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René Buisson, C.M.

Founder of the Musée Marc-Aurèle Fortin


René Buisson, founder of the Foundation and the Musée Marc-Aurèle Fortin has always been interested in culture, education, arts and sports.

In the fifties, while running his business, René Buisson, loyal and committed philanthropist, supported in different ways Canadian, Quebecois and Aboriginal artists.

During this period, Buisson discovers Marc-Aurèle Fortin’s watercolours. His admiration for the artist continues to grow.

René Buisson first met Marc-Aurèle Fortin in 1962 in Sainte-Rose, where the artist lived in illness, being subjected to neglect and abusive conditions.

In 1967, Buisson took the initiative to place the artist, who had become blind, in safety at the Hospital Saint-Jean Macamic in the Abitibi region, where the artist received the care he needed. René Buisson contributed to give Marc-Aurèle Fortin his dignity and quality of life back.

In 1974, René Buisson established the Marc-Aurèle Fortin Foundation. Ten years later, thanks to his unwavering determination, operating without subsidies, he succeeded in putting forward this ambitious project. On January 24th, 1984, René Buisson and his colleagues opened the Musée Marc-Aurèle Fortin in Old Montreal.

The realization of this dream is the result of the conviction of a builder and his dedication. René Buisson continued his mission by writing a book dedicated to Fortin entitled: "Marc-Aurèle Fortin, un maitre inconnu " published in French in 1995.

The outstanding involvement of René Buisson towards painters and the arts, combined with his skills as a manager and leader, made him a figurehead of the arts in Quebec.


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