An entrepreneur with
intuition

André Chagnon proudly displays the first TV set he received as a gift
Photo credit : Groupe Vidéotron Archives (1964-2000)

AVOIDING OBSOLESCENCE BY ALWAYS LOOKING TOWARDS THE FUTURE

All of André Chagnon’s business decisions have shared a common thread: never become obsolete. This is what led him to sell his electrical services company and get into cable television in the 1960s. André was fascinated with the way coaxial cable could carry a nearly unlimited number of channels, and, even better, transmit signals in both directions. With his typical foresight, he quickly recruited four partners to help him bring his vision to life and grow Télécâble Vidéotron.

MAndré Chagnon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Groupe Vidéotron ltée, and André Saumier, President of the Montréal Stock Exchange, sign the register
Photo credit : Groupe Vidéotron Archives (1964-2000)

André Chagnon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Groupe Vidéotron, and Roland Giguère, President of Télé-Métropole, sign an agreement between the two companies 
Photo credit : Groupe Vidéotron Archives (1964-2000)

In 1985, André decided to carry out an initial public offering. Going public was a turning point for the company, which now had the means to match its ambitions. One year later, Groupe Vidéotron acquired Télé-Métropole in a major transaction. André could see the potential for synergies between the two companies, and he was keen to create French-language content for the Québec market. At a time when an integrated, global service offering was a novel concept, his company began providing cable services, entertainment packages, video rentals and security systems.

André Chagnon,
father of interactivity around the world.

JEAN-PAUL GALARNEAU,
past General Manager of Communications at Vidéotron

INNOVATING TO STAY AHEAD OF THE GAME

André has always understood the importance of keeping ahead of the pack. After buying his cable company, one of the first things he did was to increase the number of available channels from 5 to 35, which he achieved by collaborating with other cable companies across Canada. This helped boost demand for the service.

Seeing the potential of cable from the beginning, André Chagnon introduced several major innovations. For example, in 1969 the company began offering the first pay-per-view TV service, Sélecto-TV. In 1974, Vidéotron launched the world’s first two-way cable service, in Saint-Jérôme. The 1990s saw another major innovation with the introduction of Vidéoway. Each one of these new services also showcased Québec’s know-how to the rest of the world and paved the way for interactive television.

Clip from Jean-Paul Galarneau’s interview, Cercle des Grands entrepreneurs du Québec – only available in french

André Chagnon was involved in the emergence
of telecommunications in Québec
and around the world.

JEAN-PAUL GALARNEAU,
past General Manager of Communications at Vidéotron

INNOVATIVE PHILANTHROPIST

Determined to give back to the community that had provided him with so much, André Chagnon also helped change the face of philanthropy in Québec. After selling Groupe Vidéotron in 2000, he created the Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation, a charity committed to building a sustainable future. The Foundation focuses on promoting education, which is the best way to prevent poverty in the long term.

Clip from Henri-Paul Rousseau’s interview, Cercle des Grands entrepreneurs du Québec – only available in french