Jacques Bernier is chair of Baker McKenzie’s Canadian Tax Practice – he is also a passionate collector of modern and contemporary art from Canada and abroad. Over the last fifteen years, his involvement in the visual arts has included building and curating corporate collections and multiple engagements with local galleries and art-focused initiatives like Casey’s House’s Art with Heart auction.
Growing up, Mr. Bernier often visited the National Gallery in Ottawa which spurred his interest in visiting museums during his later travels. “Things changed all of a sudden about twenty years ago during a family trip to the Laurentians in Québec” he says. “I came back with three works, two of them were ‘bad paintings’, while the third one was a minor work from Québec artist Jean-Paul Lemieux. The rest is history: a casual hobby became a real passion, if not an addiction.”
Mr. Bernier views his interests in Law and Art as complimentary: “Good art makes a nice addition to the law firm environment. Lawyers work with concepts just as artists do. Art can be a powerful tool to project a corporate image or simply create energy by stimulating conversations with clients or among the lawyers and staff.”
The role of President at the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery is to provide governance and support of the gallery, oversee the strategic vision and activities of the institution and lead fundraising activities. “The Power Plant brings the best art in the world to Toronto” says Mr. Bernier when considering his priorities in this new role. “My immediate focus is to bring Toronto to that art. In the longer run, my focus will be to work with the other art institutions to put Toronto on the map as a real destination for the visual arts, making Toronto a more vibrant city!”
Learn more about The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery.