A last Adieu to Picolo


A theatre curtain closed for the last time when the actor, director and author Paul Buissonneau died in 2014, at the age of 87. Arriving here from France in 1947 in the company of Edith Piaf, Paul Buissonneau became a prominent and influential figure on the Montréal stage, especially as co-founder of Théâtre de Quat’sous.

In 1952, Claude Robillard, then director of the Parks Department, put Buissonneau in charge of La Roulotte, a travelling theatre that was inspired by the commedia dell’arte and still performs in Montréal’s parks in the summertime, 60 years later. A wider audience got to know Buissonneau via Radio-Canada television shows like La Boîte à surprise, which featured his unforgettable character Picolo.

In 1968, he collaborated on a daring new variety show, l’Osstidcho, that is now remembered as a milestone in Québécois culture. After leaving Quat’sous in 1989, he devoted his career to film and writing as well as stage directing.

Every year since 2005, the Paul-Buissonneau Award honours the exceptional contribution of an individual, an amateur troupe or an organization to the development of Montréal’s amateur theatre. A ceramic mural was installed in his honour in 2010 at the corner of Ontario and Beaudry. In fall 2014, the Ville de Montréal named him Citoyen d’honneur, as a tribute to the many accomplishments of his career.