Gilles Vigneault

Gilles Vigneault
Background information
Born (1928-10-27) 27 October 1928
Natashquan, Quebec
Occupation(s) Poet, publisher, singer-songwriter
Years active 1959–present

Gilles Vigneault, GOQ (French pronunciation: [ʒil viɲo]; born 27 October 1928) is a Quebecer poet, publisher and singer-songwriter, and Quebec nationalist and sovereigntist. Two of his songs are considered by many to be Quebec's unofficial anthems: "Mon pays"[1] and "Les gens de mon pays",[2] and his line Mon pays ce n'est pas un pays, c'est l'hiver (My country is not a country, it is winter, from "Mon Pays") became a proverb in Quebec.[3] Vigneault is a Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec, Knight of the Legion of Honour, Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Life and career

Vigneault was born in Natashquan, on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec.

Vigneault started writing poetry during his studies at the Seminary in Rimouski, and by the 1950s was publishing poems and writing songs for other performers. In 1959 he founded the publishing house Les Éditions de l'Arc to distribute his publications.[1] His first collection, Étraves, was published in 1959.[4]

In 1960 Vigneault made his singing debut at the L'Arlequin club in Quebec City.[1] followed by a successful Montreal concert later that year.[5] In 1962 he recorded his first album, Gilles Vigneault, and received the Grand prix du disque from Montreal radio station CKAC. His reputation grew in Quebec and beyond with the success of his song "Mon Pays", from the soundtrack of the NFB film La neige a fondu sur la Manicouagan (1965).[6]

Vigneault's reputation as a songwriter and performer grew and he became popular not only in Quebec, but also in English Canada and Europe.[7] Vigneault performed in major Canadian concert halls, including Montreal's Place des Arts, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, and at Toronto's Massey Hall. In Europe he toured in France, Switzerland, Poland, Belgium and Luxembourg.[1]

The mid-1970s saw Vigneault's participation in several major events. On 13 August 1974, 130,000 spectators came together on the Plains of Abraham for the Superfrancofête, where Vigneault participated in an historic concert alongside Félix Leclerc and Robert Charlebois. The concert was recorded and released as the album J'ai vu le loup, le renard, le lion. At the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day concert "Les 5 Jean-Baptistes" on Montreal's Mount Royal on 24 June 1976, Gilles Vigneault performed together with Robert Charlebois, Claude Léveillée, Jean-Pierre Ferland and Yvon Deschamps. This concert was recorded and released as Une fois cinq, which later received the Grand Prix du Disque (the Charles Cros award).[2]

Vigneault's political views have remained strongly in favour of national sovereignty for Quebec. During the Quebec general election, 2014 campaign Gilles Vigneault supported the Parti Québécois.[8]

The main subjects of Vigneault's writing are Quebec and its people, as well as human relationships, love and everyday life.[7] Vigneault is also concerned with environmental issues and has written songs and tales for children.[6]


Gilles Vigneault has seven children: Michel, Louis, François (a poet and a lyricist), Pascale, Guillaume (a novelist), Jessica (a pianist and a singer) and Benjamin (a percussionist).[2]




Vigneault has received a number of honorary doctorates including:

Vigneault has received numerous awards and honours:

He is a Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec (2000), Knight of the Légion d'honneur (1986), and Officier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1990).[25]

Several cultural institutions and streets in Quebec and France bear the name of Gilles Vigneault:

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 Hélène Plouffe. "Gilles Vigneault". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 "Biographie Gilles Vigneault". musicMe. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  3. "Gilles Vigneault." Oxford Essential Quotations. Ed. Ratcliffe, Susan. : Oxford University Press. Oxford Reference. 2012. Date Accessed 6 May. 2014.
  4. " - This website is for sale! - ecouterlirepenser Resources and Information.". Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  5. Marshall, Joyce. "Vigneault, Gilles." The Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature. : Oxford University Press, 1997. Oxford Reference. 2006. Date Accessed 6 May. 2014
  6. 1 2 "Vigneault". RFI Musique. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  7. 1 2 "Vigneault, Gilles - Oxford Reference". Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  8. "Quebec songwriter Gilles Vigneault's heart 'broken' by PQ loss". 4 May 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  9. Gilles Vigneault. "Gilles Vigneault | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-04-19.
  10. Trent Honorary Graduates
  11. webmestre. "Doctorats honorifiques - Cérémonies et distinctions - UQAR". Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  12. "Doctorat honorifique: Gilles Vigneault". Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  13. "Senate". Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  14. "Mon Pays". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  15. "Governor General's Literary Awards - Canadian awards". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  16. Alexis Luko. "Prix de musique Calixa-Lavallée". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  17. Gagné, Marc (1977). Gilles Vigneault :bibliographie descriptive et critique, discographie, filmographie, iconographie, chronologie. Québec: Presses de l'Université Laval,. p. 430. ISBN 0774667990.
  18. "Gilles VIGNEAULT". Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  19. "Cumulative List - The Canada Council for the Arts". Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  20. "Les Prix du Québec - le lauréat Gilles Vigneault". Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  21. "Jacques-Blanchet, médaille (prix de musique)". Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  22. "Grande médaille de la chanson française". Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  23. "Award Recipients - Governor General's Performing Arts Awards (GGPAA)". Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  24. "Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  25. Gilles Vigneault - Ordre national du Québec
  26. "Cégep de Rimouski". Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  27. "Info-travaux". Commission scolaire de Montréal (CSDM). Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  28. Des Images et des Mots. "Ecole Gilles Vigneault de Marseille". Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  29. 1 2 "Google Maps". Google Maps. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  30. "Google Maps". Google Maps. Retrieved 4 March 2016.

Further reading

External links

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