René Cormier

Senator René Cormier


The Honourable René Cormier joined the Senate of Canada on November 15, 2016, as an independent senator from New Brunswick. Senator Cormier is a man of action committed to a citizen-driven approach to the development of Acadia, New Brunswick, and La francophonie. He has extensive professional experience in arts and culture.

Educated in music at l’Université du Québec à Montréal and in theatre at l’École internationale Jacques LeCoq, in Paris, this multidisciplinary artist has held a number of positions within Canada’s cultural ecosystem, including that of artistic director, director, actor, musician, composer, cultural manager,  and announcer. 

A renowned leader and accomplished artist, Senator Cormier has been working for nearly
40 years to ensure that arts and culture are better integrated in every aspect of Acadian and Canadian society. He has led countless cultural organizations and events, including providing direction for and presenting a number of variety shows on Radio-Canada television,
providing artistic and general direction at the Théâtre populaire d’Acadie, artistic direction for the National Arts Centre biennial Zones Théâtrales, artistic direction for the 2009 Congrès mondial acadien, and management of the États généraux des arts et de la culture dans la société acadienne au Nouveau-Brunswick within the Association acadienne des artistes professionnel.le.s du Nouveau-Brunswick (AAAPNB). In that role, Senator Cormier worked tirelessly with his colleagues on bringing together various linguistic and cultural communities in his native province.

Honourable René Cormier is very involved in his community and has also chaired a number of national and international organizations, including the Commission internationale du théâtre francophone (CITF), the Fédération culturelle canadienne-française (FCCF), the Association des théâtres francophones du Canada (ATFC), and the New Brunswick Arts Board. He has also sat on a number of boards of directors, including that of TV5 Québec-Canada, the Canadian Conference of the Arts, and the Atlantic Visual Arts Festival. 

A lifelong Acadian activist, from June 2015 until his appointment to the Upper Chamber,
Senator Cormier presided over the Société Nationale de l’Acadie (SNA), the representative organization for the Acadian people in Atlantic Canada, nationally, and internationally.

Senator Cormier is recognized for his integrity, his professionalism, his ability to bring people together, and his motivational skills. He has earned many recognitions throughout his career including an honorary doctorate in arts and culture from the Université de Moncton (2018), the Ordre des francophones d’Amérique (2008), the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de France (2003), the Éloize award for theatre artist of the year (2000), the Jean-Claude Marcus award for his contribution to francophone theatre in Canada, and the Economic Council of New Brunswick manager of the year award in 2000.

Since his arrival in the Upper Chamber, Senator Cormier has demonstrated a strong commitment to international diplomacy through his involvement in parliamentary associations, interparliamentary groups and friendship groups. In particular, he is Vice-President of the Canada-France Interparliamentary Association and Director on the Executive Committee of the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association.

Senator René Cormier lives in Caraquet, New Brunswick, a vibrant Acadian municipality known as the cultural capital of Acadia.