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Press release

For immediate release

2021 Charles Biddle Award – Finalists Announced

These six artists or cultural workers make our culture shine,

both here and abroad!

Montreal, October 5, 2021 – Today, the Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Francisation et de l'Intégration (MIFI) and Culture pour tous announced the names of the six finalists for the 2021 Charles Biddle Award, which will be presented on October 18 as part of the Semaine québécoise des rencontres interculturelles (SQRI). For the past 12 years, the Charles Biddle award has highlighted the contributions of immigrants to Quebec whose personal and professional commitment contributes to the province’s cultural and artistic development. This prestigious honour pays tribute to the talent and dedication of immigrants who have chosen to enrich their living environment through their creativity and their passion for the arts in all their forms. Their respective applications highlight their involvement, their efforts, their contribution and their commitment to promoting Quebec culture, both here and abroad. The finalists for the national/international category are filmmaker and poet Laura Bari, visual and performance artist Serge Olivier Fokoua and producer Mustapha Terki. In the regional category, the finalists are visual artists Avy Loftus and Pilar Macias, along with the actress, poet and storyteller Marta Saenz de la Calzada. The two winners will be announced on October 18 during the SQRI and will receive a $5,000 cash prize.

As in previous years, Télé-Québec's La Fabrique culturelle has dedicated two video vignettes to the finalists, which have been posted online today:


Laura Bari | Filmmaker and Poet – Montreal

Born in Argentina, filmmaker, poet and teacher Laura Bari has been living in Montreal for over 30 years. She studied pedagogy at the Université du Québec à Montréal, specializing in the psychopathology of expression. Fascinated by the difference between people and the singularity of everyday heroes, she chose documentary film to bring together art, culture, education and mental health. Between 1999 and 2006, Laura Bari directed more than 300 documentary vignettes for TV show Cornemuse and created Toc-toc-toc, a television program for children. She has subsequently co-hosted radio shows, organized cultural events, and directed three feature-length documentaries: Antoine (2009), Ariel (2013), and Primas (2018), which premiered at the Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival.

Serge Olivier Fokoua | Visual Artist and Performer – Outaouais (Gatineau)

Born in 1976 in Douala, Cameroon, Serge Olivier Fakoua lives and works in Quebec and Canada, mainly around visual art installations and performances, using language to show everyday life from an unexpected angle. Very attracted to experimental approaches, he likes to divert objects to create in situ works. He has participated in numerous exhibitions and art projects in Africa, Europe, Japan, the United States and Canada, and in 2013 was awarded a residency at the Vermont Studio Center in the United States. He is also very active in the organization of events, both in Quebec and abroad. Co-founder of the collective Les palettes du Kamer, he is since 2008 the artistic director of the Rencontres d'Arts Visuels de Yaoundé (RAVY).

Mustapha Terki | Producer – Montreal

Of Kabyle Algerian origin but born in France, Mustapha Terki’s relationship with Quebec started in 1990, as director of the Printemps de Bourges’ Réseau Découvertes. A fine negotiator, producer and "connector" for more than three decades, this one-man orchestra is very knowledgeable about both local and foreign music. In his country of adoption, he has brilliantly created many events that have contributed significantly to the cultural development of Quebec. The Montréal Electronique Groove (MEG) festival, which he co-founded in 1999, is his anchor in the music world. In 2004, he founded with Sylvie Teste Les escales improbables de Montréal, a meeting place for the arts without borders. Today, Mustapha Terki is a publisher, record and show producer, agent, manager and tour manager.


Avy Loftus | Visual Artist – Montreal

Originally from Indonesia, visual artist Avy Loftus has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions in Canada and abroad. Specializing in batik, she develops an artistic practice based on working with fabrics, creating paintings with traditional and contemporary techniques. She received several awards for her work, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, in 2013, for her artistic and community contributions. Currently President of Asian Canadian Women Artists, she promotes intercultural relations and values cultural diversity, including through her anti-bullying art project "Peace, Love and Hope." Avy has collaborated with more than 30 national organizations and institutions and has given workshops in schools, museums and cultural centres in the greater Montreal area, notably as part of the Culture in School program. Avy holds a master's degree in Arts Education, two Bachelor's degrees - in Education and in Language and Art - and a diploma in Public Relations.

Pilar Macias | Visual Artist – Bas-Saint-Laurent (Saint-Pacôme)

Coming from Mexico, Pilar Macias arrived in Canada in 1995 where she settled in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region. She holds two Master’s degrees in visual arts including one from Université Laval, and has completed artist residencies and participated in solo and group exhibitions in several cities in Canada and abroad. Having been awarded grants from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts, Pilar Macias has to her credit several works created within the policy of integration of the arts in architecture framework.

Marta Saenz de la Calzada | Actress, Poet and Storyteller– Abitibi–Témiscamingue (Rouyn-Noranda)

Originally from Spain, Marta Saenz de la Calzada immigrated to Quebec in 1969. For more than 50 years, she has expressed herself through storytelling, theatre and poetry. She has interpreted different roles in theatre and participated in several cultural events in Abitibi-Témiscamingue. In 2007, at the Salon du livre de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue, she won the Prix des libraires award for poetry. Over the years, Marta Saenz de la Calzada has presented her stories at numerous festivals in Quebec, Europe and Latin America. Holder of numerous awards and grants, she received in 2016 the CALQ Award for Creator of the year in Abitibi-Témiscamingue. She was a finalist for the Charles Biddle Award in 2018.


"I am proud to present the Charles Biddle Award to these artists and artisans of immigrant background who contribute to the development of Quebec through their talent and dedication. They are all examples of creativity and perseverance for their peers and their community. I am privileged to reward, in partnership with Culture pour tous, the contribution of these exceptional individuals who enrich our province's society."

Ms. Nadine Girault, Quebec’s Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie, Minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration and Minister Responsible for the Laurentides Region

"It is a great honour for Culture pour tous to be associated with the Charles Biddle Award for the 11th consecutive year. We assume this responsibility with the joy and pleasure of promoting artists and cultural workers of immigrant background whose talent and involvement represent an inestimable value for Quebec and an inspiration for us all. Congratulations to the six finalists!"

Michel Vallée, President and Chief Executive Officer of Culture pour tous

To obtain additional information about the Charles Biddle Award and its finalists, go to the Culture pour tous Facebook page or the website of Quebec’s Department of Immigration, Francization and Integration.

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Sources :

Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration

Culture pour tous

Media requests:

Marie-Noël Phaneuf, annexe / 514 553-2570


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