Excellence and Innovation
in Canadian Theatre

Marilène Bastien – Speech

What an honour to be chosen as the protégée of Anick La Bissonnière, a radiant artist, an exceptional woman for whom I have huge admiration! Architect, designer and teacher she embodies creativity, sensitivity and selflessness all at the same time. While active in theatre, she enriches her practice through her many realisations, and by sharing her knowledge and her passion. Her reach is great and an inspiration.

Being here, by her side, inspires me and challenges me. I devoutly wish to honour this prize which Anick is sharing with me tonight. I vow to never forget this unhoped for gift, this unexpected recognition, and to seize the occasion to pour into my work a renewed motivation, hope and audacity.

I have made my way thanks to several meaningful encounters, such as this. Through artistic and human dialogue, they brought on acts of creation, astonishing, demanding, sometimes confrontational, but always enriching, even essential. These encounters lead me, in remarkable ways on unexpected journeys (like this magnificent evening!)

I am quite intimidated by the attention given me, but I am very glad for this rare occasion to deliver a few heartfelt thanks.

First of all to a family who lavished love on me: my father, my mother and my sister; all, unconditional supporters. The pride of a parent has unfathomable power, at any age.

Thank you also to my professional families: dancers and choreographers, actors and directors, authors and designers, a politicized community who dreams and looks at the world with eyes wide open. To all these accomplices who make me grow and who have had confidence in me (sometimes more than myself) thank you. A very special word for my closest accomplice, with whom I share everything, my ideas, my joys, my anxieties; François, mon chéri, merci.

To Anick La Bissonnière, whose diverse interests and accomplishments leave me dumbfounded, dazzled, a huge merci!

It makes me very happy to be here tonight among people who recognize, appreciate and encourage the performing arts. In these times of a national electoral campaign, where culture is virtually absent from political speeches, no more than science, by the way, I worry. How do we communicate the value of art when our leaders show nothing but scorn for it? Standing in loud opposition to this sorry trend is the Siminovitch Prize: a reward charged with love for the arts, a unique recognition for the profession of theatre, a prize of rare generosity which encourages innovation and nourishes the vivacity of our creators.

Merci to the founders and partners of this wonderful prize.

Life is truly magic.


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