Once a week, guitarist, producer, composer and music teacher Laurent Bélec helps the young francophone and anglophone residents of Portage’s Lac Écho centre discover and develop their musical talent.

The Simple Plan Foundation has supported Portage for several years and, in November 2016, it donated $10,000 to our programs for anglophone and francophone youth at the Lac Écho centre in the Laurentians.


Since then, youth have volunteered to take up the guitar, piano, djembé or singing, individually or as a group. Laurent Bélec customizes his teaching for every student. He listens to their aspirations and watches their progress. Having a dedicated space for music has motivated our youth to discover and develop their talent, which they can share with others by performing in shows during events organized by Portage.

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“I was very pessimistic when the teacher first arrived at Portage. I knew nothing about instruments and I was sure the music I wanted to play would be too complicated for me. Yet after just one day with the teacher, I could already go over the refrain. It’s very motivating and I’m going to practice in my free time. This has really motivated me.”

-A young Portage resident

Playing an instrument during recess or time off really helps the rehabilitation process. It’s a time for relaxing, of course, but it’s also another way of working on perseverance, diligence, artistic sensibility and self-esteem. Put simply, playing music really hits the right note at Portage.


Benoit Lauzon, unit head of the Lac Écho youth program, is grateful to the Simple Plan Foundation. The members of the band, which originated in Montreal, are excellent role models and a source of inspiration for the residents.

Since 2005, the Simple Plan Foundation has helped youth with issues relating, among others, to health, addiction problems and handicaps. The objective is to help them rediscover and reach their goal in life, through music if possible.