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Fabienne Colas to receive an honorary doctorate from Concordia University at its spring 2024 convocation

Montreal, May 7, 2024 – The Fabienne Colas Foundation is pleased to announce that Fabienne Colas, its President and Founder, will be awarded an honorary doctorate from Concordia University’s Faculty of Fine Arts. Colas will be the first Haitian-born Quebecer to receive this top honor from Concordia University.

“An Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Concordia University is awarded to Fabienne Colas based on her remarkable career and commitment to promoting greater representation of cultural diversity in the arts and entertainment worlds in Québec, Canada and internationally.” – Graham Carr, President and Vice- Chancellor of Concordia University

This high distinction brings great recognition to the outstanding work she has been doing across Canada and internationally for 20 years as a trailblazer who works tirelessly and passionately to foster, support, and promote Diversity and Inclusion in the arts and in our society. This coincides with the 20th anniversary of both the Fabienne Colas Foundation and the Montreal International Black Film Festival, as well as the 50th anniversary of Concordia University.

Concordia University will award 8 honorary doctorates at its spring 2024 convocation ceremonies June 4, 5 and 6 in the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier of Place des Arts. The recipients will join students from Concordia’s four faculties and the School of Graduate Studies who will be receiving their diplomas.

The 8 honorary doctorate recipients were announced today and were described as: “eight remarkable individuals who have distinguished themselves in the worlds of television and film, applied chemistry, wireless communications, and entrepreneurship. These leaders have also been active in fighting against climate change, poverty, ageism, racism and discrimination.”

“Being a recipient of a Doctorate Honoris Causa from Concordia University is a true honor for me and my community,” said Fabienne Colas. “I dedicate this unbelievable recognition to my family, my devoted team at the Fabienne Colas Foundation and to all visible minority artists out there who are working in the shadows or trying to get their voices heard. This Honorary Doctorate encourages me more than ever to continue breaking down barriers and building more bridges.” Mrs. Colas concluded.

The honorary degree will be conferred upon Fabienne Colas, alongside Academy Award nominated filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, at the ceremony held for graduates of the Faculty of Fine Arts on Thursday, June 6, 2024 in the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier of Place des Arts in Montréal at 8:00 pm.

Receiving honorary doctorates this year are:

My Thanh Nguyen, BSc 86, MSc 88 – For his groundbreaking applied chemistry entrepreneurship and philanthropy
Friederike Otto – For leading research, communication and justice work on humanity’s role in climate change
Mallikarjun Tatipamula – For his major role in developing mobile technologies
Frances Northcutt – For her work as an engineer and women’s rights advocate
Luc Maurice – For his entrepreneurship that champions quality of life for seniors
Sheila Johnson – For her social leadership as an entrepreneur
Fabienne Colas, MBA – For promoting cultural diversity through the arts
Denis Villeneuve – For his outstanding creativity and achievements in cinema

See Fabienne Colas’ bio here

About Fabienne Colas
Fabienne Colas, MBA, began her career as a model and was crowned Miss Haiti in 2000. She quickly became one of her native country’s most popular actors, winning the Ticket d’Or for best actress in the 2001 film, Barikad. In 2008, she starred in the film Minuit — also her debut as a director and producer.

Colas has since become founder and president of 12 arts and film festivals, including the Montreal Black Film Festival; The Toronto Black Film Festival, Canada’s largest celebration of Black History Month through film; and similar events in Halifax, Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver, New York, Salvador (Bahia – Brazil) and Haiti. Over the years, these events have attracted over 2 million festivalgoers, showcased over 5,000 artists, and welcomed worldwide celebrities.

Holding an Executive MBA from McGill University and HEC Montreal, Colas is the president and CEO of the media and business consulting company Zaza Production. As chairperson and founder of the Fabienne Colas Foundations, she supports independent films and artists to promote a diversity of voices, faces and points of view. Colas is the creator and executive producer of the Canadian Screen Award winning documentary series and national film incubator program Being Black in Canada by Festwave Institute.

In 2015, she received a medal from Quebec’s National Assembly, recognizing her leadership in the fight against racism and discrimination in the province.

In 2018, Colas received Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 award and was named La Presse’s Person of the Year (Arts & Culture). The following year, she featured among Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women and won the Prix Relève, Femme d’Exception (Mercuriades) from Quebec’s Federation of Chambers of Commerce.

In 2022, she received the Visionaire Award at the Black Academy’s Legacy Awards, broadcast on CBC.

About the Fabienne Colas Foundation

The Fabienne Colas Foundation (FCF) is a not-for-profit cultural organization dedicated to building bridges through the arts by supporting diversity and education. To fulfill its mission, the Foundation put together 12 festivals and various programs to break barriers, celebrate diversity, foster togetherness, understanding and inclusion. In addition to offering scholarships for arts schools, mentorship programs such as Being Black in Canada Incubator and awards of excellence, the Fabienne Colas Foundation showcases and rewards marginalized artists who otherwise would not have been seen or heard. Since its inception in 2005, its initiatives and festivals have showcased and supported over 5,000 artists and attracted close to 2 million festivalgoers in Canada, the USA, Haiti and Brazil.

To follow or stay in touch with Fabienne Colas:

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Fabienne Colas Foundation –

Media contact and for interviews:
Groupe À l’infini – Martine Girard – +819.378.1195 –

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