2009 Cultural Cultural

Author, journalist, publisher, analyst and administrator Lise Bissonnette is currently working on personal writing and research projects after pursuing a career as a high-level manager heading major Quebec institutions.

In June 2009, she completed her third and final term as President and CEO of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec. Under her leadership, the establishment has become Quebec’s largest cultural institution in terms of size and the broad range of its missions. Since 1998, the Grande Bibliothèque in Montréal has been designed, built and developed under her guidance to become a location with a record number of visitors, providing an array of new services to people across Quebec. She planned and led two successive mergers, in 2002 and 2006, amalgamating the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec and the Archives nationales du Québec with the Grande Bibliothèque to consolidate the current institution.

From 1990 to 1998, Ms. Bissonnette was editor and publisher of the daily newspaper Le Devoir, where she began journalistic career in 1974. As a renowned political and cultural analyst, she led an in-depth reform of this influential Montréal daily during her time as head of the newspaper, producing a sustainable editorial renewal and financial recovery as well as a new design that has won several international awards.

Ms. Bissonnette is the author of eight books: three essays, four works of fiction and a book blending these two literary genres. Her contribution to debates over ideas and her community involvement have earned her numerous awards, including eight honorary doctorates granted by universities in Quebec, Canada and the United States. She was awarded the Ordre de la Pléiade (Francophonie) and made an officer of the Ordre national du Québec as well as a Knight of the Légion d’honneur de France. After receiving a career medal from the Académie des lettres du Québec in 1999, she was named a member in 2004.