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André Chagnon

Great Montrealer
2004, social category

Born in Montréal in 1928, André Chagnon founded his own electrical contracting business in 1957, selling it seven years later to focus entirely on cable television services.

In 1964, André Chagnon created Vidéotron Ltd., a regional cable television company that, under his leadership, grew to be the third-largest cable operator in Canada. In 1986, the Vidéotron Group acquired the majority of voting rights in Télé-Métropole Inc. In 1988, the company set up operations in the London area of the United Kingdom and, in 1993, it entered the U.S. market. André Chagnon and the Vidéotron Group won worldwide recognition for their innovative thinking and particularly for the Videoway multimedia system, marketed in Canada, the U.K. and the U.S.

In 1995, André Chagnon was appointed to the Information Highway Advisory Council. He was also one of the four industrial leaders invited by the Canadian government to participate in the G7 Information Society Conference in Brussels that year. In October 2000, Quebecor Media Inc. bought the Vidéotron Group and its regulated cable distribution and broadcasting subsidiaries.

In 2000, after a brilliant 37-year career, André Chagnon decided to devote his time and energies to establishing the Fondation Lucie et André Chagnon. The foundation is active in the fields of preventing poverty – its niche is pregnant women and children 6 and under, in specific areas of Quebec – and preventing illness by focusing on a number of lifestyle habits and developing alternative and complementary approaches to traditional medicine. The foundation’s mission is to promote the development and improvement of the health* of families by preventing poverty and illness, focusing primarily on children and their parents. (*Health is the state of complete physical, psychological, spiritual and social well-being.)

In addition, André Chagnon sits on the board of directors of Portage, an organization that, since its founding in 1972, has helped more than 20,000 substance abusers escape their dependence on drugs and reintegrate into society.

Over the years, André Chagnon has been honoured in many ways. In particular, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1993 and Officer of thean Québec in 2003. In 2002, he was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in recognition of his contributions to the economic prosperity of Canada. On March 18, 2003, the Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development, an agency established by Health Canada, presented André Chagnon, along with Margaret Norrie McCain and John Fraser Mustard, with the Medal for Exceptional Contributions to Early Childhood Development. André Chagnon also holds honourary degrees from the universities of Laval, McGill, Ottawa and Concordia.

André Chagnon was inducted into the Academy of Great Montrealers in the Social category in 2004 and was named a Commander of the Ordre de Montréal in 2016.

Source: Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal

The picture and biographical information appearing on this page were current at the time this person was admitted to the Academy of Great Montrealers.