Albert Sévigny surprised everyone, including himself, by becoming
a journalist. Now its virtually all the Montreal-born former scrapyard
owner wants to talk about.
Hes adept at diverting personal questions, steering the conversation
back to his favourite topics, which include current events, academic life,
and the antics of local public figures and biker gang members.
Sévigny, 52, graduating this spring with a journalism degree, his
second BA from Concordia. He was a more conscientious student this time
around: If I got anything less than a B-plus, Id have a heart
attack. He hopes eventually to get a masters degree in journalism.
With a steady gig at The Suburban, Quebecs largest English
weekly newspaper, he has no plans to become a staff reporter. As
a freelancer, you can pick and choose. If youre full-time, you end
up covering the ladies sewing circle.
In November 1992, after a night of carousing with well-known Gazette columnist
Nick Auf der Maur, Sévigny was inspired to replace the head of
the statue of John A. Macdonald in Dorchester Square, which had been destroyed
by vandals. Within three months, he raised the $40,000 needed to replace
the 140-pound head, partly by soliciting among the well-heeled.
The son of former Conservative cabinet minister and part-time Concordia
Finance Professor Pierre Sévigny, Albert has two children, and
lives with his 17-year-old daughter Christina in N.D.G.
He credits the Concordia journalism program with changing his focus, calling
the day he received the departments acceptance letter the happiest
of his life. When I found out Id been accepted, Id been
sitting around chopping up motors in the scrapyard. He liked his
Concordia professors, calling them hands-on working journalists,
not top-heavy on theories.
This summer, hes saving to cover the upcoming Lucian Freud retrospective
at the Tate Britain art gallery in London. In the meantime, hes
working on a story about the uproar over a McDonalds restaurant
moving to Westmounts genteel Victoria Village, and preparing by
reading Eric Schlossers Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the