Gilles Vigneault

1993 Lifetime Artistic Achievement (Popular Music)

Long before they were set to music the words of this greatest of Canadian poets were already being sung. Lyrical and carefree, moving and heartfelt, his poetry touches the soul of all those who read it.

With the devil-may-care reels and the wild lively jigs which have enlivened his performances, all Quebecers have danced together and shared his love and commitment to their land. Even "La Belle France" was captivated when confronted with so much daring, so much pride, rooted so deeply in French culture and, among many other accolades, he has been honoured with its Légion d'honneur.

He has been the oracle and voice for his people describing their deepest emotions. His songs Mon Pays and Gens du Pays have become an important part of Quebec's cultural heritage. He has also created marvellous tales for children from the same masterful source which has fuelled his other work.

Recently a collection of one hundred and one of his most beautiful songs was reissued. While the number is not without significance, it merely speaks to the constancy and integrity of this most remarkable of Quebec artists.