Recipient of the 2019 Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women award, Named 2018 Canada’s Top 40 under 40, Personality of the Year (Arts & Culture) by La Presse newspaper in 2018 and recipient of Prix Relève Femme d’exception from Quebec’s Federation of Chambers of Commerce (Les Mercuriades), Fabienne colas is an award-winning actress, filmmaker, speaker and business owner who works tirelessly and passionately to support and promote Diversity off and on screen around the globe.
She is the ‘Queen of Festivals’ who created and manages 9 successful festivals in Montreal, Toronto, New York City, Halifax, Port-au-Prince & Salvador (Bahia, Brazil) – including the Montreal Intl Black Film Festival, Canada’s largest black film festival, Haiti en Folie Festival in Montreal and New York City; and the very popular Toronto Black Film Festival. These events, which attracted close to 1 million festivalgoers and supported over 2,000 artists, have welcomed top names such as Harry Belafonte, Spike Lee, Stedman Graham, Danny Glover, Martin Luther King III, Dany Laferrière, Wyclef Jean, P.K. Subban, Souleymane Cissé, Alfre Woodard…
Her primary mission is to continue to create platforms that show a diversity of voices, faces and points of view. As chairman of the Fabienne Colas Foundation, she supports, awards grants and promotes independent films and artists who, otherwise, would be invisible. One of her favorite initiatives remains the Youth and Diversity Program: Being Black in Canada, a training and mentorship program which allows emerging Black artists to create their first short documentary films in a professional setting. These films, produced by Zaza Production, have been licenced by and aired on CBC Television.
In 2015, Colas was awarded a Medal from Quebec’s National Assembly recognizing her leadership and contribution in the fight against racism and discrimination in Quebec. In 2017, she was awarded the Harry Jerome Arts & Culture Award in Toronto for her great contribution to Canadian Arts and Culture. In 2018, Femmes en Cinéma, Télévision et Médias Numériques (FCTMN) paid tribute to Fabienne for her exceptional contribution in the Quebec Film Industry.
In 2019, she will receive the Black Theatre Workshop’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award. CEO of Zaza Production, she also sat as a board member on the Society for the Celebrations of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary. She has been part of many juries among which the Canada Council for the Arts, Prix Gémeau, CALQ.
In 2008, she made her first film, Minuit, a narrative film on voodoo in which she also played the leading role. Considered by many as the most popular actress in Haitian cinema, Fabienne started out as a model, was crowned Miss Haiti in 2000 and has represented Haiti in numerous beauty contests around the world. In 2003, she was awarded the Ticket d’Or (golden ticket) in Haiti for best actress for her role in the film Barikad (directed by Richard Sénécal) and was also nominated for this same role at the Haitian Entertainment Awards in Florida. She has acted on both the big and the small screens in a number of productions in Quebec, Canada (Watatatow, l’Auberge du chien Noir, Comment Conquérir l’Amérique en une nuit…).
She is a candidate at the McGill-HEC Montréal EMBA program (2019-2021). www.fabiennecolas.com