Monique Lefebvre, founder
Monique Lefebvre is a committed citizen whose work is focused on disabled people. For over thirty-five years, she has shown an unwavering will to change society’s perception of people with functional limitations and bring to light their capacities and talents. Her leadership, perseverance and convening qualities have contributed to changing mentalities.
She has been at the head of AlterGo since 1981, previously known as the Association régionale pour le loisir des personnes handicapées de l’Île de Montréal. AlterGo mission is to support the inclusion of people with functional limitations by overcoming barriers to sports, culture and recreation.
As a young girl, she always wanted to change society’s perception of people with functional limitations. Born to disabled parents, she soon realized that to make her wish come true, she would have to shed light on the capacities and talents of people with functional limitations. With this in mind, she created in 1984 the Défi sportif des athlètes handicapés, currently known as Défi sportif AlterGo. For its first edition, the event attracted 720 athletes. Today, more than 7,000 athletes from all around the world with all types of deficiencies take part in the different competitions. Défi sportif AlterGo is much more than an annual event. The organization actively promotes a healthy lifestyle. It has also carved a national and international reputation in the organization of high-level sports events.
In 1986, Monique Lefebvre went further and created Formation AlterGo to offer workshops on the many facets of welcome, support and universal accessibility. Formation AlterGo is a key player in developing the required expertise to help private and public organizations meet the needs of citizens or clients with functional limitations. Not resting on her laurels, Monique Lefebvre multiplies projects to support the development of universal accessibility and the creation of a truly inclusive society for all. In 2017, she put together a social innovation plan to reaffirm AlterGo’s commitment towards disabled people. The end goal of the plan was to make sure all elected officials, organizations and the general public advocate for universal accessibility so that it becomes a reality everywhere and for everyone.
Her many accomplishments did not go unnoticed. Monique Lefebvre received many distinctions, of which the Senate 150th Anniversary Medal in 2017, the Meritorious Service Cross of Canada in 2016 and in 2015, the Médaille d’honneur de l’Assemblée Nationale du Québec. She also received the 2007 Thérèse-Daviau Award of the City of Montréal in recognition of her accomplishments in the fields of recreation, sport, and social development as well as her contributions to improving the quality of life of all Montrealers. Monique Lefebvre likes to build, create links, innovate, convince rather than complain, and collaborate rather than compete. Collaborating with politicians, municipal staff, sponsors, sports federations and other organizations, she steadfastly commits to the following motto: “Alone you may work faster, but together you go further.”