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Official statement by Carolle Brabant, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada, on the passing of Jean Bissonnette

30 March 2016

Montreal, March 30, 2016—“It is with great sadness that we at Telefilm Canada learned about the death of Jean Bissonnette, a director and producer whose talent and passion profoundly contributed to the advancement of our culture.

“In the world of film, as a director, he brought us the hit movie Tiens-toi bien après les oreilles à papa (1971), starring Dominique Michel and Yvon Deschamps. As the mentor and coach of top Quebec talent, and especially as a pioneer of public television variety shows, he brought renown to artists such as Gilles Vigneault, Roch Voisine and Olivier Guimond. He also played a significant role in the careers of Denise Filiatrault and Dominique Michel (Moi et l’autre), Lise Payette (Appelez-moi Lise), Claude Meunier (La Petite Vie), and Guy A. Lepage (Un gars, une fille). Cofounder of production company Avanti Ciné Vidéo, and an important figure associated with the first editions of the Just for Laughs gala, he helped bridge the gap between the stage and the screen, thereby contributing to the creation of a star system that would foster the emergence and development of new talent. He was renowned and admired for his ever-present flair, his generosity of spirit, and his lofty vision of the profession of artist.

“Jean Bissonnette was awarded the Guy-Mauffette Award for his contribution to Quebec culture as part of the 2015 Prix du Québec. Earlier, in 2012, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of his work.

“On behalf of my colleagues at Telefilm, I would like to offer my sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Jean Bissonnette.”