I am honoured to pay tribute to Françoys Bernier today.
Françoys Joseph Arthur Maurice Bernier avait déjà une brillante carrière à son actif, quand il fût nommé premier directeur du Département de musique, que l’Université d’Ottawa venait de créer en 1969.
He was a successful pianist, conductor, radio producer, arts administrator and music educator and he brought that experience plus a ton of charisma to our university.
Françoys was larger than life. He was very Patrician in his bearing – there was an air of aristocracy about him. But he loved people and was respected and admired in return. Those of us fortunate to work and learn from him were imbued with his enthusiasm. It was contagious. He certainly brought life to the expression – “Music hath charms”.
Françoys Bernier était un homme de la Renaissance. Tout ce qu’il faisait était caractérisé par élégance et réflexion, visait les meilleurs intérêts de l’université et des étudiants, et était animé par son amour de la musique.
The building across the way that houses the School of Music – we consider it the soul of the university – came about largely because of the brilliant idea, the salesmanship and the tireless efforts of Françoys Bernier.
We are eternally indebted to him.
The Françoys Bernier Scholarship provides financial assistance for academic excellence to a Franco-Ontarian undergraduate student registered in the fourth year of a Bachelor of Music degree in the area of Music Education at the University of Ottawa.
Testimonial presented by Mrs. Evelyn Greenberg on September 25, 2010