For every ceremony honouring and rewarding the talents of Canadian artists, Rideau Hall—on His Excellency Jean-Daniel Lafond’s initiative—organizes a public forum called Art Matters. It is a wonderful opportunity to bring laureates, artists, academics and administrators together to discuss and examine the challenges facing culture in our society. These forums encourage dialogue and provide a space for reflection on the creative process and how it is received by society.
Over the past four years, more than 40 Art Matters forums have been held in Canada and abroad. The comming forum’s thematic : Citizens, to the arts! (Re)Connecting citizens, artists and the arts
This forum is being held in conjunction with the announcement of the laureates of the 2010 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards and in co-operation with Culture pour Tous and the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation.
For all details, visit the official Web site
Director General, National Theatre School of Canada
Montréal native Simon Brault was named CEO of the National Theatre School in 2008, after having held several key administrative positions with the NTS since 1981, including that of director general, since 1997. He is currently in his second term as vice-chair of the Canada Council for the Arts.
In 1997, he initiated Journées de la culture, a Quebec-wide cultural event; in 2002, he led a 20-member delegation at the Sommet de Montréal and founded Culture Montréal; in 2007, he headed the steering committee of the Rendez Vous 2007 – Montréal, Cultural Metropolis.
Mr. Brault is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a fellow of the Ordre des CGA (Certified General Accountants), and a recipient of the 2009 Keith Kelly Award for Cultural Leadership. He is presently a member of the International Advisory Board of the Musagetes Foundation.
In September 2009, Mr. Brault launched his first book of essays, titled Le FACTEUR C – L’Avenir passe par la culture, published by La Presse / Éditions Voix parallèles. In it, he explains the rise of arts and culture on global public agendas, especially in a time when more than half of the world’s population lives in an urban setting. The book is currently being translated into English by Cormorant Books and is slated for release in May 2010.
Dancer and choreographer
Frédérick Gravel studied dance at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). He obtained a B.A. in 2003 and an M.A. in 2009. He was the first recipient of the David Kilburn scholarship, which is awarded to a creative arts graduate. As a chorographer, interpreter, lighting designer, director and musician in turn, his work is a felicitous mixture of several disciplines. As a researcher, he works at LARTech (Laboratoire de Recherche et Création en Techno-Chorégraphie), which is affiliated with UQAM. His Master’s thesis examined the role of artists in democratic society.
Frédérick also collaborates as a director, choreographer or lighting designer with artists from sectors other than contemporary dance. For example, he worked with Les Moquettes Coquettes for their show at the 2007 Francofolies, and collaborated on the creation of video clips for Pierre Lapointe, and also for Les 3 Accords. He was the dance consultant with the Théâtre de la Pire Espace for the creation of Gestes Impies et Rites Sacrés, which was performed at the Festival Transamériques (FTA) in 2009. For his latest major project, he worked on the show Mutants by Pierre Lapointe. He is also the co-founder of the production company La 2e Porte Gauche, which creates events that challenge the relationship between performer and spectator. He directed two projects with that production company that were performed in an apartment: 7 part (2008) and 9 part. (2009).
Frédérick Gravel likes to play on the boundaries between different forms of expression, and with artistic ambiguity. His work combines physical intensity and rock with casualness and irony. At the same time, a relationship of complicity with the public produces an introspection on the role of art in democratic society. Frédérick Gravel creates and performs in the GroupedArtGravelArtGroup, or GAG, which brings together performers from several disciplines who all participate intimately in the different creative processes. From little-known venues in the Montreal underground to major public events, Frédérick Gravel is a practitioner of risk-taking and genre-bending.
Artist and Mediator, TOHU
Patricia Pérez first made her mark as a gymnast. She was the national women’s gymnastics champion of Venezuela for three consecutive years (1981-1984), and competed at the World Games in Moscow and at the Central American Games in Cuba. She participated as a choreographer in the national team’s selection for the Pan-American Games in Caracas. She continued her performing career in contemporary and folk dance with the Coreoarte dance company (under director Carlos Orta), until she moved to Quebec in 1986.
In Montréal, she was part of the distribution team for the production Le Dortoir, by Carbonne 14 (Gilles Maheu), and then participated in nine productions with the Nouveau Théâtre Expérimental (Robert Gravel and Jean Pierre Ronfard), including La Conquête de Mexico; Il n’y a plus rien; Corps à corps; and Thérèse, Tom et Simon.
She also worked in television and cinema with Guy Fournier, on the series “Ent’Cadieux” and “Jamais deux sans toi”, and played the lead role of Esperanza in the film Mathusalem II, by Roger Cantin.
She was also part of the distribution team for the Quebec touring production of Notre Dame de Paris (Maheu-Plamondon) for a year and a half.
She took her multidisciplinary talents to new heights working as a commentator in the production Union Libre des Amériques (Spectra), and on a number of other TV and radio productions led by Marie France Bazzo. She also worked in research and creation for the theatre companies Momentum (Dominique Leduc) and Trans-théâtre (Brigitte Poupart).
In the educational field, Ms. Pérez has worked as a dance, capoeira, acrobatics and dance theatre instructor with Building Danse (1987-1990), and has led creation workshops in elementary and secondary schools throughout the CSDM school district (Montreal).
Since retiring from the stage (2003), Patricia Pérez has worked with TOHU, a circus arts training organization in Montréal, as a media artist running PRÉLUDE, a support program for training future performance artists in the Montréal neighbourhood of Saint-Michel. There, she conducts guided circus history tours and collaborates with programming for Falla, Souk and Head-First, among other events.
Academy Director, Segal Centre
Gisèle Rucker has been a grant maker and arts administrator for 30 years. She is the director of the Academy (Development and Partnerships) at the newly established Segal Centre for Performing Arts, located in the Côte-des-Neiges area of Montréal, where she is responsible for its educational programs. A former executive director of the Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Family Foundation, she developed and directed community development programs, such as the Urban Issues Program, which supported 60 multi-year, citizen-driven projects in community arts, heritage and environmental conservation, and economic development in low-income urban neighbourhoods across Canada. Under her stewardship, the Foundation supported a three-year research study, the National Arts and Youth Demonstration Program, through McGill University’s School of Social Work, which found conclusive evidence that children who participate in arts activities gain greater self-awareness, acquire abilities in problem solving and have better opportunities for success in life. Ms. Rucker worked in theatres and art galleries in Montréal and in London, Ontario, and was a contract grants officer with the Canada Council for the Arts Explorations Program, before joining the Saidye Bronfman Centre as director of administration.
President and Chief Executive Officer, SAT
From the very beginning of her career, Monique Savoie has taken a cross-cutting approach to avant-garde culture that has led her to work at a variety of artistic events, including New Music America (1990, Montréal), PRIM Video (1991), and the Festival de théâtre des Amériques (1991, 1992, 1993 and 1997).
In 1995, she directed the sixth International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA95, Montréal), an event which heralded Montréal as a leader in digital creation on the international scene. The following year, she founded the Society of Arts and Technology (SAT). She now serves as its CEO, artistic director and director of development.
With over 10 000 members to date, the SAT provides a singular network at a time when digital technology is radically transforming our thoughts and actions, and how we create and disseminate art.
Savoie prepared several submissions in 1999 for the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. In 2000, she became a signature member of the Charte de Souillac, in France, with Pour un rapprochement art et science. In 2003, Mémoire vive was submitted to hearings on the reference document, Pour une politique québécoise du cinéma et de la production audiovisuelle (Quebec’s cinema and audiovisual production policy). She is an active contributor to Canada’s Innovation Strategy.
Savoie served as cultural delegate to the Montreal Cultural Summit and is currently a member of the Partenariat du Quartier des Spectacles board of directors, vice-president of the Corporation de développement du Faubourg Saint-Laurent, and a member of the digital arts component of the ICT cluster of Montréal International. Throughout her career, she has highlighted the importance of supporting emerging artists and has focused on providing them with an environment where they can conduct their research and independent creation.
In Toronto, in 2003, Savoie was nominated as one of three visionaries in Canada by the Canadian New Media Awards. In 2004, she won the Louise Grenier Award in Communication, Convergence and New Media for her contribution to new forms of expression in the media arts and her commitment to emergent creators.
She is frequently invited to speak on the inherent interdisciplinary challenges of bridging science, art and technology. She has given lectures on the subject at the Entretiens Jacques-Cartier, in Lyons, France. She has participated in numerous international delegations as an expert in digital culture and related socio-economic issues. She is regularly invited to serve as an adjudicator or speaker at national and international events.
Anne Lagacé Dowson
Radio Host, CJAD 800, Montréal
Anne Lagacé Dowson is the host of “Saturday Afternoon in Montreal”, on CJAD 800. Ms. Lagace Dowson, who holds a masters degree in Canadian Studies from Carleton University, has hosted network radio programs on CBC Radio 1, as well as the province-wide phone-in show. She has worked as a network arts reporter, studio director and news reporter in Montréal, Ottawa and Toronto. She has also done the press, book and film reviews on CBC Radio and TV, and collaborates on Radio-Canada on programs such as “Christiane Charette”.
From 5:30 pm to 6 pm , there will be a performance by SAT[MixSessions], a collective of VJs and DJs lead by Joseph Lefèvre, Director, Artists in Residence Program SAT[creation] at the SAT. They will also be performing at the end of the evening from 8pm to 9pm, following the discussion, to end the evening on a high note.
Performing artists :