#CouncilSpotlight – Caroline Yergeau

Jenna Brown

The Ottawa Arts Council supports artists and arts organizations through leadership, guidance and the provision of opportunities to advance our local creative potential.

Our series #CouncilSpotlight presents stories and experiences of Arts Council members and art award recipients.

Caroline received the RBC Emerging Artist Award in 2016

Where are you from?

Trois-Rivières, QC.

How did you get involved in the Ottawa arts community?

I obtained an honours bachelor’s degree with specialization in theatre from the University of Ottawa, which introduced me to Ottawa’s artists and professional arts community. I decided to base my work here and establish my own company, Théâtre Belvédère.

How would you describe your artistic practice/discipline?

I’m a theatre actor and director.

I’m interested in all forms of theatre that allow me to establish a dialogue with the audience, because I believe that by promoting freedom of form and content, theatre can become a source of enchantment and critical reflection on the human condition and current events.

What impact has your involvement with the arts/the Ottawa arts community had on your life?

My involvement in Ottawa’s Francophone theatre community has deepened my understanding of the importance of art as a means to preserve culture and as a unifying force in the community. Thanks to the close connections among our local artists, I was able to benefit from support and advice along the way, and that helped me define myself as an artist.

Is there a specific moment/situation in your art career that you remember fondly?

I was the “godmother” (honorary chair) of the 2018 and 2019 Festival Théâtre Action en milieu scolaire. Being chosen for that position by the festival participants was a big surprise and a great honour. I’ll never forget my first appearance on stage as godmother at the 2018 festival: having nearly 400 high-school students applauding and cheering with joy at sharing the experience with you makes an unforgettable impression!

Do you have any advice for artists in the Ottawa community or artists in general?

Follow your intuition and find creative ways to achieve your dreams and projects.

What are you currently working on?

I just finished directing Pied de poule, a musical by Marc Drouin, at the Théâtre de l’Île in Gatineau.

I’m working with Canadian and European artists on a long-term project based on Bizet’s opera Carmen. It’s an exploration of free voice from a documentary perspective.

Alongside my theatre practice, I’m studying for a BA in classical singing at the University of Ottawa.

What was it like to receive an award from the Ottawa Arts Council? How is it impacting your career?

I was flattered to receive this recognition from my peers. The award boosted my confidence in my artistic approach and gave me the financial means to kick off my project with European artists and develop my creative and documentary process, culminating in the show Mon corps livré pour vous, which was presented at La Nouvelle Scène Gilles Desjardins in October 2018.