“Look at life with the eyes of a child,” Henri Matisse once said. Unable to paint like the great fauvist, and not for lack of trying, philanthropist Michel de la Chenelière chose instead to hang on to the vision and generously support those who will write tomorrow’s history.
It took businessman Michel de la Chenelière no time to recognize that art did him a world of good and that it was essential to soak it in, to the point that he let it guide him through his career choices. A literary man, he devoted part of his life to promoting the French language through publications that bear his name. Over time, they became the leading French-language textbooks on the continent and made him a pioneer in the field. His major donations to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts enabled the institution to triple its space dedicated to education. One of those spaces, devoted to art therapy, has become an international model.
A man of ideas and enlightenment, he is pursuing his mission to disseminate education, success in school, and inclusion through arts and culture via his foundation. An ardent defender of the development of knowledge, he sees his cause as a response to contemporary challenges, a way to approach the world with a universal understanding of peace. Happiness and peace always seem closer when we soak up hope.
Inauguration of the Pavilion for Peace at the MBAM in 2016. Credit : Pierre Longtin
About the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec
The Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec is a distinction bestowed by CALQ honouring those individuals who have played a prominent role in Québec’s artistic development.
The CALQ would like to thanks its partners, the Caisse de la Culture and the newspaper Le Devoir.