Quebec arts patron Jacqueline Desmarais dead at 89

Governor General David Johnston promotes Jacqueline Desmarais within the Order of Canada during a ceremony at Rideau Hall Friday November 22, 2013 in Ottawa. Jacqueline Desmarais has died at age 89. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

MONTREAL - Jacqueline Desmarais, a longtime supporter of Quebec's arts scene and the widow of billionaire Paul Desmarais, has died at the age of 89.

Her family announced her death in statement today.

The Sudbury, Ont., native was one of the greatest supporters of Quebec's cultural scene, particularly classical music and opera.

She was named an officer of the Order of Canada and has received the Order of Quebec and France's National Order of the Legion of Honour for her philanthropy.

Her husband, a business tycoon, died in 2013.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted his condolences and praised Desmarais' contribution to the arts.

"Jacqueline Desmarais' philanthropy and deep commitment to the arts were a lifelong gift to us all," the tweet read.

"Her legacy is immense. Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to her family & friends on her passing."

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