March 24 2016

Les 7 doigts de la main and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal: Co-winners of the 31st Grand Prix du Conseil des arts de Montréal

Montreal, March 24, 2016 –Not one, but two victors were crowned today at the 31st Grand Prix du Conseil des arts de Montréal. Les 7 doigts de la main and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal were co-winners of the award and its $30,000 purse. The jury praised the two organizations as ambassadors of Montreal’s vibrant artistic community.

Since its inception in 2002, Les 7 doigts de la main has become one of Quebec’s leading contemporary circus troupes.Exploring all possibilities of the vast discipline, its artists have developed a unique artistic identity—and earned worldwide acclaim. In 2015, the company enjoyed a banner year. With Triptyque, a magnificent cross between circus and dance, Les 7 doigts de la main created a bold work featuring acrobatic performances of the highest level, a milestone in the history of circus in Quebec. In addition, Les 7 doigts de la main received a prestigious Drama Desk Award for Queen of the Night, performed at the Diamond Horseshoe in New York.

The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal set out in 1964 to promote and preserve Quebec contemporary art. With theexhibition Flux, MAC transported us into the dazzling, vertiginous world of Montreal artist David Altmejd. A record-breaking 124,000 viewers visited the museum’s galleries, where some thirty works were on display, including two previously unexhibited pieces. Through an ingeniously designed itinerary, visitors were treated to mirror and refractory images, demonstrating both the artist’s technical mastery and his intelligent reinterpretation of sculpture. The exhibition was not only an artistic highpoint of 2015, but a galvanizing event for the museum, which attracted a wide audience of both novices and connoisseurs, of allages.

The winners were announced by Jan-Fryderyk Pleszczynski, Chairman of the Conseil des arts de Montréal,in the presence of Luc Fortin, Minister of Culture and Communications, Minister Responsible for the Protection and Promotion of the French Language, and Minister Responsible for the Eastern Townships, as well as Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montreal, and Louis Lalande, Senior Vice-President of Radio-Canada, the official partner of the Grand Prix. More than 800 personalities from the artistic, municipal and business sectors attended this annual event hosted by France Beaudoin. Zab Maboungou/Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata, winner of the Conseil’s 2015 Prix de la danse de Montréal (Cultural Diversity), as well as soprano Marie-Ève Munger and pianist Louise-Andrée Baril took part in the festivities, delighting audiences with their stirring performances.

Presided over by Jan-Fryderyk Pleszczynski, this year’s jury included Danièle Henkel, founder and President of Daniele Henkel Inc., Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon, artistic co-directors of Lemieux Pilon 4D Art and winners of last year’s Grand Prix, and Kim Thomassin, Managing Partner for the Quebec region at McCarthy Tétrault.

The finalists for the 31st Grand Prix were: the Centre des auteurs dramatiques [CEAD], the Festival interculturel du conte du Québec, Les Films du 3 Mars, Studios XX, Louise Bédard Danse, Sacré Tympan and LA SERRE – arts vivants. Each nominee received a $5,000 prize offered by generous Montreal patrons.

An artwork for Lemieux Pilon 4D Art
Lemieux Pilon 4D Art, last year’s winner, received an artwork entitled Mire by Montreal artist Manon De Pauw. This year’s co-winners will also receive artworks to be created over the next year, and presented at the 32nd Grand Prix luncheon.

The launch of the Conseil’s 60th anniversary celebrations
The Grand Prix ceremonies was also an occasion to mark the 60th anniversary of the Conseil des arts de Montréal.

Radio-Canada, official partner
In conjunction with Radio-Canada, a loyal collaborator since 1994 and official partner since 2010, a video of the finalists is produced each year. This year’s video was directed by Alejandro Jiménez.

The Grand Prix du Conseil des arts de Montréal
Every year since 1985, the Grand Prix du Conseil des arts de Montréal has recognized the excellence and vitality of a Montreal arts organization. The Festival du nouveau cinéma, Cirque du Soleil, Louise Lecavalier & Fou glorieux are among past winners. Created in1956, the Conseil des arts de Montréal is this year celebrating its 60th anniversary, proud as ever to reinforce Montreal’s status as an international cultural capital.