Académie des lettres du Québec

Founded 9 December 1944 as Académie canadienne-française by a group of writers led by Victor Barbeau, its goal was to serve and defend the French language and culture in Canada. The Académie changed its name in 1992.

Its founding members were Victor Barbeau, Robert CHARBONNEAU, Robert CHOQUETTE, Marie-Claire Daveluy, Léo-Paul DESROSIERS, Guy FRÉGAULT, Alain GRANDBOIS, Philippe PANNETON (Ringuet), Robert RUMILLY, Marius BARBEAU, Roger Brien and Louis LACHANCE.

To further its objectives, the Académie each year awards a medal to a writer for a body of his or her work (1946, Gabrielle ROY; 1947, Germaine GUÈVREMONT; 1992, Gilles VIGNEAULT; 1993, Maurice Lemire). Between 1983 and 1994, it joined with Molson's Breweries of Canada Ltd to award a prize for novel of the year ($5000). Prizes for poetry and essay writing were added in 1988 and a new annual prize for novels was added in 1997.

As a way of reaching Québec authors and the general public, it organizes a writers' conference each fall on a variety of topics: eg, 1983 - Littérature québecoise depuis 1900: ruptures et continuités [Québecois Literature Since 1900: Continuity and Discontinuity]; 1990 - Place de la littérature dans l'éducation [Role of Literature in Education]; 1994 - Les Fondateurs [The Founders]. The Académie des lettres du Québec has 36 seats.