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Gilles Vigneault

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Gilles Vigneault (born 27 October 1928) is a Québécois poet, publisher and singer-songwriter, and well-known Quebec nationalist and sovereigntist.
A poet deeply rooted in his native Quebec, Vigneault has become an icon at home and Quebec ambassador abroad. He was one of the principal figures of the generation of chansonniers who helped the Quebec chanson find its own identity, even while helping it find a universal dimension.

Born in Natashquan, on the far north shore of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, he was educated in Rimouski and Quebec City.
Vigneault started writing poetry during his studies at the Seminary in Rimouski, and by the 1950s was publishing poems and writing songs. In 1959 he founded a publishing house, Les Éditions de l’Arc to distribute his publications. His first collection, Étraves was published in 1959.
In August 1960, at the request of the audience at the boîte à chansons L’Arlequin in Quebec City, he agreed to sing his earliest song: Jos Monferrand, written in 1957, which had been recorded by Jacques Labrecque in 1959. This was the beginning of his singing career which culminated in 1962, when he received the Grand prix du disque from Montreal radio station CKAC. His reputation grew in Quebec and elsewhere with the success of his song Mon Pays, from the sound track of the NFB film La neige a fondu sur la Manicouagan (1965).

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