From a humble beginning - born in 1961 in Sherbrooke, Quebec - Marcel Grimard has adapted to his life obstacles by following wherever life would lead him.
Graduating in 1993 with a Master's Degree in career counseling, he took a position as a Vocational Rehabilitator for people living with severe mental illness in Kapuskasing, Ontario. He developed and implemented community services such as a community kitchen, a leisure program and a volunteer program in Kapuskasing and Hearst. While in Northern Ontario, he became a founding member of the board of directors of the Francophone community radio station, CKGN-Kapuskasing. He participated in other projects such as the Workers' Co-op Septentrion [don't know what Septentrion means] and a self-help group for friends and family of people living with schizophrenia.
In 1996, he moved to North Bay and began doctorate studies in Sociology and Equity Studies in Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). He relocated to Toronto in 1998, joining the Franco-Ontarian Research Institute at OISE as a research assistant in sociolinguistics, writing several papers and speaking at several conferences before having to discontinue his doctoral studies upon contracting HIV.
For several years, he pursued a career as a civil servant for the province of Ontario and became involved in the Toronto Francophone community, sitting on several boards of directors and helping to found several francophone agencies - FrancoQueer, Action Positive VIH-Sida (APVS) and Reflet Salveo, and the Toronto Francophone community radio station, CHOQ-FM. He developed a leadership and employment program for new Francophone immigrants and participated in several provincial consultations on Franco-Ontarian issues.
In 2010, several deaths in Marcel Grimard’s family, including those of his father and his partner, triggered a spiral into mental illness and addiction. This descent was further aggravated by the lack of relevant French language services. He fought his way back to recovery, largely due to crafting his own mental health rehabilitation plan through the arts. Marcel is currently studying Visual Arts at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario.
Marcel Grimard's first short movie, The Fall: Autopsy of a Suicide is partly auto-biographical, digging deeply into his lived experience of mental Illness and addiction.