About Jean-Louis Bleau
Jean-Louis Bleau is an innovative, collaborative, and high energy individual with significant experience as an artistic director and administrator in the performing arts.
During the course of his career he has developed a reputation for cutting edge, interdisciplinary, and engaging productions — performances that focus on creating positive and impactful audience experiences. Bleau has always sought to push the boundaries of the performing arts experience through unique collaborations and concert events. His innovative and inventive approach has resulted in performances in the mountains, around a lake, in a planetarium, parking garages, an industrial shop, and even a swimming pool. He has worked to collaborate with a variety of musicians, ensembles, choreographers, dancers, synchronized swimmers, and aerial gymnasts. This inventive creativity led to him being selected one of the Top 40 Under 40 for Calgary in 2014.
All of Jean-Louis' work is born from his passionate love of arts, culture, and performance, holding fast to one principle: while artistic creation can be hard work, it must always be fun, inspiring, and allow for all involved to pour their whole heart, soul, and individual artistry into the realization of a rich and vibrant performance expression.
Currently Jean-Louis is the Executive Director of the Chilliwack Cultural Centre in Chilliwack, British Columbia. In addition to his administrative role Jean-Louis is a passionate choral conductor and educator, teaching courses on artistic creativity and interdisciplinary performance practice at the University of Calgary.
When not engrossed in his artistic career, Bleau can be found sailing, running, enjoying the beauty of nature, or engaging in a variety of activities that bring him joy and spark creativity.
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A group of choristers under the direction of Jean-Louis Bleau was involved in the National Arts Centre's sponsoring of the Iniskim Project performance Oct. 3rd, 2020. A complete remount of this project took place in August of 2022 in Kananaskis Country.
Iniskim is an immersive, puppet-lantern, performance experience that lives upon the land in the area of Treaty 7, near to where the Blackfoot peoples call Mohkinstsis – which is now known also as Calgary, AB. The performance celebrates the reintegration of Bison into the natural ecosystem of Banff National Park, our country’s premiere National Park. It shares the inspiration of Canadian artists – both first nations and non-first nations people – together with local communities within the vicinity, embracing people of all ages, to remind us of what it means to be alive and in concert with one of the greatest gifts that we have – our robust and healthy natural world.
Produced by the Canadian Academy of Mask and Puppetry with additional assistance by Bison Belong, Parks Canada, Old Trout Puppet Workshop, Contemporary Calgary and the Leighton Art Centre
Crime and Punishment
Jean-Louis, in collaboration with vocalist Chenelle Roberts, contributed selected sound art works for Kunji Ikeda's dance theatre work based upon Dostoyevsky's epic novel "Crime and Punishment" in 2021-2022.
Plans for a performance in Rat's Nest Cave had to be halted due to COVID-19. With that being the case Jean-Louis Bleau set off on a new path pulling together a creative team to develop a lantern puppet sound art opera. Work is now underway on the initial development of this project. Check back for updates and details.