Class of 2002
André Chagnon was born in Montreal, Québec in 1928. The son of an electrician, Chagnon established his own electrical contracting business, Chagnon Electric, at the age of 29. Seven years later he sold his company and entered the cable television industry. Chagnon founded Le Groupe Videotron in 1964, and under his leadership the company grew into one of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies.
Le Groupe Videotron won international acclaim for its innovative contributions to the field of pay television and telecommunications. The company grew significantly, with substantial holdings in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Its success can be attributed to Chagnon’s vision and perseverance, and he is recognized as a groundbreaker in the industry.
Following the purchase of Le Groupe Videotron by Quebecor Media in 2000, Chagnon began to devote his time and energy to charitable pursuits. He established the Fondation Lucie et André Chagnon, dedicated to fighting chronic poverty and promoting preventative healthcare. With over $1.4 billion in assets, it became the largest foundation in Canada.
His outstanding efforts have been recognized in many forms. Chagnon was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1992, and an Officer of l’Ordre national du Québec in 2003. He was also named a co-recipient of the Medal for Exceptional Contributions to Early Childhood Development in 2003, awarded by the Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development. In 2005, he was granted the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award.
Michel Patry, director of the HEC Montréal business school, has described Chagnon as a visionary, a “bold and tireless entrepreneur who has left a major industrial and commercial legacy in Québec.” Patry is also one of the many to have also praised Chagnon’s “profound social and philanthropic commitment.” It is certain that André Chagnon’s contributions will continue to influence lives for years to come.