Photo credit: Nadia Zheng
Jean-Frédéric Caron is the Executive Director of Orchestre de l’Agora (OA) since June 2019, an ensemble that uses music as a tool for sustainable social change while presenting innovative and audacious concerts. Jean-Frédéric is the recipient of the ARDI 2022 Prize for Innovation in Cultural Philanthropy (Cultural Organization Manager) awarded by HEC Montréal (Carmelle and Rémi-Marcoux Chair of Arts Management) and the Brigade Arts Affaires de Montréal (BAAM). This prize was awarded for his management of Gala de la Terre, a national-scale musical and environmental benefit event. The last edition was awarded the Opus Prize for the musical event of the year 2022, awarded by the Conseil québécois de la musique and $393K has been raised for environmental and humanitarian organizations since 2020.
Since his arrival at OA, Jean-Frédéric has increased annual revenues ($200K in 2019 to $1.1M in 2022), in addition to building and growing an endowment fund placed at Foundation of Greater Montreal, now worth $1.4M. This has allowed the Orchestra to develop new social projects, including a monthly concert-workshop series at the Montreal Detention Centre and numerous concerts (over 50 since 2019) and projects that have resulted in regional and national exposure (Juno Award for Classical Album of the Year 2022 for Viola Borealis, a CD with OA Conductor Nicolas Ellis & Soloist Marina Thibeault).
Jean-Frédéric holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication (public relations) from the Université du Québec à Montréal. Music has been at the forefront of his life from a very early age and he began taking violin lessons at seven years old. He has performed on orchestral tours in Germany, Belgium and China, and in solo workshops at Orford Music and the Salzburg Mozarteum. Prior to his tenure at OA, he worked six years as Marketing and Communications Director at Orchestre symphonique de Laval. In that capacity, among other achievements he contributed to the development of a new series of highly popular concerts (Bébé Musique) and enhanced the Orchestra’s visibility by exponentially growing its presence on social media and in the regular media. Jean-Frédéric is a UNICEF Canada Volunteer Member and a Mécénat Musica ambassador, an organization that encourages patronage for the arts.