Executive Board


The Guido Molinari Foundation is managed by a Board of nine directors. In 2019 Margarida Mafra assumed the role of Executive Director and Chief Curator succeeding Gilles Daigneault.


Photo by Michel Legendre

Nicole Vallières


Cultural manager, born in Montreal (1958) and graduated from Laval University (Ph.D., Popular Arts and Traditions, 1999) and UQAM (Computer Science Certificate, 1987; MA, Études des arts, 1985; BA Art history, 1982). Specialist in the dissemination and management of information, Nicole Vallières worked in major Montreal cultural institutions: from 2011 to 2016, as Director of cultural programming at Bibliothèques et Archives nationaux du Québec; from 1989 to 2011 at the McCord Museum, where she held various positions, including that of Director of Research and Exhibitions. Several of the projects that she initiated and directed have been awarded prestigious prizes. She has sat on numerous committees of museum professionals, national and international, and has delivered numerous communications in scientific and professional forums. She is the recipient of the Meritorious Service Award from the Canadian Museums Association (2009).

François-Nicolas Fleury


Lawyer, born in Montreal in 1976. After studying law at University of Montreal (1998), he joined the firm Monette Barakett, where he is now a partner and responsible for recruitment. As a litigator and bilingual negotiator specializing in labor law, he has large public and parapublic organizations (hospitals, school boards and others) as clients. A renowned lecturer, he is also the author of several articles in labor law and has contributed actively to the reference book Les droits de la personne et le relations du travail published by Éditions Yvon Blais. He collects and is a great admirer of Molinari.

Juliette Durand


Young professional born in Montreal in 1995 and graduated from HEC Montreal in 2019, Juliette holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration specializing in finance and marketing. Winner of the Prix Relève Desjardins from the Association of Quebec Women in Finance, she obtained an internship at the Treasury at Desjardins, where she still works to this day as an analyst of financial markets and treasury. Violinist since her childhood, she has always had a keen interest in the Arts and more particularly music and contemporary art.


Gilles Daigneault


Gilles Daigneault is known for his activities as an art critic over the past forty years or so. He has written notably for Vie des arts magazine, of which he was assistant managing editor during the Nineteen Eighties, for the Le Devoir newspaper from 1982 to 1987, and for the FM Network of Radio-Canada for some twenty years. He has also frequently acted as an independent guest curator at various museums, exhibition centres and galleries, in Quebec and overseas. In that capacity he has authored many exhibition catalogues. In 2004, he became the first director of the Guido Molinari Foundation.

Jo-Ann Kane


Art historian Jo-Ann Kane has a master’s in museology and a bachelor’s in art history from the Université du Québec à Montréal. She became the Curator of the National Bank’s art collection in 2002 and now holds the position on a contract basis. She is also President of the Association des collections d’entreprises du Québec, an organization which brings together curators and owners of company collections with the objective of increasing visibility and promoting art in the business world.From 1997 to 2000, was curator of the Hydro-Québec art collection. As part of her role as consultant and guest curator, Jo-Ann Kane is carrying out several large-scale projects. Her main clients include Standard Life (Canada), Standard Life Investments, Rio Tinto, Deloitte, Price Water House, SDC du Village, Norton Rose, Metfin Group (Toronto) and Bennett Jones (Toronto). In 2010, she was appointed Ambassador of the Faculty of Arts at UQàM. In 2013, she participated in the working group on cultural philanthropy set up by the Government of Quebec. She is also a member of the board of directors of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and a member of the board of directors of the Visual Art Center.

Moridja Kitenge Banza


Moridja Kitenge Banza is a Canadian artist of Congolese origin, born in Kinshasa in 1980 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He graduated from the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Kinshasa, the École supérieure des beaux-arts de Nantes Métropole and the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences at the University of La Rochelle. In 2010, he received the 1st prize of the Biennale of Contemporary African Art, DAK’ART, for the video Hymne à nous and its installation From 1848 to the present day. He received a Sobey Prize in 2020. His work has notably been presented at the Musée Dauphinois (Grenoble, France), at the Museum of Contemporary Art (Rosklide, Denmark), at the Arndt Gallery and the Ngbk (Berlin, Germany), at the International Biennale of Casablanca (Casablanca, Morocco), at the Attijariwafa bank Foundation (Casablanca, Morocco), at the Blachère Foundation (Apt, France), at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Montreal, Canada), at the Phi Foundation ( Montreal, Canada), the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (Montreal, Canada) and the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, Canada). The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) will present a large installation by the artist in 2021. There are works by the artist in the collections of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) as well as in many corporate collections such as BMO, the Caisse de dépôt et de placement du Québec and TD Bank Corporate Art Collection.

Marie Fraser


Great friend of the Foundation, Marie Fraser has been a member of the FGM’s Collections and Exhibitions Committee for more than 5 years. She was previously Chief Curator at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. She is currently a professor at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) in art history and museology and holder of the UQAM Research Chair in Curatorial Studies and Practices. Member of Figura and co-founder of the research and reflection group CIECO: Collection et impératif évènementiel / The Convulsive Collection, she is involved in several research projects subsidized by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (CRSH): “Archiving the present: imaginary of exhaustiveness in contemporary cultural productions” (2018-2022), “Investigative museology: rethinking the history of exhibitions through the trajectory of works of art” (2021-2026), as well as the Partnership “New uses of collections in art museums” (Université de Montréal, 2021-2028). She has recently published in the journals Culture & Musées, Intermédialités, Muséologies and Stedelijk Journals. She co-directs with Mélanie Boucher and Johanne Lamoureux the book “Reinventing the collection: art and the museum at the time of events”, to be published at the PUQ in September 2022. Marie Fraser has curated around thirty exhibitions in Canada and Europe and was chief curator at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2010-2013), as well as curator of the Canada pavilion for the 56th Venice Biennale (2015).

Claude Benoît


As a manager and expert in the field of museology and the management of cultural organizations, Claude Benoît is recognized for her contribution to the development of scientific and technical culture and to the promotion of Montreal, Quebec and Canda’s heritage. As a business leader, she has made a significant contribution to developing and diversifying the offer, as well as increasing the performance of both the Old Port of Montreal Corporation and the McCord Museum. Museologist and project director, Claude Benoît, within her firm Les Productions Métamorphoses, and as a consultant collaborated in the establishment and outreach of major cultural institutions that contribute to today’s Quebec cultural diversity, such as the Montréal Science Center, the Biosphere, the Cosmodome, the Biodome and the Pointe-à-Callière Museum. She has served on the board of directors of more than twenty organizations including Université de Montréal, the Telus Community Board and, more recently, the Armand-Frappier Health Museum and the Marguerite-Bourgeoys Historic Site. Claude Benoît had the privilege of being made a Member of the Order of Canada and the recipient of several recognitions including the Career Award from the Société des musées du Québec, the Meritorious Service Award from the Canadian Museums Association, the Frederick-Todd Award from the Quebec Association of Landscape Architects and the McNeil Medal from the Royal Society of Canada.

Mathieu Peters


Mathieu Peters is a CPA born in the Laurentians in 1992 and comes from a business background, specifically accounting and finance. He graduated from HEC Montréal in 2014 (BAC in business administration) and in 2015 (D.E.S.S. in public accounting) and has spent the majority of his career in an international accounting firm as a director, with a clientele of SMEs and NPOs. He now works for the Quebec CPA Order as a professional inspector. Mathieu has also been a lecturer, mentor and proofreader in various universities such as HEC Montréal, UQAM and UQTR for several years now. Great fan of the outdoors and sports, he is also fascinated by contemporary art.

Margarida Mafra

Secretary and Director

See below.

The Team

Margarida Mafra

Executive Director and Chief Curator

Margarida Mafra was the Executive assistant at the Guido Molinari Foundation from 2017 until 2019, when she assumed the position of Executive Director and Chief Director. She graduated in Art History from Nova University in Lisbon (Portugal, 2012) and obtained her Masters in Museology and Art History from L’École du Louvre in Paris (France, 2014). She also has a diploma in management of cultural organizations from the École des Hautes Études Commerciales de Montréal (2016). Margarida has worked in the cultural field for more than 10 years, within institutions such as the Modern Art Center of the Calouste Gulbekian Foundation in Lisbon, the International Contemporary Art Fair in Paris, the Joyce Yahouda Gallery, the Galerie Art 45, the Art Souterrain Festival and the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art.

Sofia Zottig

Museum Technician

Sofia Victoria Zottig, born in Argentina, is a museum technician and artist. Graduated in 2021 from Collège Montmorency, she did her internship with the transport company Artys Transit. She also worked as a museum technician in the Department of International Relations and Heritage at the Headquarters of the Sûreté du Québec. Before joining the team, she held the position of assistant to the collection manager at the Musée d’art de Rouyn-Noranda. As well as working for the Foundation, Sofia is currently completing her certificate in Visual Arts at UQAM in order to continue her studies in the art of restoring works and artefacts.

Laurence Dupont

Mediator and Communications Manager

Laurence Dupont has a Bachelor’s degree in Art History from Université de Montréal and a Master’s degree in Museum Studies from Université du Québec à Montréal. After a stint at Art Souterrain in the development of audiences and activities, Laurence continues her career by designing and leading mediation workshops with adults in francization for the Théâtre Outremont. A position in educational program development brought her to the Cité de l’énergie in Shawinigan, where she designed activities for the school and preschool public. Prior to her current position, Laurence worked at L’Artothèque, an art library where she supported members, both artists and the general public.

Special Thanks to

Danielle Sauvage

Director (2016-2022)

Experienced cultural manager Danielle Sauvage has contributed throughout her career to the development of the most important cultural organizations in Montreal. From 2002 to 2013, she held the position of Executive Director of the Conseil des arts de Montréal, a para-municipal organization that supports the creation, production and outreach of some 450 artistic companies in Montreal. She then worked until February 2019 with the creative collective The 7 Fingers, where she set up a foundation and a private fundraising campaign. She also directed the Canadian Center for Architecture Foundation and, for fourteen years (1987-2001), held the position of Director of Communications and Development at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. A graduate in political science from the University of Montreal, Danielle Sauvage sits on the board of directors of numerous non-profit organizations, including the Festival Trans-Amériques (FTA), the 7 Fingers Foundation, the Centre des musiciens du monde, Le Cube, centre international de recherche et de création en théâtre pour l’enfance et la jeunesse, the Guido Molinari Foundation and the Pierre Desmarais-Belvédère Foundation. She is also a member of the Club des Ambassadrices of the Centre d’étude et de coopération internationale (CECI), a member of the Community Engagement Committee of the Foundation of Greater Montreal, a founding member of Culture Montreal, and a mentor in the of cultural mentoring from the École des HEC. Since 2017, she has been a commissioner at the Office de consultation publique de Montréal. Danielle Sauvage was named Knight of the Order of Quebec in 2018.

Laurier Lacroix

Director (2013-2022)

Art historian born in 1947 in Ste-Justine (Dorchester), Quebec. He obtained a doctorate from Laval University (1998) for his research on the Desjardins painting collection. First teaching at Concordia University (1976-1986), he then became a professor at Université du Québec à Montréal from 1988 until his retirement in 2010. He acted as curator for nearly twenty exhibitions, including those devoted to François Baillargé, Marc Garneau, Pierre Dorion, Guy Pellerin, Micheline Beauchemin, Robert Wolfe, Irene F. Whittome and the painters of Montée St-Michel. His research on the work of Ozias Leduc and Suzor-Coté are acknowledge reference. His most recent work focuses on the arts in New France. Recipient of the Carrière prize from the Société des musées québécois (1997) and the Gérard-Morisset prize (2008), he is a member of the Société des Dix and the Académie des lettres du Québec.


Yvon Brind’Amour

Chairman of the Board/Director (2004-2022)

Businessman, born in Drummondville (Quebec) in 1958. A graduate of the University of Sherbrooke (1980) and UQAM (1989), he obtained his CMA certification in 1990. After several years of activity at Nortel , Moore Corp and Lafarge, in Canada, the United States and Europe, he retired formally as CFO – Americas (Lafarge) in 2012. Since then, he has devoted his time to teaching and consulting and has satisfied his passion for visual arts by helping numerous organizations, including ESSARTS and Les Impatients, in addition to serving on the Hydro-Québec Acquisition Committee and managing his own charitable foundation. A great friend of Guido Molinari, of which he is a collector, he was one of the original members of the Board of the Foundation in 2004. After having been Treasurer for 3 years, he was chaired the Board from 2016 to 2022. He has also sat for more than 2 years on the Board of Directors of Château Dufresne.


Margaret Somerville

Founding Director (2006-2016)

University professor, born at Adelaide (Australia) in 1942. Margaret Somerville pursued university studies in Australia in pharmacy and law and obtained a Ph.d in civil law from McGill University in 1978. She taught at the law faculty of McGill University from 1978 to 2016, where she founded the McGill Centre for Medicine Ethics and Law (1986) and occupied the Samuel Gale Chair in Law from 1989. Professor Somerville also taught at the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University from 1984. A consultant, teacher and author of several works relating to ethics, particularly in respect of biotechnology, genetics and euthanasia. Received the first Avicenna Prize from UNESCO for work on applied ethics in science. Delivered the CBC Massey Lectures in 2006; her text, entitled “The Ethical Imagination: Journeys of the Human Spirit”, was published in book form by the House of Anansi Press. A member of the Order of Australia and recipient of several honorary doctorates from universities in Canada and in Australia. In 2016, Professor Somerville returned to Australia.

Michel Dallaire

Vice-president/Director (2006-2018)

Québec industrial designer born in 1942 in Paris, France. A graduate of l’Institut des arts appliqués de Montréal (1963) and of the Stockholm Industrial Arts Academy (1965), Michel Dallaire pursued studies at the Hautes Études Commerciales in Montréal (Design Management, 1972) and at the Materials Engineering Institute of the National Research Council at Montréal (Polymer Transformation, 1981). Opened his own design studio in 1967. Significant design achievements include the Olympic torch of the 1976 Olympic games in Montréal, the urban furniture of the Quartier international de Montréal, the furniture of the Grande bibliothèque du Québec à Montréal as well as the self-service BIXI bicycle. Michel Dallaire also teaches design at the Université de Montréal and at the University of Calgary. Recipient of the Paul-Émile Borduas Prize (1991), he is a member of the Order of Canada and an Officer of the Ordre national du Québec.

Suzanne Bélanger

Director (2016-2019)

A professional fundraiser and communications specialist, holder of degrees in art history from the Université de Montréal (Specialized B.A. and M.A.) and in business from McGill University (MBA), Suzanne Bélanger is currently the Executive Director of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute Foundation. She was previously in the employ of the Fine Arts and Engineering and Computer Science faculties of Concordia University, as Principal Director of Development, and of the Quebec Order of Nurses as Director of Communications. Active as a volunteer within the AFP – Association of Fundraising Professionals, she was Treasurer of Parachute art magazine from 2004 to 2006.


Guy Molinari

Director (2006-2019)

Business manager, born in 1960 in Montréal. Son of Guido Molinari, Guy Molinari obtained a bachelor’s degree in art history from the Université de Montréal in 1982. Pursued studies in painting and sculpture, particularly with sculptor Pierre Granche. At the end of his studies, decided he preferred rural life and established himself at Lac Ouareau. Trying his hand at business, he operated a bistro restaurant at St. Donat for five years. In 1991, with assistance from his father and in partnership with Ronald Barbeau, a furniture dealer in St. Donat, he opened the Galerie Barbeau Molinari where for several years young artists emerging from studies with Guido Molinari at Concordia University as well as other young artists that the latter considered promising, received their initial exhibitions. Administers family-owned real-estate assets.

Portrait by Éric Simon, 2016.

François Morelli

Director (2006-2020)

Born in Montreal in 1953. In 1975, he received a BFA from Concordia University. He worked in Montreal between 1975 and 1981 and participated in the creation of the Articule Center in 1979/80. He taught at University of Quebec in Chicoutimi in 1981. He lived in the New York area from 1981 to 1991 and received an MFA in installation and performance art from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey in 1983. He taught at Rutgers University from 1983 to 1990 and CUNY and SUNY in Manhattan between 1985 and 1990. Upon his return to Québec, he taught at University of Quebec in Trois-Rivières, from 1991 to 1996. He has since been a professor at Concordia University. He was a member of the Christiane Chassay Gallery from 1991 to 2004 and joined Galerie Joyce Yahouda in Montreal in 2006. In 1993 he received the Excellence Award for the Biennale for drawing and engraving of Alma and, in 2007, the Prix Louis-Comtois of the City of Montreal. His artistic approach is versatile (drawing, printmaking, installation, performance and sculpture) and aims to put into question the status of the object within the creative process and the perception of the artwork. He is interested in the notions of passage, circulation and transformation. For him, the work often echoes a past action or an intervention aimed at translating (not only in space, but also in time) the artist’s relations with society, relations between individuals, or relations between individuals and the object.


Scott Rodie

Treasurer/Director (2006-2019)

Chartered Professional Accountant, born in 1962 in Montreal. After pursuing studies at McGill University (B. Eng, 1985 and Accountancy, 1990), he became a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and joined the firm of BDO Canada. Since being nominated to Partner in 1998, he has been a member of the Eastern Canada and Montreal executive committees and now sits on the BDO Canada board of directors. He has been serving technology companies for his entire career and was the BDO Canada technology sector Practice Leader from 2011 to 2016. He is now the Head of Global Technology and Communications sector at BDO. He has also been the Treasurer of the MAB Mackay Rehabilitation Center from 2003 to present. Throughout the years he has cultivated a deep interest in the visual arts, in particular work by Canadian artists. He is very pleased to have the opportunity to be contributing to the mission of the Guido Molinari Foundation.

In memoriam

Sam Abramovitch, Jean Pierre Beaudin, 1984

Sam Abramovitch


The first president of the Foundation was a living paradox. A man of left-leaning political views, Sam Abramovitch was born in 1920 in the Montréal Jewish community; lack of funds prevented him from completing a university degree. He succeeded nonetheless brilliantly in business, first as an accountant in partnership with his brother, and then as the head of an important hardware wholesale business. A voracious reader, he became an intellectual with an inquiring mind and a tendency to utopianism. His readings led to the discovery of the world of the arts, to which nothing predestined him. Under the influence of prior contacts in the United States, he became a prime observer of the development of modernity in Québec, in the fields of literature, theatre and visual arts. The friend of many artists, he became a well-known figure in the relatively narrow world of the arts in Québec immediately after the Second World War. He devoted his talents and resources to serving that world: the assistance he provided to actor Paul Buissonneau made it possible to create the Théâtre de Quat’sous. He was an acquaintance of American critic Clement Greenberg and he spent time with many Montréal painters, initially the modernist Jewish artists, but then also Borduas, Barbeau, Ferron, Sullivan, Tousignant and Molinari. He married the painter Michèle Drouin and created a significant collection of contemporary art in his firm, United Westburne Industries, with the assistance of curator Karen Wilkin. After spending five years in conceiving and organizing what would become the Guido Molinari Foundation and providing guidance to the members of its board, Sam Abramovitch was felled by cancer in the spring of 2010, at the age of ninety. The Foundation boardroom now bears the name of “Salle Sam-Abramovitch”.

Tom Hopkins


Painter-teacher Tom Hopkins was elected chairman of the Foundation’s Board to succeed to Sam Abramovitch, at the annual meeting in 2010. His election was in great part due to his devotion to the physical restoration of the former bank building which Molinari bequeathed to the Foundation. Indeed, carpentry, plumbing and electricity held no mysteries for this factotum and he showed great mastery in coordinating the activities of the architects and contractors, thus ensuring the success of the work. Tom Hopkins was born in 1944 in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. He studied at Mount Allison and Concordia Universities and eventually joined the teaching staff of the latter, where he obtained a Masters degree. He was therefore a colleague of Molinari from 1983 to 1997. His seductive and sensuous figurative paintings made him known throughout Canada. He exhibited almost yearly in several commercial galleries, with the result that his works are now found in several public and corporate collections. Two solo exhibitions stand out, namely “The Narration of Icon” curated by David Burnet at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in 1991 and L’oeuvre et la manière at the Espace Loto-Québec in Montréal in 2009. His term as president lasted only a few months, since he himself passed away through illness in January 2011. He is survived by his wife, Joan Marshall, a textile arts specialist and two children.


Director (2006-2017)

Lawyer, born in 1935 in Mexico City. After pursuing studies at McGill University in History and Political Science (BA, 1957) and in Law (BCL, 1957), Roy Heenan in 1973 founded the law firm of Heenan Blaikie, with which he remained associated until its dissolution in 2014. An acknowledged specialist in labour law, he has undertaken several significant briefs for governments and other organizations in this field as well as teaching employment law at the Law and Management Faculties at McGill University between 1971 and 1996. Author of several books and articles on labour, employment and human rights law. Awarded an honorary doctorate by McGill University in 2008. Active in the museum world, he was Chair of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal from 1994 to 1998 and is a director of the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and of the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery. Officer of the Order of Canada. Well known collector of contemporary art.

Maurice Forget

Chairman/Director (2006-2016)

Lawyer, born in 1947 in Paris, France. After studies at the Collège de St-Laurent (BA, 1966) and at McGill University (Law, 1969), Maurice Forget joined in 1970 the law firm long known as “Martineau Walker” and since 2000, Fasken Martineau, of which he became a partner in 1978 and Chair of the Board and of the Partnership in 1995. A business lawyer, he has been a director of several public corporations, including Standard Life, TransForce and American Express (Canada). Known for his community work, Maurice Forget was Chair of the Montréal Arts Council from 1999 to 2006, of the Foundation of Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, of the Héritage Montréal Foundation and of several other organizations in the fields of health care, education and the arts. Also known as a significant art collector. Appointed to the Order of Canada in 1995 for philanthropy, he was elected Business and Arts Personality for the year 2009 at the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montréal.

Fernande Saint-Martin

Founding Director

Art theorist, journalist, poet and teacher, born in Montreal in 1927. Fernande Saint-Martin studied at the University of Montreal and then at McGill University, before becoming a journalist at La Presse. In 1960, she became director of the journal Châtelaine in its first edition in French and remained there until 1972. In 1972, she obtained a doctorate in literature with a thesis on Samuel Beckett. From 1972 to 1977, she directed the Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal then turned to university teaching and research, first at Laval University and then at the University of Quebec in Montreal. A semiologist, she carries out extensive research on the foundations of verbal and visual modes of representation; she wrote several theoretical works, including Literature and the Non-Verbal; Structures of pictorial space; The topological foundations of painting; Semiology of visual language and Gestalt theory and visual art. Fernande Saint-Martin married Guido Molinari in 1958. As an art and poetry critic, she contributed to several publications, including Vie des arts, Visio and Liberté, in addition to founding the journal Situations and contributing to several European periodicals. In 1985, a collection of his poetry was published under the title La fiction du Réel. Member of the Académie des lettres du Québec (1974), she is also an Officer of the Order of Canada (1988). Recipient of the Molson Prize in Social Sciences (1991) from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada) and the André-Laurendeau Prize (1989) from ACFAS.