All grown-ups were children once, although few of them remember it.”

-– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Little Prince)

Jean Pierre Desrosiers

2013 Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts

Jean Pierre Desrosiers is well known in Montreal’s cultural community for his generous and enthusiastic support of performing arts organizations ranging from music ensembles to theatre and dance companies, and even a circus! His inspired leadership of several major fundraising campaigns has helped many organizations to flourish, and his energy and dedication have served as an inspiration to volunteers, artists, and arts supporters alike.

Mr. Desrosiers was born in the village of Saint-Majorique, Quebec. A professional chartered accountant, he began volunteering in the arts in the early 1980s, when a colleague invited him to serve on the board of the contemporary dance company La La La Human Steps. “I’m a logical kind of guy,” says Mr. Desrosiers, “and this connection brought me into contact with people who were vibrantly exciting. It really opened my mind—it was amazing.”

He currently chairs the board of Montreal’s internationally acclaimed Cirque Éloize contemporary circus, and is a founding member of Fondation Éloize, which rehabilitates marginalized youth through the performing and circus arts. The foundation’s beneficiaries include ArtCirq, a Nunavut-based circus arts company that has performed in Quebec, Mexico, Africa and Europe, notably in London, UK as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s 60th Anniversary Jubilee celebrations.

He is a current or former director of, among others, Théâtre La Chapelle, Compagnie Marie Chouinard, La La La Human Steps, Angèle Dubeau and La Pietà, the Musée Marc-Aurèle Fortin, and the Montreal Arts Council, and has funded performances by emerging artists at major Montreal venues. He has chaired important fundraising campaigns for numerous performing arts organizations, including the Théâtre du Rideau Vert, Centaur Theatre, Simoniaques Théâtre, Théâtre Prospero, Théâtre La Chapelle, and Fondation Éloize.

“It’s all about teamwork,” he says. “Coming up with an innovative concept, working together to meet the artistic and financial target, and having fun with people who deserve support—that’s what I enjoy most.”

Jean Pierre Desrosiers is a Fellow of the Quebec Order of Chartered Accountants (1993) and the recipient of the 2011 Prix Arts-Affaires de Montréal (Arts/Business Personality category) for his exceptional support of the city’s cultural community.