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Press release

For immediate release

2021 Charles Biddle Award

The laureates are Mustapha Terki for the national/international category

and Marta Saenz de la Calzada for the regional category

Montreal, October 18, 2021 – As part of the launch event 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 revealed the laureates of the 2021 Charles Biddle Award. This honour highlights the contributions of immigrants to Quebec whose personal and professional commitment contributes to the province’s cultural and artistic development. This year, producer Mustapha Terki received the award in the national and international category and actress, poet and storyteller Marta Saenz de la Calzada received the award the regional category. Both were awarded a $5,000 cash prize. Télé-Québec's Fabrique culturelle also devoted a video vignette to each of them.

A special recognition was also given to actor, director and playwright Igor Ovadis, whose career, qualified as "monumental", was unanimously admired by the jury members. This special recognition is an unprecedented mention born from the jury's desire to highlight and reward the artist's admirable contribution to his province of adoption. "The Semaine québécoise des rencontres interculturelles is a great opportunity for us to come together to share our experiences and realities in immigration and integration. It is a wonderful moment to celebrate our diversity, so rich in talent and skills that have extremely positive impacts on Quebec. It is also the perfect opportunity to recognize individuals and businesses that have made outstanding contributions to Quebec society through the Charles Biddle and Maurice Pollack Awards." Ms. Nadine Girault, Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie, Minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration and Minister Responsible for the Laurentides Region "Every year, the nominees, finalists and recipients of the Charles Biddle Award show us how rich and beautiful our culture is. This year is no exception. Congratulations to the 2021 laureates and thank you for inspiring and propelling Quebec forward. Culture pour tous is proud to be presenting the Charles Biddle Award for an eleventh year, in partnership with the Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Francisation et de l'Intégration." Michel Vallée, President and Chief Executive Officer, Culture pour tous National and International Category Laureate

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.

Regional Category Laureate

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.

Special Recognition

Igor Ovadis | Actor, director and playwright – Montreal Born in the Soviet Union, Igor Ovadis arrived in Quebec in 1990, at the age of 23. At that time, he was already well known in the Moscow theatre scene. By learning French, he was quickly able to land important roles and to perform on several Montreal stages (Théâtre de Quat'sous, Théâtre du Rideau Vert, Théâtre Jean-Duceppe, La Licorne, Théâtre d'aujourd'hui, Théâtre Prospero, etc.). Building a bridge between his native and adopted cultures, he was able to adapt a wide range of plays by Russian authors for the Quebec audience, including Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, which was particularly praised by critics. His talent extends beyond the stage, as Igor Ovadis has acted in about twenty films, in addition to being involved in television, participating in some thirty programs and series. His admirable involvement in Quebec's cultural scene is also reflected by his impressive career at the Conservatoire d'art dramatique de Montréal, where he has been teaching since 1992.

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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Source :

Culture pour tous

Media requests :

Marie-Noël Phaneuf, annexe / 514 553-2570

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