President and Founder, Just for Laughs Group
President and Founder
Just for Laughs Group
Founding president of the Just for Laughs Group, Gilbert Rozon was born in Montreal on October 26, 1954, and grew up in Saint-André d’Argenteuil. He began working at a young age as a paperboy and by the time he turned 14, had tried his hand as a gravedigger, salesman, printer, publisher of business telephone directories, and more.
After graduating in law from Université de Montréal, he was called to the Quebec Bar in 1984. Four years earlier, he had created his first major event, the Grande virée festival in Lachute, which drew over 60,000 people in its first year (and more than 80,000 in its second), thanks to a lineup that included some of the biggest names in Quebec and French showbiz.
In 1982, Gilbert Rozon got a crazy idea. A creator at heart, he saw that every artistic discipline had its own festival — except comedy. The first annual Just for Laughs Festival opened on July 14, 1983. Today, Quebec’s favourite festival is presented by Videotron in association with Loto-Quebec and is one of the biggest cultural gatherings in Canada. It’s also considered the largest comedy event in the world, attracting nearly 2 million visitors to Montreal each summer.
In 2012, Mr. Rozon was named commissioner of the corporation in charge of Montreal’s 375th anniversary celebrations.