MONTREAL (CelebrityAccess) Quebec arts philanthropist Jacqueline Desmarais, died today at the age of 89, her family has announced.
A private funeral will be held for the widow of businessman Paul Desmarais, in the coming days, and will be followed by a memorial service at a later date.
Desmarais’s contributions to the community have been highlighted on several occasions, having been named an officer of the Order of Canada, to the National Order of Quebec and to France’s Legion of Honour.
Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly was quick to salute Desmarais’s legacy on social media.
“Jacqueline Desmarais has marked our cultural milieu with her great passion for artists and her great generosity,” Joly wrote. “Her contributions have improved our cultural infrastructure and the programming of our institutions.”
Born Jacqueline Maranger in Sudbury, Ontario Desmarais was recognized as one of the most important patrons of Quebec’s arts scene.
In 2016, she was named Quebec’s Companion of Arts and Letters. Her contribution to the province’s music scene was also recognized by an honorary doctorate from Université de Montréal’s faculty of music in 2011.