Reconstruction of Haiti at the forefront of Montreal Millennium Summit

Montreal, April 8, 2010—The reconstruction of Haiti will figure prominently at the Montreal Millennium Summit, taking place April 20 to 22 at the Palais des congrès. Among those taking part in the discussions will be Luck Mervil, spokesperson for the Centre for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI). The Millennium Summit is also pleased to join forces with the Odwalla Haiti Hope Project, launched by The Coca-Cola Company. The Odwalla Haiti Hope Project supports the sustainable development of the mango juice industry and will contribute to developing and revitalizing the country over the long term through a coalition consisting of representatives from the Haitian government, civil society and the private sector.

The Montreal Millennium Summit is pleased to announce that several Haitian performers have been added to the program. Denis Bouchard, the Summit’s General Public Conference director, travelled to Haiti in March to meet with the artists and hear about their experiences. He also wanted to offer them the possibility of taking part in the Montreal Millennium Summit.

“Imagine a city of three million people: 50% of the houses have been destroyed or are seriously damaged. All government buildings, most schools, all hospitals, universities, daycare centers, churches have been demolished. Five-storey buildings have been reduced to just one storey. Everything has fallen apart. The only image that comes to mind is Berlin at the end of the war. And yet, children are smiling, girls put on makeup to go fetch water. People are proud. Every day a bit more of the street is cleared. Every day, fruit vendors have a little more space on the street to sell their wares,” says Bouchard.

Four Haitian artists accepted Bouchard’s invitation. Singers Nadeige Dugravil and Ralph Jean Baptiste, along with pianist and stage director Caleb François, will be taking part in the Summit. All three are part of the cast of Starmania Port-Au-Prince. Also performing will be acclaimed singer Barbara Guillaume.

The Montreal Millennium Summit was launched in 2006 by Daniel Germain, president and founder of the Quebec Breakfast Club and Breakfast Club Canada. Just yesterday, he was made a member of the Order of Canada.

This year’s Summit focuses on the impact of climate change on the Millennium Development Goals, which aim to make the fight against poverty everyone’s business. During three days of discussions and cooperation, many speakers, guests, ambassadors and dignitaries will address the audience and take part in activities. They include the Honorable Al Gore, 45th vice-president of the United States and author of the bestseller An Inconvenient Truth, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York and the Summit’s godmother, Kristin Davis, actor and OXFAM ambassador, Salil Shetty, director of the UN Millennium Campaign, Philippe Cousteau, president, CEO and cofounder of EarthEcho International, and Dr. Riccardo Petrella, secretary general of the International Committee for a World Water Contract.

For more information about the guests and speakers and to purchase tickets visit

The 2010 Montreal Millennium Summit is presented by Investors Group Financial Services, in partnership with the government of Quebec, Bell, Rio Tinto Alcan, Ville de Montréal, Air Canada Kids’ Horizons, Coca-Cola Canada, BMO Financial Group, People from Cossette, Astral Media Radio, La Presse,, The Gazette, Place d’Armes Hôtel & Suites, as well as Make Poverty History, Oxfam-Québec and its youth division, CLUB 2/3.