Light lunch will be served
Where is it?
Le Windsor, Crystal Lounge, 1170 Peel Street
When is it?
Wednesday, September 6, 12:00
Executive Chairman, Claridge
Stephen Bronfman may have taken the long way into the family business – studying geology; contemplating a career as a professional skier; working for the marketing team of his beloved Montreal Expos – but he eventually had a “eureka moment” and realized his “calling in life was to support [his] grandfather Samuel Bronfman’s legacy of entrepreneurship.” Shortly after joining Claridge, his father Charles’ firm, Stephen began to distinguish himself, albeit quietly. He closed his first huge deal and decided to use 15% of his profits to create the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Family Foundation, a major philanthropic organization that has supported the arts, education and the environment for nearly 20 years. That spirit of giving has coloured his business life, as well. Stephen and Claridge often work with small Quebec companies, because they believe that companies driven by passion and hard work have the capacity not just to be innovative and successful, but also to contribute to building a better society.
Chief Operating Officer, Just For Laughs
Just For Laughs Chief Operating Officer Bruce Hills has been the driving force behind the world’s biggest comedy festival and most prestigious comedy brand for over 30 years. Bruce was hailed by the UK edition of GQ magazine in 2013 as “the most powerful man in international comedy” and was humbled to be acknowledged by Dave Chappelle as the “Comedy Curator of a Generation” at the Montreal Festival in 2015. His main focus now is building unique festivals and events around the world and exploiting their broadcast rights. Under Bruce’s direction, Just For Laughs has expanded its global reach significantly, launching festivals in Canada, the US and Australia, as well as satellite events in Singapore, Cancun and Bermuda. The brand’s flagship event, the Just For Laughs Montreal Festival, welcomes over 2 million festival-goers each year and has been a launching pad for some of the biggest names in comedy, such as Jimmy Fallon, Dave Chappelle and Kevin Hart. He also runs Just For Laughs TV, the biggest producer of stand-up content in the world, which has provided over 1000 hours of television for premium broadcasters internationally. Bruce has also helped establish Just For Laughs Live as the top comedy promoter in Canada, touring Jerry Seinfeld, Kevin Hart, John Cleese and Aziz Ansari. Bruce currently resides in his native Montreal with his wife, Liz, and their 17-year-old twins, Alexandra and Michael.
Executive Vice President & COO, Cirque du Soleil
After 14 years at management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, Jonathan Tétrault quit his job as senior partner to join the circus. Today, he’s the COO and Executive Vice President of Cirque du Soleil. Tétrault, it goes without saying, was ready for a change, and so was the Cirque, whose leadership he joined as it shifted ownership and moved to streamline its organization and performance. No matter how wild the carnival, after all, a circus remains a business. If it hopes to operate expertly, it demands expert leadership. Tétrault –whose long pro-bono history includes positions on the boards of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and safe-water-access organization OneDrop – has done business as both a lawyer and consultant in more than 20 countries. As the Cirque continues expanding into emerging global markets, Tétrault’s experience will serve them well –but the experience works both ways. Few executives have the opportunity to direct a company known the world over for pushing the boundaries of production and technical expertise.