President – Executive Director and Artistic Director
Member of the team since 2011
514 932-1112 poste 39
A harpsichordist by training, William St. Hilaire completed her studies in Public Relations at the HEC in Montreal. She began as a manager, notably for Bob Walsh and the Arthur Leblanc Quartet, before being hired as the General Manager of Montreal’s I Musici Chamber Orchestra. She then worked in Communications for ten years at Radio-Canada. Ms. St. Hilaire has sat on the boards of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, of the Salle Pierre-Mercure, and of the Association pour la création et la recherche en électroacoustiques du Québec. She is the author of eight books. Les femmes planètes (VLB, 2010) is her first novel. In the spring of 2015, she was honored with the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec. She has been the President, General Manager and Artist Director of the Blue Metropolis Foundation and Festival for 10 years.
Marie-Andrée Lamontagne is a writer, editor, and journalist. She regularly publishes fiction and critical works in a variety of literary magazines in Québec and in France. Once a week, she also hosts Parking nomade, a literary program on Radio VM (91,3 FM in Montreal). She is a member of the editorial board of Argument (Montréal). As a critic, she contributes to the literary journals L’Inconvénient (Montreal). She is also the non-fiction editor for les éditions Médiaspaul. Her most recently published works include : Anne Hébert, Vivre pour écrire (Boréal, 2019), L’homme au traîneau (Leméac 2012), Montréal, la créative (éd. Autrement, coll. «Mook»/Héliotrope, 2011).
Frédérick Gaudin-Laurin holds a B.A. in Psychology from the Université de Montréal. He has worked in education, social intervention and scientific research. His work with new Canadians has earned him a Certificate in Immigration, Integration and Diversity in the Workplace from the Université de Montréal. He’s currently working on a Masters in Industrial Relations. His scientific training and experience in human relationships help to enrich the Educational and Social programs Frédérick oversees at the Blue Met. He’s passionately interested in art and culture. He believes literature is a means of expression that can foster social commitment among Montreal’s diverse communities.
Céline Fernandes was born in France. She holds degrees from the Université de Parix-X in Communications-Current Affairs with a major in Publishing and Conservancy, as well as from Université Paris-III in Cultural Mediation, specializing in Books, Writing and Digital Media. While at university, Céline and a fellow student launched the association À vos plumes! to promote reading in remote areas and to offer writing and illustrating workshops for children in rehab. Having confirmed her interest in cultural mediation, she underwent training in the Development and management of cultural projects. She has worked in book fairs and sales, has edited texts for self-published authors, and worked in several independent bookstores in France. She joined Blue Metropolis as an intern in 2018, attracted by the Foundation’s ideals, and was promoted to her current position as Program Coordinator and Assistant to the President in June of 2019.
Associate Programming Director
Member of the team since 2015
From 1981 to 2003, Shelley Pomerance was a presence on CBC Radio as an arts journalist and host of the programmes ArtTalks and All in a Weekend. Currently, she writes and does translation for a number of organizations, including Blue Metropolis Festival and the Douglas Mental Health Institute. She writes profiles and the English books column for Montréal Centre-Ville magazine, and hosts the pre-show talks for the Grand Ballets Canadiens. She also does the occasional radio and television commercial. If you twist her arm, she might tell you which ones…
Ingrid Bejerman is a journalist, scholar and cultural promoter specializing in cultural reportage, Latin American matters, and journalism training. She served as reporter and columnist for the leading São Paulo daily O Estado de S. Paulo in Brazil, as programme coordinator for the Gabriel García Márquez Foundation for Journalism in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, and as director of the Cátedra Latinoamericana Julio Cortázar at the University of Guadalajara, Mexico. She is a programming consultant for prestigious literary events in the Americas, and programming associate for Blue Metropolis, the Montreal International Literary Festival. Bejerman holds a doctorate degree from McGill University, where her work focuses on the institutionalization and professionalization of journalism. She teaches courses in journalism theory at Concordia University, and currently coordinates the Canada in the Americas initiative at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada.
LGBT+ Programming Associate
Member of the team since 2014
Christopher DiRaddo is an author and literary events producer working to create a space for LGBTQ literature in Montreal. Since 2014, he has produced 40 events that have featured more than 100 writers and performers. At the heart of these events is the Violet Hour, a bimonthly queer reading series that takes place during the off-hours of a strip club in Montreal’s gay village. In 2017, Christopher became the LGBTQ programming associate for the Blue Metropolis Montreal International Literary Festival. That year, he also helped to create the Blue Metropolis Violet Literary Prize, the first literary award presented to an established Canadian LGBTQ writer for their body of work. His first book, The Geography of Pluto, was published in 2014. He is the current president of the Quebec Writers’ Federation.
Linda Amyot is a writer and researcher. She also leads writing workshops. Since 2004, she has published three novels, a collection of short stories and two children’s novels at Leméac as well as two illustrated albums for children published by Le Soleil de Minuit. Her novel The Girl Opposite won the TD Prize for Children’s and Young People’s Literature and the Bookstores Award in 2011; her novel Le jardin d’Amsterdam won the Prix du livre jeunesse des Bibliothèques de Montréal and the Governor General’s Award in 2014.
Philippe H. Bélanger
Chair of the Board of Directors
Associate – McCarthy Tétrault
Member of the Board since 2018
Chair of the Board since 2019
Philippe H. Bélanger is a partner in the Bankruptcy and Restructuring Group in Montréal. Mr. Bélanger’s practice focuses mainly on bankruptcy and insolvency law, as well as commercial litigation and banking law. Recently, Mr. Bélanger acted for BCE Inc. in connection with BCI’s loss monetization plan. He also acted for Canadian National Railway Company in connection with the restructuring of 360networks Inc. and for the National Bank of Canada in connection with the restructuring of Piscines Trévi Inc. worked as a clerk with Chief Justice Antonio Lamer in 1989 and 1990. He then completed a master’s degree in philosophy of law at Oxford University. He has already given lectures on philosophy of law and methodology at the Faculty of Law of the Université de Montréal. Mr. Bélanger now gives lectures on the interpretation of laws at the Faculty of Law of the Université de Montréal. He also teaches a transitional law course that is offered to Quebec lawyers as part of the reform of the Civil Code of Quebec. In 2017, Mr. Bélanger was awarded the title of Emeritus Lawyer of the Barreau du Québec in recognition of his professional excellence, his outstanding contribution to the profession and his exceptional influence. Mr. Bélanger received his diploma of collegial studies in human sciences from Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf in 1985 and his bachelor of law degree from the Université de Montréal in 1988. He was called to the Québec Bar in 1989.
Louise Ann Maziak
Member of the Board since September 2011
Vice-President of the Board since September 2019
Currently a financial consultant for high-level clients, Louise Ann Maziak was Vice-President, National Accounts, Québec, TD Bank Group from 2005 to 2018. During this period, she led a team of professionals serving clients with financing requirements in excess of $15 million. Prior to joining TD Bank, Louise Ann was the treasurer of the Société générale de financement du Québec, where she was responsible for the company’s lending and treasury requirements, as well as those of its equity participations. While at the SFG, she sat on several of boards and finance committees of the group’s investments and worked closely with partners such as CEPSA, Dow Chemicals, Shell, and El Paso Corporation. Louise Ann holds both an MSc and an MBA from McGill University.In addition to her professional activities, she currently sits on the board of directors of the Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM) and its major gifts committee. She joined the board of Blue Metropolis in 2011.
Director of Investment and Finance Filaction
Member of the Board since February 2012
Treasurer since November 2012
After completing his studies in Business Administration, Christophe Roubinet began his career as a controller in property investments in Paris. He moved to Québec and for more than 15 years worked in arts administration. In 2008, he joined the Filaction Development Fund as a portfolio manager investing in the Arts and the Social Economy. In 2012, he was named Associate Director of Business Development Investment. As of November 2017, he is Director of Investment and Finance.
Counsel – Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg S.E.N.C.R.L., s.r.l./LLP
Member of the Board since November 2009
Secretary since November 2012
Pierre-André Themens is Senior counsel of the law firm Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, of which he has been a member since 1977.
He was Managing Partner in Montréal from 2000 to June 2017, following which he became counsel. Pierre-André is a board member of Evoca S.p.A. He serves on the boards of a number of charitable and cultural organizations, including The Claridge Foundation, The Phyllis Lambert Foundation, the Canadian Centre for Architecture and the Sauvé Foundation. Mr. Themens received is law degree (with very High Distinction) from the University of Montréal, LL.L., 1976.
Member of the Board since 2005
Vice-President of the Board from 2005 to 2019
Prior to joining Ilian, Consulting and Management Inc., Mr. Daniel was Executive Vice-President, Communications & Marketing Services of BCE Inc. and Bell Canada. He also held several senior positions in the federal public service, including Assistant Deputy Minister, Communications for the Department of Finance and for the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. He served abroad in 1993 as international advisor on media and communications to the Transitional Executive Council preparing South Africa’s first multiracial election and in 1997 as Director of Information and Press for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) during the Kosovo conflict.
Associate Professor of English Literature University of Concordia
Member of the Board since November 2012
Associate Professor of literature at Concordia University, Dr. Powell currently lives in Montreal. He holds a Ph.D. in Medieval English Literature, and teaches both medieval and contemporary English literature. The focus of his research is manuscript transmission during the Middle Ages and up to the present.
Gestionnaire Infrastructure et Opérations TI/SI, Peerless Clothing Inc.
Member of the Board since may 2015
Joffrey Bienvenue holds a Master of Science degree in Business Informatics, obtained with distinction, and has 30 years of experience in computer science. A bilingual French/English manager with a good knowledge of Spanish, he has extensive and in-depth expertise in technologies and works hard to meet business imperatives with appropriate solutions. In addition to his skills in this field, he has also served on various boards of directors (CPE, CÉGEP) and executive committees of student associations. Since 2013, he has been organizing the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, an international classic motorcycle show that takes place on the last Sunday in September in more than 250 cities in 79 countries to raise funds for prostate cancer research. He is also a founding member and president, since its foundation in 2007, of the RetMEQ network (Technology Managers in Medium-Sized Enterprises in Quebec), a specialized network of the Réseau Action TI.
Associate – Fasken
Member of the Board since November 2017
Youssef Fichtali practises business law as a member of the firm’s Montréal office. He provides advice on mergers, acquisitions, securities and corporate law. He provides counsel on the purchase and sale of private and public companies in the mining industry. Youssef also assists private and public power producers on regulatory and commercial matters. Youssef acts on behalf of governments on institutional reforms relating to energy and natural resources. In addition to assisting clients with the regulatory aspects of mining projects from initial exploration to closure of the mine, he advises on corporate social responsibility. Youssef’s practice also covers public contract law in Québec and compliance with ethics and lobbying rules.
Associate – Blakes
Member of the Board since 2019
Clémentine’s practice focuses on infrastructure projects, public-private partnerships, project development and finance, public procurement, and sustainable development. She has extensive experience in advising national and international public and private entities and financial institutions on infrastructure projects in a variety of industry sectors, including social, health and cultural infrastructure, as well as transportation and renewable energy. Her expertise covers a full range of commercial matters, from procurement processes to engineering, construction agreements, equipment supply agreements and operation/maintenance agreements. She also regularly assists in project administration and management, as well as in dispute resolution for issues pertaining to construction, stakeholder relations, interfacing, operations, governance and strategic development. In her procurement practice, Clémentine assists local and international stakeholders in both public and private sectors, providing advice and legal opinions relating to procurement processes, risk management and mitigation strategies, project structuring, agreements, and compliance issues related to governance and integrity. This has led her recently to extend her practice to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies, policies and procedures, as well as to compliance with new legal and regulatory requirements.
Community Development Advisor First Nations and Inuit EVOQ Architecture
Member of the Board since February 2020
Born into the Innu-Montagnais nation, Maya Cousineau Mollen was adopted by Québécois parents in a traditional ceremony, to respect the wishes of her Innu mother. With her parents’ encouragement, she began writing poetry at the age of 14. It was a means of self-expression that stayed with her. Poetry became an outlet for strong, sometimes negative emotions, or simply to celebrate key moments in life. Her poems made a quiet debut in anthologies and literary magazines and one of her short stories appeared in the Amun collection edited by Michel Jean. In September 2019 she launched her first collection of poems, Bréviaire du Matricule 82, published by Éditions Hannenorak. It’s worth noting that the preface was penned by Ariane Mnouchkine, founder, president and stage director of the Théâtre du Soleil. Maya Cousineau Mollen has been active for 23 years in the life of First Nations. She founded the indigenous students’ association at l’Université Laval, and co-founded the First Nations Youth Council of Quebec and Labrador. It has since evolved into the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Youth Network. She has tremendous confidence in the potential of indigenous youth. She believes their energy and determination should be encouraged. Today, she is a Community Development Advisor for the firm EVOQ Architecture. Maya derives great pleasure in pursuing her work with local communities. She serves as an ambassador for this wonderful team which has been serving the Inuit and First Nations for 35 years. At EVOQ, the term «decolonization» is nothing to be afraid of; on the contrary, it’s an inspiring challenge. In planning its projects, the firm encourages Inuit and First Nations to reclaim their historic and cultural uniqueness, and to express it through the poetry of architecture.
Hubert T. Lacroix
Former Chair of the Board of Directors
Strategic Counsel | Montréal
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Hubert T. Lacroix (date of birth July 13, 1955) was President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada from January 2008 to July 2018, making him the longest serving President and CEO in the history of the Corporation.
A Montreal native, Mr. Lacroix is a graduate of Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf and McGill University’s Faculty of Law. He was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1977, and in 1981 received a Master’s of Business Administration from McGill. He worked at the major law firms of O’Brien, Hall, Saunders, McCarthy Tétreault and Stikeman Elliott. He held the position of Executive Chairman of the Board of Telemedia Corporation and other companies in the Telemedia Group, as well as serving on the boards of a number of firms, notably Cambior, Donohue, Fibrek, Michelin Canada, Secor, Transcontinental and Zarlink Semiconductor.
Along with a great enthusiasm for sports, he has had a long and significant involvement in charitable organizations, where he has been active as a volunteer and board member. Among these organizations are Accueil Bonneau, the Fondation Lucie et André Chagnon and the Montreal General Hospital Foundation.
He is currently active in education through his participation on the Board of Directors of the Fondation Villa Sainte-Marcelline.
Former Chair of the Board of Directors
Chair of the Board Vice-President, Real Estate, Quebec, Canada Lands Company. Cameron Charlebois has worked in the real estate industry for close to 30 years, after beginning his career as an architect. In addition to his working career, Cameron Charlebois sits on the boards of CUSO-VSO, which he also chairs, the Evergreen Foundation, and the Sacré-Coeur Hospital of Montreal. Cameron Charlebois has several university degrees which include a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, a Bachelor of Architecture, a Masters of Management (MM) – all from McGill University in Montreal -, and a Doctor of Management (DMan) from the University of Hertfordshire in England.
Mario Allaire, Production Director
Louise Bélisle, Graphist
Myriam Comtois, Media relations (French)
Shelley Pomerance Media relations (English)
Webtmize, Digital marketing agency
Dumont St-Pierre inc., Accounting
FRENCH-LANGUAGE PROGRAMMING COMMITTEE
Philippe Bélanger, Lawyer
Annie Heminway, Professor of French, New York University
Francis Farley-Chevrier, Executive Director, UNEQ
Jean Fugère, Literary columnist
Émile Martel, Centre Québécois du PEN international
Christophe Roubinet, Assistant Director of Investment – Business Development Filaction
Robert Spickler, Cultural Enterprise Manager
Antoine Tanguay, Publisher, Éditions Alto
ENGLISH-LANGUAGE PROGRAMMING COMMITTEE
JASON CAMLOT Professor, Department of English, Concordia University
SIMON DARDICK Co-publisher, Véhicule Press
CHRISTOPHER DIRADDO Writer, Producer
PETER MENDELOS Director, Paragraphe Books
ELISE MOSER Writer, Editor
GUY RODGERS Executive Director, ELAN
LORI SCHUBERT Executive Director, Quebec Writers’ Federation
MARY SODESTROM Essayist, Author
DEREK WEBSTER Poet, Editor
SHANNON WEBB-CAMPBELL Poet, Writer, Critic
COMITÉ DE PROGRAMMATION AZUL | AZUL PROGRAMMING COMMITTEE
NGRID BEJERMAN PhD, Journalism, Concordia University
HUGH HAZELTON PhD, Modern Languages, Concordia University
LADY ROJAS BENAVENTE PhD, Modern Languages, Concordia University
LUZ MARÍA LEPE PhD, Estudios Amerindios y Educación Bilingüe, Universidad de Querétaro
CAROLINE HUGNY-MARTIALIS, Éditions Urubu
GREGORY MCCORMICK, Toronto Public Library
ALEJANDRO ESTIVILL, Cónsul General de México en Montreal
ZOILA SÁNCHEZ ESPINOSA, Consulado General de México en Montreal
PILAR MARÍN, Librería Las Américas
PACO HERMOSÍN, Librería Las Américas
CRISTINA FUENTES LAROCHE, Hay Festival Americas
LAURA NIEMBRO, Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara
GABRIELA ADAMO, Fundación FILBA, Buenos Aires
CLAUDIA NEIRA BERMÚDEZ, Centroamérica Cuenta
JUAN CRUZ RUIZ, El País de Madrid
GINNY STIKEMAN, Premio Azul
ANGELA SIERRA, Fondation LatinArte
GLORIA MACHER, Translator
CYNTHIA RODRÍGUEZ, UpaUpa