2012 Scientific Scientific

A notary by training, Georges Brossard is primarily known for his pet cause: reconciling people with the insect world. He is a self-taught entomologist and the man behind the Montréal Insectarium.

Born in Brossard in 1940 to a family of farmers, Georges Brossard was fascinated by insects from a very young age. Before devoting himself full time to his true love, entomology, he began a career as a notary. He completed notarial studies at the University of Ottawa in 1966 and later pursued museum studies at the Université de Montréal in 1988 and 1989.

At the age of 38, Mr. Brossard began to travel and study, through observation, the insects he encountered. In 1978, he left the notarial profession to indulge his passion for entomology. He collected insects for 30 years and travelled to more than 100 countries in an effort to discover the rarest stories and specimens.

In 1989, after collecting over 250,000 specimens, he proposed to the then-mayor of Montréal, Jean Drapeau, with the help of Pierre Bourque, who was at the time the director of the Montreal Botanical Garden, that he donate his incredible collection to the City, creating the first insectarium ever, a well-known institution that he headed up for ten years. Today, there are over 25 insectariums around the world, five of them, in addition to the Montréal Insectarium, founded by Mr. Brossard (in Shanghai, Newfoundland, New Orleans, Québec City and Bonaventure in the Gaspé), all of which have drawn on his expertise in entomology, museology and exhibition design.

An unrivalled communicator and popularizer, Mr. Brossard is much sought after as a speaker on entrepreneurship, motivation, management, the environment and education, both in educational and business circles.

A humanist and philanthropist, he has been involved with many organizations, including the Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus de Québec, the Société de biologie du Québec and the Association des gens d’affaires de la ville de Brossard. His most famous collaboration is undoubtedly with the Children’s Wish Foundation, the organization behind the film The Blue Butterfly by Léa Pool, which he collaborated on and in it told part of his life story. He is also the writer of the TV series entitled Mémoires d'insectes and the co-creator and host of the series Insectia, filmed by the Discovery Channel.

Georges Brossard’s involvement and work have earned him many honours. He was named a knight of the Ordre du Québec (2006) and a member of the Order of Canada (2002). He has also received the Medal of the National Assembly of Québec (2012), the Diamond Jubilee Medal (2002), the Méritas award from the Société d’entomologie du Québec (2000), the White Magnolia from the City of Shanghai (1998) and the Louis-Riel Medal (1992). McGill University and Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières have both awarded him honorary doctorates.

At age 72, Georges Brossard is more active than ever and delights in sharing his passion for life, his vision of personal and professional success and his motivation. Convinced that people should always believe in their dreams, he is very vocal in saying that you are never too young or too old to make them come true. This is the philosophy that has allowed him to bring to the public a branch of biology that was previously accessible only to scientists and to raise awareness among millions of people about the environment and the fascinating world of insects.