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Monique Leyrac


B: February 26, 1928 in Montréal, Québec
D: December 15, 2019 in Cowansville, Québec

Twice proclaimed ‘best singer of the year’ and ‘woman of the year’ in the Canadian Press’ annual survey of women’s editors, singer-actress Monique Leyrac was a fixture in Montreal cabarets of the 1950s and ’60s. Chosen by CBC to sing at the 1965 International Song Festival in Sopot, Poland, she won the Grand Prix of International Day for her rendition of Vigneault’s anthem ‘Mon Pays’. She later taped 39 shows for CBC radio in Toronto. In 1967 she appeared at Toronto’s Massey Hall, at Carnegie Hall in New York and before Princess Margaret in London. Accompanied by the Québec pianist André Gagnon, she performed at the Expo Theatre and at the Canadian Pavilion during Expo 67. She was also appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1967. In 1969 she performed on The Ed Sullivan Show. She made regular trips to Paris and toured the USSR appearing in Moscow, Leningrad, Tallinn, and other cities. In 1972 she performed at the Stratford Festival in The Threepenny Opera. After three years living in France, Leyrac returned to Montreal in 1975 to play the title role in Robert Athayde’s Mademoiselle Marguerite at the Théâtre du Nouveau-Monde. In 2013 Leyrac was presented with the Prix Denise-Pelletier for her outstanding career in the performing arts. She was 91 when she died in Cowansville, Québec.