Gilles Vigneault

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Gilles Vigneault
Gilles Vigneault Chantauvent Natashquan 1989.jpg
Gilles Vigneault at Natashquan, 1989
Background information
Born (1928-10-27) 27 October 1928 (age 93)
Natashquan, Quebec, Canada
GenresFolk music
Occupation(s)Poet, publisher, singer-songwriter
Years active1959–present

Gilles Vigneault GOQ (French pronunciation: ​[ʒil viɲo]; born 27 October 1928) is a Québécois poet, publisher, 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 "Gens du 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, and Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Life and career[edit]

Vigneault was born in Natashquan, in the Côte-Nord region of Quebec.

He 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 continued to spread and he became popular not only in Quebec, but also in English Canada and Europe.[7] He 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 a 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).[8]

Vigneault's political views have remained strongly in favour of national sovereignty for Quebec. During the 2014 Quebec general election campaign, he supported the Parti Québécois.[9]

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 lyricist), Pascale, Guillaume (a novelist), Jessica (a pianist and singer), and Benjamin (a percussionist).[8]

Discography (partial)[edit]

Gilles Vigneault (1962)
Gilles Vigneault chante et récite (1963)
Gilles Vigneault vol. 3 (1964)
À la Comédie-Canadienne (1965)
Mon pays (1966)
Gilles Vigneault enregistré à Paris (1966)
La Manikoutai (1967)
Le nord du nord (1968)
Les voyageurs (1969)
Musicorama: Olympia 1969 (1969)
Les grands succès de Gilles Vigneault (1971)
Le temps qu'il fait sur mon pays (1971)
C'est le temps (1971)
Pays du fond de moi (1973)
TNM 73 (1973)
J'ai planté un chêne (1976)
À l'encre blanche (1977)
Gilles Vigneault à Bobino (1977)
Comment vous donner des nouvelles (1978)
Les quatre saisons de Piquot (1978)
Avec les mots du dimanche (1979)
Combien de fois faut-il parler d'amour (1982)
Un jour, je ferai mon grand cerf-volant (1983)
Mets donc tes plus belles chansons ensemble (1986)
Les îles (1987)
1960-1990: Chemin faisant, cent et une chansons (1990)
Le chant du portageur (1992)
C'est ainsi que j'arrive à toi (1996)
Voyagements : En direct du théâtre Champlain (2001)
Au bout du cœur (2003)
Gilles Vigneault et les Charbonniers de l'enfer (2007)
Arriver chez soi (2008)
Les années soixante (2010)
Retrouvailles (2010)
Retrouvailles 2 (2011)
Tu peux dormir le temps nous veille - Les berceuses de Gilles Vigneault (2012)
Vivre debout (2014)
Ma jeunesse (2018)



Honorary doctorates:

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).[22]

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

  • The library of the Rimouski Community college (La Bibliothèque Gilles-Vigneault)[23]
  • École Gilles-Vigneault (Montreal, Quebec)
  • École Gilles-Vigneault de Marseille (Marseille, France)[24]
  • Rue Gilles-Vigneault (Blainville, Quebec)[25]
  • Rue Gilles-Vigneault (Rimouski, Quebec)[25]
  • Rue Gilles-Vigneault (Granby, Quebec)[26]
  • Rue Gilles Vigneault (Saint-Charles-Borromée, Québec) [27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Hélène Plouffe. "Gilles Vigneault". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Gilles Vigneault's powerful dream of un pays". Montreal Gazette, June 23, 2018, Bernard Perusse
  3. ^ "Gilles Vigneault." Oxford Essential Quotations. Ed. Ratcliffe, Susan. : Oxford University Press. Oxford Reference. 2012. Date Accessed 6 May. 2014.
  4. ^ Laurendeau, Paul (May 2011). "Étraves (Gilles Vigneault)". Écrouter Lire Penser (in French). Archived from the original on 6 May 2014. 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. ^ a b "Vigneault". RFI Musique. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Vigneault, Gilles". Vigneault, Gilles - Oxford Reference. Oxford University Press. 1997. ISBN 978-0-19-541167-6. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Biographie Gilles Vigneault". musicMe. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Quebec songwriter Gilles Vigneault's heart 'broken' by PQ loss". 4 May 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  10. ^ Gilles Vigneault. "Gilles Vigneault | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  11. ^ "Doctorat honorifique: Gilles Vigneault". Archived from the original on 8 May 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  12. ^ "Gilles Vigneault Receives Carleton Honour - Our Stories". Our Stories. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  13. ^ "Governor General's Literary Awards - Canadian awards". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  14. ^ Alexis Luko. "Prix de musique Calixa-Lavallée". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  15. ^ Gagné, Marc (1977). Gilles Vigneault :bibliographie descriptive et critique, discographie, filmographie, iconographie, chronologie. Québec: Presses de l'Université Laval. p. 430. ISBN 0774667990.
  16. ^ "Gilles VIGNEAULT". Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  17. ^ "Cumulative List - The Canada Council for the Arts". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  18. ^ "Les Prix du Québec - le lauréat Gilles Vigneault". Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  19. ^ "Grande médaille de la chanson française". Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  20. ^ "Award Recipients - Governor General's Performing Arts Awards (GGPAA)". Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  21. ^ "Billboard". Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  22. ^ Gilles Vigneault - Ordre national du Québec
  23. ^ "Cégep de Rimouski". Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  24. ^ Des Images et des Mots. "Ecole Gilles Vigneault de Marseille". Archived from the original on 3 July 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  25. ^ a b "Google Maps". Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  26. ^ "Google Maps". Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  27. ^ "Rue Gilles Vigneault · Joliette Regional County Municipality, QC, Canada".

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]