Front row: Brian Myles (dir. Le Devoir), Kim Thúy, Nicole Brossard, Nathalie Roy (ministre de la Culture et des Communications et ministre responsable de la Langue française), Zab Maboungou, Anne-Marie Jean (PDG du Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec), Daniela Arendasova, Rodney Saint-Éloi, Marie-Christine Cojocaru (directrice générale de la Caisse de la Culture), André Dudemaine. 2nd row: Sylvain Lafrance, Pierre Thibault, Michel Marc Bouchard, Brigitte Haentjens, Paul André Fortier, Nadia Myre, Alain Paré, Alan Côté, Serge Fiori, Peter Simons

© Alexandre Claude photographie&vidéo

Front row: Kim Thúy, Nicole Brossard, Zab Maboungou, Daniela Arendasova, Rodney Saint-Éloi, Peter Simons, André Dudemaine. 2nd row: Pierre Thibault, Michel Marc Bouchard, Brigitte Haentjens, Nadia Myre, Alain Paré, Alan Côté, Serge Fiori (N.B. Paul-André Fortier is missing on this photo)

© Alexandre Claude photographie vidéo

Brian Myles, Directeur du journal Le Devoir

© Alexandre Claude
27 May 2019 Over 100 Compagnes and Compagnons make up the family of the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec
More than 100 outstanding cultural ambassadors have joined the ranks of the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec since its inception in 2015.

Today, prominent figures Daniela Arendasova, Michel Marc Bouchard, Nicole Brossard, Alan Côté, André Dudemaine, Serge Fiori, Paul-André Fortier, Brigitte Haentjens, Zab Maboungou, Nadia Myre, Alain Paré, Rodney Saint-Éloi, Peter Simons, Pierre Thibault and Kim Thúy received their insignia, with the Minister of Culture and Communications Nathalie Roy in attendance. A lively tribute was paid to these artists, writers, teachers, cultural managers and patrons during a ceremony filled with emotion and pride.

Find out more abouit the 2019 recipients

“It is an honour to be here with the new Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec Compagnons and Compagnes,” said Nathalie Roy, Minister of Culture and Communications and Minister Responsible for the French Language. “These individuals are pioneers, visionaries and above all, great creators in their respective fields. Congratulations and thank you for helping shape an inspiring, proud Québec that continues to build on its successes.”

“For the past 25 years, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec has been investing in the imagination, original practices, talent and vitality of those who forge our cultural identity and showcase it at home and abroad,” said Anne-Marie Jean, CALQ president and executive director. “Québec culture is flourishing and winning over audiences around the world, thanks to the talent and hard work of luminaries like those who we honour today. This recognition underlines their tremendous legacy and is a token of our gratitude and admiration for what they have accomplished.”

The Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec

Instituted in 2015 to mark the CALQ’s 20th anniversary, the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec is an honorary distinction presented to individuals whose exemplary achievements have contributed to Québec’s artistic and literary development. The distinction is symbolized by an insignia designed by jewellery artist Christine Dwane. To date, over 100 Québecers have been awarded the insignia. See the complete list.

The Conseil de l’Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec

The Compagnons and Compagnes are recommended by the Conseil de l’Ordre, a jury that evaluates the candidates nominated in response to an annual call for candidates. Their recommendations are ratified by the board of the CALQ. This year, the jury was made up of Hannah Claus, Claude Deschênes, Kevin McCoy and Mélissa Verreault.

Call for applications

The call for applications is issued to identify the next recipients. To find out how to submit a nomination, visit the Conseil’s website. Applications are accepted until November 1, 2019.

Submit an application

The Caisse Desjardins de la Culture, official partner of the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québecc

An ally to artists, driver of the cultural economy and springboard for organizations and entrepreneurs, the Caisse Desjardins de la Culture is a financial cooperative with solid roots in the community. For the past 25 years, it has supported self-employed workers in their personal and professional projects, offered companies and organizations financial services that reflect their reality and participated in the socioeconomic development of the community by supporting structuring initiatives and projects.

The Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec turns 25

From a perspective of equitable, sustainable artistic development, the CALQ supports, throughout Québec, creation, experimentation, and production in the arts and literature and promotes dissemination and the influence of Québec, in Canada and abroad. Consult the program of activities for the public from April to November 2019.

Follow and share news about this event using #OALQ on the CALQ’s Twitter feed and Facebook page.

Photos from the ceremony will soon be available.


List of 2019 recipients and short biographies

Daniela Arendasova | Circus arts

A gymnast, choreographer, and coach born in Bratislava, Daniela Arendasova is the director of studies at the National Circus School, where she has taught several disciplines including contortion since 1988. She has set up high school and college circus studies programs for artists and circus arts teachers. Daniela has trained generations of artists who have received international awards and has promoted the professionalization of highly skilled artists of tomorrow, contributing to the recognition of the circus arts in Québec.

Michel Marc Bouchard | Theatre

Playwright, screenwriter, and artistic director for historical and thematic exhibitions, Michel Marc Bouchard is the author of over 25 plays, including Les Feluettes (Lilies), Les Muses orphelines (The Orphan Muses), L’Histoire de l’oie (The Tale of Teeka), Tom à la ferme (Tom at the Farm), and Christine, la reine-garçon (Christina, the Girl King), all of which have been adapted for film. Recipient of numerous awards, his work has been translated into a number of languages and staged around the world, notably in France, Italy, and Latin America. A professor at the National Theatre School of Canada, he also pursues a career as a librettist for operas in Montreal and Toronto.

Nicole Brossard | Literature **
Poet, novelist, playwright, co-founder of the journal La Barre du jour, committed feminist and LGBT activist, Nicole Brossard has marked Québec’s avant-garde poetry movement with her voice. Her work, which combines modernism and activism, has been honoured with two Governor General’s Literary Awards, the Grand Prix du festival international de la Poésie in 1989 and the Athanase-David award in 1991, among other prizes.

Alan Côté | Music

Self-taught singer and songwriter, Alan Côté founded the Forge Café at the Théâtre de la Vieille Forge de Petite-Vallée and is general manager and artistic director of the Village en chanson de Petite-Vallée, which encourages the transmission of the craft of songwriting through patronage. His commitment and initiatives have fostered the emergence and recognition of generations of songwriters and enriched the cultural scene on the Gaspé Peninsula, which every summer plays host to audiences of French song enthusiasts.

Céline Dion | Music*

A singer who achieved global celebrity as a teenager, Céline Dion is Québec’s most internationally recognized artist ever. Her voice is impressively versatile, moving easily between R&B, gospel, pop, and jazz, in French, English, and occasionally in Spanish, Italian, German, Japanese, and Mandarin. She is among the artists who have sold the most records in the history of the industry and has won a multitude of awards, from Grammys to Oscars.

André Dudemaine | Multidisciplinary

Through his unfaltering commitment and visionary efforts, André Dudemaine has made an outstanding contribution to the recognition and influence of North American Indigenous cultures. Of Innu origin and having grown up in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, he is the founder and artistic director of Land InSights, and for almost 30 years has been managing Montréal’s multidisciplinary First Peoples Festival. He is also one of the most prominent members of the Indigenous film community.

Françoise Faucher | Theatre*

Actress, author, interviewer, host, and director, Françoise Faucher has marked our cultural life and inspired generations of actors through her rich, thoughtful performances, her intelligence, and her sensitivity. She has enjoyed a career in radio, television, film, and on the stage, playing over 150 roles of all types, from boulevard to avant-garde, by classic and modern authors.

Serge Fiori | Music

Singer songwriter, self-taught musician, and producer, Serge Fiori cofounded the cult band Harmonium. From L’Heptade to his eponymous album, Serge Fiori has made his mark with his voice and the power, originality, and complexity of his compositions. His creative efforts have led him to folk, progressive rock, new age, and film music. After having worked with some of the greatest artists in Québec song, he now devotes his time to up-and-coming artists.

Paul-André Fortier | Dance

Dancer, choreographer, and educator, Paul-André Fortier has made an outstanding contribution to the development and influence of Québec contemporary dance. His research, rigour, and penchant for risk paved the way for dance freed from past forms. He has created some 50 bold choreographies, often drawing on other artistic disciplines and new technology. His creative approach always goes hand in hand with a strong commitment to the dance community.

Brigitte Haentjens | Theatre

Born in France, director, choreographer, and author Brigitte Haentjens was a leader in Franco-Ontarian creation before moving to Québec, where she founded her own company, Sibyllines. A woman of the theatre and literature, she has made her mark with her vision, high expectations in her choice of authors, and the innovative aesthetics of her creations, which often explore questions of female identity, power, and sexuality. She is the artistic director of the National Arts Centre French theatre and has also managed the Carrefour International de Théâtre and the Théâtre Denise-Pelletier.

Suzanne Lebeau | Theatre*

Actor, playwright, and co-founder – with Gervais Gaudreault – of the theatre company Le Carrousel, Suzanne Lebeau is the author of some 30 works, as well as adaptations and translations. Fueled by a passion for telling children the truth and stimulating awareness, she is recognized internationally as a prominent figure in theatre for young audiences and one of the Québec playwrights whose work is the most translated and staged around the world.

Zab Maboungou | Dance

Choreographer, performer, philosopher, writer, speaker, and teacher of French and Congolese origin, Zab Maboungou is the artistic director of Zab Maboungou/Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata. Whether in Québec or touring internationally, she builds bridges between cultures with her pieces and their rooted, dynamic, spare movements. Drawing on the rhythmic bases of African dance and music, she invented the Loketo technique, considered a model in its genre.

Nadia Myre | Visual arts

A member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishnabeg Algonguin First Nation, Nadia Myre is a major figure in contemporary Indigenous art and among the great contemporary artists. Her multidisciplinary work is part of a participative effort that addresses themes of identity, language, resilience, memory, desire, and loss. Winner of the 2014 Sobey Art Award, she was selected for the Biennale de Montréal and Biennale of Sydney and has shown her work at home and abroad.

Alain Paré | Cultural manager

Founder, president, and executive director of the Conférence internationale des arts de la scène (CINARS), Alain Paré has made an outstanding contribution to the influence of Québec performing arts and the development of strategic export markets for local creations. For the past 45 years, his vision, engagement, initiatives, and dedication have provided springboards for hundreds of artists and organizations, promoting their international development and unprecedented economic benefits.

Rodney Saint-Éloi | Literature

Born in Haiti, writer and publisher Rodney Saint-Éloi is the author of some 10 poetry collections, a number of works of non-fiction on literature and painting, and many translations from French to Creole. He founded the Montréal publishing house Mémoire d’encrier, whose catalogue features works by renowned writers and new voices from diverse origins. His approach based in solidarity, ethics, and humanism is guided by his interest in memory and the history of dispossessed peoples.

Peter Simons | Patron of the arts

Peter Simons is a brilliant entrepreneur and patron known for his generosity, sensitivity to the arts, and respect for creators. In every store owned by the family business, the public can admire a monumental work by a local artist, in addition to the distinctive architecture and thoughtful design. Peter Simons founded Fabrique 1840, which promotes the work of dozens of creators and craftspeople. The Simons family donated the Place de l’Assemblée-Nationale’s Fontaine de Tourny to Quebec City.

Pierre Thibault | Architecture

An internationally renowned architect, Pierre Thibault has been leaving his mark on our landscape for over 30 years. Characterized by excellence in design and the architectural language developed, his creative approach focuses on the “happiness factor” and respect for the environment. He is behind major achievements in the institutional, cultural, and residential sectors, placing human beings in constant interaction with the territory they inhabit, whether natural or urban.

Kim Thúy | Literature

Born in Vietnam, Kim Thúy arrived in Québec at age 10 with the boat people. She wrote her first novel in French, Ru (2009), which was a huge success. Uprooting, reconstruction, and the exploration of her dual identity were threads that ran through this intimate novel with universal appeal, which has been translated into 25 languages. She is a lover of life and words and resilience embodied, and she has proven that humour and literature can triumph over tragedy.

* This Compagne was unable to attend the ceremony and will receive the insignia on another occasion.
** This Compagne was nominated in 2018 but was unable to attend the ceremony and so received the insignia this year.

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