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2022 Charles Biddle Award – Finalists Announced

These six artists or cultural workers make our culture shine, both here and abroad!

Montreal, October 31, 2022 – 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 November 7 as part of the Semaine québécoise des rencontres interculturelles (SQRI). For the past 13 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 master printmaker Alain Piroir, businessman Nasib El-Husseini and author Karim Akouche. In the regional category, the finalists are writer Anne Peyrousem, event organizer Thien Vu Dang, along with the painter and artist Khosro Berahmandi. The two laureates will be announced on November 7 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:

Meet the Finalists


Alain Piroir | Master Printmaker

In 1995, the master printmaker emigrated to Montreal, where he set up his business, Atelier Alain Piroir, founded in Paris 20 years earlier. He still works in the shop in close collaboration with his daughter, Agathe Piroir. With his printmaker training and technical expertise, he has collaborated with many artists in Quebec and across Canada. His career in Quebec was launched when he printed the art book Le cirque, which includes 12 original Jean-Paul Riopelle etchings associated with six circus-related poems by Gilles Vigneault. Since the opening of his gallery in 2007, Alain Piroir has helped to promote Quebec printmaking through exhibitions held across Quebec and in other countries and by taking part in international printmaking and artbook fairs. The Atelier-Galerie A. Piroir award, established in 2011 and presented by the Biennale internationale d’estampe contemporaine de Trois-Rivières, also promotes appreciation of fine art printmaking and the work of artisans at his workshop and gallery. In 2022, Alain Piroir was elected a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.

Nassib El-Husseini | Businessman

Nassib El-Husseini arrived in Montreal from his native Lebanon in the 1980s. He obtained a PhD degree in political science at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) in 1996 and authored L’Occident Imaginaire, published by the Presses de l'Université du Québec in 1998. In 2003, he crossed paths with seven Cirque du Soleil artists who were determined to make their mark in the contemporary circus world. Sensing an adventure in the making, El-Husseini and his exceptional team promoted them around the world. Nowadays, the 7 Fingers creative collective is a Quebec circus company that puts on the highest annual number of performances abroad. A skilled team builder, CEO Nassib El-Husseini has been able to create and maintain consistency and harmony among the seven co-founders and fellow artistic directors, thereby ensuring the collective’s exceptional longevity and generating huge audiences for its performances.

Karim Akouche | Author

Karim Akouche, a descendant of the Kabyle people in Algeria, made Quebec his adopted country in 2008. Over the past 10 years, he has given more than 1,000 writing workshops and made a name for himself as a poet, novelist, playwright and engaged columnist. A play based on his collection of poems entitled Toute femme est une étoile qui pleure was performed at Place des Arts in 2013 and later at the Théâtre la Chapelle in 2016. He is the author of the novella J’épouserai le Petit-Prince, the novel La Religion de ma mère, the play Qui viendra fleurir ma tombe ? and the essay Lettre à un soldat d’Allah – Chroniques d’un monde désorienté. Karim Akouche promotes French literature by regularly participating in literary gatherings in Quebec, Europe, the United States, Morocco, Algeria and Haiti. In 2018, he received the Lys Arts et Culture award.


Anne Peyrouse | Writer

Originally from France, Anne Peyrouse emigrated to Quebec and settled in Quebec City. She has a PhD degree in literature and teaches creative writing at Université Laval, while being involved in her community as a writer, literary critic, mentor and cultural worker. Fond of artistic exploration and sharing, she has helped numerous people bring their artistic dreams to fruition and become professional artists on stage or with their books. She continues to mentor people with a view to enhancing the cultural community with new and especially talented people, and pushing artistic, human and geographic boundaries. She is a literary editor at the Hamac, Productions Somme toute publishing house, where, in 2021, she compiled the Hamac poetry collections and the Hamac illustrated collections. She has published 10 books and given numerous presentations in a number of cities in Quebec and abroad. She is the recipient of several literary awards and of scholarships from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts. In 2022, she co-directed the Mois de la Poésie in Quebec City.

Thien Vu Dang | Event organizer

Thien Vu Dang came to Quebec from Vietnam as a six-year-old refugee and has dedicated his entire career to promoting Montreal’s cultural diversity and showcasing emerging artists as well as artists reflecting the city’s cultural diversity and artists from minority communities. Active in the digital arts scene since 2001, his career path took him to the Société des arts technologiques (SAT) at the Moment Factory studios. He co-founded the SAT_MIX_SESSIONS, the Minutes, Minutes Mapping and, in 2016, MAPP_MTL, the Festival international de mapping de Montréal. Since 2022, he has also been a member of the boards of directors of the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership and the Conseil des Arts de Montréal, where he chairs the Digital Arts Committee. An advocate of having diversity well-represented in artistic and cultural projects, Thien also organizes events featuring Japanese and Korean cultures.

Khosro Berahmandi | Painter and artist Born in Tehran, Iran, Khosro Berahmandi is a visual artist and cultural worker. A prolific creater, he has put on more than 50 collective and individual exhibitions in Canada, Europe and the United States. He joined the Festival Accès Asie as a volunteer in 1997 and continued providing support for all aspects of the event until becoming Managing Director in 2000 and later Artistic Director in 2012. Through his work, he helps raise awareness of the richness and diversity of Asian cultures and has adopted interculturalism as his personal mission to combat racial stereotyping and dispel prejudice against people of Asian background. His commitment going back 25 years has been highlighted by more than 400 local, regional, national and international events during which approximately 1,200 artists of Asian background were featured. Khosro Berahmandi has provided immigrant artists with a voice by helping them get represented and by developing relationships between cultural players across Quebec.

Quotations “As the new Minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration, I am delighted to collaborate with the Culture pour tous organization in conjunction with the Charles Biddle Award. I would particularly like to congratulate the six finalists who, through their considerable innovativeness and talent, have distinguished themselves within our communities. Their immigrant stories are proof of their successful integration into Quebec. I would also like to invite the public to participate in large numbers in the scheduled activities taking place during the Semaine Québécoise des recontres interculturelles (SQRI), including enjoying uplifting artistic and cultural presentations.” – The Honourable Christine Fréchette, Minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration. “I am proud that Culture pour tous is associated with the Ministry of Immigration, Francization and Integration in conjunction with the Charles Biddle Award, a prestigious honour highlighting the contributions of artists and cultural workers who are immigrants to Quebec. I congratulate the six finalists whose talent and commitment are truly a source of inspiration for us, their peers and all Quebecers.” – 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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