Sherbrooker Bertha Benitez, well known for her involvement in the Festival of World Traditions, died last Monday from cancer, at the age of 57. “Everywhere on Facebook, people put pictures of them with her, as we often do on birthdays. She still unleashed a party without wanting it! Notes Lyne Giguère, who has worked with her at the FTMS for many years.
“At every press conference I have always presented it as the soul of the festival. It’s a big word, but really, she flirted with the festival, she was comfortable there, she had it in her blood, “says Ms. Giguère.
Ms. Benitez, a native Venezuelan, was involved in organizing the event from its earliest days, initially as a volunteer.
Subsequently, she became coordinator of programming. “She had an instinct for music. She knew how to find and choose good bands: she printed sheets with her choices and we sold them in a meeting. She built the program with a lot of love, and wanted to have some dancing. She was passionate and smiling, we could not spend a meeting with her without laughing! And she knew how to dose the programming, which was not easy at the beginning of the festival. ”
In addition to being talented, Ms. Benitez was highly regarded by her colleagues and artists who performed at the FTMS. “She was always interested in the people she met, everyone felt it. She had that gift of making people feel important. (…) She was fast friends with people, and for her, friends, it was precious. If someone from the Festival organization was not well, she would see him and tell him to relax, “reports Ms. Giguère.
“We were happy to know her, to be part of her life. ”
Ms. Benitez had to withdraw from the FTMS organization after the 2012 edition to look after her health.
“She continued to receive at home with her husband, she made some nice trips and she fought her cancer like a queen. I saw her in December, and she still said to me “I’m alive!” […] She did not want us to cry her death. It is important that we focus on the happiness of having known, “summarizes Ms. Giguère.
Ms. Benitez had three children. His family will hold a celebration in his honor on Saturday, May 5, between 11 am and 4 pm at the Mont Orford Golf Club.