Disinherited by her parents, because she studied in France

Disinherited by her parents because she studied in France


Renowned Canadian film producer, Denise Robert, is known for various successful films of recent years. 

She is a native of Eastview, a predominantly French-speaking town, which in 1969 became the city of Vanier, a municipality bordering Ottawa. While in elementary school, she won the contest to justify why the town should be named after Vanier. She thought she was rich because she was given $10 for winning the pageant.

Her father, Dr. Maurice Robert, and mother Claire, married after just 19 days of dating ; they settled in Rivière-Pentecôte, west of Port-Cartier, where they established a medical clinic.

When they returned, Dad wanted to go to Europe, but his father convinced him to practice at Saint-Louis-Marie-de-Montfort Hospital in Ottawa so that patients could be treated in French.

What was a beautiful moment you shared with your father?

Without a doubt, Christmas Day, because we were leaving together to distribute baskets Christmas to some of his patients. I talk about it and I still have tears in my eye.

You liked to play the piano with your father.

Music was my way of expressing my feelings. I was playing the same piece of music as dad after he was done. Then, I would express myself alone on the piano with sad or happy musical pieces.

How were the family holidays?

We were eight children who visited different places in Quebec, not forgetting Santa Claus Village, with our parents.

Did you play a lot of sports?

I loved downhill skiing, cross country skiing and I skated the entire length of the Rideau Canal. I always liked to read, but in the library at home we only had medical books that allowed me to analyze the different diseases. I even thought of becoming a doctor and today I continue to read medical books.

Your father played golf.

I don't didn't understand how a man could walk hitting a small ball for four hours. Fortunately, my husband, Denys Arcand, instilled in me a passion for golf, because today I like to play golf.

How was a traditional Saturday night at your place?

My dad loved hockey, so we would start with the family dinner and then get together in front of the TV and watch Saturday night hockey. Me, I took the opportunity to read books on medicine, which I still like to do today.

You discovered a wonderful actress in Julie Christie.

I was very young when I went to see the movie Doctor Zhivago, which allowed me to discover this wonderful and pretty actress, Julie Christie. She was a source of inspiration for me, because cinema is my imaginary world.

You were disinherited by your parents because you wanted to study in France.

I was 18 years old and I registered at the Museum of Fine Arts located in Provence. My parents advised me that if I went to study in France they would disinherit me.

Have you been to France?

Yes. I lived in an apartment on rue Victor-Hugo, that is to say, in reality, an apartment the size of a wardrobe, without electricity except for a skylight that lit the bedroom. After I left, yes, my parents
disinherited me.

The pigeons woke you up in the morning.

Every morning , to the sound of pigeons pecking on the roof, I woke up. Despite everything I just shared with you, I found my experience romantic.

After a month, you were out of money.

I contacted my parents to borrow money from them and they never got back to me.

The dog ate the leftovers and you, bread and water.

On Sundays, I accompanied the owner of the building to the restaurant. Just to clarify the situation, the dogs were allowed to sit at the table with us to eat. Madame enjoyed an excellent meal, the dog, Henri, ate the remains of Madame's meal and I a wonderful feast of bread and water.

How did you raise the money?

I did housekeeping and had to wash floors on construction sites.

Selling the piano changed your life.< /strong>

One day, I learned that my father had sold the piano, which meant for me my official break with my parents. That's when I decided that I was not going to please my father and become a doctor.

The word “no” was part of your family.

When you are eight children, the “no” is part of family decisions. However, the “no” allowed me to learn how to circumvent the situation to achieve my ends.

A Troubadours tapestry has somehow changed your life.< /p>

There was a gentleman by my side. I wanted to impress him with my knowledge, but instead I expressed my ignorance.

Who is this gentleman who influenced your career?

A Montreal actor and artistic director who has devoted his life to the cause of Canadian theatre; he also founded the Théâtre du Nouveau-Monde. He taught me the craft and the basics of the seventh art. It was Jean Gascon.

You bought yourself a cabin in the woods before your used car

I did some auto- stop to go to my cabin, then buy me a used Vega, manual drive.

You have a good relationship with your son Carter and your spouse Denys Arcand.< /p>

Our son Carter, who we adopted from China, allows us to discover such beautiful things about the evolution of today's society and he is so dynamic. The relationship with his father is inspiring, because Denys is a good family man. I am blessed to be able to count on them, because I frequently share new things that they discover every day.