Major changes at the RQD: Paul Caskey and Fannie Bellefeuille become Co-Chairpersons of the Board
At the 37th annual gathering of the members of the Regroupement québécois de la danse (RQD), major changes were announced. A new Board of Directors, new Co-Chairpersons, new Executive Management. Together they are ready to take action to support and defend the interests of more than 600 dance professionals, with a transformative vision for the future of the RQD.
During the virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday, October 26, Paul Caskey, Executive Director of the Centre de Création O Vertigo – CCOV, and Fannie Bellefeuille, Executive Director of RUBBERBAND (who were both already board members), were selected to act as Co-Chairs of the Board of Directors of the RQD. They are taking over from Jamie Wright and Lük Fleury, who had been Co-Chairs since 2017.
“I’m aware of how vast, diverse, rich, and often complex our community can be. We are all partners playing essential roles to keep our field thriving—artists, collaborators, presenters, service providers, studios, cultural workers. I look forward to accompanying the RQD and all of its members as we embark on this new chapter.” – Paul Caskey, Co-Chairperson
“With continuity in mind, I want to share the experience I acquired over these past 10 years on the Board of the RQD, with the intention of supporting the new Executive Director. I also want to be able to represent my dancer colleagues in a just and fair manner.” – Fannie Bellefeuille, Co-Chairperson
Two managers as Co-Chairpersons of the RQD
Over the years, Paul Caskey has worked as a dancer, choreographer, technician, lighting designer, technical director, and producer. Co-Artistic Director of Studio 303 from 1994 to 2005, Caskey then moved to Halifax to become the Artistic Director of Live Art Dance Productions, a position he held for 11 years. In 2016, he returned to Montreal to oversee the transformation of O Vertigo Danse into Centre de Création O Vertigo – CCOV. Throughout his career, Caskey has worked with both emerging and established artists, in major urban centres as well as remote regional communities, acquiring a unique perspective on the production and presentation of dance.
Since 2010, Fannie Bellefeuille has worked for RUBBERBAND. A Theatre graduate, she founded and managed her own theatre company, Collectif Ikaria. She obtained a DESS and a Master of Management of Cultural Enterprises at HEC Montréal, followed by a certificate in Philanthropy, which is in progress. In addition to her management activities, Fannie acted on stage and on television between 1992 and 2005. She also wrote and produced several plays and two short films. In 2012, she joined the Board of Directors of the Regroupement québécois de la danse. She also became a member of the Finance Committee of the ISPA. Finally, she was elected President of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Dance Assembly in 2017.
A Board of Directors reflecting the sector
During their new mandate, the Co-Chairs will be surrounded by a Board of Directors that reflects the cultural, generational, and territorial diversity of the sector. A dozen candidates competed for five positions — a sign of the engagement of the professionals in the association — and the newly elected board members are George Krump (cultural worker) and Nicolas Filion (Anne Plamondon Productions/FÔVE DIFFUSION), while Jean-François Duke (dance artist based in Quebec city), Nasim Lootij (Vâtchik Danse) and Fannie Bellefeuille (RUBBERBAND) were re-elected.
They join the following current board members: Paul Caskey (CCOV), Lucy Fandel (dance artist and writer), Lük Fleury (BIGICO), Alexandra ‘Spicey’ Landé (Ebnflōh) and Valérie Lessard (Filigrane Archives). The first task of these ten board members will be to co-opt three other people to complete the already solid Board of Directors.
Looking toward to the future
In the coming months, the renewed Board of Directors of the RQD will be a priceless ally of Executive Director Nadine Medawar, who was recently appointed. After giving a summary of the key events of 2020–2021, she shared her vision for the future, which is focused on bringing people and the sector closer together. Her priorities: developing the membership of the association; creating development opportunities for the members; making sure that the RQD is present across the entire territory; being a leader in equity and inclusion; improving the working conditions of dance professionals; and fostering the post-pandemic recovery of the sector.
This 37th annual gathering of the members signalled a significant shift for the RQD. As an umbrella organization for the dance community in Quebec, it will bring people together and foster exchanges, debates, and collaborations, in order to amplify the voice of the sector.
Regroupement québécois de la danse