November 2, 2011
François Colbert, holder of the Carmelle and Rémi Marcoux Chair in Arts Management at HEC Montréal, is proud to announce that the first winner of the Cultural Manager Award is François Bédard, General Manager of the Festival international de Lanaudière. The award, created by the Chair, comes with a cash prize of $5,000. It is one of 10 distinctions presented yesterday as part of the Prix de Montréal pour les arts et la culture, an event organized by the Conseil des arts de Montréal
François Bédard is a graduate of the National Theatre School and the recipient of a Canada Council for the Arts grant. He has been a manager in the cultural field for over 35 years. He served as Production Director with the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde from 1975 to 1984, and then as Administrative Director of what is now the Conseil des arts de Montréal. In 1990, he earned an MBA from HEC Montréal and the following year took over as General Manager of the Festival international de Lanaudière.
Mr. Bédard’s achievements as head of the Festival include balancing the organization’s books, boosting its profile both in Quebec and internationally, and creating an endowment fund that has now reached $1.2 million, with revenue going exclusively to supporting artistic development. He also ensured a smooth transition when a new artistic director joined the Festival in 2009. This year, he designed and co-ordinated the installation of an “immersive projection” system that offers audiences an even more intense musical experience.
In addition to his professional achievements, the jury praised Mr. Bédard’s community commitment. He is one of the founders of the Conseil québécois de la musique and the Major International Events Network, and has been a Director of the latter organization since 1998. He was also a member and later Vice-Chair of the Board of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, from 1998 to 2009.
Mr. Bédard was nominated for the award by Marie Lavigne, President and CEO of the Société de la Place des Arts de Montréal. The jury consisted of: