René Angélil funeral cost $700,000, Quebec paying $50,000 of the bill
QUEBEC – The Quebec government says it will contribute $49,770 to the reported cost of René Angélil‘s funeral in Montreal last January.
The province offered to play a role in organizing the funeral for Celine Dion’s longtime husband.
According to documents obtained by Cogeco Nouvelles, the final tally came in at $700,000 — roughly 10 times the amount such events usually cost.
On Thursday, the Quebec government said it would assume $49,770 of the total cost and will foot the bill for specific expenses such as photography, flowers and the registry of condolences.
Productions Feeling, the production house owned by Dion and Angélil, refused to confirm or deny the bill. It also wouldn’t say whether it would challenge the government’s decision.
No contract was signed between the two parties and neither side would say if a financing agreement had been reached in advance.
The office of International Relations Minister Christine St-Pierre confirmed a “list of costs” relating to the funeral was sent to her office, which organizes such events.
Spokesman Francois Caouette wouldn’t divulge the number, but said Productions Feeling provided a “list of costs” and not a “bill.”
Earlier on Thursday, the government had fixed the maximum amount for the taxpayers at $75,000 before lowering the amount.
In the past, the province has contributed to the cost of other funerals, including $60,000 for hockey great Jean Beliveau’s, $56,000 for that of fellow Canadiens legend Maurice Richard and $71,000 for that of Claude Ryan, a former politician and journalist.
Angélil, Dion’s longtime manager, died Jan. 14 of throat cancer in Las Vegas at the age of 73.
His funeral was held in Montreal on Jan. 22 in a meticulously planned event that drew more than 2,000 people to Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica.
© 2016 The Canadian Press