A memorable evening with Guy Laliberté

International Leaders


On November 8, over 600 people gathered at the St-James Theatre to hear the great entrepreneur and Quebec visionary Guy Laliberté speak as part of the Chamber’s Bell International Leaders series. It was an inspiring evening, hosted by Montréal personalities, during which members of the business community had a chance to learn more about this leader, who focussed on three major themes: creativity, entrepreneurship and philanthropy.

November 8, 2018
St-James Theatre
600 participants

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“For the past 10 years, the Chamber has hosted leaders from around the globe, people who have changed the world and who come to share their economic, political, social and scientific vision. Quebec is bursting with talented people with international reputations, and Guy Laliberté leads that pack. We are very proud of him. I am pleased to be able to look to a Quebec leader of his calibre who, through his achievements and commitment, has taught us not just to dream big, but to dream better.”

– Martine Turcotte
Vice Chair, Québec, Bell

“This evening, we host a true international leader, someone who has redefined entertainment around the world, and that someone is from Quebec: Guy Laliberté. He has combined the best of what we have – creativity and innovation – to become an incredible entrepreneurial success story. But Guy Laliberté is much more than that. After Cirque du Soleil, the entrepreneur made his mark yet again with Lune Rouge. As a philanthropist, he is fully committed to One Drop and Zú… An inspiring role model for local entrepreneurs.”.”

– Michel Leblanc
President and CEO, Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal


Discussion moderated by Elisapie Isaac
Director, composer, singer-songwriter

“Creativity is one of Quebec’s great natural resources, just like hydroelectricity and our forests. Internationally, in every sector of activity, whether in theatre, dance, film, special effects or, of course, the circus… we consistently rank among the ten top creators.”

“Life gave me a brain that is balanced between the two sides: 50% creative, 50% business. The challenge was to make them work together and to avoid creating turmoil or inner conflict. I knew that by combining these two sides, I would have a powerful tool for making my dreams come true and accomplishing great things... Our success depends on our ability to be comfortable with and balance both sides of a company or the individual, and not to pit them against each other.”

“The pyramid project offers creators an incredible opportunity to use new tools to create a different environment. The social dimension is important: the pyramid will be a cathedral where we will have shared, celebratory and emotional experiences, using new technologies.”


Discussion moderated by Vickie Joseph
Co-founder, Groupe 3737 and President, V Kosmetik

“At Lune Rouge, one of the requirements for investing in partnerships is working with people who have built or will build into their business budget this notion of giving back to the community.”

“Philanthropy can take different forms. I see it as a heartfelt gesture and not just a monetary donation. Time, growing closer to people and compassion also have tremendous value. There are people who have a lot to give, knowledge, their presence and time… Everyone can give according to what they have. That’s as worthwhile as a big cheque.”

“One of the challenges with Zú was to create an environment in Montréal that would give young creators access not only to money, but also to knowledge, networks and a dynamic of collaboration and harmony. With Zú I hope to prove that together we can achieve great things.”


Discussion moderated by Mitch Garber
Chairman of Cirque du Soleil & Invest in Canada

“I have had a few turning points in my life. Moments when things changed. I seized the opportunities that presented themselves because it felt right.”

“My business decisions are based on four pillars. The first, which is the most important, is the creative challenge of the projects I pursue. The second, which over the years has grown in importance, is the quality of people I work with. The third is “It has to make sense!” I am a businessman. I always have hope or the challenge to generate positive financial results. The fourth pillar is integrating social engagement into every project I take on.”

“Find what you need for what you want to accomplish. That’s my advice

This Bell International Leaders series event was presented by BMO and produced in partnership with evenko and with the collaboration of Deloitte, The Montreal Gazette, Norton Rose Fulbright and Saimen.

Over the years, the Chamber has hosted a number of esteemed speakers as part of the Bell International Leaders series, including President Barack Obama, the First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Prime Minister Manuel Valls, President Bill Clinton, the former President of General Electric Jack Welch, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone.

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