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Launch of Free Training Propelled by Desjardins

Young, up-and-coming circus artists are able to enjoy free training in our Studios, at no cost. Thanks to this program, sponsored by Desjardins, young artists will be able to enjoy the benefits of training in spaces specifically designed and equipped in order to accommodate circus artists, where they can perfect their technique, create and rehearse.

Schedules, details and registration can be found on the 7 Fingers Studios Free Training Facebook group, or on our website.


Professional workshops sponsored by Desjardins

A week of encounters and emotions for a diverse group of youths

The first edition of the Professional Workshop Series - Social Circus Component (Ateliers professionnels – volet cirque social), sponsored by Desjardins, was held in our Studios from January 12 to 16.

Realised through a partnership with Cirque du Soleil and Cirque Hors Piste, the workshops offered access to our specialized facilities and equipment to youth hailing from Nunavut, Nunavik, and the rest of Canada. Participants also received professional mentoring from The 7 Fingers, Cirque du Soleil and Cirque Hors-Piste. The act they developed was performed at the Tohu during Circaskina, a national conference on social circus.

The workshop series, sponsored by Desjardins, has two components: one for social circus and another for emerging circus. The next editions will take place later this year.

The Foundation’s recent cultural outreach activities

In December of 2019, The 7 Fingers Foundation opened the doors of our Studios to several community organizations.

We had the pleasure of welcoming Le Pas de la Rue to the opening of Soul Food, a temporary exhibition in our Studios. During the event,

which was dedicated to Le Pas de la Rue’s community, organizers Kathleen Finlay and Angeliki Kounenidaki invited attendees to discover the works on display.

Last December, we had the privilege of welcoming members of two Montreal organizations, Chez Doris and Le Pas de la Rue, for the preview showing of Unikkaaqtuat.

A wonderful memory of an emotion-filled day for our Foundation.

Marc Picard appointed President of the

Montreal, January 18, 2023 - After a four-year mandate as a director, it was only natural for Mr. Marc Picard to take over the presidency of the 7 Fingers Foundation.

"The development of projects such as these requires the challenge of vision, imagination, professionalism, commitment and building bridges. I invite all those who care about creation, the innovation that inspires us and the next generation of artists to join forces with the 7 Fingers by contributing to the fundraising campaign." Mr. Marc Picard

Translated with (free version)

Marc Picard

Since 2013, the Caisse d’économie solidaire’s General Director, Marc Picard, has headed Quebec’s leading financial institution specializing in social economy. Managing over $ 1.8 billion, part of which is dedicated to cultural enterprises, he works alongside more than 100 unionized employees in 3 points of service with a participatory approach in mind. His financial cooperative is made up of over 15,000 members throughout Quebec.

In the past, Mr. Picard’s social entrepreneurship has been noteworthy in terms of mobilization, consultation, organization and strategic management. From 2008 to 2013, notably with the Fonds de développement-emploi Montréal (FDEM), he substantially transformed specialized services in business management offered within the social economy, particularly in the management of those experiencing rapid growth.

Marc Picard is primarily a practitioner. But he is also a man of reflection holding a master's degree in management from ENAP (University of Public Administration). Bachelor of urban planning as well as training manager, Mr. Picard is experienced in systematic approaches that he reconciles with technical skills and social goals.

Board member of the Foundation
Thomas Lightburn

Thomas Lightburn had a longtime career in the film and entertainment business both in Canada and around the world. He started and was the principal of several Canadian film distribution companies, film exhibition companies, and theatrical presentation enterprises. He was the North American producer of Sing a Long Sound of Music, Slava’s Snow Show, the original Spiegeltent in New York City and has worked with the 7 fingers of Montreal in avariety of capacities over the past ten years. On the side, he has been the founding investor in several B.C. based technology start ups such as Azure Dynamics, Radient Technologies,amongst many others, and is currently the Chairman of Mazza Innovations... A long term resident of Vancouver, he is active in the community, has sat or is sitting on a variety of nonprofit Boards and is an active basketball coach at Kitsilano High School.

François Dépelteau

A civil engineer with a master’s degree in project management, François Dépelteau has over 35 years of experience in the building sector, ranging from property and facility management to real estate development. He’s held managerial positions in corporations of national and international scope, and was a pioneer in the development of subcontracting in infrastructure and facility management in Canada. Projects of all types have been realised under his direction and supervision, including numerous industrial and prestigious office buildings in Canada, as well as hospitals, commercial buildings, and laboratories.

François Dépelteau served as President and Chief Executive Officer at ENGIE Services Inc., until 2017 a subsidiary of the ENGIE Group. ENGIE Services Inc. oversees the operation and maintenance of technical installations of buildings of all types, with projects totalling more than 25 million square feet in North America. Mr. Dépelteau has successfully established ENGIE’s role in the operation and maintenance of airport systems, as well as in numerous P3 projects in Canada and the United States. Long active in various professional associations, Mr. Dépelteau is also involved in many community and charity organisations. He is Président of FD Consultant Inc. since January 2017.

Vice-President of the Foundation
Danielle Sauvage

Danielle Sauvage
Cultural management consultant

From 2002 to 2013, she was executive director of the Conseil des arts de Montréal, a para-municipal organization that supports artistic creation, production and distribution by some 400 cultural companies in Montréal. She is an experienced manager of cultural institutions and was at one time  in charge of the Canadian Centre for Architecture Foundation. For fourteen years (1987-2001), she held the position of director of communications and development at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

A graduate in political science from the Université de Montréal, Danielle Sauvage is a board member of a number of non-profit organizations, including the Foundation of Greater Montreal, the Festival Trans-Amériques (FTA), Le Cube, centre international de recherche et de création en théâtre pour l’enfance et la jeunesse, and the Fondation Guido Molinari.  Founding member of Culture Montréal, she is also a Community Board Member of TELUS Montreal, a member of CECI’s (Centre d’étude et de coopération internationale) Club des Ambassadrices, and a member of the HEC cultural mentoring program. In 2017, she was appointed commissioner of the Office de consultation publique de Montréal. From 2015 to 2019, Danielle Sauvage was Director of the Foundation Les 7 doigts de la main,  the fund-raising arm of the world-renowned circus company based in Montréal. 

Danielle Sauvage was nominated Knight of the Ordre du Québec in June 2018.

Board member of the Foundation
Maka Koto
Board member of the Foundation
Anne Dongois

Anne Dongois founded her communications agency in the early 2000s. An outstanding communicator, Anne is known for her dynamism, professionalism, perseverance and organizational skills. She quickly grasps her clients' issues and knows how to develop creative and effective communications and positioning strategies. Over the past twenty years, Anne Dongois has put her expertise and know-how to work for numerous clients such as the Société des célébrations du 375e anniversaire de Montréal, C2 Montréal, the Commission d’enquête sur la protection de la confidentialité des sources journalistiques, the City of Montréal, the Mira Foundation, the Musée d'art contemporain, Just for Laughs and the Grande guignolée des médias, in addition to passing on her passion for communications by teaching at ESG UQAM.

She joined Lune Rouge in 2016, first as a consultant, then as Chief of Communications. She is now Chief of Staff to the founder and continues to leverage her management and communication skills.

Board member of the Foundation
Benoît Panaccio

After earning his College Degree in Theatrical Technology from the Collège Lionel-Groulx, Benoit worked as a freelancer on many productions for a wide range of companies. Through all of this, he gained a very important experience in defining all appropriate needs for theatre operation, programming and production.

He then joined the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, and for five years he served as technical director, and then production director.

Benoit has been a member of Scéno Plus since 2002 in the roles of Theatre Designer and Project Manager. As such, he is in charge of designing and planning theatrical spaces for several of the company’s projects, overseeing all aspects related to theatre operation. Benoit is also responsible for site work coordination, ensuring that all requirements of theatrical design and equipment integration are met.

He has been involved in several Scéno Plus projects such as the Wynn Las Vegas Hotel and Casino Theatre, an aquatic theatre dedicated to Franco Dragone’s last show in Las Vegas; The Venue, a 2,500-seat capacity multipurpose facility inaugurated in August 2008 at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond; a 4,000-seat concert venue called The Joint by Rogue at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas that won the prestigious award “Best New Major Concert Venue” in 2010 (named by Pollstar magazine). Benoit was also involved in the design of other venues such as The Event Centre, a 3,000-seat Event Centre opened in Sydney in January 2013 on the Star Casino property. Benoît has worked on several flexible performance venues created by Scéno Plus for various MGM properties in the United States and Asia.

Since 2019 and in addition to his primary activities, Benoit is managing the design and construction processes of Scéno Plus’ projects to ensure their successful completion. It is under his close supervision that the Hollywood Hard Rock Live in Florida and The Theatre at Resorts World Las Vegas were built.



Board member of the Foundation
Claudine Choquette

Claudine delivers UBS’s capabilities and expertise across the firm’s global wealth management platform. She focuses on financing and advisory mandates for High-Net-Worth individuals, Entities and Foundation, tailored lending solutions, unique private investment opportunities and holistic wealth planning solutions.

Before assuming this position, Claudine was an Investment Manager with Credit Suisse where she served as a Director.

Prior to this role, Claudine had a long-standing career at JP Morgan Private Bank where she served as an Investor, Vice President. In this role she identified and distributed institutional-quality investment opportunities, including customized financing solutions, direct private equity, co-investments, and other alternative investments. Claudine started her career as an analyst at JP Morgan Investment Bank in London.

In addition to her extensive Investment Management expertise, Claudine also served on the board of the Phil and Orianne Collins Little Dreams Foundation and Les Ailes du Desir Foundation which seek to create community benefits and positive social change by using Art Education as a driving force.

Claudine holds an MBA from University of Westminster and a Master of Science in Finance and accounting from University of Miami. She also holds a B.A in Finance from University College London in United Kingdom.

We are pleased to announce that Claudine has been honored by Forbes as a Top Women Wealth Advisor for 2022 and 2023 along with Barron's 2023 Top 100 Women Advisor.

Claudine currently resides in Fisher Island. Florida. She is fluent in French, Spanish and English.

Board member of the Foundation
Sébastien Lozé
Board member of the Foundation
Eric Batiot
Board member of the Foundation
Nassib El-Husseini

Committed to exploring the horizons of human creativity in all its complexity, Nassib El-Husseini has charted a singular and wide-ranging course. After leaving his native Lebanon in the late 1980s, Nassib worked as an advisor and volunteer with numerous Quebecois, Canadian, and international governmental and non-governmental agencies. Following studies in administration and international relations at the American University of Beirut, he obtained a Ph.D. in political science from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) in 1996. In 1998, he published L'Occident Imaginaire (Éditions PUQ).Nassib El-Husseini's trajectory took a major turn in 2003, when his path crossed that of seven artists determined to make their mark on the world of contemporary circus. With their first show just created, a clear-eyed ally was all the troupe needed to conquer the world. Nassib placed his experience and his passion for art and innovation at the service of the nascent troupe that would become one of the jewels of artistic expression.As chief executive officer of the company, Nassib has brought his resolutely avant-garde, innovative vision and has turned towards a vast exploration of possibilities. Propelled by these ideas, The 7 Fingers have become a major player in the international art scene.

Nassib El-Husseini is currently the president of the board of directors of CINARS (International Exchange for the Performing Arts) and was a member of the board of the Conseil des arts de Montréal from 2012 to 2018, as well as a member of the organizing committee of the Canadian Arts Summit in 2019. He sits on the boards of the National Theatre School of Canada, the Société des arts technologiques (SAT), and the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership (Partenariat du Quartier des spectacles).In 2013, Nassib was awarded the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)’s Prix Reconnaissance in recognition of his exceptional career.

In 2014, he received the Artists for Peace Award on behalf of The 7 Fingers. In 2019, he was presented the Carmelle and Rémi Marcoux Chair in Arts Management’s Cultural Manager Award from HEC Montréal. Shortly after, he was named Chevalier (Knight) by the Ordre de Montréal.

Board member of the Foundation
Patrick Leonard

Patrick Léonard expresses his acrobatic and clowning talents with an intrepid, daredevil style. Trained as a chemist, this four-time champion figure skater, a graduate of the National Circus School of Montreal, began his career as a diabolist and clown at the Montreal Casino, then in German cabarets such as Pump Duck and Circumstances, the Wintergarten and the Freidrichbau, with the Swiss circus Knie, at the Teatro ZinZanni in San Francisco, and with the Cirque du Soleil. He won the Nicouline prize at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain.

His ecological and social commitment leads him to contribute to benefit shows such as the Dans la rue organization in Montreal or Square Circle which he directed in 2018 and 2019 in Toronto. He also serves on the board of directors of Productions Carmagnole.

Patrick enjoys artistic collaborations. In 2015, he co-directed the acrobatic performances of Moby Dick, directed by Dominic Champagne at the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde. In 2019, he directed the show Looping for Comic Opéra (Switzerland), and in 2020, he directed the new creation of the Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra (Canada). He has regularly traveled to the Canadian Arctic to develop projects with Inuit communities, which led him to co-direct Unikkaaqtuat, a multidisciplinary creation co-produced by Artcirq and Taqqut Productions, notably presented in Ottawa in January 2020.

Since 2018, Patrick has been collaborating with the Research Chair in Emergency Medicine at Laval University and the Research, Innovation, and Transfer Center in Circus Arts. Together, they have created a knowledge transfer artwork based on the results of a scientific study on rural emergencies in Quebec. Since 2021, the film of the show Urgence Rurale 360 has been regularly screened at numerous conferences and training sessions.

As a co-founder and co-artistic director of Les 7 Doigts, Patrick co-directed Temporel, Vice & Vertu, La Vie, and Loft, shows in which he also performed. He created his first solo show, Patinoire, in 2011, which he still tours today. Played for a month at the famous Avignon Festival in 2014, this show mixes acrobatics and crazy prowess with a whimsical humor flirting with the absurd. In 2013, he played the main character in Un dia alongside his two eldest daughters in Mexico. In 2022, he played the comic character in the ice show Cadence.