Cirque du Soleil
After discovering artistic gymnastics as a child, Bernard followed his passion all the way to the Canadian university circuit, where he won numerous titles including “Athlete of the Year" from Quebec City’s Université Laval in 1975. Then, along with one of his professors, he founded Club Salto in the same city, where he created the women’s gymnastics program and coached for eight years.
Upon completing his Master’s degree, Bernard was recruited by Montreal ’s Club Gymnix to take the reins of the advanced gymnastics program while simultaneously teaching at Université de Montréal. In 1997, he created an advanced training program for coaches at the National Multisport Centre in Montreal as part of the National Coaching Certification Program. Bernard’s career as a coach was prolific: in addition to taking part in 13 World Championships, he trained four Olympic athletes, more than any other Quebec coach.
In 1998, Cirque du Soleil recruited Bernard to head up its training studio, directing training programs for acrobats and supervising coaches and medical staff.