaired the FDG board since the Foundation was established in 2001.

She seeks to live in a world of cultural diversity and sustainable development formed by strong yet tolerant identities and characterized by respect, trust and mutual assistance. That ambition is shared by the Massif de Charlevoix project, a broad undertaking to develop the recreational and tourist potential of the Charlevoix region that has been well received locally, and to which she contributed in various capacities from 2003 to 2013.

Her approach is marked by a constant concern for equity, openness and sharing. A number of community and cultural projects benefit from her support as a board member: Horizon Charlevoix, Culture pour tous, Équiterre. This bespeaks her commitment to embrace and acknowledge the multiplicity of social and cultural realities, while at the same time recognizing a heritage for the world to appreciate.


Daniel Gauthier


A co-founder of Cirque du Soleil, Daniel Gauthier was its Vice-President, Finance, and subsequently President over an 11-year span. He has also been Vice-President of the Réseau Admission and of Scéno-Plus, and a director of’ADISQ. With the acquisition of the Massif de Charlevoix in 2002, he set about making it an international tourist destination by developing La Montagne, the Hôtel La Ferme and the tourist train. As a committed business promoter, he now sits on the board of Réseau Charlevoix and the Office du Tourisme de Québec.

In 1999, Daniel Gauthier was recognized as a Great Montrealer, and designated one of the Builders of the Century by Commerce magazine. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2004, and in 2012 he received one of the highest honours awarded by the Quebec government as an Officer of the Ordre national du Québec. He was a co-founder of FDG and serves as Vice-Chair of the board.


Claude Choquette


A member and a fellow of the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec, Claude Choquette is a meticulous and disciplined financial professional who has built a strong reputation as a strategist with organizing ability and solid credibility in the business world. Driven and passionate about what he does, he is involved in a wide variety of humanitarian causes.

Mr. Choquette is President of HDG and Chairman and Executive Director of Groupe Le Massif. He is a member emeritus of the Quebec City association of CPAs, and received the Hermès award in 2005 and the Governor General’s Medal in 2012 for his involvement in a number of philanthropic organizations. He founded both the Hôpital Général de Québec foundation and the Imaginer un Monde Meilleur foundation. He was joint chair of the 2013 Centraide campaign, and is now joint chair of the fundraising campaign for the Quebec City university hospital centre, the CHU de Québec. He is also on the board of a number of corporations and organizations.


André Couture


André has held top leadership positions at Sanimax for more than 30 years, leading the transformation of a single‐plant renderer into the current cross border company and creating a smooth transition from second to third generation ownership. Now, as Chairman, he is focusing on the strategic alignment between the management, the Board of Directors, the shareholders of Sanimax and the fourth generation. André has served in several leadership roles in the National Renderers Association and the Fats and Proteins Research Foundation.

He serves as a trustee at St. Lawrence University, in Canton, New York, from which he earned a BA in Economics, at La Fiducie du patrimoine culturel des Augustines whose mission is to preserve and share the heritage (1639) and memories of the Augustinian Sisters of Quebec. He is a board member at Collège François‐de‐Laval, a high school founded in 1668 in the Old Quebec City.


Lara Émond


Co-founder of Sub Rosa Group, a company specializing in market development, 360 marketing and communications, she sold her shares in 2019. Strong experience abroad (India, China, United Kingdom, Spain, United States USA, Australia, etc.), Lara often shares her ideas about entrepreneurship and social involvement in media interviews and conferences. She is also co-founder and CEO of Nota Bene, an Non-Profit Organization whose mission is to connect entrepreneurial succession with leaders in various industries.

She currently sits on the board of directors of the National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec. She was previously a administrator at Centraide Quebec and Chaudière-Appalaches and a member of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.

Lara was recently named in the top 30 under 30 years Infopresse and Vice, received the Young graduates award from Laval University and the Youth Recognition Award – Axis Entrepreneurship of the Government of Quebec. She has also been selected among the top 30 under 30 years of La Presse and is one of the 25 leaders who will move Quebec by Les Affaires.


Aurélie Gauthier


A member of the Quebec Bar since 2016, Aurélie is a dynamic young professional who wants to make the world a better place, one small gesture at a time. She currently works for a public body where she uses her expertise as a lawyer to protect the interests of consumers of financial products and services in Quebec.

Curious by nature and endowed with great sensitivity, she likes to meet others and make new discoveries. This is what motivated her to go to Senegal in 2013 and get involved in a local organization working to promote human rights. Guided by principles such as mutual aid, listening and respect, she enthusiastically joined the board and shares FDG’s mission and values closely tied to her philosophy.


Francis Morin


Holder of an undergraduate degree in management of organizations (leisure, culture and tourism), a certificate in administration and training in public management of ENAP’s Leadership and Skills Development Center, Francis Morin has more than 20 years of experience in organizational management and business development.

In 1999, he moved from Director of Communications / Marketing for the Amateur Baseball Federation of Quebec Inc. to Director General from 2003 to 2007. In 2007, he became Director of Operations of the Museum of Civilization Foundation, working as a secretary – joins of the board of directors and deploys the Foundation’s first strategic planning. In 2011, Francis was director for the development Museum’s revenues and mecenat and became secretary to the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

After being Director of the Individual Donation Sector at Centraide Quebec and Chaudières-Appalaches, he became in May 2019, the Vice President responsible for Operations (Administration, Human Resources and Communication) for the CHU de Québec Foundation.

As part of his professional activities, Francis has served on various committees including those of the Quebec City Chamber of Commerce and Sports Quebec. Today, he currently works as a director with Sport Aide, Victoria Baseball Complex and assumes the presidency of the Amateur Baseball Federation of Quebec – Quebec Region.