By the 1990s the importance of Françoise Sullivan within Montréal's dance history was solidified. In February 1992, Daniel Jackson, Artistic Director of Montréal Danse at that time, produced a concert called Duos. Jackson's mission was to inform dancers and audiences about Montreal's dance history. The result was an evening of duets by seven Montreal choreographers; Sullivan's Dualité was included. In September of that same year, Danse-Cité presented Ginette Boutin in Danse Françoise Sullivan. Boutin appeared in Black and Tan Fantasy, Gothique, La femme archaïque, Dédale, and Elles, a new solo Sullivan choreographed for her, in collaboration with Boutin, which honoured the life of Fanny Mendelssohn. This production was remounted at the Musée de Québec for one performance a few months later in December and at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa in 1993. The public response at every performance was overwhelmingly enthusiastic.
Sullivan's interdisciplinary talent has received many awards and accolades throughout her career, including: the Prix Maurice-Cullen (1943), the Prix du Québec (1963), the Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award (1983) and the Prix Paul-Émile Borduas (1987). On November 7, 1998, Françoise Sullivan received an honorary degree from Toronto's York University in recognition of her contributions to the arts in Canada. "My adventurous spirit," she told the capped and gowned graduates before her, "has led me towards both choreography and the visual arts and, to this day, I continue my passionate journey. I think of it as a destiny. Always, since a childhood fascinated by the arts I figured my share of work in society to be invested in art." In 2000, the Université du Québec à Montréal granted Sullivan an honorary doctorate for her life's work in the arts. The following year, Sullivan was named a Member of the Order of Canada. Finally, in 2005, Sullivan was awarded one of the prestigious Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts for artistic achievement. As part of the honour, her work was shown in an exhibition of the recipients held at the National Gallery of Canada.
Throughout her long career, Sullivan's visual arts work has been represented in national and international galleries and in solo and group exhibitions. One of the most important exhibitions of her work occurred in 1993 when the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec held a retrospective of Sullivan's artistic accomplishments. In 2003, the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts did the same. As visitors climbed a staircase at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts to emerge on the second floor they were greeted by Sullivan's most recent work, her Hommages series - massive monochrome canvases created in honour of deceased friends and relatives that loomed like silent titans guarding the entrance to Sullivan's psyche. Each gallery room presented a period, project or theme in Sullivan's artistic trajectory. Childhood paintings. The Automatists. Danse dans la neige. Walk from the Musée d'art contemporain to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and back. In one corner, a television played a continuous video loop showing Sullivan's choreographic work in performance. Among the small gathering of people who were sitting on couches or standing in a semi-circle around the television were a few young women with dancerly grace and posture who were entranced by the images flickering in front of them. After a lifetime devoted to the arts, Sullivan's creativity still continues to engage and inspire.
©2006, Dance Collection Danse