(Montreal) Many continued Monday to pay tribute to entrepreneur Daniel Langlois who was found dead with his partner in Dominica on Friday. The couple owned an eco-friendly hotel on the Caribbean island located between Guadeloupe and Martinique.
The news, which was reported by the Dominican media Dominica News Oline, was confirmed by the Daniel Langlois Foundation.
“Daniel Langlois and his partner Dominique Marchand died in tragic circumstances on December 1, 2023 on the island of Dominica, near their Coulibri Ridge hotel complex,” we can read at the end of the man’s biography. updated Monday on the foundation’s website.
Multiple media outlets reported that two bodies, believed to be those of the couple, were found in a burned-out car after they were reported missing.
Mr. Langlois, born in Jonquière, Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, in 1957, left his mark on the cultural industry. He founded the 3D animation and modeling software Softimage. The entrepreneur was the president and CEO of the company, from 1986 to 1998, which notably contributed to the creation of special effects in the films Jurassic Park and The Lord of the Rings.
Softimage was merged with Microsoft, then sold to Avid, before becoming part of Autodesk in 2008.
Mr. Langlois also founded the Excentris cinema complex in 1999, which was located in Montreal. In 2002, he inaugurated the private club 357C, which was located in a heritage building in Old Montreal.
The entrepreneur has also been president of DigiScreen, Media Principia and Digimart, as well as chairman of the board of Pixman Corporation.
On social networks, the cinema community paid tribute to this “great innovator”, as highlighted by the National Film Board (NFB) of Canada on the X platform on Monday.
Mr. Langlois worked at the NFB in the early 1980s, which he considered his second school. “His contributions to the film industry are invaluable,” the federal agency said.
“Mr. Langlois’ innovative spirit revolutionized the special effects industry and cinema. His legacy will forever mark the world of art and technology,” said Telefilm Canada, also on the X network.
The man who holds a bachelor’s degree in design from the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) was involved in the creation of the first stereoscopic computer animation (in which we perceive relief) in IMAX format, which was displayed at Expo 86 in Vancouver.
He also participated in the production of the animated short film Tony de Peltrie, broadcast in 1985, which was well received by critics.
The Cinémathèque québécoise was also saddened to lose one of its major patrons, who “had bequeathed it the rich collection of its foundation for art, science and technology – our most important acquisition of 2011”.
“Thanks to his immense generosity, our collections have been enhanced with more than 2,500 16mm films, master tapes and video copies of all formats; 6,800 books, monographs, essays and catalogs; some devices,artifacts; without forgetting important funds such as those of Steina and Woody Vasulka and the collection of Sonia Landy Sheridan,” listed the Cinémathèque on Facebook.
“We are losing an ally. The world loses a visionary,” the organization added.
Mr. Langlois’ contribution to the Festival du nouveau cinéma (FNC) was also highlighted by its general director, Nicolas Girard Deltruc.
“Without his contribution, our organization would not be what it has become today. His commitment, always disinterested financially, has played a major and first-rate role in the development of our cultural sector,” said Mr. Girard Deltruc on Facebook on Sunday.
He described the entrepreneur as “a man of integrity, generous, visionary and of great discretion”.
“The legacy he leaves us reflects his innovative spirit,” declared the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Pascale St-Onge, on X Sunday.
The man behind the Daniel Langlois Foundation, created in 1997, opened the self-sufficient luxury hotel Coulibri Ridge, in Dominica, last year, on which he had been working for several years with his partner, Dominique Marchand.
Mr. Langlois has received numerous awards and distinctions throughout his career. He was named a Knight of the National Order of Quebec in 1999, and an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000.
The businessman was also named Arts-Business Personality by the City of Montreal in 2002, and honored as a Great Montrealer by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal in 2004. A sign of his important place in the public space, he was named Personality of the Year at the 1995 Excellence La Presse gala.
He received honorary doctorates from the University of Sherbrooke, McGill University, the John Molson School of Management of Concordia University, the Faculty of Arts of UQAM and the University of Ottawa.