Message from our Directors

Our 2021 season presented by our two directors, Guillaume Côté and Etienne Lavigne.

Message from Guillaume Côté, Artistic Director

photo Guillaume Côté

This summer the Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur is 30 years old. When I took over the artistic reins in 2015, I envisioned honouring the Festival’s history while giving it the means to secure its future in a changing world where geographic and artistic boundaries are blurring. The pandemic that changed our lives has strengthened my will. The digital arts have become partners of the performing arts, bringing new possibilities both in terms of creation and distribution.

Nothing will be the same again, but nothing prevents it from being better. The constraints sparked our imaginations and the role of the arts appeared more vital than ever. The swift digital shift we made to save our 2020 edition was driven by our mission to support artists and make the arts accessible to as many people as possible, in all their diversity. I wanted to continue this momentum by developing a program that allows the Festival to be presented in a combination of digital and live formats to offer you the best of both worlds while maintaining our tradition of excellence.

We are going to take flight during this great event of which I am so very proud. I wish you wonderful discoveries and moving reunions!

We are celebrating this 30th anniversary in renaissance mode, with intimate shows under a redesigned Big Top, (Face to FASS), digital events (Virtual FASS), and free outdoor performances and activities (Dance Trails). I have invited artists closely linked to the history of the festival, living treasures and brilliant emerging talent who all have in common a passion for their art, the need to explore its different facets and their desire to share this with the curious, open and warm Saint-Sauveur public.

Opening night will bring together the exceptional talents of Margie Gillis (whom we had the honour of seeing at our first festival in 1992), Sylvain Lafortune and Annik Hamel, Maude Sabourin and Raphaël Bouchard, Rubberband Dance, and my colleagues from the National Ballet of Canada Brendan Saye, Svetlana Lunkina, Jeaninne Haller, Siphe November, Calley Skalnik and Larkin Miller.

In the series of shows that follow, the young choreographer Jera Wolfe, associated with Red Sky Performance, will present Begin Again in addition to two premieres where we will see the combination of complex movements and strong images that are his trademark and expression of his culture. The Compagnie Marie Chouinard will display all its brilliance with a fresh look at a collection of solos and duets drawn from its vast repertoire, in addition to offering us two unpublished pieces drawn from its archives and a creation distilled from forty years of exploration of movement. Citadel + Compagnie (formerly Coleman Lemieux et Compagnie) returns to our Big Top with Zhenya Cernacov and the prima ballerina Evelyn Hart whose intensity and sublime sensitivity were so much admired at our first Festival in 1992. The duo performs Four Old Legs by James Kudelka, a magnificent work on lasting love, the passage of time and the ups and downs of aging.

For the first time since the pandemic, I will be back on stage in front of an audience! I wanted to offer our public the first creation of my company, Côté Danse, +(ten), inspired by the mythical odyssey of Ulysses who spent ten years to find his homeland and his family. I will be accompanied in this adventure by contemporary dancers Martha Hart, Kelly Shaw, Benjamin Landsberg and Rakeem Hardy. The virtuoso violinist Angèle Dubeau makes a welcome return to FASS in the company of the twelve brilliant musicians of La Pietà to offer us a concert that will envelop us with excitement and warmth and promises a real immersion in harmony. Reconnecting with our audience, which have always welcomed them with enthusiasm, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens will close the festival in style with a joyful mixed program from its “Envolée au Québec” tour.

On the virtual side, the festival has sponsored the production of four films combining dancers with artists working in other fields in order to generate unusual collaborations. Directed by Ben Shirinian, the In Tandem film series pairs countertenor Daniel Taylor and the Colombian multidisciplinary artist Andrea Peña; Innu poet and singer Natasha Kanapé Fontaine and choreographer Jera Wolfe; The Jireh Gospel Choir and dancer Frédérick Gravel. For my part, I will be paired with Orchestre Métropolitain and designer Yso South.

It will be possible to see these films under the stars or on the Web, as well as the works selected for our International festival of short dance films, FASS Forward, which we are instituting this year.

If you take The Paths of Dance in the Forest of Molson Park, you can attend short dance and music performances offered by the urban dancer Crazy Smooth, the contemporary dancer Eva Kolarova and horn player Louis-Philippe Marsolais, the choreographer Sara Harton accompanied by pianist Anne-Marie Bernard and François Richard of the company Andrea Peña & artists, as well as flamenco transformed by La Otra Orilla and jigs combining modernity and tradition with the Mackinaw company.

We are going to take flight during this great event of which I am so very proud. I wish you wonderful discoveries and moving reunions!

Message from Etienne Lavigne, Executive Director

photo Etienne Lavigne

The Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur reaches its 30th anniversary milestone in sound artistic and financial health. Its artistic and media impact was especially recognized during the last season with the originality and quality of the 2020 edition earning it the Opus Award for Specialized Broadcaster of the Year. We are very proud of what has been achieved by our large number of artists and artisans over the past 30 years and look to the future with renewed energy.

I would like to pay tribute to all those who contribute each year to the success and reputation of the event through their work, talent, dedication and generosity.

Board members, the mayor and other elected officials, business sponsors and partners, patrons, philanthropists and donors, funding agencies from all levels of government, public and volunteers have all given wings to our team through their commitment, support, trust and loyalty. I would like to express our deepest gratitude to them.

Thank you for supporting this festival with your presence, your testimonies and your donations, all of which are more important than ever.
Take Flight!

Our close-knit community has made the Festival a jewel of the Laurentians with benefits that can be measured in economic, cultural and social terms. Participation in the training of new generations of artists, the growth of initiatives aimed at bringing together the arts and audiences of all ages, solidarity with other presenters – unity is the strength of artistic influence! – and the concern for sustainable development are all aspects that we cultivate together to enrich the cultural life of our region.

I take great pleasure in helping realize the dreams of our artistic director Guillaume Côté. He thinks on a grand scale, and I was able to fully appreciate the magnitude of his vision and the originality of his thought, as well as his dynamism and determination, during the trials of this past year and the challenges we have overcome together. These qualities were highlighted by his appointment this spring to Chevalier de l’Ordre national du Québec.

This year’s challenges included redesigning the Big Top marquee, inaugurating an international dance short film festival and organizing activities that encourage public participation, all while respecting the required health measures to ensure the safety of those attending and working at the event.

We have retained some classics – such as outdoor film screenings – while exploring new avenues, or rather, new paths, so that you can reconnect with dance and music. We offer many free activities and performances in various outdoor venues, including the first urban dance competition (“Dance battle”) in our history.

Bring your chair, blanket and… your mask, and come and watch dance movies under the stars at Georges-Filion Park. You will see the works of the series A Shared Solitude, bringing together contemporary Canadian dance artists and composers, as well as the brand-new short films of the In Tandem series that spark unexpected collaborations between dancers and artists of other disciplines. And of course, the films of the Fass Forward festival!

Thank you for supporting this festival with your presence, your testimonies and your donations, all of which are more important than ever.
Take Flight!

JEANNINE HALLER | Photo : Karolina Kuras

Les Grands Ballet Canadiens ECHOES |Photo : Sasha Onyshchenko


On the program

Virtual FASS
En tandem


Big Top
Soirée célébration 30e anniversaire FASS

30th Celebration Evening

29 July 21
Free activity
Andrew Skeels


29 July to 7 August 21
Big Top
Jera Wolf, Begin Again


30 July 21
Big Top
Compagnie Marie Chouinard,

Radical Vitality

31 July 21
Free activity
Dance Battle Crazy Smooth

Break and popping

31 July 21
Big Top
Four old legs

Four old legs

1 August 21
Big Top
Côté Danse, Guillaume Côté

+ (Dix)

4 to 6 August 21
Virtual FASS
FASS Forward,

International Short Dance Films Festival

1 August 21
Free activity
Les sentiers de la danse, Eva Kolarova


5 to 8 August 21
Big Top
Les Grands Ballets canadiens

Mixed Program

8 August 21
Big Top
La Pietà, Angèle Dubeau


7 August 21
Virtual FASS
Une solitude partagée



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Thank you to our public partners

Conseil des arts du Canada
logo Québec
CALQ Laurentides
Ville de Saint-Sauveur
MRC des Pays-d'en-haut