In honour of the Champlain Saint-Lambert’s 50th anniversary, the college has followed up with 50 of its alumni to see where their paths have led after their time in Cegep. These 50 former students have gone on to accomplish amazing things and their paths show just how much is possible for a Champlain grad.
This grad pursued his passion for comedy and found international acclaim.
Derek Seguin (Social Science, 1993) is a well-known Quebec comedian who has performed at the Just For Laughs festival six times and received a Juno Award nomination for Comedy Album of the Year in 2021.
When he started at Champlain a little over 30 years ago, he thought he was going to be a businessman.
“We wanted to be rich guys wearing suits basically,” he joked.
Seguin quickly realized that Commerce wasn’t for him and ended up switching into Social Science.
He recalled his time at Cegep as being academically challenging and said he learned how to be a better student by the time he enrolled at Concordia University in Urban Studies.
Attracted to a career in entertainment, Seguin was discouraged from studying film due to the precarious career outlook in show business.
Instead, he worked in technology, consulting and marketing for many years before he discovered a talent for comedy.
Seguin took part in his first open mic stand-up comedy performance when he was in his 30s and said he was instantly addicted.
But with two kids at home and a steady job already, Seguin decided to pursue comedy merely as a hobby.
“I loved doing it, so I was doing it for free,” he said.
In 2005, Seguin was invited to perform in the Just For Laughs Festival for the first time, and he started to think he could actually make a living out of his passion for comedy.
“I said ‘I’m going to be a huge star,’ so I quit my job right away,” he joked.
Seguin continued to take on consulting work along with comedy gigs and began performing full-time in 2008.
That was the year collaborated with Mike Ward and Maxim Martin on “French Comedy Bastards”, a touring show which brought Quebec-style comedy to anglophone audiences.
Seguin has performed across the country and appears regularly on the CBC Radio comedy series The Debaters.
In October 2015, Seguin won the 6th annual Canadian Top Comic competition, presented by SiriusXM Canada in association with the Just For Laughs festival.
His comedy album, PanDerek (1st Wave!), earned him a Juno Award nomination.
“Even now, I almost don’t believe it,” he said of his success. “I’m always overwhelmed by how lucky I am.”
Seguin’s advice for current students and recent grads: “Find something that you love to do for yourself and pursue it at all costs. Do it for yourself, not for the reward, the job, the money — that will come. Find something you love and never let it go. Continue pursuing that thing and eventually it will become your vocation.”