Delvica Allard was born in Varennes (Quebec) in 1902. In 1928, he began his studies at the École des beaux-arts de Montréal under the tutelage of Alfred Laliberté. Allard sculpted busts and medallions portraying Quebec’s clergymen and politicians such as Montreal Mayor Camilien Houde, Quebec Prime Ministers Maurice Duplessis and Jean Lesage, Canadian Prime Minister Louis Saint-Laurent, Cardinal Paul-Émile Léger and Lomer Gouin, Lieutenant-Governor and Prime Minister of Quebec. He created a total of more than 250 works of art.
Allard also pursued his career as an educator and administrator in the academic community. As a professional patternmaker, he taught woodworking, metal processing and clay modeling. Unbeknownst to many, he was also crowned Canadian carom billiards champion.
This medallion’s origin is unknown. It’s possible that the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary who owned the building that would bear the name of the late composer ordered the piece in 1964, a year with celebrations dedicated to Claude Champagne, or following his death in 1965. The 1964 celebrations included the inauguration of the Claude-Champagne auditorium within the École Vincent-d’Indy, a movie shot by the National Film Board and a television show.
Commemorative medallions were ordered frequently at the time to mark an important event. Delvica Allard’s medallion hangs alongside the memorial plaque issued by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada in 1994 to honor the composer. In 1988, the Board acknowledged Claude Champagne as a person of national historic importance in Canada. It underlines the work behind the Suite canadienne and the Symphonie gaspésienne: “[…] Claude Champagne is considered the patriarch of Canadian music. His directing mind allowed him to train many other composers at the Conservatoire de musique. His range of influence extended to primary schools, for which he wrote music theory manuals, as well as McGill University and many other private music schools” [Loose translation].