In Memoriam

A final tribute to those who have left us

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This is a tribute to artists and patrons who have left us in recent years and who have marked the history of Quebec and Canadian culture while leaving their mark on the development of NTS.

Do not hesitate to send us your words and testimonials if you wish to pay tribute to them on this page. Please send it all to

Thank you.


Major donor to NTS and extraordinary patron for many decades

Ada Slaight’s unwavering support of arts education is admirable. Over the years, she has not only funded many valuable learning programs and projects at NTS, such as trips to the Shaw and Stratford festivals, professional headshots and digital C.V.s for our graduates, but she has also provided bursaries and prizes to many students.

All donations will go to the Tuition Relief Fund in support of NTS students

Make a donation in memory of Ada Slaight


Director and Vice-president, Creative, of Adirondack Studios

Set and Costume Design, 1983

Louis C. Allen (Set and Costume Design, 1983) passed away on January 19th after a short illness. His family, his NTS classmates, Adirondack Studios, and the scenic arts community mourn the passing of a friend, industry leader, and champion of the arts.

Memorial donations are gratefully accepted by the National Theatre School of Canada and applied toward a scenography fund in Louis's name.

On-line at: or by phone at: 514-842-7954 x149
By mail at: 5030 St-Denis Street, Montreal, QC H2J 2L8

Photo: Adirondack Studios
Make a donation in memory of Louis C. Allen


BCL, LLD, CM, former member of the National Theatre School of Canada's Board of Governors

John Timothy Irvine Porteous, BCL, LLD, CM, passed away on February 11, 2020, in West Vancouver after 14 years with Parkinson’s Disease and Parkinson’s dementia. His five decades as leader and administrator in the Canadian arts community, his steadfast integrity, his deep-seated convictions that the arts were of vital importance to Canadian society, and his principled determination to do everything in his power to foster the country’s cultural development, earned him a widespread reputation as “the cultural mandarin’s cultural mandarin.”

He was born in Montreal August 31, 1933, the son of John Geoffrey Porteous and Cora Ann Kennedy. He studied law at McGill University (BA ’54, BCL ’57), where he was Co-Author and Associate Producer of the 1957-1958 hit Canadian musical, My Fur Lady, which toured the country, and was acclaimed as “a timely, sometimes racy and nearly always funny spoof of national self-consciousness.” Attending a World University Service seminar in West Africa on behalf of McGill the same year, he became firm friends with a fellow participant, Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

Photo: From Beatrice Donald

When Trudeau became Prime Minister, Tim accepted his offer of a job as his chief speech writer, and after two years became Trudeau’s Executive Assistant. Over his five years at Trudeau’s side he became recognized as (in the words of his Order of Canada citation) a ''top level political strategist.'' Following his years with Trudeau, Tim worked as Associate Director and Director of the Canada Council for the Arts (1973-1985), Associate Director of the Canadian Centre for Architecture (1986-1988), and President of the Ontario College of Art and Design from 1988 until he retired in 1995.

Tim served on many Boards and Advisory Committees, among them the National Theatre School of Canada, the Montréal Symphony Orchestra, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the National Arts Centre, and national museums.
Tim was awarded the Order of Canada in October 2003, in recognition of his public service, and received an Honorary Doctorate from Trent University in 1986.

Memorial donations are gratefully accepted by the National Theatre School of Canada and applied toward the Timothy Porteous Prize, a bursary in support of promising musical theatre students.

On-line at: or by phone at: 514-842-7954 x149
By mail at: 5030 St-Denis Street, Montreal, QC H2J 2L8

Photo: Timothy Porteous (in the dark suit) having a fun moment with the Right-Honourable Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada (1980-1984)

Make a donation in memory of Timothy Porteous


Member of the pilot committee to found the National Theatre School of Canada

With his daughter by his side, David died peacefully on Saturday, February 8th at Toronto General Hospital. With his leave, the School and the arts community are losing a friend and a seasoned actor, director, and historian. From the screen to the stage to the classroom, Dr. Gardner was distinguished by his passion and devotion for arts education. Born in Toronto, Dr. Gardner made his debut onstage with Toronto's Hart House Theatre, playing classics such as Othello and Macbeth. From there on stems an incredible career in theatre.

In 1960, Dr. Gardner and Vincent Tovell prepared the blueprint plan for the National Theatre School of Canada, which has become the Canadian centre of excellence in theatre training. Many of Canada’s most important theatre, performance, film, and television artists have been trained at the school. He leaves a lasting legacy for the young artists who graduate every year from the National Theatre School, and for the many Canadian theatres he helped to launch and which continue to inspire audiences to this day.

Photo: Northernstars

Dr. Gardner's contributions to Canadian Theatre are numerous, but among them, he was Artistic Director for Vancouver Playhouse (1969) and during his tenure as Theatre Officer for the Canada Council for the Arts (1971-1972), David was instrumental in launching a new era of alternative and Indigenous theatre, introducing and subsidizing 25 new Alternative Theatre companies across Canada.

Dr. Gardner returned to academic life in the mid-1970s, taking first an MA (1974) and then a Ph.D. (1983) in Canadian Theatre History at the University of Toronto, where he also taught and directed. He lectured at York University, the National Theatre School of Canada, and for 20 years taught the ‘Acting for Camera’ course at George Brown College. During this time, he also appeared in productions.

The receiver of numerous awards, it is especially his generosity, humility, loyalty, and strength in the face of adversity for which he will be remembered in our collective memory and the School is infinitely grateful to him for his contribution to the well-being of Canadian theatre training.

Photo: Erik Christensen/THE GLOBE AND MAIL
Make a donation in memory of David Gardner


Lifetime Governor (since October 2000)
Director of NTS (1991-1997)
Artistic Director of the French Section (1997-2000)
Recipient of the Gascon-Thomas Award (2008)


Monique Mercure was one of Quebec's greatest cultural icons and an important figure in the history of the National Theatre School.

Artistic Director (1997-2000), Director (1991-1997), and Lifetime Governor (since October 2000) of NTS, Monique Mercure also had a prolific career in theatre, film and television, and won many prestigious awards for her involvement in the performing arts.

In 1993, she won the Governor General's Performing Arts Award, the Prix Denise-Pelletier, and the Gascon-Roux Award for the role of Hécube in Les Troyennes (The Trojan Women) by Euripides at the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde. Then, in 2010, she was awarded the title of Grand Officer of the Ordre national du Québec in recognition of her lifetime career.

Credit for the photo on the left: Serge Gauvin

Monique Mercure began her career in theatre in 1960 with her first role in the play L'Opéra de quat'sous at the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde. One of the great moments of the stage, for which she is still famous today, is when she played Albertine at 70 in Michel Tremblay's play Albertine en cinq temps.

In film, one of the greatest roles of her career is undoubtedly the one of Rose-Aimée Martin in the film J.A. Martin photographe (1976) by director Jean Beaudin. It was for this role that she won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival, making her the first actress from Quebec to ever receive this award.

In television, she distinguished herself in Providence and Mémoires vives, two successful series broadcast by Radio-Canada.

She will be remembered as a great performer but also as a woman of daring and dedication.

Photo on the left: Monique Mercure and Marc Béland at the Théâtre du Rideau Vert, photo by Guy Dubois.
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Director of the Interprétation and Écriture dramatique programs (1980-1985)
Assistant to the Interprétation program director (1971 to 1980)
Teacher in the Interprétation program 
Recipient of the Gascon-Thomas Award (1992)

"We all have a little bit of Michelle Rossignol in us. She's had a huge influence on us."

- René Richard Cyr (Interprétation, 1980)

Michelle Rossignol was an actress, director, and artistic director. She was also an important artist in the history of NTS and had a prolific career in theatre, film, and television.

Michelle Rossignol taught in the Interprétation program for several years, and then from 1971 to 1980, she became Assistant Director of the Interprétation program and finally held the position of Director of the Interprétation and Écriture dramatique programs until 1985.

Quebec's arts and culture was always close to her heart and she was head of the Centre du Théâtre d'Aujourd'hui from 1988 to 1998, the only theatre devoted entirely to Quebec dramaturgy. She also received numerous awards and distinctions that show her commitment to promoting Quebec theatre: the Victor-Morin prize from the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste (1982), the Coopérants trophy, the Gascon-Thomas Award from the National Theatre School (1992), and she was also made an Officer of the Order of Canada and a chevalier of the Ordre national du Québec (2001).

She will be remembered as an energetic, spirited, lively woman and an actress of immense talent.

Photo credit: La Presse
On the photo: Gilles Renaud (Interprétation 1967) and Michelle Rossignol
Make a donation in memory of Michelle Rossignol