From The Gazette

Ste. Anne de Bellevue

Ecomuseum receives $2.5 million from Trottier Family Foundation – largest single donation in animal centre’s history

  • A coyote at the Ecomuseum.
    A coyote at the Ecomuseum.
    Photo credit: Gazette file photo

The Ecomuseum has received a $2.5-million donation from the Trottier Family Foundation. It is the largest donation in the wildlife museum’s 25-year history.

Philanthropists Lorne Trottier and wife Louise Rousselle-Trottier presented the cheque on behalf of the foundation during the official launch of the museum’s capital campaign, Thursday.

“It’s staggering,” Ecomuseum executive director David Rodrigue said of the donation. “To have the foundation acknowledge through the donation that what we are doing here is important is very touching.”

The zoo in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue is operated by the St. Lawrence Valley Historical Society and is home to 115 species of wild animals native to the St. Lawrence Valley in Quebec. The facility focuses on educational programs, research projects and conservation.

Trottier, who co-founded the Dorval-based video-card-components company Matrox, has loved science all his life. The foundation has been generous to other science-focused projects including giving $2 million to help build the Anne-Marie Edwards Science Building at John Abbott College and $10 million to help construct McGill University’s Lorne M. Trottier Building which houses the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the School of Computer Science. In May, the foundation gave $10 million to the Lakeshore General Hospital in Pointe-Claire to modernize its emergency department and affiliated facilities.

The Ecomuseum will use the $2.5 million to develop new educational programs, reconstruct animal habitats, build new habitats to introduce new species and create pathways, build boardwalks and landscape an area that will focus on the flora of the region.

A new permanent exhibit is also under construction — the theme being that animals and humans share the same environment and actions taken on either side have an impact on that shared environment.

The behind-the-scenes animal-care facilities will also be upgraded to include a fully-functional veterinary clinic.

“It’s very exciting,” Rodrigue said. “Everything we do here revolves around the animals. We have the privilege to work with live animals — to help visitors reconnect with nature — and with that privilege comes the responsibility to take the best care we can of the animals and the visitors.”

The Ecomuseum launched the silent portion of its capital campaign last Fall. The goal is to raise $7 million by 2017. So far $3.4 million, including the Trottier Family Foundation donation and a $200,000 donation from the Molson Foundation, has been raised.

For more information about the Ecomuseum, call 514-457-9449 or visit


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