The Jean Boileau award

This annual award aims to underscore the work and involvement of a hot air balloon pilot, volunteer or member of the organizing committee. Its creation was announced in 2007 at the moving tribute to Mr. Boileau during the Festival’s 20th anniversary.

As the Hot Air Balloon Festival's General Director from its inception to 2001, Jean Boileau helped rally numerous volunteers, pilots and different artists, making this event a must-see family and tourist activity in the Outaouais.

A selection committee comprising current and past organizers, including Jean Boileau, has the task of designating the recipient.


2017 - 30th edition

Thérèse Cyr Receives the Jean Boileau Award

Thérèse Cyr and Jean Boileau


Ask her anything at all about the Festival’s history, and Thérèse Cyr will have the answer!

As one of the Festival’s founding members, Thérèse has contributed to its growth, in particular by inviting dozens of community associations to join and by getting them to help sell wristband passports before and during the event. Thérèse has been a volunteer with the FMG for 30 years, and is the only one who has been on the organizing committee since the very first edition!

“Her dedication has been a source of inspiration for the volunteers, many of whom have gotten involved precisely because of her,” explained Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival founder and Gatineau’s Director of Communications Jean Boileau.


2016 - 29th edition

Diane Latreille receives the Jean Boileau Award



An outstanding volunteer, Diane Latreille, is this year's recipient of the Jean Boileau Award!

As head of the Lost Children and Infant Care Committee, she relies on a team of 50 volunteers to ensure the well-being of the children throughout the site from the time it opens until it closes. And as if this were not enough, she also makes herself available the week before the event to help welcome RVers!

"Drying tears and comforting fears is not something that just anyone can do, but for Diane Latreille and her team of volunteers, it is more than possible. Through her volunteer work, Diane has created a home on the parc de la Baie site to welcome and care for children who have gotten carried away by the excitement of the activities at the Festival and for a few moments let go of their parents' hands. For 29 years, she has been the adoptive mother of the Festival's children, comforting them with her big heart, dedication, and tender smile," noted Jean Boileau, the founder of the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival, and the director of communications for Ville de Gatineau.

2015 - 28th edition

Berthe Miron receives the Jean Boileau Award


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Berthe Miron is one of the founding members of the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival, along with Jean Boileau, Claire Vaive and Thérèse Cyr.

“The Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival would saw some of its grandest years under Berthe Miron’s presidency, with close to 150 hot air balloons and 225,000 visitors annually,” explained Jean Boileau, Festival founder and communications director for Gatineau. “The landmark event of her presidency was in 1998, when World Hot Air Airship Championship was held for the very first time in North America along with regular hot air balloon flights. Thanks to her determination, her commitment to compromise and justice, during the six years of her presidency, she managed to earn the trust of the 1,500 volunteers and members of the organizing committee, and turned the Festival into a source of pride for the residents of Gatineau and the Outaouais,” added Mr. Boileau.

The Jean Boileau Award highlights the involvement of the people who make the event. Berthe Miron will receive her award on the Casino Lac-Leamy Stage on Sunday, September 6.

2014 – 27th edition

Hugo Girard receives the Jean Boileau Award


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In 1999, Gatineau police officer Hugo Girard suggested to Jean Boileau that the Festival include strength athlete demonstrations. The rest is history! This larger than life athlete was crowned world champion in 2002, and was instrumental in promoting the athletic side of this sport. He was the North American champion in 2001 and 2002, and once even pulled an 80-tonne Boeing 737!Although he no longer competes, he is deeply involve...d in organizing our North American Championship! The Jean Boileau Award highlights the involvement of the people who make the event. Hugo, one of the Festival’s great ambassadors received his award on the Loto-Québec Stage on Sunday, August 31.

2013 – 26th edition

Rolly Hammond receives the Jean Boileau Award



Gatineau’s Rolly Hammond, line producer for the event from 1992 to 1999, will receive the Jean Boileau Award for this 26th edition! “Rolly Hammond is the one to whom we owe the continuous entertainment formula used throughout parc de la Baie. From the main stage to the rides, he helped bring heart and meaning to this big family party,” explained Festival founder Jean Boileau. The 86 year-old Rolly Hammond has had a unique career! Actor, producer, impersonator and entertainer, he has made the rounds of the world of showbiz, from Quebec to Hollywood. In addition to being the French voice of Donald Duck, he has shared the stage with some of the biggest names, including Ray Charles and Johnny Cash! It is thanks to his contacts and experience that the Festival was able to attract famous artists such as Céline Dion, Gilles Vigneault, Alannah Myles and Robert Charlebois.

2012 - 25th Edition

Claire vaive receives the Jean Boileau Award!



For this 25th anniversary, the Jean Boileau award, which is given once a year to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the Festival, goes to Claire Vaive. As the founding president, Claire Vaive managed to convince local elected officials, volunteers, associations and businesses of the need to create an event for Gatineau residents and families that would give them a chance to get together and that would position the region on the national and international playing field

2011 - 24th Edition

The Jean Boileau award for this 24th



The Jean Boileau award for this 24th edition goes posthumously to Walter Grishkot, founder and organizer over 30 years of the Adirondack Balloon Festival (Glens Falls, New York).

Walter Grishkot, who died in May 2011 at the age of 85, was a powerful ally in promoting the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival among American pilots and media

2010 - 23rd Edition

Lyne Leduc receives the Jean Boileau Award



The 23rd Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival Jean Boileau Award goes to Lyne Leduc. This is the third time that the Festival gives this award to a pillar of this great gathering. Ms. Leduc has been looking after wristband-passport pre-sales and sales since the very first editions of the Festival. “A lot has changed,” she points out. « Every year, we make adjustments to better meet the needs of our guests and volunteers. » She adds: « I’ve always enjoyed what I do, working with a terrific team. »

2009 - 22nd Edition

Jean-Claude Barbe receives the Jean Boileau Award



For a second year, the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival will be giving the Jean Boileau award to a pillar of this cultural event. This year’s honouree is Jean-Claude Barbe.

Mr. Barbe has been in charge of the electrical and plumbing crews at the site since the very first edition. This is an enormous responsibility when you consider the size of the site!

« I am very fortunate to have been part of the Festival since its beginning and to have had the chance to work with people I greatly appreciate », indicated the man of the hour.

2008 - 21st Edition

Carolyn Mitrow - First Winner of the Jean Boileau Award



Carolyn, a Chelsea resident who has been a hot air balloon pilot since 1987, was for many years involved with the hot air balloon side of the Festival, among other things as the flight director. Her leadership and skills played a large part in the Festival’s growth.

Ms. Mitrow receives her award, a work by artist Monique Savard, from Jean Boileau, the founder of the event, and Alain Fredette, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, on the Molson Dry Main Stage, on Saturday, August 30, 2008.