Hélène Baillargeon

Hélène (Marie) Baillargeon. Folklorist, singer, b St-Martin-de-Beauce, south of Quebec City, 28 Aug 1916, d Montreal 25 Sep 1997. She studied voice in Quebec City 1935-8, in New York 1939-40 with Franz Rupp, and in Montreal 1940-4 with Alfred La Liberté, who introduced her to folk music.

Baillargeon, Hélène

Hélène (Marie) Baillargeon. Folklorist, singer, b St-Martin-de-Beauce, south of Quebec City, 28 Aug 1916, d Montreal 25 Sep 1997. She studied voice in Quebec City 1935-8, in New York 1939-40 with Franz Rupp, and in Montreal 1940-4 with Alfred La Liberté, who introduced her to folk music. She was a researcher 1950-5 with Marius Barbeau at the National Museum of Man, Ottawa, and, as a singer and host, participated in many CBC French and English radio and TV broadcasts, including the series 'Le Réveil rural' 1951-5, 'Songs de Chez nous' 1952-5 with Alan Mills,'Cap aux Sorciers' 1955-8, and the popular children's program 'Chez Hélène' 1959-73. She attended international congresses in folk music in Rumania in 1959, Quebec City in 1961, and Czechoslovakia in 1962. Her vitality and her faith in the value of the Quebec heritage contributed greatly to the popularity and status of folk music. She compiled Vive la Canadienne (Montreal 1962), a collection of 77 folk songs, and recorded French Canadian Folk Songs (two LPs: 1953, RCI 97; and 1954, RCI 98), Christmas Carols of French Canada/Chants de Noël du Canada français (1956, Folk FC7229), and Chantons un peu (Dom 48003), and made other LPs with Alan Mills. She also recorded Songs of Chez Hélène (Dom 48008). She became a Member of the Order of Canada in 1973 and was a Canadian citizenship court judge 1974-1984. In 1990 she donated her papers to the University of Montreal. She was married to André Côté, a Crown attorney for Montreal, since 1944.


Further Reading

  • Guly, Christopher. 'Lives lived: Hélène Baillargeon-Côté,' Globe and Mail, 2 Jan 1998