It has been on my mind for a while now to pay tribute to my dad, Alain Girard, one day. And so I’ve decided that day is today, for no particular reason other than I wish to thank him and tell you what he means to me.
Those who know him will tell you that Alain is one of the guys—he’s generous, kind, and loyal to his friends. He’s not always diplomatic and sometimes expresses his opinions a little too passionately, but that’s mostly because he’s very straightforward. He’s not out to hurt anyone—my father is big-hearted, gentle, open, and fair. He always listens to the men and women sharing his life.
Alain has always been a bold developer with a good sense for business. I think he has an artisan’s soul because he really loves what he does and wants to do the best job he can, no matter how much time or effort it takes. He gets great satisfaction out of a job well done and seeing things through. He has passed those values on to me. I’m grateful to him for it, because they continue to guide my life and career today.
Another one of my dad’s qualities I find admirable is his humility. He has a lot of knowledge, experience, and success, but is still perfectly happy to step aside and let others take the lead. Since I took over the general management of Hôtel Château Laurier Québec, he has patiently let me prove myself, without taking over or being offended when I assert myself and stick to my guns when we disagree. In a world where many people are arrogant about the smallest accomplishments, Alain is an inspirational example of modesty.
Another facet of Alain’s personality I admire is his passion for music and the visual arts. Not only does he have the soul of an artisan, but the soul of an artist, who knows how to take a beat and marvel at the details of a work of art or the beauty of a sunset.
It’s hard to talk about my dad without thinking about my mom and sister, who have—and continue—to put up with two hotel enthusiasts talking way too much about work at family get-togethers.
Fortunately, patience is one of my mom Suzanne’s many good qualities. She values teamwork and understands what the close working relationship my father and I have means to us. My mom has always been there for us—she gives good advice and we can always turn to her when we need someone to talk to. She’s curious about everything and isn’t afraid to experiment. She’s also a big fan of the arts and we owe our taste in theater to her and interest in all things to do with esthetics and decor. She knows what she likes and has very sophisticated taste.
This December, I’d like to wish my father an early happy birthday. He’ll add another year of experience to his resumé this January. Like all of us, he may be getting older, but he’s still young at heart, passionate about projects at work, and looking to the future.
I’d like to wish all of you a wonderful holiday season—I hope you get to spend it surrounded by your family, friends, and everyone near and dear to you.
I look forward to meeting you during your stay in Québec City. Maybe we’ll cross paths at Hôtel Château Bellevue, our charming hotel in the heart of Old Québec. Château Bellevue looks especially romantic in the winter, with its historic façade covered in snow. Inside, the magnificent view of the river and the historic surroundings combined with the comfort of the hotel’s modern amenities make it a peaceful, intimate, warm, and cozy haven.
Enjoy your stay in Québec City, and wherever you are, Happy New Year!