Bishop’s University celebrates Class of ’19 achievement – Honorands Colm Feore, Kim Thúy, Christiane Germain and Claude Belleau

Bishop’s University celebrates Class of ’19 achievement – Honorands Colm Feore, Kim Thúy, Christiane Germain and Claude Belleau

On June 8, Bishop’s University Chancellor Brian Levitt O.C. will preside over the 191st Convocation ceremony, to confer degrees to 583 Class of ’19 graduates in attendance, out of a total of 667 graduates this year.

Convocation is also an occasion to recognize the outstanding achievements of deserving individuals, by conferring Doctorates in Civil Law (D.C.L.) upon Honourands – who this year include stage and screen actor Colm Feore, O.C., author Kim Thúy, Groupe Germain Hotels Co-President Christiane Germain, C.Q., and ’85 Bishop’s alumnus and Estrie Aide Director General Claude Belleau. The ceremony will also highlight the contribution of recipients of academic excellence and community engagement awards.

Two Convocation ceremonies will take place on June 8, 2019 at 10 am and 3 pm. For more details, consult the Convocation Ceremony Schedule. Graduating students Molly Sweeney and Tyler Smith have been selected as Valedictorians for Convocation 2019 and will deliver their address.

“Convocation marks an important milestone for all Bishop’s University graduates, a memorable life event for students who have been the heart of our community in recent years,” remarks Bishop’s University Chancellor Brian Levitt O.C. “They are now ready to face the new challenges that await them, and we are confident that they are well prepared to do so.”

“While all Bishop’s graduates deserve our esteem and congratulations for successfully completing their respective programs, Convocation is also the occasion to celebrate those who have gone above and beyond, and gave our community the best of themselves, such as Honorands, and recipients of prizes,” indicates Bishop’s University Principal and Vice-Chancellor Michael Goldbloom, C.M.


Colm Feore O.C.

Colm Feore has had a long and distinguished career as an actor on stage and screen. Trained at the National Theatre School in Montreal, Mr. Feore joined the Stratford Festival Company in 1981. Over many seasons with the Festival he played nearly every one of Shakespeare’s leading men from Romeo to King Lear as well as Moliere’s Don Juan and Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac and many, many more. On screen Mr. Feore has moved between blockbuster movies, intimate independent features and award winning television. He is equally at home in THOR, Trudeau, 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould, The Chronicles of Riddick and The Red Violin. He is also known for 24, The Borgias, House of Cards, The Umbrella Academy and Bon Cop, Bad Cop.

Mr. Feore serves on the board of Reel Canada, a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating Canada through film. Reel Canada’s core programs bring Canadian films into schools, introduce new Canadians to Canadian culture, and celebrate our creativity with National Canadian Film Day, the largest film festival in the world. Mr. Feore is also a Creative Consultant on the Advisory Board of Shakespearience, a program that uses the works of Shakespeare for activities in class and after class in a vital and comprehensible way to engage young people in developing communication skills and confidence.

Mr. Feore is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a 2019 Governor General’s Performing Arts Award Laureate for Lifetime Artistic Achievement and a recipient of both the Golden and Diamond Queen’s Jubilee Medals. He has won various acting awards including the Jutra, SAG, Gemini as well as the Gascon-Thomas Award (NTS) and the Earle Grey Award (Academy of Canadian Film and Television). He also holds honorary degrees from the University of Windsor and Wilfrid Laurier University.

Kim Thúy

Born in Saigon in 1968, Kim Thúy left Vietnam with the boat people at the age of 10 and settled with her family in Quebec. A graduate in translation and law, she has worked as a seamstress, interpreter, lawyer, restaurant owner and food commentator on radio and television. She lives in Montreal and devotes herself to writing.

From the moment of its release, her first book, Ru, was a phenomenal success. A best-seller in Quebec and France and translated into more than 25 languages, Ru also garnered numerous literary awards, including the prestigious 2010 Governor General’s Literary Award (Canada), the 2010 Grand Prix RTL-Lire at the Salon du livre de Paris (France), the 2010 Premio Mondello per la Multiculturalitaà (Italy), the 2010 Prix du Grand public at the Salon du livre de Montréal and the 2011 Grand Prix littéraire Archambault.

Ru was also shortlisted for the 2010 Prix des cinq continents de la Francophonie and the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize, which recognizes excellence in Canadian fiction. The English edition won the battle of the books organized by Canada Reads and was declared “the” book to read in Canada in 2015. She has published three other fiction works: À toi, Mãn and Vi.

Kim Thúy has also authored a Vietnamese cookbook, SECRETS from my VIETNAMESE KITCHEN, and co-authored a guide, Explaining Autism to the Non-autistic, that embodies a cause dear to her as the mother of an autistic teenager.

In 2013, Kim Thúy was awarded the Paul-Gérin-Lajoie Award for Diversity by the organization ENSEMBLE for the respect of diversity. In 2017, she was awarded an honorary doctorate by Concordia University, for giving eloquent voice to the refugee experience, and the Medal of Honour of the National Assembly of Québec. Kim Thúy has been appointed a Knight of the Ordre national du Québec.

Christiane Germain, C.M., C.Q.

Christiane Germain is co-founder and co-president of Germain Hotels, a family-owned business that owns and operates 18 properties in seven Canadian provinces.

Born in a family of entrepreneurs from Quebec City, Mrs. Germain first started by following in her parents’ footsteps in the restaurant business. After her degree in hotel management from Humber College, Mrs. Germain and her brother Jean-Yves launched and managed many successful restaurants in Québec city in their early twenties. During a business trip to New York City In the mid-80’s, a visit at the Morgan’s Hotel changed the course of history: inspired by this renowned boutique hotel, the two restaurateurs decided within a few hours that they would become hoteliers! This is how in 1988 that the Germain-des-prés in Ste-Foy, Québec, became the very first boutique hotel in Canada. Thirty years later, Germain Hotels owns three banners: Le Germain Hotels, Alt Hotels and the Alt+ Hotel, from Calgary to St-John’s, Newfoundland.

Today the company employs close to 1,450 employees and among them Christiane and Jean-Yves Germain’s children. They are proud to see their legacy continue and especially their company values being transmitted to the next generation. To highlight Canadian talent is definitely among these values, from artists to local partners. This is at the very heart of Mrs. Germain’s approach: emphasize the human connection and encourage local entrepreneurs.

Mrs. Germain supports numerous charities and takes a leading role in the community to promote, amongst other things, entrepreneurship. One of the best examples is her appearance in the popular TV show “Dans l’oeil du dragon”. She is also chair of the board of directors of the Musée National des beaux-arts du Québec. Through the years, her contributions to the economic and cultural vitality of the country have been recognized. Among them, honorary doctorates from Ryerson and Concordia Universities and from the l’Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec. Christiane Germain was nominated in the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada in 2018 by Women’s Executive Network (WXN) for the third year in a row. Last April, Christiane and Jean-Yves Germain were inducted in the Académie des Grands Québécois for their exceptional contribution to the Québec region economy.

Mrs. Germain is a member of the Order of Canada (C.M.) and l’Ordre national du Québec (C.Q.).

Claude Belleau

During his fulfilling career with the United Nations (UN), Claude Belleau held a variety of positions related to international development, as well as various conflicts and humanitarian crises. His work brought him to all five continents, from Mauritania to Afghanistan, through Armenia, Geneva, and New York City. Before joining the UN, Claude was also employed by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) where he worked on special economic zones projects in China in the 1980’s.

Upon returning to his hometown of Sherbrooke in 2004, Mr. Belleau’s community involvement allowed him to take his convictions and action in favour of society’s most vulnerable to the next level. His 30 years of work on these issues led him initially to get involved with Sherbrooke’s Service d’Aide aux Néo-Canadiens, where he helped welcome and settle refugees in the Eastern Townships, a safe haven for them after years of wandering and exile.

He then became a conference speaker at his two alma maters, Bishop’s University and Champlain College, and later took on the role of lecturer at the Université de Sherbrooke.

“Encouraging students to reflect on issues related to international cooperation and helping them understand the power relationships between the key actors on the global stage has been a great source of satisfaction for me. It’s where theory meets practice, and where concepts become reality.”

Since 2013, he has taken over the management of Estrie Aide, a dynamic social enterprise. Mr. Belleau is a tirelessly positive and ambitious visionary whose latest combat is fighting waste in our consumerist society. This fits perfectly with his passion for environmental, economic, and social issues. His new mission: keeping an ever-growing number of refurbished items out of landfills and demonstrating that an environmental conscience can give rise to a venture that is both economically sustainable and socially responsible.


Olivier Bouffard
Director of communications
819-822-9600 ext. 2840