Montreal, May 9, 2018 – The Conseil des arts de Montréal is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Mr. Maurice Forget, counsel with Fasken Martineau, businessman, philanthropist involved in many causes, collector, and Chair of the Conseil des arts de Montréal from 1999 to 2006. His passing gives us cause to reflect on the immensity of his accomplishments and the causes he held dear.
During his chairmanship, Mr. Forget had a strong influence on the Conseil’s priorities, particularly in terms of forging ties between the arts and business communities. He viewed the business community as a natural ally of artistic organizations. He also lobbied for greater inclusion of cultural diversity in Montreal’s arts scene. In 2004, his stance mobilized the entire community to hold a cultural diversity day. This led the Conseil to adopt recommendations for improved access to its programs, by creating a position dedicated to the needs of culturally diverse artists and adopting a policy to promote the development of cultural diversity in the arts. The delegation created for this first cultural diversity day was to acquire official status in 2007 under the name of Diversité Artistique Montréal (DAM).
“Mr. Forget undoubtedly made a mark on our organization’s history,” noted Jan-Fryderyk Pleszczynski, Chairman of the Conseil. “It is through his tireless efforts that the Conseil acquired legal autonomy, which would transform the way it worked and ensure more transparent and dynamic governance. He also had an impact on my own personal path, when I began my career at Fasken Martineau where he headed the office. He navigated through his various projects with remarkable intelligence and a gift for repartee that meant you had to be on your toes whenever you spoke with him, whether it was a chat in a corridor or an in-depth discussion on an important issue. We have just lost a great man.”
Recipient of the Order of Canada for philanthropy in education, health and the arts, Mr. Forget was a constant presence on the arts scene. He was recognized for his engagement in the Montreal community, where he led and participated in the philanthropic activities of several major organizations, including the Porte Parole theatre, the Segal Centre for Performing Arts, the Darling Foundry/Quartier Éphémère, the Guido Molinari Foundation, the Blue Metropolis Foundation, the Château Ramzay Museum, the Heritage Montreal Foundation, the Amis du Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the Montreal Decorative Arts Museum, the Centre international d’art contemporain de Montréal, the Stewart Hall Art Gallery, the Association des collections d’entreprises (of which he was a founding member and former president), and the Artwork Collection of Fasken Martineau’s Montreal office. He received the Montreal Business-Arts Personality of the Year award in 2009 for his exemplary community involvement. He was also founding patron of artsScène Montréal, an initiative aimed at promoting the engagement of young professionals in the Montreal arts scene.
The Conseil will be joining the Montreal arts community to pay homage to Mr. Forget’s accomplishments at an evening tribute to be held in the coming months. Maurice Forget’s legendary dedication and passion will live on, etched in the memories of the Conseil, the artists and businesspeople of Montreal.
About Conseil des arts de Montréal
A dynamic partner of artistic creativity in Montreal, the Conseil des arts de Montréal identifies, supports and recognizes excellence and innovation in the creation, production and presentation of professional artistic endeavours. It encourages openness, discovery and daring at the heart of Montreal’s artistic landscape, thanks to its initiatives. Since 1956, the Conseil des arts de Montréal has been an influential player in the development of “Montreal, Cultural Metropolis.”