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

  • Liam Gallagher to make solo debut for Manchester relief

    Entertainment CTV News
    Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher on Friday announced his solo debut with a concert in his native Manchester to support families affected by the deadly suicide attack at the city's arena. The singer, infamous during the heyday of Oasis in the 1990s for his foul mouth and hard-living, said that Tuesday's show will raise money for a Red Cross-supported appeal following the blast that killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert. Source
  • Guitar king Clapton honoured by France

    Entertainment CTV News
    Guitar legend Eric Clapton has been honoured by France for his services to music, the French embassy in London said Friday. Clapton was made a commander in the Order of Arts and Letters (l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) on Thursday by French ambassador Sylvie Bermann, who called him an "ambassador of the blues in France". Source
  • Brad Pitt, Pharrell among mourners at Chris Cornell memorial [Photos]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — Brad Pitt and Pharrell joined mourners Friday at Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell’s memorial service at a storied Hollywood cemetery. Soundgarden music played from a portable speaker outside the cemetery’s gates as a group of about a dozen fans gathered outside. Source
  • Ben Stiller and wife Christine Taylor split

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — Ben Stiller and his wife announced Friday that they are separating after 17 years of marriage. Stiller and actress Christine Taylor released a joint statement Friday announcing their breakup. They were married in May 2000 and have two children, who they said will remain their priority. Source
  • Ben Stiller and wife Christine Taylor announce separation

    Entertainment CTV News
    Actor Ben Stiller, left, and wife Christine Taylor during Stiller's Hand & Footprint Ceremony at TCL Chinese Theatre on Tuesday, December, 3, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Richard Shotwell / Invision / AP) Source
  • David Hasselhoff denied Leonardo DiCaprio 'Baywatch' role

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Leonardo DiCaprio’s parents are still sore with David Hasselhoff for refusing to cast their son as his kid on Baywatch. Hasselhoff admits he ran into DiCaprio and his folks at the Cannes Film Festival premiere for The Great Gatsby in 2013 — and they still remembered the snub. Source
  • Anthrax wants to back up Lady Gaga

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Anthrax has offered to hit the road as Lady Gaga’s backing band after watching her front Metallica at the Grammy Awards. The Poker Face singer joined Metallica for a performance of their song Moth Into Flame at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and it was enough to convince guitarist Scott Ian that she should have a heavy rock act behind her at all times. Source
  • Chris Cornell of Soundgarden laid to rest in Hollywood

    Entertainment CBC News
    Music's elite and celebrities remembered Chris Cornell at a somber memorial service Friday that focused on the Soundgarden frontman's love of family and friends as much as it did on his musical achievements as one of rock's leading voices. Source
  • 'Embracing our girl power:' Alamo cinema chain doubles down with more ladies-only Wonder Woman screenings

    Entertainment CBC News
    The Alamo Drafthouse movie chain said this week it's "embracing our girl power" with women-only screenings of Wonder Woman at least two theatres in the U.S., but the move has left some men angry at being left out. Source
  • 'Embracing our girl power:' Movie chain doubles down on ladies-only Wonder Woman screenings

    Entertainment CBC News
    The Alamo Drafthouse movie chain said this week it's "embracing our girl power" with women-only screenings of Wonder Woman at least two theatres in the U.S., but the move has left some men angry at being left out. Source