Jean Provencher, historian, author, essayist (b at Trois-Rivières, Que 1943). After earning a master's degree in history at the Université Laval in Québec City, Jean Provencher became a researcher for the Commission d'étude sur l'intégrité du territoire québécois (Commission for the Study of the Integrity of Québec's Territory), known as the Dorion Commission. Then he was a researcher in international relations for Québec's Department of Intergovernmental Affairs, and he later worked for the Dictionary of Canadian Biography.
Subsequently, he was a consultant for various institutes and organizations, all the while continuing to publish work about Québec's history.
A passionate historian and born communicator, he was a frequent guest on radio and television broadcasts, and made the history of Québec his specialty. Through his writings, Jean Provencher presented daily life in Québec (particularly Québec City and region), dwelling on the lives of the people who shaped it through agriculture, the climate, food, business, and medicine, to name only a few topics.
Jean Provencher wrote many works, both alone and as a collaborator, and his writing is recognized for its high quality and a genuine concern for making history accessible to all.
Jean Provencher wrote René LÉVESQUE's first biography, René Lévesque, portrait d'un Québécois (1973), and Provencher with historian Jacques Lacoursière authored the high school history text Canada-Québec, synthèse historique (1968, reprinted until 2000). His other works include Québec sous la loi des mesures de guerre, 1918 (1971), La grande peur d'octobre 70 (1974), Brève histoire du Québec (in collaboration, 1981), and Mission Montréal, les congrégations religieuses dans l'histoire de la ville (in coll, 1992).
Jean Provencher has published numerous works honouring Québec City, which have earned recognition and awards. The series C'était le printemps (1980), C'était l'été (1982), C'était l'automne (1984), C'était l'hiver (1986) stands out for its originality. Les quatre saisons dans la vallée du Saint-Laurent (1988) won the celebrated prix Sully-Olivier-de-Serres from France's department of forestry and agriculture, and the Union of French-Language Publishers' award. He also wrote Ils ont bâti le Québec (1994), Un citadin à la campagne (1995), and Le Carnaval de Québec, la grande fête de l'hiver (2003).
For L'histoire du Vieux-Québec à travers son patrimoine (2007), Jean Provencher received an honourable mention among Québec's heritage awards. He won the prize from the Institut canadien in Québec City, and the Prix Anik for his participation in the television play Québec, printemps 1918 in the research and documentation category. As a historian of Québec City and region, he received a medal from the Society for Québec City's 400th Anniversary. On November 8, 2011 Jean Provencher was honoured with the Prix Gérard-Morisset awarded in recognition of his important role in Quebec's heritage.