Canada Post today issued a commemorative stamp celebrating Quebec’s grande dame of stage and screen, Monique Mercure. Known for her fiery spirit, versatility and powerful performances, Mercure (1930-2020) was one of Canada’s most beloved and acclaimed actresses.
She began her acting career in the early 1960s at the theatre and made her film debut in 1963 in Claude Jutra’s À tout prendre. This kicked off a career that would extend over the next six decades. A household name in Quebec, Mercure performed in more than 100 classical and contemporary plays in North America and Europe and over 80 films and TV productions.
Some of her most popular films were Mon oncle Antoine (1971), J.A. Martin photographe (1977) – which earned Mercure Canada’s first Festival de Cannes award for best actress – Naked Lunch (1991) and The Red Violin (1998). She also appeared as a regular in popular French-language TV series Providence (2005-11) and Mémoires vives (2013-16).
Throughout her career, Mercure received numerous awards and honours, including two Genie Awards, two Prix Gémeaux, the Prix Denise-Pelletier, the Prix Gascon-Roux from the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde and a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.
She was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1979 and promoted to Companion in 1993. Mercure was also named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Grand Officer of the Ordre national du Québec.
Mercure joins her peers from the performing community that Canada Post has honoured with stamps, including Fay Wray, Mary Pickford and Christopher Plummer.
About the stamp
The stamp features an illustration by Oriana Fenwich based on a photograph of Monique Mercure taken in 1963 by Henri Paul, courtesy of Radio-Canada Archives. The stamp was printed by Colour Innovations and designed by Underline Studio. Cancelled in Montréal, the issue includes a booklet of six Permanent™ domestic rate stamps, a pane of six stamps and an Official First Day Cover.