Chiasson, Herménégilde

Herménégilde Chiasson, poet, playwright, artist, editor, lieutenant-governor of NEW BRUNSWICK (b at St-Simon, NB, 1946). Chiasson is one of Canada's foremost advocates of culture and the arts. Of Acadian decent, Chiasson was born and educated in St-Simon, New Brunswick. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Moncton in 1967, a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Mount Allison University in 1972, a Masters in Aesthetics from the University of Paris (Sorbonne) in 1976, a Masters of Fine Arts from the State University of New York in 1981 and a Doctorate from the University of Paris (Sorbonne) in 1983.

Chiasson actively pursued a career in the Canadian arts both during and following his graduation from five degree programs. His first placement was as the director of the Galerie d'art de l'Université de Moncton in 1974, and he assumed the position as president of Galerie Sans Nom in 1980. From that time onward, Chiasson began to found and chair several arts organizations, including Editions Perce-Neige in 1984, the Aberdeen co-operative in 1985, the Imago workshop in 1987, and Productions du Phare-Est in 1988. In 1994 Chiasson assumed the position of curator of the Marion McCain exhibit at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, and he served as president of the Association acadienne des artistes professionnels et professionelles du Nouveau-Brunswick from 1993 to 1995. During this time, Chiasson was also employed by Radio-Canada as director, playwright, journalist and researcher intermittently from 1968 to 1985, and served as a member of the teaching staff at the UNIVERSITE DE MONCTON 's fine arts department from 1988 to 2003.

In addition to his numerous tenures throughout his career, Chiasson pursued his own love of writing and producing, and his work has been celebrated both in Canada and worldwide. Chiasson has participated in over 100 exhibitions of his photography, and is the author of several books, including Claude Roussel Sculpteur/Sculptor (1985) and Climat (1996). Chiasson has produced 15 films and written 20 plays, including popular productions such as L'exil d'Alexa (1993) and Aliénor (1997). He has also published in several magazines, works, collections and anthologies of poems. Climat, the first of his eight books of poetry, has recently been translated into English.

Eloquent and fluent, Chiasson has received numerous awards for accomplishments made in his over 30-year career in the arts. He was awarded the prix France-Acadie in 1986 and 1992, the Chevalier de l'Ordre français des Arts et Lettres in 1990, l'Ordre des francophones d'Amérique in 1993, and the Grand Prix de la francophonie canadienne in 1999. The University of Moncton awarded him an honourary doctorate in 1999 and he won the prestigious Prix littéraire Antonine-Maillet-Acadie Vie in 2003.

On 29 August 2003, Chiasson was installed as New Brunswick's 29th lieutenant-governor, succeeding Marilyn Trenholme COUNSELL. His term ended in 2009, and he was succeeded by Graydon NICHOLAS. He is the honourary chairperson and patron for numerous charitable organizations, both in New Brunswick and across Canada, and he continues to lecture at the Université de Moncton.