A well-known Quebec entrepreneur and philanthropist and his partner are believed to have been found dead in the Caribbean, where they owned a luxury resort, local reports have confirmed.
According to multiple French language news networks in Quebec, film industry entrepreneur Daniel Langlois and his partner Dominique Marchand were found inside a burned vehicle on Friday after having gone missing for several days on the island of Dominica, where they opened up the off-grid hotel in 2022.
Global Affairs Canada (GAC) confirmed on Sunday that it had been made aware of the presumed deaths of two Canadians on the island, but did not provide any further details.
“Our hearts are with the families and loved ones of the Canadian citizens involved,” said GAC media relations officer Marilyne Guèvremont in a statement sent to Global News.
She added that Canadian officials are continuing to monitor the situation and are working with local authorities. Local police say they have arrested three suspects in relation to the deaths, according to local media Dominica News Online and Dom767.
According to Quebec media reports, Langlois made over $200 million back in 1994 on the sale of his 3D animation software company Softimage, which he founded in 1986. The software was used in movies like Jurassic Park, Titanic, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean. It was purchased by Microsoft, but the company remained in Montreal.
He then founded Ex-Centris cinema in 1999, co-founded the Festival du nouveau cinéma, and set up a foundation in his name to support technology-related projects in the arts and sciences.
Multiple figures in politics and Quebec’s cultural industry reacted to the news on Sunday, including federal minister of Canadian Heritage, Pascale St-Onge, who called Langlois a visionary in digital technologies and cinema who left a lasting impact on generations.
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“His legacy reflects his innovative spirit,” she wrote in a statement.
Langlois and his partner had reportedly lived on the Caribbean island nation between Guadeloupe and Martinique for many years. They opened their self-sustaining luxury Coulibri Ridge Eco-resort just a year ago. It won a design award shortly thereafter.
According to the island’s local media, the couple had been reported missing and the burned vehicle matched the one they were driving. The bodies were found after authorities were alerted about a vehicle engulfed in flames.
The extent of the fire rendered the bodies unidentifiable, Dominica News Online said, adding that authorities were able to link the Quebecers to the incident due to circumstantial evidence.
Langlois, who has in his mid-60s, owned a private club in Montreal, club 357c, which closed in 2019. The establishment was implicated in one of Quebec’s major political scandals (the Charbonneau Commission) over ten years ago.
He also founded a hurricane aid organization to help rebuild island communities after Hurricane Maria in 2017, and purchased the summit of Mount Pinnacle in Coaticook in Quebec’s Eastern Townships near the U.S. border to protect the summit’s flora and fauna.
He’s been honoured as a Knight of the Ordre national du Québec in 1999 and Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000, and holds honorary doctorates from the universities of McGill, Ottawa, Concordia, Sherbrooke, and Québec à Montréal.