- Can you briefly introduce yourself?
My name is Guillaume Saindon. I am from Rimouski, Quebec. Having completed a bachelor's degree in theatre at the University of Ottawa, I am beginning a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Directing. Recently, I was lucky to be chosen as one of the actors as part of the D-Day 75th anniversary commemorative ceremony at Juno Beach. I delivered this performance in front of veterans and dignitaries such as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his French counterpart, Édouard Philippe.
- What relationship do you have with the Canadian Armed Forces?
My father being a veteran, I have a rather special relationship with the Canadian army. With over 36 years of service in the Air Force, his career was not without repercussions on our family life. Yet, despite moving numerous times, we were filled with a sense of pride – that which comes from serving one’s country and building a better future for generations to come. I wish my parents could have attended the ceremony, but it was not possible given the security measures.
- I would imagine that this participation aroused certain emotions in you. Can you tell me more about it?
Of course. Simply being in this emblematic place with such deep significance not only for Canada but for all of Europe, was overwhelming. Indeed, what struck me the most was being in the presence of veterans who were there on D-Day. They had come in large numbers – 43 to be exact – to see me interpret their own story, say what they said and share what they shared years later. Receiving their praise was a real honour for me; words cannot describe this feeling. It’s this kind of situation that leads you to self-reflection and forces you to be more humble. I kept wondering: "Who am I to re-enact this scene, faking tears, compared to those who shed real tears 75 years ago?"
- Is there a special memory from this trip that you would like to share with us?
I’d say the highlight of this short stay was the chance encounters and the bonds that I forged with my team members. Not only were we constantly collaborating during working hours but we also took advantage of being in France to dine together in good restaurants in the evenings. This helped relieve the nervousness that an event of this calibre could cause us. Being able to trust your fellow comedians is crucial to the smooth running of the event. Hooray for teamwork!