Maman Dion, who died Friday, was ‘the mom of all of Quebec”

Thérèse Tanguay Dion in 2008.

Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette recordsdata

Thérèse Tanguay Dion wasn’t simply the mom of Québécois pop famous person Céline Dion. She was additionally a much-loved Quebec character in her personal proper, which is why so many individuals right here reacted so emotionally when news broke Friday morning that she had died.

Maman Dion, as she was affectionately recognized, died Friday on the age of 92. No reason for loss of life was introduced, however her daughter Claudette stated she had been in failing well being for a number of months.

“She’s just like the mom of all of Quebec as a result of everybody needs to have a Maman Dion as their mom,” stated TV host and producer Julie Snyder. “Céline was the darling of Quebec however she was the mother of Quebec. And she or he’s probably the most well-known mother on the planet. There is no such thing as a star who has a well-known mother like her. You don’t know the mother of Paul McCartney. You don’t know the mother of Beyoncé.”

Snyder helped kick-start Maman Dion’s profession as a TV host … on the age of 71. Dion had appeared on Snyder’s discuss present Le Poing J on TVA within the late ’90s to speak about her line of meat pies that she had launched. Snyder and her colleagues thought Céline’s mom was such a pure on TV that they determined to create a cooking present along with her. Beginning in 1999, Dion hosted the present Maman Dion for 3 years on TVA.

However in 2002 she stepped again from her TV work to maintain her ailing husband, Adhémar Dion, who had most cancers. He died in 2003. She then went on to give attention to philanthropy, organising La fondation Maman Dion, which helps underprivileged kids.

“It’s like we’ve misplaced our personal mom,” stated a girl in tears who referred to as in to Montreal discuss radio station 98.5 FM on Friday afternoon. “A mom brings you into the world, she takes care of you, she’ll love you it doesn’t matter what you turn into in life. It’s a terrific loss for the Dion household.”

Adhemar and Thérèse Tanguay Dion in 2001.


Montreal Gazette file picture

Dion had 14 kids, together with Céline, and she or he performed a serious function within the early years of her daughter’s singing profession. She at all times beloved music, a ardour that was cemented on the age of 11 when her father gave her a violin for her birthday. Satisfied that Céline would turn into a star, Dion determined to write down a tune for her when her daughter was simply 12, in an effort to be a focus for native producers.

She wrote the lyrics and her son Jacques wrote the music for the tune Ce n’était qu’un rêve, and she or he despatched a cassette of the tune to René Angélil, on the time Quebec’s main music supervisor. Angélil was surprised by what he heard and instantly felt he’d discovered somebody who may turn into a worldwide pop star. Seems he was proper. He grew to become her supervisor and later her husband.

When Dion discovered her 18-year-old daughter was in a relationship with Angélil, who was greater than 40 years older than her, she hit the roof. She ultimately moved past the preliminary anger and reconciled with Angélil.

Céline Dion sits along with her mom Therese at comeback efficiency by her brother Jacques and his spouse Genevieve Garceau in Montreal Wednesday August 30, 2017.

John Mahoney /

Montreal Gazette

Josélito Michaud, a preferred TV and radio host, was a buddy of Maman Dion, turning into near her after he grew to become the spokesman for the Maison Adhémar-Dion, a palliative-care facility in Terrebonne named after Dion’s late husband.

“She had her personal character, she wasn’t simply the mom of Céline,” stated Michaud. “In truth, generally right here in Quebec it was extra like Céline was the daughter of Thérèse. And Céline actually listened to her motherv … her mom noticed a lot distress, however she had her two toes on the bottom. If Céline is what she is immediately, it’s thanks largely to her mom. She was a pressure of nature.”

She’d come from excessive poverty, rising up throughout the melancholy within the Gaspésie, and she or he additionally had the arduous activity of managing a household with 14 youngsters.

“Within the first years of Céline’s profession, she was very current,” stated Michaud. “She did the entire journeys along with her. It’s 4 years in the past this week that René died and I’d say the second pillar of her life was her mom. René had stated in interviews that he was very afraid of Maman Dion. She was fairly authoritarian. She didn’t like conflicts so she’d remedy them immediately.”

Snyder nonetheless recollects with pleasure that day Maman Dion appeared on Le Poing J.

“She was so humorous, the viewers was laughing their heads off,” stated Snyder. “I stated: ‘Madame Dion, we’re operating out of time, thanks very a lot’ and she or he advised me: ‘I’m not completed but.’ She was taking management of every thing. Céline has generally stated ‘I’m the boss’ however Maman Dion was the massive boss. She was the one with the imaginative and prescient, who believed in Céline. She was the one who selected René Angélil. She was the one who stated Céline needed to be managed by the man who manages Ginette Reno. Nobody wished to write down for Céline, so she wrote her a tune.”

Thérèse Dion with Julie Snyder in 2008.

Dave Sidaway /

THE GAZETTE/Dave Sidaway

Maman Dion was just like the rock that held the household collectively, stated Vito Luprano, the chief at Sony Music Canada who signed Céline in 1986.

“It’s the place Céline acquired her energy,” stated Luprano. “She was a beautiful lady … and she or he was a terrific cook dinner.”

Céline Dion’s administration firm launched a press release asking for the media and public to respect the privateness of the household on this tough time and added that particulars of the funeral could be introduced at a later date.