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27 October 1928 |
|Occupations||Poet, publisher, singer-songwriter|
A poet deeply rooted in his native Quebec, Vigneault has become an icon at home and Quebec ambassador abroad. He is one of the principal figures of the generation of chansonniers who helped the Quebec chanson find its own identity, even while helping it find a universal dimension.
Vigneault started writing poetry during his studies at the Seminary in Rimouski, and by the 1950s was publishing poems and writing songs. In 1959 he founded a publishing house, Les Éditions de l'Arc to distribute his publications. His first collection, Étraves was published in 1959.
In August 1960, at the request of the audience at the boîte à chansons L'Arlequin in Quebec City, he agreed to sing his earliest song: Jos Monferrand, written in 1957, which had been recorded by Jacques Labrecque in 1959. This was the beginning of his singing career which sprang up in 1962, when he received the Grand prix du disque from Montreal radio station CKAC. His reputation grew in Quebec and elsewhere with the success of his song Mon Pays, from the sound track of the NFB film La neige a fondu sur la Manicouagan (1965).
In the last half of the 1960s, Vigneault started to perform outside of Quebec, notably in France, but also elsewhere in Canada, including appearances at the Mariposa Folk Festival and at Massey Hall, in Toronto.
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, a representative, in a way, of the older generation, and Robert Charlebois, of the younger generation. A highpoint of the concert was the threesome's rendition of Raymond Lévesque's powerful Quand les hommes vivront d'amour.
In 1976, the Ensemble Claude-Gervaise recorded an album of Vigneault's music entitled Tout l'monde est malheureux: "Claude-Gervaise" Joue Vigneault.
On 25 February 2010, Gilles Vigneault has signed, together with 500 artists, the call to support the international campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against alleged Israeli apartheid.
He has seven children: Michel, Louis, François, Pascale, Guillaume, Jessica and Benjamin. His son Guillaume Vigneault is a young novelist of note.
A partial discography of Vigneault's work includes:
1960-1990: Chemin faisant, cent et une chansons (1990)
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Vigneault has received a number of honorary doctorates including:
Vigneault has received numerous awards and honours:
- Prix Félix-Leclerc for the song Mon pays (1965)
- Governor General's Award for French language poetry or drama (1965)
- Prix de musique Calixa-Lavallée (1966)
- Grand Prix du Disque of the Charles Cros Academy, Paris (in 1970 for Du milieu du pont; in 1984 for two recordings for children: Les Quatre saisons de Piquot and Quelques pas dans l'univers d'Éviola)
- Molson Prize (1982)
- Prix Denise-Pelletier conferred by the Quebec government (1983)
- Jacques-Blanchet medal (1987)
- Vermeil medal of the City of Paris (1990)
- Governor General's Performing Arts Award - Lifetime Artistic Achievement (1993)
- Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (2006)
See also 
- "Gilles Vigneault (biography)". Radio France Internationale. March 2004. Retrieved 2009-02-03.
- Tadamon!: 500 Artists Against Israeli Apartheid
Further reading 
- Robitaille, Aline (1968). Gilles Vigneault (in French). Montréal: Leméac Editeur Inc. ISBN 978-2-7609-1931-0.
- Rioux, Lucien (1969). Gilles Vigneault : Présentation par Lucien Rioux. Choix de chansons ... Paris: Editions P. Seghers. OCLC 49085576.
- Fournier, Roger (1972). Gilles Vigneault, mon ami (in French). Montréal: La Presse. ISBN 978-0-7777-0026-6.
- Gagné, Marc (1974). Propos de Gilles Vigneault. Le Pays par lui-même (in French). Montréal: Nouvelles éditions de l'Arc. OCLC 1734899.
- Gagné, Marc (1977). Gilles Vigneault : bibliographie descriptive et critique, discographie, filmographie, iconographie, chronologie (in French). Québec: Presses de l'Université Laval. ISBN 978-0-7746-6799-9.
- Vigneault's style - The Canadian Encyclopedia
- Gilles Vigneault chante son pays - Archives de Radio-Canada (French)
- (French) Pendant que Gilles Vigneault at Radio-Canada
- (French) Gilles Vigneault at Québec Info Musique
- "Expo 67 Man and His World - Gilles Vigneault" at Library and Archives Canada