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Charles Biddle Award

Charles Biddle Award

As part of the launch of the Semaine québécoise des rencontres interculturelles (SQRI), the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) and Culture pour tous have released the names of the 2019 Charles Biddle Award laureates: Alejandra Elena Basañes in the regional category and Dena Davida in the national/international category.

This honour highlights the input of immigrants to Quebec whose personal or professional commitment contributes to the province’s cultural and artistic development. Congratulations to these very inspiring artists!


Alejandra Elena Basañes

Originally from Argentina, Alejandra Elena Basañes has lived in Trois-Rivières since 2003 and works in visual arts. Her artistic techniques include drawings, working with glass, impressions on materials, and installations. Her artworks have been displayed in individual exhibitions in Argentina, Europe and Quebec. As President of Atelier Presse Papier, she coordinates international collaborative exhibition projects. In parallel with her creative work, she is involved in her community through her educational and cultural mediation projects.

Watch her video portrait captured by La Fabrique culturelle de Télé Québec (French only).



Dena Davida
She is a third-generation American who immigrated to Quebec in 1977, was born into a Jewish family of artists of Eastern European origin. Dena Davida has worked incontemporary dance for 50 years as performer, educator, curator and researcher. Co-founder of Quebec’s first dance presenting organization in 1980 where she served ascurator until June 2019, she also co-created the Festival international de nouvelle dansein 1985. Chargée de cours in dance at the Université de Québec à Montréal UQÀM) for26 years, she completed her doctorate there in artistic dance ethnography in 2006. Shehas published widely in dance and culture, recently editing two anthologies, Fields inMotion: Ethnography in the worlds of dance (2012) and Curating Live Arts.

Watch her video portrait captured by La Fabrique culturelle de Télé Québec (French only).


Kristelle Holliday
Arrived in Quebec from Europe in 2011, and was appointed general manager of the Théâtre des Petites Lanternes (TPL) in Sherbrooke, Quebec in 2012. In 2014, Kristelle Holliday helped Malika Bajjaje found the Festival cinéma du monde de Sherbrooke. The following year, she founded the Rivières de Lumières festival. In 2018, she was appointed Co-Artistic Director of the TPL, and in 2019, received the Mérite Estrien award. Also in 2019, she was named a Fellow of and represents Quebec within the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA), becoming the first artist from the Eastern Townships region to join this prestigious international group of performing arts practitioners.

Tina Struthers
Originally from South Africa and living in Quebec since 2011, Tina Struthers is a professional artist in textile, visual and costume arts and a cultural mediator. Her artworks have been displayed in a number of exhibitions. She also participates in the creation and making of costumes for dance and theatre, as well as in public art projects. Her work has been exhibited in Canada and internationally, particularly in Uruguay, where she recently obtained an honourable mention at the VII World Textile Art Biennale in Montevideo.



Dulcinea Langfelder
An interdisciplinary artist born in New York City, Dulcinea Langfelder settled in Montreal in 1978. Her works combining drama, dance, song, mime and multimedia have universal artistic and cultural appeal and have been presented around the world in theatres and festivals. In 1990, she was named Personality of the Year by Montreal daily newspaper La Presse. Ms. Langfelder has signed choreographies in more than 20 theatre, musical comedy and television productions.

Victor Quijada
Originally from Los Angeles, Victor Quijada is the founder and artistic director of the RUBBERBAND dance troupe, for which he has choreographed 15 performances presented in Quebec as well as in the United States, Europe and Asia, and produced five dance films. He conceived the RUBBERBAND Method—an electrifying vocabulary combining the energy of Hip Hop, the refinement of classical ballet, and the angular quality of contemporary dance—which he has taught throughout the world in workshops and internships for many dance companies, dance schools, and universities. In 2017, Victor Quijada received the award for cultural diversity at the Prix de la danse de Montréal awards ceremony.

CHARLES BIDDLE (1926-2003)

Known as “Monsieur Jazz Montréal,” Charlie Biddle was born in 1926 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he lived until age 16. Fleeing racial segregation in the United States, the talented musician moved to Montreal in 1948. Shortly after arriving in Quebec, he was offered a position with the Sherbrooke Symphony Orchestra and also played bass with the Montreal Orchestral Society at the same time.

His jazz career took off in the early 1950s when he regularly played in Montreal and the regions. In 1957, he met Constance Marchand, who later became his wife and gave him four children. In 1979, he organized a jazz festival considered by many as the precursor of the Montreal International Jazz Festival, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

A jazz promoter and mentor, Biddle served as an inspiration to all Quebecers with his dedication to helping young artists from all the different communities. He played for Nelson Mandela and Queen Elizabeth II and was a frequent performer at international jazz festivals. He received three major honours: the Oscar Peterson Award, the Prix Calixa-Lavallée and the Order of Canada.


2018 Laureates – Roger Sinha (national/international category) and Patsy Van Roost (regional category) – Mention «Coup de coeur» attributed to André Michel

2017 Laureate – Bonnie Baxter

2016 Laureate – Lynda Thalie

2015 Laureate – AngeLo Cadet

2014 Laureate – Kim Thúy

2013 Laureates – Boucar Diouf and Zab Maboungou

2012 Laureate – Rodney Saint-Éloi

2011 Laureate – Diego Herrera, alias Yayo