Claire Boudreau

Claire Boudreau, FRHSC AIH (born 1965) is a Canadian historian, genealogist, and officer of arms. She has served as a herald in the Canadian Heraldic Authority since 17 March 1997 in the office of Saguenay Herald and later as Saint-Laurent Herald, to which office she succeeded on the retirement of Auguste Vachon, and then Deputy Chief Herald from 1 December 2005 until 16 June 2007, when she was made the second Chief Herald of Canada following the retirement of Robert Watt. She is also a nationally and internationally recognized scholar in heraldic studies. She is the author of many articles and publications. She has been the principal designer and administrator of the authority's pioneering online Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges of Canada, which was unveiled in July 2005. She has been an Academician of the Académie Internationale d'Héraldique since 2000.

Claire Boudreau

Chief Herald of Canada
Assumed office
June 26, 2007
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor General
Preceded byRobert Watt
Personal details
Born1965 (age 5354)


Coat of arms of Claire Boudreau
A panther rampant Azure incensed proper
Azure an orle Argent
Two panthers incensed holding a girdle book and standing on a rocky mount proper
The blue colour represents the French origins of Claire Boudreau. The narrow line orle appears as a second shield within the main shield and highlights both the importance of heraldry in her life and her doctoral research in this field. The orle and the overall simplicity of the design express both the absolute notion of the Cartesian "whole", contained but continuous, and the idea that infinity can be contained within the span of one's life or within any other given framework. The panther in the crest is a monster spewing fire from its mouth, nostrils and ears. It is the most appropriate symbol to express human passion in any domain. The heraldic panther is endowed with the body of a lion, a horse's head with horns, a griffin's forelegs and a lion's hind legs. This diversified nature makes it a symbol of tolerance and of the spirit of adventure by which alone the frontiers of the unknown can be pushed back. Repeating the symbolism of the crest, the multicoloured panthers are based on examples found in mediaeval miniatures. They hold mediaeval girdle books, which were portable books held to the owner's belt by a knot in their binding. These indicate that the best inventions are often simple and eminently practical concepts.ARDENTE ("fervent"), along with the panther in the crest is a reference to the totemic name "Panthère ardente" ("Fiery panther") given to Claire Boudreau within the Scout movement in 1978. The motto therefore contains a second allusion to passion, a sort of internal flame that drives one to outstanding achievements.


  • L'héritage Symbolique des Hérauts d'Armes: Dictionnaire Encyclopédique de l'Enseignement du Blason Ancien (XIVe-XVIe siècle) (Le Léopard d'or, Paris, 2006). ISBN 2-86377-204-X

See also

Heraldic offices
Preceded by
position created
Saguenay Herald
Succeeded by
Bruce Patterson
Preceded by
Auguste Vachon
Saint-Laurent Herald
Succeeded by
Bruce Patterson
Preceded by
Robert Watt
Chief Herald of Canada

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