François Bédard retires from Festival de Lanaudière

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This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

Joliette, February 20, 2020 – “The Festival is doing very well, the music is in good hands with Renaud Loranger as Artistic Director, the team is well established, and the Festival is in excellent financial shape. Therefore, I can retire with both mind and heart at ease.” With these words, François Bédard, Executive Director of Canada’s most prominent classical music festival, announced his retirement—effective in May—to the Festival’s Board of Directors. Bédard began his tenure in May 1991, a pivotal time when the Festival faced many challenges. A passionate administrator and high-ranking manager, he significantly improved the finances of this institution dedicated to classical music. As a discerning music lover, he also vigorously supported the Festival’s mission, promoting it within local, national and international circles, successfully implementing its projects as well as securing its long-term stability and sustainability.

François Bédard’s accomplishments, both great and small, are numerous. He is credited with setting up the Festival’s Foundation, which today plays an important role in financing its programming and activities. In 2011, he furnished the Amphithéâtre Fernand-Lindsay with an advanced high-definition video system, transforming the experience of music-loving audiences. He developed numerous partnerships and nurtured productive international exchanges, notably with festivals in the United States. The connections he forged with different cultural environments was also the source of many memorable concerts. He finalized the conditions for Charles Dutoit’s return to Quebec in 2011 along with the Philadelphia Orchestra’s first appearance at the Festival, and more recently, in 2019, he was the driving force behind the Grands Ballets’ initial performance. Over the decades, he assumed many key functions: for nine years he served as a member of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec executive, and he was the co-founder of both the Conseil québécois de la musique and Regroupement des événements majeurs internationaux (RÉMI). Highly esteemed by the academic community, he was awarded the first ever Prix du gestionnaire culturel (Cultural Management Prize) in 2011 by Montreal’s foremost business school, HEC Montréal.

To facilitate the appointment of a new Executive Director, François Bédard chose to bid his definitive farewell toward the end of May, right before the opening of the Festival’s 2020 edition. “Witnessing how an entire season of concerts unfolds seems to me essential in gaining a clear picture of the challenges that must be met,” explains Bédard. Wishing the institution he holds so dear to his heart countless prosperous seasons to come, he added, “I will certainly be available to further help with the transition if the Board of Directors and new management think it is necessary.”

Members of the Board of Directors, management, staff, and all the members of the Festival de Lanaudière’s great family extend their heartfelt thanks to François Bédard and wish him a retirement that fulfills all his expectations.

The Chair of the Board of Directors has stated that the Festival de Lanaudière will soon issue a call for applications to the position of Executive Director.

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

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