At its annual Excellence Awards gala held in Victoriaville on November 15th, the Quebec Association of camps highlighted the remarkable contribution of Edphy’s founder, Mr. Yvan Dubois, by awarding him the Grand Tribute Award, the ultimate recognition in the camp industry.

This award acknowledges his exceptional contribution, felt within his organization and throughout the activities of the Quebec Association of camps and its members over time. A true founder, his achievements have had – and continue to have – a major impact in the world of camps, and during his presentation, the current owner and president, Marilyse Richard-Robert, took the time to testify to this.

[…] When I was asked to speak about him, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share his journey, which I find not only impressive but also very inspiring.

After a short career as a professional baseball player, Mr. Dubois decided to reorient his career towards sports and leisure administration. Initially, as the leisure assistant for the town of St-Laurent, he later became the general manager of the Terrebonne Recreational Center while completing a degree in physical and recreational education at the School of Hygiene at the University of Montreal.

Quickly recognized for his dynamic leadership and innovative ideas, Father Sablon asked him to chair the Canadian Association of Recreation Centers, which he did from 1961 to 1965. This role took him to 22 countries to identify the best practices in sports and recreation. These journeys, combined with his personal travels, inspired him to create the Edphy Nature Center, which became, in 1965, the first mixed and fully private outdoor center in the history of Quebec.

While implementing this major project, Mr. Dubois, supported and encouraged by his family and the Edphy team, organized three editions of gymnastics games (now known as the Quebec Games), produced sports events at Expo 67, participated in the creation of the Quebec Assocation of camps (which he chaired from 1967 to 1969), coordinated provincial Olympics, chaired Mission Quebec 76, the Olympic training center, and the Quebec Sports Institute. He even served as the general manager and mayor of the Olympic Village at the Montreal Olympics in 1976!

But among all these prestigious mandates, nothing makes Mr. Dubois prouder than Edphy, “his baby,” as he affectionately calls it, which remains his top priority. Thanks to his innovative approach and exceptional expertise, his nature center stands out and inspires the entire camp industry, especially in terms of seasonal programming, annual operations, and adaptability to welcome a diverse clientele – local, international, more or less privileged. Concerned about the great lack of physical education in schools, he already saw camps as an important complement to education. That’s why he facilitated schools’ access to his camp… which created the beginning of nature classes!

The next two decades are marked by large-scale projects, including the development of camp infrastructure and a network of representatives abroad that have earned – and still earn – Edphy its reputation. A great educator, he opens the Laurentian Academy (now known as Collège Laurentien), a private nature school that occupies the premises of the Val-Morin summer camp during the school year, which is still the case today.

Mr. Dubois has always been a great source of inspiration for those who have had the chance to know him. I have immense respect for this visionary, committed, dedicated, and persevering founder, a man of heart who generously shares his ideas and advice to this day.

Every day, the Edphy team expresses its gratitude and deep respect for Mr. Dubois by remaining faithful to the values and principles at the heart of the organization’s mission that he founded and by giving their best to ensure its continuity.

I am often told that my eyes light up with passion when I talk about Edphy; wait until you see his…

Unfortunately, Mr. Dubois could not be present, but he addressed the entire industry through a video that you can watch here (French version only).

Once again, the extended Edphy family congratulates Mr. Yvan Dubois for this well-deserved renowned distinction.