Laureate 2021

In presenting this award to Francine Gagné, the Board of Directors recognizes her vision, her generosity, her great humanity and her commitment to resource sharing and knowledge transfer. A self-taught and intuitive manager, she has developed a unique organizational structure to accompany contemporary dance professionals in their technical and artistic development, while supporting the next generation and engaging citizens. Eager to preserve our environmental heritage, she works with tact and intelligence for the sharing of creative spaces and artistic practices. Her sensitivity, her humanity and her ability to listen make her an invaluable resource for artists and the community.


Francine Gagné is a founding member of Circuit-Est centre chorégraphique, and has been acting as its Executive and Artistic Director since 1999. A self-taught manager, she was already working in the contemporary dance field in 1986. Her sustained involvement in Circuit-Est led to its phenomenal development. Under Gagné’s administration, the organization’s budget has increased from $80,000 to over a million, and from a two-person team to ten. The advanced training and professional development seminars that Gagné has instituted allow professional dancers to have access to internationally renowned teachers. Following the organization’s move to the Édifice Jean-Pierre-Perreault in 2008, Gagné developed several international exchange programs, as well as concrete actions to support emerging artists. Her commitment to promoting dance in the community also encouraged her to initiate various cultural actions. Before taking the position of Executive and Artistic Direction at Circuit-Est, Gagné worked with numerous choreographers as a dancer and rehearsal director. Passionate about everything related to the art of movement, she has developed a keen interest in the encounter between movement and live music, prompting her to collaborate with musicians for improvisation events and choreographic creations.