Passionate about Quebec culture and classical music, Pierre Péladeau loved artists, who returned him well.
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• To read also: A generous man who left a strong legacy
"Pierre Péladeau is at the origin of the Quebec star system, as we know it in Quebec and that English Canada envies us so much", believes the columnist at Journal Guy Fournier, rich in a friendship of more than 40 years. with Mr. Péladeau.
"When Pierre formed his magazines and newspapers in the 1960s, he realized that artists had value, which no one had realized before," continues Guy Fournier. He had an innate sense of what he could make money from (laughs). He also did it because he deeply loved art and artists. He himself was very showman. »
The businessman is indeed at the origin of the first gossip magazines and the first newspapers with pages devoted to Quebec culture and its artisans.
In doing so, he created a very Quebec star system with his magazines that tracked the lives of stars from here. He even befriended some of them.
Director Denise Filiatrault rubbed shoulders with Pierre Péladeau when they were neighbors in Montreal in the 1950s.
“He was a friend of the family, a straight man, a worker, he was funny and generous. He also liked to play tricks,” recalls Ms. Filiatrault.
On Sundays, Pierre Péladeau liked to occasionally invite Mrs. Filiatrault and her family to listen to classical music and swim in his pool.
Fight against alcoholism
Pierre Péladeau also had a good friendship with the actor, singer and senator who recently passed away, Jean Lapointe. In addition to their passion for music and the arts, they shared the same fight against alcoholism. They chose to talk about it publicly and make it an important social cause in their respective lives, by both founding centers welcoming people with addiction problems.
Beyond his love for Quebec culture, Mr. Péladeau has lived a long passion for classical music. His unwavering support for the Orchester Métropolitain, of which he was president in 1987, is well known.
The famous evening when Pierre Péladeau conducted the Orchester Métropolitain de Montréal is one of Guy Fournier's fondest memories: “He practiced for six months with a soundtrack in front of his mirror. He was proud of that. If he hadn't been in business, he would surely have become an artist. »
The soloist and maestro at the head of the Longueuil Symphony Orchestra, Alexandre Da Costa, makes a point of honoring the memory of Pierre Péladeau whenever he can.
The businessman was the first person to believe in him enough to offer him the contract for his first solo professional concert... at the age of 11!
"Pierre Péladeau kicked off my career," says the internationally renowned conductor. He invited me many times to play in the Pavillon des Arts in Sainte-Adèle, which was a pioneering artistic place in the service of classical music. We met lots of famous people and musicians there. Mr. Péladeau took me under his wing, I had interviews in the newspapers and that propelled my career. I owe him a lot. »
The artist, for whom Mr. Péladeau also represented a father figure, describes him as an informed music lover and a big fan of classical music, Beethoven in particular.
“Its impact on Quebec culture is enormous,” adds Maestro Da Costa. The Orchester Métropolitain would not exist without him, he has helped several musicians to have successful careers. Quebecor has done and still does a lot for the democratization of classical music, but also for popular culture. »
Same story with pianist Pierre Jasmin, who knew Pierre Péladeau so well that he wrote a book recounting certain memories he had with the businessman and patron: Notes d'espoir d'un partie de piano, published in 2006.
"I remember from him, selfishly, the greatest encouragement I have ever received in my career," says the 73-year-old pianist, who believes that the films and works that have been devoted to Mr. Péladeau remain on the periphery "of his personality rich in character ".
An important legacy
Today, the Quebecor group has become one of the most important players in the promotion of Quebec culture. Its presence in the world of books, newspapers, television, music and cinema, as well as its financial support for many cultural events prove it.
This is the most important legacy of Pierre Péladeau, believes Guy Fournier. “He created a company that is today one of the biggest patrons of the arts in Quebec. »