After having achieved success as an executive with Proctor & Gamble, Nortel and McKinsey & Company, and as President of Montreal International; Dominique Anglade is now embarking on a new challenge as the newly elected Liberal MNA for Sud-Ouest. At the same time – she maintains her commitment to KANPE, the foundation she co-founded with Arcade Fire singer Régine Chassagne to help a destitute region in Haiti.

Dominique Anglade is the newly-elected MNA for the Quebec Liberal Party, representing the Sud-Ouest riding that encompasses Montreal’s Little Burgundy, Saint-Henri, Griffintown, Ville-Émard, Côte-Saint-Paul, and Pointe Saint-Charles. We met in her riding office just 2 days after her November 9th by-election win; and it was the first time she had entered her new office. For that matter – Dominique had not yet been sworn into office as one of the newly elected MNAs.

Dominique Anglade has an impressive resumé as an engineer, management consultant, social activist in Haiti, and now as a Member of the National Assembly. KANPE is the foundation that she co-founded with her friend Régine Chassagne; singer with the internationally renowned band, Arcade Fire.

Dominque shared with us how her path in life has led her to establish the KANPE Foundation and now, a role in public service as a Member of the National Assembly.

“My parents were educators and part of the intellectual community in Haiti; a kind of elite that had reproduced itself existed ever since the country’s independence. However, that community was collapsing during the Duvalier dictatorship. Consequently, my parents moved to Paris in 1969 because it was not safe for them during the Duvalier regime in their home country. They subsequently moved to Montreal, where my Dad taught at Université du Québec a Montréal (UQUAM), and my Mom taught high school.”

“I was born here in Montreal, but when I was fourteen, my parents wanted to move the family back to Haiti. Aristide was in his ascendancy, and as a test, we went or a visit in 1986. The day we were supposed to leave, my Dad was arrested, and held without charge for nearly a month. My mother and I were at the airport, and we didn’t know what had happened to my Dad. After Aristide came to power in 1988, we moved to Haiti. I was 14, and it was hard for me to leave my friends here in Montreal. On the other hand, I got to know my extended family very well because we lived in close proximity to each other.”

Dominique Anglade

After achieving success as a business executive, Dominique Anglade served as CEO of Montreal International before being approached by
The Quebec Liberal Party to run in the Sud-Ouest riding.

After three years, Dominique had a strong desire to return to Montreal. “When I was seventeen, I told my Mom that I was returning to Montreal to complete my schooling. She said something about me being young, and that we’d discuss it. I said that I wasn’t asking for permission, but rather that I had made up my mind.” And so, at seventeen, Dominique Anglade returned to Montreal, completed her CEGEP and subsequently obtained her Engineering degree at École Polytechnique at Université de Montréal in 1996.

Even while still a student, Dominique proved to be a highly energetic person, serving as President of the Student Society, and entering all the engineering competitions that she could. ‘Downtime’ was not part of her vocabulary.

After graduating, Dominique went to work for Proctor & Gamble, including a two year stint in Cincinnati. “If I was going to progress with P & G, it would have meant relocating to Cincinnati, and I just wasn’t prepared for that kind of move. My next employment was with Nortel, which was in the beginning of the company’s decline. I worked very hard, and at the same time I was taking night courses at HEC (Haute Etudes Commerciales) for my MBA. I was also President of the Junior Chamber of Commerce.” Thinking back and smiling a little ruefully, Dominique adds; “I was worn out…”

Dominique then landed a job with the Montreal office of McKinsey and Company, one of the world’s largest management consulting firms. “I worked at McKinsey for seven years, involved with the transformations of major corporations.”

“I was working on a project in Vancouver for McKinsey, and I met the man who would become my husband at a Halloween party. We maintained a long distance relationship until we had our first child. I felt that it was important for our child to have both parents around, and what was initially going to be a short stay became longer, because we had our three children while we were in Vancouver.”

“I was volunteering with the Liberal Party of Canada in Vancouver, and I felt that we should do more – for people less fortunate. And then one day I thought – why wouldn’t I do it for Haiti?”

Dominique Anglade_Regine Chassagne

Childhood friends Régine Chassagne of
Arcade Fire and Dominique Anglade
reconnected to start KANPE to assist Haiti

“Régine Chassagne and I had been friends when we were four or five years old, but we hadn’t maintained contact – but we had a common Haitian heritage. She had become very successful as the singer of Arcade Fire.” Through a mutual friend, Dominique and Régine reconnected. “I said that I wanted to do something for Haiti, and she had the same idea. We discussed and planned, and developed the concept of a foundation and how it would operate. We named our foundation KANPE, which in Haitian Creole means ‘to stand up’ – with an emphasis on self reliance. Whenever possible, we planned to work with existing organizations such as Partners in Health. If they were already on the ground and being effective – it made good management sense to help them rather than set up a parallel organization.”

KANPE is built of six pillars of focused activity. The goal is to help families develop financial independence so that they can provide the basic necessities of life for themselves and their children. These include; Nutrition, Health, Education, Safe Housing, Agriculture and Leadership.

“With Régine’s high profile with Arcade Fire and the band’s approval, we planned to launch KANPE of January 17, 2010. However, on January 12, we learned that there had been a severe earthquake in Haiti. It was a catastrophe! We lost my Dad, my Mom, my uncle and one of my cousins.”

Even is that time of devastating personal loss, Dominique stated: “I knew then that we had to focus on KANPE even more!”

The launch was delayed until 2011, with Dominique and Régine choosing to focus their efforts on a central plateau region called Thomonde, 18 kilometres outside of Porte au Prince. “It’s not a great distance, but the roads are so bad that it takes three hours by car. The area had not received much attention or aid because of its difficult access.” Within the region, Dominique and Régine decided to operate in the village of Baille Tourible. It was the poorest village in the area, and in 2011 the population was hit badly by cholera, a result of the devastating earthquake a year earlier.

While preparing for the new launch date, they lined up sponsors such as Power Corporation, Air Canada and several private sponsors.

“At the launch of Arcade Fire’s album The Suburbs, we also launched KANPE in front of 40,000 people.”

“During our first year of operation, we helped 331 families, accompanying them with our field personnel. The objective is for each family to develop two sources of revenue. This will enable them to feed their children and provide an education. We provide seeds so that they can start growing crops, and animals such as cows and goats to provide milk. We maintain a constant support and encouragement for the families so that they can graduate. After our first year, 97% of the families were maintaining two sources of income.”

“We are currently working with another 200 families. In a very Canadian way, we want to make things work for the people we are helping. Rather than give them food and money, we are helping them to produce their own food and through education, help them to break the cycle of poverty. We bring the concept of ‘best practices’ to help our families.”

The foundation channels the vast majority of its finding into frontline services in Haiti. In Montreal, the overhead is greatly reduced by having the Executive Director and two other staff persons work from their homes. Meetings rotate between houses.

Dominique was elected in the November 9 by-elections, and will be sitting with the governing Liberal Party in Quebec’s National Assembly. It’s a new chapter in her life; and one that will certainly bring changes to her young family and husband. Fortunately for KANPE, as an elected member of the National Assembly, she is permitted to be a Board member of a non-profit foundation – so her involvement as a key player in KANPE can continue.

“I’m excited to be in the National Assembly at this time. My riding of Sud-Ouest is a microcosm of Montreal. We have second and third generation immigrants; we have a large senior population, a lot of young professionals buying condos, and yes – we have poverty as well. I believe that we can build bridges between all of these components to build on the existing sense of community here in the Sud-Ouest. “

For more information about KANPE, please visit the foundation’s web site at:

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