Funeral for Rene Angelil underway in Montreal

Hundreds of mourners have gathered in Montreal to celebrate the life of Rene Angelil, music producer and late husband to Celine Dion.

See Full Article

Angelil died of throat cancer last week at the age of 73 and was given the honour of a national funeral by Quebec’s National Assembly.

Dion arrived outside Notre-Dame Basilica shortly before 3 p.m. with family members, including five-year-old twin boys Nelson and Eddy, and 14-year-old son Rene-Charles.

The family entered the church at 3:20 p.m. accompanied by a French recording of Dion’s 1984 song “Twenty Minutes Past Three.”

Dion placed black flowers on a cushion atop Angelil’s casket. It was the same cushion used for the couple’s wedding bands when they were married in the basilica on Dec. 17, 1994.

The first to speak was Angelil’s son from his first marriage, Patrick Angelil, who remembered his father as a man who loved to “eat, loved to share and loved to play blackjack.”

“We were always able to call upon his wisdom,” he said in French. “He taught us that we have to treat others as we want to be treated.”

Rene-Charles spoke next. “Fifteen years is not a long time for a son to get to know his father,” he said, adding that they had bonded over “golf, hockey, poker and smoked meat.”

Rene-Charles promised to pass on what he had learned from his father to his younger brothers. “Dad, I promise you here that we are all going to live up to your standards,” he added. “I love you.”

That was followed by a recording of Dion’s song “All the Way,” then a song from a boys’ choir, and prayers.

Among the dignitaries present are Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, Heritage Minister Melanie Joly, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, former prime minister Brian Mulroney, Premier Philippe Couillard and NDP Leader Tom Muclair.

Hockey heavyweights have also arrived to pay their respects, including former Montreal Canadiens goalie Jose Theodore and current head coach Michel Therrien, and Michel Bergeron, who coached the Quebec Nordiques.

Archbishop of Montreal Christian Lepine is presiding over the ceremony.

In Quebec City, the flag at the legislature is flying at half-mast.

Another celebration of Angelil's life will take place Feb. 3 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Angelil was born in 1942 to a Syrian father and mother of Lebanese descent but soon became a fixture of Quebecois culture.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Todd Fisher says mom Debbie Reynolds set him up for death

    Entertainment CTV News
    In this April 1, 1997, file photo, Debbie Reynolds, left, celebrates her 65th birthday on stage as her son, Todd Fisher, presents her with a cake following her evening variety show, at the Debbie Reynolds Hotel in Las Vegas. Source
  • Q&A: Russell Peters planning 'something different' with Bryan Adams for Junos

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- Canadian comedian Russell Peters says he and homegrown rocker Bryan Adams are planning something "different and interesting" for the Juno Awards show, which airs on CTV on April 2. Earlier this month, Junos organizers announced the duo will host the show from Ottawa, replacing Michael Buble as he continues to care for his three-year-old son, who is fighting cancer. Source
  • Funeral held for pugnacious NY journalist Jimmy Breslin

    Entertainment CTV News
    New York political leaders from the last 50 years have joined Jimmy Breslin's family in celebrating the life of the pugnacious journalist. During the funeral Wednesday, Kevin Breslin alluded to his father's gruffness. He thanked the assembled by joking: "I'm not sure that he would come here for any of us. Source
  • Don't call it a comeback: Despite a new movie, Power Rangers has been here for years

    Entertainment CBC News
    On the heels of the new Beauty and the Beast film and a spate of '90s TV reboots including Full House and The X-Files, the Power Rangers are set to return to North American theatres for the first time since 1997. Source
  • National Arts Centre Orchesta to tour as part of Canada 150 celebrations

    Entertainment CTV News
    The National Arts Centre Orchestra is hoping to entertain and educate during its cross-country tour commemorating Canada's 150th birthday. The first leg of the tour starts in Atlantic Canada, running from April 26 to May 7, before heading back onto the road this fall with stops in Central and Western Canada from Oct. Source
  • National Arts Centre Orchestra to tour as part of Canada 150 celebrations

    Entertainment CTV News
    The National Arts Centre Orchestra is hoping to entertain and educate during its cross-country tour commemorating Canada's 150th birthday. The first leg of the tour starts in Atlantic Canada, running from April 26 to May 7, before heading back onto the road this fall with stops in Central and Western Canada from Oct. Source
  • New couple Diane Kruger, Norman Reedus go public

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Diane Kruger has left no doubt about her relationship with The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus after they were photographed kissing in New York City. The Inglourious Basterds star has been friends with Norman since they portrayed lovers in 2015 movie Sky, and now it appears their chemistry onscreen has been reignited in real life. Source
  • Brie Larson to star as first female U.S. presidential candidate

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Actress Brie Larson has signed on to star as the first female U.S. presidential candidate in a new movie. The Oscar-winning Room star will also serve as a producer on Victoria Woodhull. Ben Kopit is writing the script for the film, but is unclear when it will start shooting or premiere. Source
  • The Magnetic North Theatre Festival cancels 2017 season

    Entertainment CBC News
    One of Canada's premier theatre festivals has cancelled its 2017 season due to financial constraints. The Magnetic North Theatre Festival — which showcases and promotes Canadian theatre nationally and abroad — was scheduled to take place this summer at various venues in the capital, including the National Arts Centre from June 16-24. Source
  • 'Tapping into the comedy of couples': How Chuck Barris made TV that was ahead of its time

    Entertainment CBC News
    First, he had The Dating Game. Then came The Newlywed Game. And he followed it all up with the madcap mayhem that was The Gong Show. Sure, many have written off the game shows as mindless and low-brow. Source