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SENATORS’ STATEMENTS — The Late Jean-Pierre Ferland

April 30, 2024

Colleagues, it is with some sadness that I rise today to pay tribute to Jean-Pierre Ferland, a brilliant and sensitive Quebec singer-songwriter who passed away on Saturday, April 27, 2024.

Every community is made up of different kinds of people. Every community has its greats. Then, there are the others, the greatest of the great: the giants. One of our musical giants is now gone. Since we received news of his death, heartfelt and affectionate tributes to the troubadour have poured in from all across Quebec and beyond.

Jean-Pierre Ferland left an indelible mark on Quebec and the Francophonie with his sentimental, passionate and socially engaged lyrics and the irresistible rhythms and modern sensibilities of his music. To call Jean-Pierre Ferland a giant is an understatement. He is an integral part of our cultural heritage. It takes a lifetime to write, sing and produce more than 30 albums, every one of them a chart-topper, including his most famous album, Jaune, released in 1970, which marked a turning point in his career, coming as it did in the wake of the Quiet Revolution. Jaune opened the door to a wind of optimism and opportunity across Quebec. Jean-Pierre Ferland embraced this effervescent era wholeheartedly. A master wordsmith, he showed us all how to make our passions, our dreams and our emotions shine brightly.

Alongside the likes of Charlebois, Léveillée, Leclerc, Forestier, Deschamps, Reno, Vigneault, Castel, Renée Claude and many other greats of francophone music, Jean-Pierre Ferland touched the very soul of Quebecers in a wonderful way. Love was his art form. He bore heartbreak with humanity. With a pinch of theatrics, made childhood dreams come to life.

His superb lyrics, warm voice, wide smile, mischievous eyes and easy-going generosity endeared him to Quebecers and francophones, who mourn his loss today like they would a member of their family.

How fortunate we are, we were and we will always be, to have him etched in our minds and hearts.

A little higher above, a little further away, “boule de gomme,” the man, transformed into a musical angel who will forever brighten our lives, dreams and loves, like Jean-Pierre did with a passion for more than 60 years.

Watch over us, petit roi! Thank you.

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