2021 Honorary President

I am touched to be the honorary president of Les éditions Esse’s fundraising auction, especially after the year that all of us have lived through. In recent months, we have felt a wild desire to fill ourselves with beauty, to seek out beauty all around us. While we were locked down, art brought us together through minds and hearts. We were eager to travel, to get out, and it was art that enabled us to do so. That makes it even more important to shout the significance and vital nature of art from the rooftops.

It is also essential to be there, more than ever, for artists—to return to seeing their works, meeting them, discovering what they do. Their exhibitions and events were repeatedly cancelled, and they had to find ways to “reinvent” themselves. They felt as alone as we did. Today, we can hold out a hand to them, to encourage Québec art.

Art shows us who we are. Art intimidates, it disturbs, but it always comes from within us, even when we don’t understand it. Art reflects us in our splendour, ugliness, doubts, quests, desires. And when we let ourselves take a real look, we are enriched a bit more each time. Art must circulate and be shared with everyone—because art brings us face to face with ourselves and who we want to be. Thank-you to everyone who brings art, with a capital A, within reach!

Catherine Pogonat, host on Radio-Canada
(ICI Musique)

Catherine Pogonat

A radio and television host for over fifteen years, Catherine Pogonat has introduced many emerging artists to a wider audience through highly acclaimed programs, including Bande à part, Sainte-Catherine, Mange ta ville and C’est juste du Web.

Catherine Pogonat currently hosts the daily music and culture show L’effet Pogonat on ICI Musique (Radio-Canada). She also presents far-reaching interviews and documentaries and writes for several Québec magazines. From galas to major musical performances, she can regularly be seen at the helm of major cultural events. In 2009, she was awarded a Gemini Prize for hosting her TV magazine Mange ta ville, featuring unconventional artists and little-known places in Montreal.

Photo: © Pascale Thérien