The Quebec legend of the flying canoe tells of a group of lumberjacks living in the forest, far from their villages, who, yearning to join their “sweethearts” (lovers) on New Year’s Eve, make a pact with the devil. Their canoe will be able to fly, thereby allowing them to cover long distances in a short time. The only catch is that they must not curse or hit a church steeple, and they must be back at camp by 6 o’clock the next morning. Otherwise, their souls will be lost and belong to the devil.

As for the artist, Henri Beaulac, he was born on July 18, 1914, from the marriage of Henri Beaulac, a doctor, and Bella Duval. He studied in Trois-Rivières, then at the École des Beaux-Arts in Quebec City. He learned painting, sculpture, modelling, and drawing there. In 1934, on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the founding of the City of Trois-Rivières, he produced the first drawing of the monument in Place Pierre Boucher, Le Flambeau. In 1936, he was entrusted with producing the engravings in Étincelles by Moisette Olier, which evokes the colourful life of the St-Maurice forges.

In 1940, holding a scholarship from the provincial government, he went to New York to do a three-year internship at the Pratt Institute. Upon his return, he became a professor at the École du meuble de Montréal and the École supérieure d’Outremont.

It should be noted that the archives department room of the Séminaire Saint-Joseph de Trois-Rivières was among his achievements in 1943 at the request of Msgr. Albert Tessier.

In June 1945, he married Simone Hudon, a painter/etcher.

In 1946, he was the director of Atelier 915 of the house of N. G. Valiquette, which specialized in the art of typically Canadian furniture. In 1951, he worked closely with the Petite Forge des Frères Lebrun in Trois-Rivières. A renowned interior designer, Henri Beaulac produced the decoration for several hotels, theatres, consulates, churches, chapels, etc.

Henri Beaulac died on March 18, 1994. His funeral was held at the Trois-Rivières Cathedral.

Donation from the artist
Musée Pierre-Boucher Collection
1985 968 E