André CHAGNON

André CHAGNON

2004 Social Social

Born in Montreal in 1928, André Chagnon founded his own electrical contracting business in 1957, selling it seven years later to focus entirely on cable television services.

In 1964, Mr. Chagnon created Vidéotron Ltd., a regional cable television company that, under his leadership, grew to be the third largest cable operator in Canada.  In 1986, the Vidéotron Group acquired the majority of voting rights in Télé-Métropole Inc.  In 1988, the company set up operations in the London area of the United Kingdom, and in 1993, it entered the U.S. market.  André Chagnon and the Vidéotron Group have won worldwide recognition for their innovative thinking and particularly for the Videoway multimedia system, marketed in Canada, the U.K. and the U.S.
In 1995, Mr. Chagnon was appointed to the Information Highway Advisory Council. He was also one of the four industrial leaders invited by the Canadian government to participate in the G-7 Information Society Conference in Brussels that year.  In October 2000, Quebecor Media Inc. bought the Vidéotron Group and its regulated cable distribution and broadcasting subsidiaries.

In 2000, after a brilliant 37-year career, Mr. Chagnon decided to devote his time and energies to establishing the Fondation Lucie et André Chagnon.  The foundation is active in the fields of preventing poverty - its niche is pregnant women and children 6 and under, in specific areas of Québec – and preventing illness by focusing on a number of lifestyle habits and developing alternative and complementary approaches to traditional medicine. The foundation’s mission is to promote the development and improvement of the health* of families by preventing poverty and illness, focusing primarily on children and their parents.
In addition, Mr. Chagnon sits on the board of directors of Portage, an organization that, since its founding in 1972, has helped more than twenty thousand substance abusers escape their dependence on drugs and reintegrate society.
Over the years, Mr. Chagnon has been honoured in many ways.  In particular, he was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada in 1993, and Officer of the Ordre national du Québec in 2003.  In 2002, he was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in recognition of his contributions to the economic prosperity of Canada.  On March 18, 2003, the Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development, an agency established by Health Canada, presented Chagnon, along with Margaret Norrie McCain and John Fraser Mustard, with the Medal for Exceptional Contributions to Early Childhood Development.  Chagnon also holds honourary degrees from the universities of Laval, McGill, Ottawa, and Concordia.

* Health is the state of complete physical, psychological, spiritual, and social well-being.