Skip to main content

Diane Dufresne

Québec cultural icon
Honorary Doctorate in Music

Diane Dufresne, the first female ‘rocker' of the francophone world, has had a rich career spanning some 30 original shows and over 25 albums. Despite her prolific output, her work and unique artistic approach have always been rooted in authenticity and the pursuit of excellence.

Diane Dufresne began singing as a teenager in Montréal, where she took lessons with Simone Quesnel. From 1965 to 1967, she studied voice with Jean Lumière and the dramatic arts with Françoise Rosay in Paris. Back in Québec, her collaboration with composer François Cousineau and lyricist Luc Plamondon served as a springboard to her international career. 

In the 1970s, in addition to her singing career, she began to paint, working with Brother Jerôme at his studio. This encounter proved to be a defining moment in her artistic journey, allowing her to explore other ways to create. Since 1993, she has had over 25 solo exhibitions in Québec, France, and the United States.

Diane Dufresne has received numerous accolades throughout her career, including three Félix Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award at the ADISQ gala in 2006. The singer is a Knight of the Ordre national du Québec, Ordre de la Pléiade, France's Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and the French Legion of Honour. Recipient of the Governor General's Performing Arts Award (GGPAA) for artistic achievement in 2001, she has just been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in May 2023.

Still active in music, she recently played a show at Palais Montcalm in October 2022. Throughout her remarkable career, she has maintained her enthusiasm and authenticity, as well as a profound respect for everyone she comes in contact with, her, from the musicians she works with to the audiences with whom she shares her love for music. 

Université Laval is awarding Diane Dufresne an Honorary Doctorate in Music in recognition of her artistic talent and unique vocal style, which have made her such an emblematic figure of Québec culture.

Photo: Philippe Evenou