Sid Stevens

Sid Stevens

2011 Social Social

Sid Stevens’ dedication to the youth of Montréal is well known. Throughout his career, he has devoted himself to the community through Sun Youth. He has used his expertise, energy and time to help solve young people’s problems by driving home the point that those who suffer from social inequities have the right to a better outlook for the future.

Born in Montréal in 1940 to a family that lived in an area bordering the Main, Mr. Stevens grew up in a world where community mattered. This upbringing gave him an understanding of the difficulties faced in city centres and helped him find practical solutions to them.

In 1954, while Sid Stevens was a teenager, he cofounded a sports and recreation organization for youth with his friend Earl De La Perralle, which would become Sun Youth. Today Mr. Stevens is executive vicepresident of what was once that small neighbourhood organization, which now touches the lives of almost 300,000 Montrealers. Sun Youth offers food and clothing banks, emergency services, recreational facilities, youth summer camps and more.

Elected to the Montréal city council in 1978, Mr. Stevens quickly asserted his manner of addressing problems. He has earned respect and admiration for his community initiatives in crime prevention. Montrealers are indebted to him for the Crime Stoppers program, Montréal’s plan for victims of fires, the Plan de sécurité-incendie de Montréal, an intervention plan for families in need in the event of local disasters, an assistance project for seniors who are losing their autonomy, a special unit that helps victims of violence or crime and a summer camp for disadvantaged youth.

Mr. Stevens believes that community life helps create a healthy environment for youth and that everyone can help improve their environment, so he promotes community involvement in recreational sports. He has replaced arena guards with volunteers to reduce operating costs, thereby helping to improve security standards in arenas, parks and community centres.

Mr. Stevens has received many honours for his involvement in the community, his compassion and his leadership. In 1986, he received the Dawson College award for his outstanding contribution to public life. In 1989, the Department of Multiculturalism and Citizenship awarded him a citizen’s commendation.

In 1992, he was honoured by Concordia University’s Faculty of Commerce and Administration for his professional accomplishments and outstanding service to the community, by the Association des médecins psychiatres du Québec for his social commitment, and by the Conseil du citoyen de Montréal for his generosity to the community and his contribution to the well-being of his fellow citizens and humanity in general.

In 1995, he was a finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2002, McGill University awarded him an honorary doctor of laws. Finally, in 2009, the Jewish Eldercare Centre Auxiliary honoured him for his outstanding contribution to the community at its fall gala.

As he considers retiring “sooner or later,” Sid Stevens can look back over more than a half century of service to the community. Millions of past and future Montrealers owe him a great deal.