I dance, therefore I am.”

-- Anik Bissonnette

Anik Bissonnette: The Gift of Dance
Philippe Baylaucq | Director
Rene Chenier | Producer

Philippe Baylaucq’s films are characterized by experimentation with form, an affinity for technological innovation and a focus on various artistic disciplines. A multitalented filmmaker, Philippe has directed many notable titles, including Barcelone, Les choses dernières, Phyllis Lambert, une biographie, Lodela, Mystère B., Les couleurs du sang, ORA, Hugo and the Dragon, La dynamique du cerveau and A Dream for Kabul. His films have garnered numerous awards around the world.

Anik Bissonnette

2014 Lifetime Artistic Achievement (Dance)

Dancer, teacher and artistic director

Anik Bissonnette has achieved international acclaim as one of Canada’s most accomplished ballerinas, known for her musicality, feline grace, and clean, precise technique. She has worked with the world’s leading choreographers and danced great classical roles with prestigious international companies. A dedicated teacher and mentor, she is committed to sharing her knowledge with the next generation of dance artists and is a passionate champion of the cause of dance in our society.

For Anik Bissonnette, dance is the most complete form of expression, and the one that has always defined her. Though she retired from the stage in 2008, she still thinks like a dancer—that is, like an athlete and an artist.

Born in Outremont, she trained at the Ballet de Montréal Eddy Toussaint, where she made her professional debut at 17. In 1989 she joined Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, becoming lead dancer the following year. In her 17 years with the company she performed works by George Balanchine, Nils Christe, Nacho Duato, William Forsythe, James Kudelka, Ohad Naharin, José Navas, and Jiři Kylián, for whom she created a unique evening of live and filmed dance performances.

In 2004 she was appointed artistic director of the Festival des Arts de Saint Sauveur, which under her leadership has become one of North America’s leading cultural events. She is the former director (2008–10) of La La La Human Steps, and in 2010 she was appointed artistic director of the École supérieure de ballet du Québec.

Ms. Bissonnette established the Nutcracker Fund for Children, which allows young people from disadvantaged communities to experience the magic of dance. As chair of the Regroupement québécois de la danse (2004–10), she advocated tirelessly on behalf of her fellow artists.

Anik Bissonnette is an Officer of the Order of Canada (1995) and a Knight of the National Order of Quebec. Among many career distinctions, she has received the prize for Best Performance at the Porsche Canada Dance International, the People’s Choice award at two Budapest Ballet Galas, and the Prix Denise-Pelletier from the Government of Quebec. At age 43 she was hailed by the American dance magazine Pointe as one of the most impressive artists on the international scene.