Recipients will be announced in the spring 2023.

Gilles Carles

Great Montrealer
1978, cultural category

Gilles Carle’s body of work takes a sincere look at Quebec using a simple, personal approach to writing and film. His films form an exceptional corpus that includes some of the greatest moments of emotion in Quebec cinema. Gilles Carle never set auteur cinema in opposition to popular film; instead he combined his singular vision with a clear desire to be heard. His works have left an indelible mark on our collective imagination and brought Quebec culture to the world.

Gilles Carle was born in Maniwaki in 1929. He earned a degree in advertising and marketing, painting and art history from the École des beaux-arts de Montréal, a fine arts institution, and then went on to continue studies in art history in Paris, Rome and Bruges. He later earned a certificate in printing, engraving and photography from the École des arts graphiques de Montréal and a certificate in literature from Université de Montréal.

Unlike most Quebec filmmakers of his generation, Gilles Carle came to cinema after a few detours. A true Renaissance man, he began a career in visual arts, helped found the publishing house Les Éditions de l’Hexagone and was behind the launch of the magazines Écran and Liberté. He was in turn a publicist at the newspaper Le Soleil, an artist in Radio-Canada’s graphic arts department, a literary and film critic for different magazines and newspapers and a researcher and screenwriter-director at the National Film Board.

From 1953 to 2000, he directed 47 films, ranging from fiction to documentary, advertising to major historical series. He also tried his hand at painting: the exhibition Gilles Carle, le cinéaste, le peintre et l’homme (Gilles Carle: the filmmaker, the painter and the man) was presented in 2005.

Gilles Carle’s films were recognized at many international festivals. Among other honours, he received the Prix Albert-Tessier (Prix du Québec) in 1990 and the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award in 1997. He was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1998.

Gilles Carle died in 2009. He was inducted into the Academy of Great Montrealers in the Cultural category in 1978 and was named a Commander of the Ordre de Montréal in 2016.

Source: Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, Ordre national du Québec

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