Philanthropist Jacqueline Desmarais Dead at 89

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Noted philanthropist Jacqueline Desmarais has passed away at age 89 today. Our condolences go out to her family.

See below for a profile published in La Scena Musicale in 2012, the family’s official statement, and other tributes:

Update: The Montreal Symphony under Kent Nagano will dedicate a performance of Verdi’s Requiem to her memory on the week of March 19, 2018. More details to come. (See below).

Official Statement

MONTRÉAL, March 3, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – The Desmarais Family announces that Jacqueline Desmarais died today.

Mme Desmarais was married to The Honourable Paul G. Desmarais who died in 2013. Mme Desmarais was the mother of Paul Desmarais Jr., André Desmarais, Louise Desmarais and Sophie Desmarais.

A private family funeral is to be held in the coming days, to be followed by a memorial service at a date to be announced by the Desmarais family.

Mme Desmarais was a trustee of the Desmarais Family Residuary Trust (the “Trust”). The Trust exercises control over family holding entities (together “Holdco Entities”) which own 48,668,392 Participating Preferred Shares and 48,363,392 Subordinate Voting Shares of Power Corporation of Canada. The Trust is for the benefit of members of the family of The Honourable Paul G. Desmarais and the Holdco Entities are held by the Trust and members of the Desmarais family and trusts for their benefit. In accordance with the terms governing the Trust, Mme Desmarais has been replaced as a trustee by her daughter Sophie Desmarais. The other trustees of the Trust are Paul Desmarais Jr., André Desmarais, Michel Plessis-Bélair and Guy Fortin. The trustees of the Trust also act as voting administrators with respect to Holdco Entities. Decisions with respect to voting and disposition of shares of Power Corporation of Canada controlled by the Trust shall be determined (subject to the rights of Paul Desmarais Jr. and André Desmarais to direct the sale or pledge of up to 15 million and 14 million of those Subordinate Voting Shares respectively as previously disclosed) by a majority of the trustees of the Trust, excluding Sophie Desmarais.

The Trust’s address is 759 Square Victoria, Suite 520, Montréal, Quebec H2Y 2J7. An early warning report will be filed by the Trust in accordance with applicable securities laws and will be available at www.sedar.com

SOURCE Desmarais family


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Yannick Nezet-Seguin

1 hr

Merci pour tout, Jackie xxxxxxxxxx
Jacqueline Desmarais (1928-2018)


L’Orchestre Métropolitain salue la mémoire de Jacqueline Desmarais

MONTRÉAL, le 3 mars 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – L’Orchestre Métropolitain salue la mémoire de Madame Jacqueline Desmarais, décédée à l’âge de 89 ans. Mécène et philanthrope, elle a été animée par le désir de partager sa passion pour la musique. Pendant plus de quarante ans, elle a soutenu le milieu de la musique classique et contribué à la promotion de l’art lyrique au Québec et au Canada.

« Je suis profondément attristé par le départ de ma grande amie Jacqueline, une femme extraordinairement énergique et inspirante, une mécène passionnée pour la musique sous toutes ses formes. Son amour indéfectible pour les artistes et son flair unique pour le talent en a guidé plusieurs vers la réussite. Son œuvre aura de nombreuses répercussions sur les générations à venir. Le milieu musical et artistique du monde entier, plus particulièrement au Canada, au Québec et à Montréal, est en deuil », indique Yannick Nézet-Séguin, directeur artistique et chef principal de l’Orchestre Métropolitain.

Erik J. Ryan, président du conseil d’administration de l’Orchestre Métropolitain, affirme que « la générosité de Madame Desmarais a contribué à la vitalité artistique et culturelle de Montréal et bien plus encore. Son apport à la culture est exemplaire. Avant d’être une grande mécène, Madame Desmarais était d’abord et avant tout une grande amoureuse de la musique, des musiciens, de la voix, de l’opéra. De nombreuses organisations liées à la musique sont reconnaissantes envers son engagement, notamment l’Orchestre Métropolitain, qui a pu compter sur sa générosité de longue date et encore récemment lors de sa première tournée européenne en novembre dernier. En mon nom et en celui de tous les membres de l’équipe de l’Orchestre Métropolitain, nous souhaitons offrir nos plus sincères condoléances à la famille et aux proches de Jacqueline Desmarais ».

En 1997, elle a mis sur pied la Fondation Jacqueline Desmarais qui vise à promouvoir le travail de jeunes artistes lyriques canadiens. Madame Desmarais a été intronisée au Panthéon canadien de l’art lyrique en 1996. Elle a été nommée officière de l’Ordre du Canada, en 1999, chevalière de l’Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur, en 2011, grande officière de l’Ordre national du Québec, en 2012, et officière de l’Ordre du Canada, en 2013. Elle a aussi remporté un prix Rubies d’Opera Canada, en 2011, et le prix Hommage dans le cadre de la 19e édition des prix Opus remis par le Conseil québécois de la musique, en 2016.

SOURCE Orchestre Métropolitain


The OSM expresses its great sadness at the passing of Madame Jacqueline Desmarais, as well as its profound gratitude to one of the great music philanthropists

MONTREAL, March 3, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – With deep regret and sadness we learned of the death of Madame Jacqueline Desmarais. With her passing, the artistic milieu loses one of its most fervent supporters. Our thoughts are with her family and close friends, to whom we convey our deepest condolences.

Madame Desmarais was a member of the Board of Directors of the OSM and has long been intimately tied to the history and development of the Orchestra. In addition to her many other contributions to the development and renown of the OSM, Madame Jacqueline Desmarais generously supported the organization in its recent acquisition of an organ of exceptional international calibre, as well as its installation in the Maison symphonique. It was her wish that its name should immortalize the memory of her dear friend, Monsieur Pierre Béique, founder and first General Director of the OSM, from 1939 to 1970, as well as his unequalled contribution to the Orchestra’s mission of excellence. The Grand Orgue Pierre-Béique, inaugurated on May 28, 2014, was designed and built by Casavant Frères for the OSM, where it resonates to this day, attracting countless music lovers. The OSM’s next concert on Tuesday, March 6, at 8PM at the Maison symphonique, will open with a performance by OSM Organist in residence Jean-Willy Kunz, played in Madame Desmarais’ memory.

Lucien Bouchard, Chairman of the Board of the OSM, offered a heartfelt homage to Madame Desmarais, his personal friend: “Today we lose a great figure in the music world, who offered her sustained support not only to operatic and musical institutions but also to a myriad of young talented artists in the field of music and singing. We will cherish her memory in our hearts, recalling constantly in our thoughts a warm and generous woman with such a great love for life and for people.”

Music Director Kent Nagano was also moved to address a final homage to Madame Jacqueline Desmarais in recognition of her passing. Kent Nagano and OSM will dedicate to her memory one of the performances of Verdi’s Requiem during the week of March 19. The exact date of the concert will be announced in the following days.

Madame Jacqueline Desmarais will remain in our hearts a shining example of philanthropy in the arts and music, and above all a profound admirer of great artists.

SOURCE Orchestre symphonique de Montréal

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