Alumin Photo

Sid Stevens (Sidney Stavitsky) (BBHS “58)

Born: 1940, Montreal, Quebec

Born to a family that lived in an area bordering the Main, Sid Stevens grew up in a world where community mattered. This upbringing gave him an understanding of the difficulties faced in city centres and helped him find practical solutions to them.

Throughout his career Stevens has been dedicated to Montreal’s youth through the organization Sun Youth. He has used his expertise, energy and time to help solve young people’s problems by driving home the point that those who suffer from social inequities have the right to a better outlook for the future.

His commitment to the community began when Mr. Stevens was only 13 years. He and his friend Earl De La Perralle created their own hand-written community newspaper, The Clark Street Sun, in an effort to raise funds to organize sports and recreation activities and purchase sports equipment. This was the start of Sun Youth an organization which now touches the lives of almost 300,000 Montrealers. Sun Youth offers a range of services, including emergency assistance such as food and clothing. It has a crime prevention department and also organizes sports teams for kids and teenagers, notably basketball and football.  Today Stevens remains involved in his position as executive vice president of Sun Youth.

Stevens was elected to the Montréal city council in 1978 and soon earned respect and admiration for his community initiatives including crime prevention, an intervention plan for families in need in the event of local disasters, an assistance project for seniors who are losing their autonomy, a special unit that helps victims of violence or crime and a summer camp for disadvantaged youth.

Stevens has received many awards for his involvement in the community, his compassion and his leadership including the Dawson College award for his outstanding contribution to public life (1986) and a citizen’s commendation from the Department of Multiculturalism and Citizenship (1989). He has also been honoured by Concordia University’s Faculty of Commerce and Administration for his professional accomplishments and outstanding service to the community, by the Association des Médecins Psychiatres du Québec for his social commitment, by the Conseil du Citoyen de Montréal for his generosity to the community and his contribution to the well-being of his fellow citizens and humanity in general and by the Jewish Eldercare Auxiliary for his outstanding contribution to the community.

In 2002, McGill University awarded him an honorary doctor of laws.

Hear Stevens talk about his formative years at BBHS and the beginnings of Sun Youth.

SOURCES AND LINKS
A Tribute to a Great Montrealer, Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Sun Youth Website
Sun Youth: When a community gave its two cents’ worth, Brenda Branswell, Montreal Gazette, N0v. 2014