His
beginnings

ANDRÉ CHAGNON

Date of birth: March 17, 1928

City: Montréal

Family: Second of three children

Lucie and André Chagnon on May 16, 1949, on their wedding day
Photo credit: Chagnon family archives

ENTREPRENEURSHIP FIRST AND FOREMOST

André Chagnon was born in Montréal, at the dawn of the Great Depression. His father, a self-employed electrician, managed to pull through despite enormous challenges. Times were tough and the bankruptcies many, but he always managed to put food on the table. The Chagnons also took in several less fortunate loved ones. For young André, his entrepreneur father was a true role model. Following his father’s footsteps, André enrolled at the École technique de Montréal with the goal of becoming an electrician, and, above all, an entrepreneur.

Edmé-Rosario Chagnon, self-employed electrician, with his wife, Aurore Brais (1941)
Photo credit: Chagnon family archives

After graduating, André spent some time working for the family business. But the depression had dampened his father’s entrepreneurial spirit, so André decided to forge his own path. A few years later, he opened his own electrical service business. Not one to rest on his success, and driven by his desire to keep moving forward, one day his life took a sharp turn. A local cable company was for sale, and a long discussion with the owner inspired André to take a risk. When he told his wife that he was thinking of selling his business and buying another one in a completely unfamiliar field, Lucie—who would always be his biggest supporter—encouraged him to take the plunge. The year was 1964, and the company that would eventually become Videotron was born.

André Chagnon, age 19, and Lucie Chagnon, age 17, on a date
Photo credit: Chagnon family archives

André Chagnon, a man of the present
with an eye toward the future.

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