Stage director, filmmaker, screenwriter, actor. According to the Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia “[a]rguably the country's most important director”, Brassard has worked in both French and English productions for cinema, television, and theatre since 1965. His collaboration with Québécois playwright Michel Tremblay started in 1968 with the mise-en-scene of Les Belles Soeurs at the Théâtre du Rideau Vert in Montreal. Since then, Brassard has directed all of Tremblay’s plays on stage, and two film adaptations: the (proto)queer classic Il était une fois dans l’est (1972) and Le soleil se lève en retard (1974).
Comfortable with both ancient classics and contemporary Québécois plays (his dream was to build a Québécois theatre based on non-Québécois repertory work) Brassard has developed his career in tandem with but also outside of his professional relationship with Tremblay. Among the many significant premieres he has directed, particular interest was devoted to queer-oriented works such as Michel Marc Bouchard 's Les Feluettes /Lilies and Brad Fraser 's Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love (both adapted later on for the silver screen by John Greyson and Denys Arcand respectively).
Brassard’s involvement with theatre has also included the direction of major theatre establishments such as the French Theatre of the National Arts Centre (1983-1989), and the French section of the National Theatre School of Canada since 1991. After a cerebral stroke in 2000 left him on a wheelchair—without however depriving him of his esprit de vivre—Brassard has bared his soul and life in a recent biography written and curated by Guillaume Corbeil.