International Day of Charity


Each year, the Foundation selects Mentors who are real-world actors from all areas of endeavour and who devote themselves to developing the capacity for engaged leadership among Scholars. 

On the International Day of Charity, we are shining a spotlight on three Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Mentors whose dedication to their areas of interest and expertise go the extra mile.

2018 Mentor André Picard is the Globe & Mail Health Columnist and author of A Call to Alms: The New Face Of Charity In Canada. In 2011, he received the CFPC/Scotiabank Family Medicine Lectureship Award from the College of Family Physicians of Canada in which he donated the $15,000 prize money to Doctors Without Borders, the charity of his choice. In 2012, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to improving health care in Canada.

His advocacy work has been honoured by a number of consumer health groups, including Safe Kids Canada, the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and the Canadian Hearing Society.

Picard has participated in a number of professional organizations and non-profit groups and is a former member of the advisory committees of the Canadian Institute for Child Health, Active Healthy Kids Canada, Centraide/United Way Montréal, and the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

2019 Mentor Lia Grimanis is the Founder and CEO of Up With Women, a growing registered charity dedicated to helping recently homeless and at-risk women build sustainable, prosperous careers and businesses with the aim of permanently exiting poverty.  Her work in the homelessness sector is informed by lived experience as an abuse survivor and formerly homeless autistic teen. Grimanis climbed the corporate ladder to become Regional Head of Financial Services, Americas for a division of the global technology firm TIBCO. She now manages Up With Women’s career program fulltime.


“Conducting our lives with purpose & meaning has been found to increase resilience, to reduce anxiety and depression and increase our overall sense of vitality. We were born to take care of each other.”


We are also shining a spotlight on 2018 Mentor Mary Anne Chambers. Chambers has personally funded scholarships for more than 35 university and college students in Ontario. From 2007 to 2017, in partnership with University of Toronto Scarborough, she sponsored and served as an adviser for the IMANI Academic Mentorship Program, which has benefitted hundreds of middle- and high-school students.

Chambers has served on the boards of many not-for-profit organizations including Cuso International, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the Project for the Advancement of Childhood Education, the United Way of Canada, United Way Toronto, YMCA Toronto, and the Rouge Valley Health System.

She has also been named to the Order of Ontario and is a recipient of the Governor General of Canada’s Meritorious Service Medal.

International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity.