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Canadian Paediatric Society

Victor Marchessault Advocacy Award

Throughout its history, what has made the Canadian Paediatric Society unique among similar organizations is its relentless advocacy to ensure that children and youth have access to the best possible care. 

The CPS established the Victor Marchessault Advocacy Award to honour individuals or organizations who have made outstanding contributions to Canada’s children and youth at the local, provincial, or national level. Presented every two years, this award recognizes the diverse ways that Canadians help make life better for children and youth.

The award is presented during the CPS Annual Conference. The recipient is awarded a commemorative plaque and a $1,000 donation will be made to a Canadian charity of the recipient’s choice. Recipients also receive a complimentary one year membership to the CPS. 

Awarded every other year, the next award will be presented in 2018.


Current recipient(s): Dr. Claude Cyr

Dr. Claude Cyr

Dr. Claude Cyr (Sherbrooke, Que.) receives the Victor Marchessault Advocacy Award, honoring his outstanding contribution to Canada’s children and youth at local, provincial and national levels. A member of the CPS Injury Prevention Committee and the author of many publications, Dr. Cyr is well known nationally. His involvement in preventing seat belt syndrome dates back to 2002. He was a decisive voice on this issue, initiating a study through the Canadian Paediatric Surveillance Program that helped strengthen CPS policies on vehicular restraints, and working to amend Quebec legislation on car seat anchoring and the use of booster seats.

Beyond his work in injury prevention, Dr. Cyr has helped guide paediatric palliative care systems. At both regional and provincial levels, he has been a leader in implementing end-of-life palliative care policy for Quebec’s Ministry of Health and Social Services. This policy has allowed terminally ill children and youth to receive focused care regardless of where they live in the province. Dr. Cyr has published numerous articles on paediatric palliative care and is actively sought after as an educator by faculties of medicine and many public organizations. 

About Dr. Victor Marchessault

Many will remember Dr. Victor Marchessault as the leader of the CPS, where he served as Executive Vice-President from 1964 to 1997. Still others knew him as an infectious disease scholar and recall his skills and warmth as a clinician. An unwavering advocate for children and youth, his contributions to paediatrics in Canada were far-reaching. 

He established the CPS as a political force, with advocacy successes on issues such as vitamin D in milk, fluoride in water, seatbelts for children and safety caps on drug containers. He was also instrumental in the introduction of universal measles vaccination for infants in the late 1960s. 

Until his death in 2003, Dr. Marchessault was active in paediatrics, serving as Professor of Paediatrics and Infectious Diseases at the University of Ottawa and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and as Chair of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.



Nominees should be Canadian residents or not-for-profit Canadian organizations that have made an outstanding contribution to Canada’s children and youth through advocacy work, such as:

  • Encouraging legislation that protects kids from harm;
  • Making communities more active, safe, and child- and youth-friendly;
  • Working to make communities more accessible for kids with special needs.

The Awards Committee will judge candidates based on the impact and scope of their advocacy work. 

Nominations must be formally resubmitted each year to be reconsidered. Current CPS board, Awards Committee, and Action Committee for Children and Teens (ACCT) members are not eligible for nomination and cannot nominate candidates while serving their terms.



Submissions must include:

  • A letter from the nominator clearly describing the specific contribution made by the nominee in the preceding five years, identifying the impact and scope of the advocacy work. Maximum three pages.
  • For individuals, a curriculum vitae as well as any documents relating to their advocacy work (if appropriate).
  • An organizational profile, including brief history, mission statement and objectives and board of directors.

Submit your nominations using the Submit Nomination button.

This award is sponsored by the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Foundation.


Past recipients


Dr. Elizabeth Lee Ford-Jones


Dr. Hema Patel


Dr. Natalie Yanchar


Dr. Milton Tenenbein


Ms. Cindy Blackstock


Dr. Gloria Jeliu


Dr. Gilles Fortin & Dr. Jean Labbé

Last updated: Jul 12 2017