Poet and chansonnier, Gilles Vigneault occupies a special place among Quebec's musical stars. Hugely popular during the golden age of coffee houses, he was able to capture the beauty and essence of Quebec like no other. True to his origins and proud of his heritage, Vigneault reflected the changes unfolding in Quebec society during the Quiet Revolution. His presence at Expo 67 was part of an artistic career leading from the performance halls of Quebec to Bobino, in Paris, and then on to the great stages of France and Europe.
In May 1967, Gilles Vigneault took part in the Semaine de la Chanson
at Expo-Théâtre, an event affiliated with the World Music Festival at
Expo 67 and devoted to French-Canadian song. His parents came from Natashquan
to cheer him on. He also appeared alongside Pauline Julien and Raymond
Lévesque in a feature performance on September 4 at Place des Nations,
to the delight of thousands of spectators.
His poems and lyrics had already received a number of awards and distinctions,
both in Quebec and Canada, and abroad. The Sopot festival in Poland paid
tribute to his song Mon pays in 1965, beautifully sung by Monique
Leyrac. In 1966, Vigneault recorded an album in Paris. Major performers
and composers worked with him, including Pauline Julien, Monique Leyrac,
Claude Léveillé, Claude Gauthier, Louise Forestier, Stéphane Venne and
Renée Claude. Vigneault was a major presence at Expo 67, lulling his audience
with such tunes as Mon pays and J'ai pour toi un lac, or
rousing them a bit with Tam ti delam and La danse à Saint-Dilon.