Tributes pour in for late Quebec director Jean-Claude Lord

Minister of Canadian Heritage Pablo Rodriguez is among those sharing thoughts on the pioneering He Shoots, He Scores director, who has died at age 78.

The screen world is mourning the loss of Quebec director and producer Jean-Claude Lord, whose credits include the 1980s hockey drama series Lance et compte (He Shoots, He Scores) and the ’82 horror film Visiting Hours starring Michael Ironside and William Shatner.

His son, filmmaker Jean-Sebastien Lord, posted on social media over the weekend that his father died on Jan. 15 following a massive stroke on Dec. 30. He was 78.

“He was a great pioneer of cinema and television in Quebec,” Jean-Sebastien Lord wrote on Facebook.

“His social commitment was at the heart of his work, he liked to disturb, move, provoke and tell stories in his own way. He defined himself, not as an artist, but as a ‘communicator’ who liked to question the values of the society we live in.”

Lord achieved commercial success starting in the 1970s with films including the Genie Award-nominated drama Éclair au chocolat and the thriller Bingo. He went on to a prolific career directing in TV and film, on projects including the ’77 political drama Panique (Panic), which was at Cannes; the ’93 Canadian-American crime drama series Sirens for ABC; and the ’88 film La Grenouille et la baleine (Tadpole and the Whale), which was part of Canadian producer Rock Demers’ popular family movie series.

Lord’s career honours included the 2017 Prix Guy-Mauffette awarded by the Quebec government.

“Through his films and TV series, he made us laugh, cry and introduced us to characters and moments that will forever remain in our memories,” Minister of Canadian Heritage Pablo Rodriguez wrote on Twitter.

Jean Yoon, star of CBC comedy Kim’s Convenience who worked with Lord on the Canadian series L’Or for Productions La Fete, called him a “giant” who was “wise, kind, brilliant.”

“It was an honour working with you. In L’Or you gave me my first chance to play a full character, culturally and linguistically fluent,” tweeted Yoon. “In 2000, L’Or presented an interracial Chinese-Canadian and White Canadian family storyline, with scenes in Mandarin. Jean-Claude never asked for an accent, he knew it was inappropriate.”

Lord’s son said ceremonies to commemorate the life of his father will be held “when health conditions can lend themselves to a more meaningful gathering.”

“He has touched so many people with his films and series that his departure is a great loss for the entire Quebec cultural environment,” wrote Jean-Sebastien Lord.