VEQ holds its 35th Annual General Meeting

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Photo: Cassandra Kerwin

VEQ’s Board of Directors for 2016-2017: (seated) Fabrice Vanegas, Brian A. Garneau (vice-president), Laine LePage (member-at-large) and Rebecca Boucher;(standing) Véronique Hunter (corporate secretary), Jeanne Grégoire, Ed Sweeney, Philip Almaguer (treasurer), Ann Martell, Hoffman Wolff, Warren Thomson (president).Absent: Marie White, David O’Neill, John Karkosak.

On May 26, the Voice of English-speaking Quebec (VEQ) held its 35th Annual General Meeting at the Centre des Loisirs Saint-Sacrement.  

Outgoing president Taylor Ireland said, “Today, I fondly look back on these last six years having served as a board member, executive board member, treasurer and president for two years. I also take stock on how lucky we are to be part of the English-speaking community in Quebec City and region. It is rewarding to work for the improvement of the services we offer our community members and institutions.

 “VEQ is in a strong financial and organizational position since 2015,” continued Ireland. “VEQ introduced a health insurance and employee benefits program that will strengthen our organization’s ability to attract and retain talent.

 “Two years ago, we made the difficult decision to reduce the number of board members from 21 to 15,” said Ireland. “Prior to reduction, board meetings were regularly postponed due to not having quorum. Over the past two years, this only happened once.” He continued, “Furthermore, during meetings, board members can now speak freely and often. Our community is changing, but our sense of community remains stronger than ever.” 

Brigitte Wellens, the new executive director since September 2015, replaced Jean-Sébastien Jolin Gignac, who spent 10 years at VEQ. Ireland noted that Wellens was selected for her organizational skills, her strong track record and her passion for the community.  

Wellens expressed satisfaction with the work and celebrations carried out by the team over the past seven months, a pace she hopes to maintain. She stated that VEQ had developed and strengthened partnerships with key organizations from both linguistic communities. These alliances enable VEQ to provide quality services to English-speakers and to make the needs and priorities of the community known to decision-makers. 

Wellens described the impact of projects on the community. Diversity of Voices activities attract young adults wanting to practise their second language. The Join Forces for the Future Intra-Regional Youth Forum project, in partnership with the Megantic English-speaking Community Development Corporation, explains to high school students their possible future in the region. 

 VEQ supported many activities, events and organizations for children, youth, adults and seniors, newcomers and established residents alike in 2015. Wellens stressed the necessity to continue helping seniors with errands and social life. Activities that stood out include the Technology Workshop for Seniors held in partnership with students from Quebec High School and St. Patrick’s High School, and the Conférence régionale des élus de la Capitale-Nationale.

Following the treasurer’s report, new board members were introduced: Quebec High School teacher and active community member Ed Sweeney, active newcomer Fabrice Vanegas, lawyer Brian A. Garneau and Quebec High School principal Warren Thomson. The terms of office of Philip Almaguer (treasurer) and Marie White were renewed. Thomson was named as president and Garneau as vice-president. 

VEQ’s website,, offers information about jobs, a community directory, information for newcomers, upcoming events, resources and services, a community bulletin board, and a direct link to its Facebook page.


Here is the complete list of all the members of VEQ’s Board or Directors for 2016-2017: Warren Thomson (president), Brian A. Garneau (vice-president), Véronique Hunter (corporate secretary), Philip Almaguer (treasurer), Laine LePage (member-at-large), Rebecca Boucher, Jeanne Grégoire, John Karkosak, Ann Martell, David O’Neill, Ed Sweeney, Fabrice Vanegas, Marie White, and Hoffman Wolff.