2005 Cultural Cultural

Born in Montreal in 1950, Alain Simard completed his classical studies at Collège St Ignace, where in 1969 he began to launch live shows at a student café, La Clef, which hosted the era’s first “underground” groups. In the early ‘70s, together with Productions Kosmos, he brought to Montreal stages such artists as Pink Floyd, Genesis and B.B. King, among others. He later became the personal manager of Paul Piché, Offenbach, Claude Dubois and Michel Rivard, launched the TV production company Spectel-Video with Momentum Vidéofilm and helped create ADISQ with Guy Latraverse.

Founder of the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the FrancoFolies de Montréal, the Montreal High Lights Festival, La Grande Mascarade, and more recently, the Montreal International Film Festival, Alain Simard has been the president and CEO of L’Équipe Spectra – a recognized leader in Quebec’s cultural industry – since its inception in 1977. In the last 35 years, Mr. Simard’s exceptional contribution to the cultural and entertainment industry has boosted Montreal’s international visibility. Thanks to his love of music, Mr. Simard has made Montreal a destination of choice for millions of festival goers around the world.

Over the years, Mr. Simard has received numerous prizes, including the Félix Hommage at the ADISQ Gala; the Prix Hommage from the Société des Fêtes et Festivals du Québec; the special prize Mérites du français dans le Commerce 2000, awarded by the Office québécois de la langue française; and the Grand Prix Ulysse trophy from Tourisme Montréal. He also holds the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, bestowed on him by the Republic of France, as well as of Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Pléiade. In 2003, La Presse called him “the most influential personality in the Quebec cultural sector” and, in 2004, he was named Grand entrepreneur de l’année 2004 by Groupe Perform.

Alain Simard has served on numerous boards, including ADISQ, the Institut québécois du Cinéma, ARTV, Tourisme Montréal and the Fondation du Maire de Montréal pour la Jeunesse. He currently sits on the boards of the Montreal International Film Festival, the Montreal High Lights Festival, the FrancoFolies de Montréal, the Montreal International Jazz Festival, and all the boards of Équipe Spectra’s subsidiaries and/or affiliated companies: Amerimage-Spectra, Sogestalt Television, Bleu Blanc Rouge Productions, Zingaro Films, Libretto Productions and Spectra Animation.