COLONEL ANDRÉ D. GAUTHIER, OMM, CD, NDC, B.COMM (CF RET’D)
SCULPTOR
ORLEANS, ONT, CANADA
In 1989, Colonel André Gauthier completed a
37-year career in the Canadian Armed Forces and
became a fulltime sculptor. Born in 1935 in Ottawa, he
was educated in Montreal and the University of Ottawa.
While attending university on the Regular Officer
Training Plan, he volunteered to serve as a troop
commander with the Regiment de Hull – a reserve
armoured regiment. He was commissioned in the
Canadian Provost Corps in May 1958. Early
assignments included a year as an Infantry platoon
commander in the First Battalion, Queen’s Own Rifles of
Canada followed by a year as 2IC of No 1 Provost
Platoon in Calgary, Alta. In summer 1960, he was
posted for a year as 2IC of the Kingston Provost
Detachment. In 1961, Lt Gauthier became the Camp
Provost Marshal at Base Valcartier, Que. The following
year (1962), he was promoted Captain and posted to
Germany where he first served in a Military Police staff
appointment before assuming command of No 4 Provost
Platoon.
On his return to Canada in the summer of
1965, he was posted as an instructor at the Canadian Forces School of Intelligence and Security and served a
year training foreign national officer cadets (Zambians, Tanzanians and Malaysians) in Infantry Phase I Officer
Training. He was then selected to attend the Canadian Army Staff College in Kingston, Ont and was promoted
to Major in 1967on completion of that course. His next assignment was as Staff Officer Personnel Plans at
Mobile Command Headquarters in St. Hubert, Que. Next, he became Executive Assistant to the Deputy
Commander of that Command and was briefly double-hatted as the Command Secretary. In 1969, he became
the Senior Staff Officer Security (responsible for military police, security and counter intelligence in the Army).
In 1970, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and appointed to head the Regional Civil Emergency
Operations Section of Mobile Command covering the Province of Quebec. Two weeks after assuming those
responsibilities, the FLQ terrorist October Crisis occurred and fully involved him and his staff for the four
months duration. In 1973, he was posted to Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean as Vice-Commandant and
Director of Cadets. Concurrent to that CMR appointment, LCol Gauthier was given a priority (four-month)
assignment by the CDS to participate as a Commissioner of Enquiry in a commission set up by the Solicitor
General of Canada (the Ducros Commission) looking into a series of escapes from federal penitentiaries in
Quebec. In 1975, he moved to Ottawa to undertake a year of language training learning Serbo-Croate. This
course was followed by his promotion to Colonel and his assignment as the Canadian Forces Attaché to
Yugoslavia and Greece in 1976-78. Upon his return to Canada, he became the Director of Security at National
Defence Headquarters. In 1980/81, he attended the National Defence College in Kingston, Ont and was
subsequently posted to Winnipeg, Man as the Chief of Staff for Headquarters Prairie Militia Area.
Over the period 1983-86, he served a three-year tour as the Military Advisor to the Canadian
Delegation to the conventional arms control negotiations (MBFR Talks) between NATO and the Warsaw Pact in
Vienna, Austria and, in his last three years of his military career, he was the Commandant of the unit
administering Canada's National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa. In November 1989, Colonel Gauthier was
awarded the Order of Military Merit by the Governor General of Canada.
Art has always formed an important part of André Gauthier's life. In addition to his main studies, he
received formal art training in oil painting, charcoal, and water Colours during his early schooling. He went on
to specialize in sculpture, which became his main form of artistic expression. He performs all steps in the
process starting with the actual creation in clay or wax, the making of transition moulds, the casting of
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prototypes on which final details may be added and the making of production moulds for multiple casts. Copies
of his works are usually cast in a durable epoxy plastic and finished with a bronze-like patina. For real bronze
casting, however, the artist sends an epoxy, plasticine or wax model to a foundry where the "lost wax" method of
casting is utilized.
While Colonel Gauthier is not limited in the range of his subject interests, the sculptures most
frequently created until his retirement from the Forces were connected with the Profession of Arms. This was a
consequence of the very limited free time available to make sculptures while he was still a serving officer and
also the large demand for his military works.
Colonel Gauthier developed a collection of sculptures across the wide range of operational specialties
in the Canadian Army, Navy and Air Force. Copies of his works can be found in military or private collections
across Canada, in the USA, and several countries in the rest of the World. These smaller works (varying
between 6” and 24" high) are most commonly ordered by an individual for his own collection or as a personal
gift to his unit on relinquishing command; others are ordered by units or organizations for use as Regimental
Centre-pieces, as departing gifts to retiring members or to important personages. On several occasions, military
units have presented such sculptures to cities with which they have had a long association. Copies of his works
have also been presented to a member of the British royal family, to the Governor General of Canada, two
Canadian prime ministers, Canadian cabinet ministers and dozens of visiting foreign dignitaries. Copies of five
of his works are included in the permanent art collection of the Canadian War Museum (Ottawa, Canada).
Non-military subjects completed by the artist include, for example, a large bronze bas-relief marking
the Centennial of the St. John's Ambulance Society of Canada, an additional copy of this work for the boardroom
of the Canadian firm Bombardier-Worthington, and a number of portrait busts. While in Vienna, the artist also
created a life-size statue of his daughter, Madeleine. In 1990, he was one of 20 Canadian sculptors invited to
compete for an equestrian statue for Parliament Hill to honour in 1992 the 40th year of Her Majesty The Queen's
reign. In 1996, the Artist added a number of wildlife animal sculptures to his collection of works.
In 1988, Colonel Gauthier completed a major military monument marking the 20th anniversary of the
Canadian Airborne Regiment. This 8 foot high bronze titled "INTO ACTION" depicts a paratrooper in Winter
combat gear rising from the drop zone as he heads into action. Until 2007, that monument stood at the entrance
to Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, but it was then relocated next to a WWII Dakota aircraft near the base’s
Airborne Forces Museum. Two commissions arose in 1989 to mark the 75th anniversary of two famous
Canadian infantry regiments: the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Regiment (PPCLI or "Patricias")
and the Royal 22e Régiment (R 22e R or "Van Doos'' French Canadian regiment). For the PPCLI, Colonel
Gauthier created a small statue titled "ANTI-TANK PATROL” 1989 in a Limited Edition of which 25 were
presented to various VIPs in Canada and abroad. For the R 22e R, the artist designed a monument featuring a 6’
X 9’ bronze 'haut-relief' titled "JE ME SOUVIENS" 1989. The memorial is located at Place Georges V in
Quebec City.
From 1990 to 1994, André Gauthier participated by invitation in six National competitions for major
monuments (including the Queen's Statue for Parliament Hill and the Peacekeeping Monument competitions)
and continued to create new works. In August 1991, he completed a 1/4-scale statue of a WWI Officer
commissioned by the Conference of Defence Associations' institute for a new annual award known as the
"VIMY AWARD". A smaller version of that statue is presented annually to a prominent Canadian selected
because of an outstanding contribution to the Nation's defense and security.
In January 1994, the sculptor won a competition to create a 10'6" high bronze figure of a World War I
soldier for a monument that was unveiled by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien on 21 April 1995 at the entrance to
Canadian Forces Base Valcartier (30 kms West of Quebec City). That monument commemorates the origin of
Base Valcartier formed in 1914 as the assembly, training and embarkation base for all Canadian Army
volunteers sent to the European battlefields in that war. Prime Minister Chrétien was presented a copy of the
Maquette of this statue by the Commander of 5e Groupe-brigade mécanisé du Canada.
In July 1994, the sculptor won a new competition for a Royal Canadian Naval Association Naval
Memorial at Burlington, Ont. This project involved sculpting a 6’4” high statue of a WWII Canadian sailor in
the position of Attention and at the Salute. This bronze statue stands on a black granite base bearing the names
of RCN and Canadian Merchant Marine ships sunk during WWII; in addition, the Memorial has a granite wall
bearing the names of all RCN ships and Canadian Merchant Marine vessels which saw service in WWII. The
Sailor is thus seen to be saluting his lost shipmates. This Monument was unveiled on 14 May 1995 by the
Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Ontario.
In 1999 and early-2000, he completed two projects marking the Year 2000 centennial of major battles
of the Boer War in South Africa involving two Canadian regiments:
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a small statuette commemorating the Royal Canadian Regiment’s action at Paardeberg, and
a three-figure bronze sculptural grouping commissioned by the Royal Canadian Dragoons to
commemorate the battle of Leliefontein. These three figures are of the RCD members who won the
Victoria Cross in that battle.
In early-2000, the sculptor was commissioned to create a 6’4” high bronze statue for a monument
honouring the WWII Canadian Women’s Army Corps. The monument is located in front of the Kitchener (Ont)
Armoury and was unveiled on 5 May 2001. In late fall of 2000, he was one of nine Canadian sculptors invited to
compete for a commission to create bronze adornments for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. He finished in
the top three competitors but did not win this particular competition. Nevertheless, in the spring of 2001, he was
commissioned by the Royal Canadian Legion to create a small work of art on the theme of the Unknown Soldier
and fifty copies were presented by the Legion to senior Legion, military and public servants involved in the
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier project. That year, he was also involved in a competition for a bronze artwork
destined for the Juno Beach Centre at Courseulles-sur-Mer (FRANCE).
In 2002, he completed a commission by the Honorary Colonel of The Royal Canadian Regiment for a
new Work designated the Leadership Award; in addition, he completed a commission by the Conference of
Defence Associations Institute for a statuette honouring Canada’s best known WWII war correspondent, Ross
Munro. The “MUNRO AWARD” is presented annually to a member of the Canadian news media who has
provided exceptional coverage of Canadian defence and security issues.
In 2003, he was commissioned by the father of MCpl Mark Isfeld – a Canadian Sapper killed while
clearing a minefield in Bosnia--to create a small bas-relief depicting the presentation of small knitted dolls to
Bosnian children. This Work hangs in the Courtenay BC high school named after this soldier and a smaller
version of this Work is presented annually to the school’s top student. Another commission was received from
the Conference of Defence Associations Institute for a small bas-relief, which the Institute presented to the Royal
Canadian Legion’s National Secretariat in Ottawa. That Work, titled “OF SUCH AS THESE” shows a number
of Canadian World War II fighting men and women as an example of outstanding predecessors to today’s
Canadian Forces. In 2004, he participated in another major competition for a veterans’ monument to be located
in the park of the Ontario Provincial Legislature.
In 2005 and 2007, he created new sculptures honouring members of Canadian Special Operations
Forces serving in Afghanistan. In 2006, he completed a commission – an 11-ft long stainless steel sword
adorning the Wall of Remembrance at the new national headquarters of the Royal Canadian Legion. In
2008, he was commissioned by the Canadian Nurses Association to create a small statuette representing
Jeanne Mance for a biannual award of nursing excellence. The sculptor continues to participate in
competitions and to create new Works each year.
André Gauthier's art has been the subject of several newspaper articles, TV documentaries and radio
interviews and works of his have been exhibited on several occasions including participation in two exhibits at
the Canadian War Museum (Ottawa). In 1998, a seven-month exhibit was held at the Mill of Kintail (Almonte,
Ont) Museum of R. Tait Mckenzie’s sculptures. A large selection of Colonel Gauthier's works is on exhibit at
the Military Museum of Canadian Forces Base Petawawa.
Colonel Gauthier is a member of the Canadian Artists' Representation (CARFAC).
Colonel André D. Gauthier, OMM, CD, (CF Ret'd)
Gauthier Sculptures
1216 St Jerome Cres
Orleans, Ont, CANADA
K1C 2A8
Telephone: (613) 837-1592
Facsimile: (613) 837-1817
Email: [email protected]
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Military Artists`s CV