The Board of Directors of Diagramme sought to highlight Francine Bernier’s long career at the helm of the Agora de la Danse, which she has been running for 25 years now, and recognizes her commitment to supporting local choreographic creation by welcoming choreographers and artists and offering them the best conditions to develop their practice in a beacon of the dance scene. Always tuned to the need to her community and sensitive to human connections, she has remained caring and loyal to the artists she supported throughout their careers. A unifying and pragmatic visionary with audacity and determination, she was able to reconcile the community’s vital strengths and was instrumental to the realization of the ÉDIFICE WILDER – Espace danse, an extraordinary center for creation and innovation where the Agora de la danse is now located.
Francine Bernier is a fervent and passionate lover of the performing arts. She likes to say, “Tomorrow’s legacy is today’s creation”. Francine Bernier began her career in the field of theater for young audiences at a time when very few actions dedicated to this specific audience existed. She worked with pioneering venues, such as the Nouvelle Compagnie théâtrale (now the Théâtre Denise- Pelletier), the Théâtre de l’Oeil, and the Festival québécois de théâtre pour enfants. She also served as Management, Communications and Administration Consultant in many organizations, including the Théâtre de Quartier. After acting as Cultural Advisor for Theatre at the Conseil des arts de la communauté urbaine de Montréal, she specialized in the theater for adults, placing her expertise at the service of prestigious venues such as the Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui, Espace GO, and l’Espace Libre, where she remained coordinator until 1992. A change occurred in her career that year as she became Executive and Artistic Director of the Agora de la danse. She has been actively contributing to contemporary dance creation in Quebec for over 25 years. Under her guidance, the Agora has welcomed over 370 productions with a large majority of Quebec creations and Canadian and international works. Francine Bernier developed numerous connections with international presenters. Her international commitment has earned her the title of Knight of the Order of arts and letters awarded by the French Government in 2001.