Tribute to Viola LégerPublished on 23 March 2017 Blog by Senator Joseph Day (retired)
I would like to pay tribute to a remarkable New Brunswicker: The Acadian actress and former senator, the honorable Viola Léger.
It was with great sadness that I learned that Senator Léger has withdrawn from public life after suffering a stroke in January.
Often described as “one of the brightest stars in Canada’s artistic firmament”, she also performed as a distinguished public servant.
Mme Léger is known across the world for a character that portrays a humble Acadian cleaning lady from rural New Brunswick: La Sagouine.
She incarnated la Sagouine more than three-thousand times throughout Canada and abroad between 1971 and 2016, winning rave reviews for her unique and engaging portrayal.
Her talent has earned her many awards: In 1989, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2007, she was awarded the Order of New Brunswick, and in 2013, she received a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award.
As an artist, as an educator, and as a senator; her vitality and creative nature remains great inspiration to many.
A great supporter of Canadian artists, she founded her own theatre company in New Brunswick and established the Viola Léger Foundation to support theatre production and professional training for Acadian theatre artists.
Her fresh insights, her passion for the theater and, her dedication to the promotion of Acadian culture marked the years we served together in this chamber.
I would like Senator Léger to know that we very much appreciate the enormous contribution she has made to Acadian culture and heritage in New Brunswick.
She will always be in the hearts of New Brunswickers and her image of a humble Acadian woman will live forever.