Donald Deschênes

Donald Deschênes. Folklorist, b St-Octave-de-l'Avenir, Gaspésie, Que, 23 Jun 1952; BA (Laval) 1976, M MUS ethnomusicology (Laval) 1988. In addition to musicological research, he has performed folk music and his own compositions beginning in 1975.

Deschênes, Donald

Donald Deschênes. Folklorist, b St-Octave-de-l'Avenir, Gaspésie, Que, 23 Jun 1952; BA (Laval) 1976, M MUS ethnomusicology (Laval) 1988. In addition to musicological research, he has performed folk music and his own compositions beginning in 1975. By 1991 he had given over 325 performances in Quebec, New Brunswick, the USA, and France. He settled in Moncton, NB, in 1983. Since then, he has devoted much time to singing and accompanying his wife, folklorist Charlotte Cormier (b Moncton, NB, 15 Nov 1943) on the guitar. Together, they performed at Expo 86 and at the Festival folklorique La Boque d'or in Redon, Brittany, France. They recorded in 1984 the LP Ma mie tant blanche, Acadian Folk Songs (Centre d'études acadiennes CEA-1001) and they have been heard frequently on CBC radio.

Deschênes directed Productions Chardon Ltée from 1983 to 1986. Appointed vice-president of the CFMS (CSMT) in 1981, he also headed the Centre scolaire-communautaire Samuel-de-Champlain 1987-9 and the association Les Métiers d'arts acadiens 1989-90. Beginning in 1984 he collected folk songs, tales, legends, and ethnographic data. By 1991 he had already gathered over 650 hand-written documents as well as a collection of over 1000 recordings which have been deposited at the Archives de folklore of Laval University and at the folklore archives of the Centre for Acadian Studies at the University of Moncton. Deschênes is the author of many articles published in such periodicals as CFMB, CFMJ, Canadian Folklore canadien, and Gaspésie, and a contributor to the Canadian Encyclopedia. He has published the collections Excusez-la (folk songs from Gaspésie, Cap-Chat, Que, 1977) and C'était la plus jolie des filles (Montreal 1982), a repertoire of songs by Angélina Paradis-Fraser.