Hall of Famer
Francois Pichard, O.C.
From 1933 until the late 1970s, Francois Pichard’s contribution to the sport of organized skiing in Quebec was without parallel. In 1933, he founded the Club de ski Le Montagnard de Lévis and was a principal participant in the following year in the formation of the Saint Lawrence Valley Zone of the Canadian Amateur Ski Association (CASA). He served as its president for 11-years from 1939 to 1949 and again in 1970, vigorously pursuing the development of the sport in general and competition in particular.
In 1937, he served as a director of the Quebec Winter Sports Association established for the purposes of developing Mont St-Castin.
In 1944, he participated in the evaluation of Mont Ste-Anne for competition identifying potential courses for slalom and downhill events for the 1947 Canadian Ski Championships. He subsequently presided over the Championships held at Mont Ste-Anne, Lac Beauport and Val Cartier. He continued to be part of the ongoing development of Mont Ste-Anne when, in 1964, he participated in an evaluation of potential trails and routes for ski lifts. In 1967, he acted as coordinator of Nordic events when Mont Ste-Marie hosted the Canadian Winter Games and again, in 1969, 1971 and 1973, he presided over the coordinating committee for the World Cup Alpine events and as served in the same capacity for
the Canadian Ski Jumping events in 1970. In 1979, was Chief of Protocol at the World Junior Nordic Championships also at Mont Ste-Anne.
From 1944 until 1946, he participated in the development of a 60-mile ski trail system between Lac Beauport and Mont Ste-Anne known as “La Piste du Caribou”.
Unfortunately, the system was abandoned later for lack of use. From 1945 until 1951, he was vice-president of the Canadian Amateur Ski
Association (CASA) and served in the same capacity on the Canadian Olympic Association in which, among other responsibilities, he was responsible for the selection of the Canadian Nordic team for the 1948 Olympic Winter Games held at St-Moritz, Switzerland. During his tenure with the CASA he participated in the founding of the Gaspé Zone.
He was also a founding member and acting president of the Quebec Division of the CASA in 1950 serving as the Division’s vice-president in 1963 and a director in 1969. He served on the Canadian Olympic Association and represented Canada at several Federation Internationale de Ski (FIS) meets in Europe. From 1955 to 1957, he served as president of the Society for the Advancement of Skiing in Quebec.
For 10-years he served in a number of executive capacities (as well as an instructor) for a society devoted to the popularization of ski trails in Quebec. The organization donated some 125,000 hours of free instruction to young people aged 8 to 14-years on the Plains of Abraham, Quebec City. From 1969 until 1970 he served as president of Skibec, originally the St Lawrence Valley Ski Zone.
He was founder of the Junior Ski Jumping organization in Quebec in 1971 and devoted many years as instigator and founder of the ski school for children in the Province of Quebec. For his voluntary and many contributions over the years he was awarded Canada’s highest honour, the Order of Canada, in 1979.
Please Note: The ski information gathered here is compiled from a number of sources; it may not be inclusive of all accomplishments.
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1983 Canadian Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony [L to R]: Gaby Pleau, Inductee François Pichard, Louis Grimes. CSHFM Collection.