Guy Berthiaume appointed Officer of the Order of the Arts and Letters of the French Republic
December 4, 2017 – Gatineau – Library and Archives Canada
Her Excellency Kareen Rispal, Ambassador of France to Canada, today appointed Dr. Guy Berthiaume to the rank of Officer of the Order of the Arts and Letters of the French Republic at a ceremony in Ottawa.
A historian with a specialization in the study of Classical Antiquity, Dr. Berthiaume has been Librarian and Archivist of Canada since 2014. Prior to that, he served as the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec after a career in academia that spanned three decades.
A native of Montreal, he earned a doctorate from the Université Paris VIII in 1976, following an M.A. from the Université Laval (1973) and a B.A from the Université du Québec à Montréal (1972).
He also served as Director of the Canadian Students’ House at the Cité internationale universitaire de Paris as well as Secretary General of the Réseau francophone numérique (RFN), an organization that includes 22 heritage libraries from member countries of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie.
Dr. Berthiaume has been a Knight of the Ordre des Palmes académiques of the French Republic since 2006. In November 2012, he was awarded an honourary doctorate from the Université Jean Monnet (Saint-Étienne, France).
Established in 1957 by the French Republic, the Order of the Arts and Letters recognizes those who have made a significant creative impact on the artistic or literary fields, or a major contribution to the enrichment of the arts and literature in France and around the world.
“From ancient Greece to contemporary Canada, the path that has brought you to lead Library and Archives Canada today is testimony to your spirit of enterprise and innovation, and your unwavering francophilie. (…) You have devoted your life and your career to unveiling, connecting and opening up new horizons and perspectives that serve as channels for cultural exchange - from Montreal to Ottawa, often by way of France, and with a constant back and forth from one end of the world to the other.”
Her Excellency Kareen Rispal, Ambassador of France to Canada
“Thanks to digital technology, the global reach of arts and literature has today attained a level that was totally unimaginable when the Order was created in 1957. Working in the documentary field at this moment in time is a tremendous privilege, one which has been made even more special than I would ever have hoped by this prestigious honour from the Order of the Arts and Letters.”
Dr. Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada
The Order of the Arts and Letters is an honourary order awarded annually by the Minister of Culture of the French Republic based on the recommendations made to the Minister by the Prefect and Council of the Order of the Arts and Letters.
The Order of the Arts and Letters includes three ranks: Knight, Officer and Commander.
Other Officers of the Order of the Arts and Letters include Quebec novelist Marie Laberge, her singer-songwriter compatriot Gilles Vigneault, French actress Jeanne Moreau, British singer Elton John, American actress Faye Dunaway and Louisiana singer Zachary Richard.
Library and Archives Canada
Embassy of France in Canada
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