Conseil de l’Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec
Compagnes and Compagnons are recommended by the Conseil de l’Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec, a jury that evaluates nominations received in response to an annual call for candidates. The recommendations are ratified by the CALQ’s board of directors. This year, the jury was made up of Myriam Achard, Claude Deschênes, Nadia Myre, Jack Robitaille and Louise Warren.
About the Caisse Desjardins de la Culture, official partner of the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec
An ally to artists, a driver of the cultural economy, and a springboard for organizations and entrepreneurs, the Caisse Desjardins de la Culture is a financial cooperative with deep roots in the community. For the past 25 years, it has been supporting artists, artisans, and self-employed workers in their personal and professional projects, offering cultural businesses and organizations financial services adapted to their needs, and participating in the socioeconomic development of the cultural milieu by supporting structuring efforts and projects.
About the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec
The Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) invests in the imagination and celebrates the successes of those who create memorable works, shape Québec’s cultural identity, and make it shine. With a view to equitable, sustainable artistic development, the CALQ supports creation, experimentation, and production in the arts and literature in all regions of Québec and promotes dissemination in Québec, Canada, and abroad.
The CALQ would like to thank the Caisse Desjardins de la Culture, main partner and Le Devoir, media partner, for its invaluable cooperation.
Recipients and short biographies
Jan Rok Achard ǀ Circus Arts
A prominent architect of the circus arts in Québec, Jan Rok Achard has devoted his life to creation, production, presentation and artistic training in this field. Co-founder of the Cité des arts du cirque and the national group En Piste, director of the École nationale de cirque, he is also director of production at the Collège Lionel-Groulx’s École professionnelle de théâtre and tour director for the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde’s Jeunes Comédiens.
Gaston Bellemare ǀ Literature
A prominent poet in Québec and around the world for over 50 years, Gaston Bellemare cofounded the Écrits des Forges (1971) and was its president for 25 years. Founder of the Festival international de la poésie de Trois-Rivières, he brings his region to the four corners of the world and attracts local and international voices to the region. Through Gaston Bellemare’s unflagging determination, Trois-Rivières became the first city outside of Europe to be named Ville en poésie (2015 to 2018).
Eudore Belzile ǀ Theatre
Actor, director and educator, Eudore Belzile is co-founder and artistic director of Théâtre du Bic and Théâtre Les gens d’en bas, a major vessel in the Lower St. Lawrence that he will leave later this year. Whether producing popular theatre with contemporary echoes or creating a youth-oriented model of community theatre, he has enriched the cultural milieu of his region and helped democratize performance arts for over 40 years.
Walter Boudreau ǀ Music
Avant-garde composer, accomplished saxophonist, and adventurous conductor, Walter Boudreau has excelled for over 50 years at breaking down barriers between genres, disciplines and audiences. He recently set down his baton from the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ), where he wore the hats of composer, conductor, and performer, in addition to being its artistic director for 33 years. His time with the SMCQ was marked by regular successes, including the Symphonie du Millénaire and creating the Festival Montréal/Nouvelles Musiques.
Tivi Etok ǀ Visual Arts
A pioneer in soapstone engraving, illustrator, storyteller and conveyor of knowledge, Tivi Etok is a living treasure and the first Inuit artist to have a collection of engravings published. Shaped by a difficult fight for physical and cultural survival, his work and its threads of unique humour illustrate the traditional Inuit way of life and its transformations. His engravings are part of prestigious museum collections around the world, contributing to the recognition of his people, for whom his art acts as memory.
Louise Forestier ǀ Popular Song and Theatre
Many know her for her rock and folk hits and for her contribution as co-author and performer for the incredible Osstidshow, which transformed Québec popular song. Others applaud her dazzling talent as a performer on stage and screen in Demain matin, Montréal m’attend, Starmania and Les Ordres. A Québec cultural icon, Louise Forestier has a track record littered with successes over the course of a 50-year career, moving between popular song, cinema, theatre, television and literature.
Michel Jean ǀ Literature
First introduced to the public as an investigative reporter and anchor, Michel Jean brings just as much rigour, clarity and empathy to his career as an author. With close to ten novels to his name, including Le vent en parle encore (finalist for the Prix Frye-Académie), Atuk, elle et nous and Kukum (Prix littéraire France-Québec and finalist for the Prix littéraire Jacques Lacarrière), the author from the community of Mashteuiatsh addresses his Innu roots from different perspectives and depicts with remarkable finesse issues for Indigenous people.
André Laliberté ǀ Theatre
André Laliberté discovered puppetry by accident during his adolescence and since then his passion for this thousand-year-old art never left him. Artistic director for 47 years for the company he created, the Théâtre de l’Oeil, he directed 28 creations, with 5,000 performances on four continents. A pioneer in puppet arts in Québec, he also cofounded La Maison Théâtre, enabling local youth theatre to be recognized for its true value and to launch itself onto international stages.
Dulcinée Langfelder ǀ Multidisciplinary Arts
A pioneer in multidisciplinary arts, Dulcinée Langfelder is a one-woman band whose eclectic creative process combines dance, mime, theatre, popular song and video with a strong social and community commitment. At the head of the company Cercle Vertueux Danse théâtre, which has become Dulcinée Langfelder & Cie, she has built bridges between cultures and won over audiences in addressing difficult subjects with sensitivity, intelligence and humour. In 35 years, she has visited 15 countries and presented her pieces in eight languages.
Michel Rivard ǀ Popular Song
For over 50 years, Michel Rivard has been excelling as a singer songwriter, actor, improviser, host and, even in his spare time, comedian and storyteller. With his bandmates from Beau Dommage or as a solo performer, he ingeniously enriched Québec song with his contemporary urban folk and continues to add his vision of the world to everything he touches. Rivard’s work is a masterpiece of finesse, nuance and intelligence, both artistic and human, demonstrating his iconic status on the Québec cultural scene.
Monique Savoie ǀ Digital Arts
Videographer and founder of the Society for Arts and Technology (SAT) in 1996, Monique Savoie spent 25 years managing and maintain a meeting place between the arts, technology, science and society, which is a talent incubatory. She also positioned Montréal on the international scene of digital creation by co-managing the Symposium international des arts technologiques ISEA95 and by inaugurating the Satosphère, a global reference in digital innovation.
Mohamed Lamine Touré ǀ Music
Former dancer and choreographer with Guinea’s Ballet National, Mohamed Lamine Touré arrived in Montréal in 1974, with his rich experience and dream of shining a light on cultures of African descent. A pioneer in promoting cultural diversity, founder of the Club Balattou and the Festival international Nuits d’Afrique, this visionary manager has built bridges between many communities, which have transformed Montréal and the life of artists he promotes, to the delight of audiences.