Year Born: 1961
Year of Induction: 2006
Member of CAB Hall of Fame
Thibault, Sophie (1961- )
After earning a Bachelors Degree in psychology in 1984, Sophie Thibault headed towards a Masters in the field with the goal of becoming a clinician, but she changed course and enrolled in the Université de Montréal, where she completed a Diploma in Information and Journalism in 1988. Her flair for communications was undoubtedly in her genes, because her father, Marc Thibault, was the General News Director at Radio-Canada from 1968 to 1981, and her mother, Monique Larouche, was a novelist and newspaper columnist at the Journal de Montréal.
She took her first steps in the world of communications at community radio stations CINQ-FM in Montreal and CHAI-FM in Châteauguay. She also wrote several articles in the magazines La vie en rose, Protégez-vous and Le Nordais.
She then decided to take courses in radio and elocution at the École Promédia directed by the former on-air personality Pierre Dufault. She joined the TVA Network in 1988, and successively held positions as a reporter, TV program host and newsreader. Her first foray as a newsreader was during the Oka crisis in 1990, which dominated the headlines at that time in the Province of Quebec.
Finally, in May 2002, she became the first solo female news anchor of an evening newscast in the Province of Quebec, attracting an average audience of some 650,000 viewers, the biggest audience for a newscast in the Province of Quebec.
Prior to her appointment as a news anchor, she hosted several TVA Network programs, including the Top 50 du pouvoir au Québec. She also contributed to the public affairs programs Le match de la vie, L’événement, À votre santé and Sur la colline. She also served as weekend and noon news anchor from 1995 to 2002.
Her career has been marked by several awards and distinctions. From 2003 to 2005, she was awarded the Artis trophy in the Best newsreader category, and again from Artis in 2004, from she was also named the Female Personality of the Year. In 2003, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal awarded her the Femme d’honneur prize at their Special Someone Gala Evening. In 2005, the YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) presented her with their Woman of the Year prize in the Communications category. On May 3, 2006, in Quebec’s National Assembly, the International association of French-speaking parliamentarians decorated her with the title of Chevalier of the Ordre de la Pléiade to draw attention to her contribution to the promotion of French language and culture around the world.
Sophie Thibault was inducted into the CAB Hall of Fame in 2006.
Written by Yvon Chouinard – November, 2006