Xavier Dolan receives honorary degree from Bishop's University

Quebec filmmaker Xavier Dolan received a standing ovation along with his honorary doctorate from Bishop's University in Sherbrooke Saturday.

'It is an honour that I never imagined for a dropout like me,' Dolan told packed house

Director Xavier Dolan was selected to received the honourary degree a year ago — before his latest string of successes. (Radio-Canada)

Quebec filmmaker Xavier Dolan received a standing ovation along with his honorary doctorate from Bishop's University in Sherbrooke Saturday.

The young filmmaker, who recently won the Grand Prix at Cannes last month, expressed both shock and gratitude during the ceremony.

"It is an honour that I never imagined for a dropout like me," Dolan told a packed house.

Perhaps drawing from the experience of making his latest movie, Juste la fin du monde, which was panned by film critics before winning him the second prize at Cannes, Dolan gave young graduates a follow-your-heart message.

"I am honoured to be here before you and to think that we, despite the differences in our journeys, have the same choices lying ahead of us — [to] take our place, in our way, without compromises in a life just waiting for us to live it."

The university's rector clarified that Dolan was chosen to receive the honour before his latest string of successes.

"This is a decision we made a year ago. We had not foreseen his great success this year," said Michael Goldbloom. "He already had an impressive career."

"Of course we look for people who have done important things in their field, but also of interest to our students," Goldbloom said. 

He added that when news broke on campus that Dolan was to receive the honorary degree, "there was a lot of excitement."

"[He is admired] for his films but also the video he made for Adele."

Dolan's fellow honorees Saturday were former deputy premier of Quebec, Monique Gagnon-Tremblay, former Chief of the Cree Nation of Oujé-Bougoumou, Abel Bosum, and president and CEO of Gaz Métro, Sophie Brochu.

With files from Radio-Canada