Denis Vaugeois

Member of the National Assembly of Quebec for Trois-Rivières
In office
November 15, 1976 – January 31, 1985
Preceded byJean-Denis Girard
Succeeded byPaul Philibert
Personal details
Born (1935-09-07) September 7, 1935 (age 85)
Saint-Tite, Quebec
Political partyParti Québecois
ProfessionAuthor, Publisher, Historian

Denis Vaugeois CM OQ (born September 7, 1935) is a French-speaking author, publisher and historian from Quebec, Canada. He also served as a Member of the National Assembly (MNA) from 1976 to 1985.[1]


He was born in Saint-Tite, a small town north of Trois-Rivières and has always considered himself as a child of the Mauricie where his immigrant ancestors settled in the middle of the 19th century. They were among the first Europeans to settle as high as the Mékinac river in the upper Saint-Maurice River area. His family moved to Trois-Rivières in 1942 and his father signed him up in the Jardin de l'Enfance where he was taught by nuns from Brittany, in France, who were also related to the Vaugeois family. That choice would have a major influence on him, first because of the nuns concern for language and also because there was a children's library on the way to school. It was like a calling, books!

He took his "cours classique" at the séminaire Saint-Joseph de Trois-Rivières and opted to study arts and education. Then he went on to the École normale Jacques-Cartier and the Faculty of Arts of the Université de Montréal. Two professors particularly influenced him, Jan de Groot and Maurice Séguin. The former taught the importance of work, while the latter introduced him to history.

Denis Vaugeois in 2012
Denis Vaugeois in 2012

He began teaching history in several institutions while pursuing his education towards a degree in arts, a degree in education, and doctoral studies in history. In 1963 he participated to the creation of Boreal Express with Jacques Lacourcière and the librarian and student Pierre Gravel, at that time participating to the creation of the Comite international pour l'indépendance du Québec. He also started to get in touch with a famous engineer, closely linked with politicians Gordon Boisseau.

In 1965, he became the first head of studies in history of Quebec's newly created Education Ministry. Extremely disappointed by the orientation of education reform, which the people rejected by sending the Liberal Party back into the opposition in the 1966 elections, he turned towards international activities. After being co-director of the Centre franco-québécois de développement pédagogique (the France-Quebec education development centre), he became executive director of Quebec's international relations and, in that capacity, worked on developing the network of Quebec delegations and houses abroad.

In 1976, he was elected Member of the National Assembly for Trois-Rivières and became a member of René-Lévesque's Cabinet in 1978. Appointed Minister of Cultural Affairs, he devoted much effort to the defense of Quebec's heritage and the development of its network of libraries and museums. He also took on responsibility for the Ministry of Communications during the 1980 referendum and he denounced what he claimed was illegal spending done by the Liberal Party led by Pierre Trudeau. Following a disagreement with Premier Lévesque concerning development of the Quebec territory, he left the cabinet in 1981 and then left politics in 1985. He went back to publishing. Feeling some nostalgia for the years devoted to Les éditions du Boréal, which he had founded with others in 1962, he decided to found Les éditions du Septentrion.

As in the past, he combines management with research. The Atlantic world interests him, and more specifically, the history of the French in the Americas and their meeting with the first inhabitants and the constant and multi-formed exchange with immigrants from throughout the world. His work, both books and radio and television, bear witness to the progress of what he has qualified as the "Quebec melting pot".


Author of:

In collaboration

Honours and distinctions


  1. ^ "Biography". Dictionnaire des parlementaires du Québec de 1792 à nos jours (in French). National Assembly of Quebec.
National Assembly of Quebec
Preceded by
Guy Bacon (Liberal)
MNA, District of Trois-Rivières
Succeeded by
Paul Philibert (Liberal)
Preceded by
Louis O'Neill (PQ)
Minister of Cultural Affairs
Succeeded by
Clément Richard (PQ)