The QCT remembers and honours Jay Ouellet

Photo: Shirley Nadeau from QCT archives

This photo was taken when QCT assignment editor Shirley Nadeau interviewed Jay Ouellet in 2015. Even though Jay was in front of the camera, he couldn’t resist documenting the moment.



The QCT team was saddened to learn of the passing of Jay Ouellet in late December. Chiropractor by day and astrophotographer by night, he took photos of many celestial objects and local events that were published in the QCT.
Ouellet grew up in Quebec City, attended St. Lawrence High School (before it became a CEGEP) and went on to study at McGill University, Université Laval and Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto. He opened his practice in Quebec City in 1982.

But it was Jay’s love of the heavens and of photography that really made him tick, or click. During an interview with the QCT in 2015, Ouellet said, “My father gave me a telescope when I was 10 years old. I bought my first camera when I was 13, with money I earned cutting grass.”

In his teens, after seeing the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey and visiting the Montreal Planetarium, Ouellet decided he wanted to photograph the stars and planets. He also took wedding photos and developed the prints himself in a home darkroom.

For his 40th birthday, Ouellet treated himself to a “really serious” telescope that was attached to his camera and thus transformed into a telephoto lens. With the advent of digital photography, he liked to keep things simple, with a Canon camera and a telephoto lens. He was self-taught, learning from photography magazines.

Ouellet was a guest photographer for the QCT for 25 years, and won many awards for his work. His first astronomy photo appeared in the paper in 1995. “It was a snapshot of the Hale-Bopp comet,” he later recalled. “The comet appeared as a faint fuzzy blob among a few stars. It was no Pulitzer, yet I was very happy … my first published astrophoto!”

Besides astrophotos, Ouellet took photos at sports events and concerts. He regularly covered Rouge et Or football games and Festival d’Été concerts on the Plains of Abraham. He had the chance to meet many stars (the human kind) and even treated some of them for their aches and pains. His office wall was covered with autographed photos of entertainers such as magician David Copperfield, singers Bon Jovi and Phil Collins, and groups like Kiss, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Backstreet Boys. He took photos of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, when they visited Quebec City as newlyweds in July 2011.

For many years, Jay’s mother, Jo (Quart) Ouellet, contributed WONDERWORD puzzles to the QCT and other newspapers. Syndicated in 1970, WONDERWORD is called “the world’s greatest word search puzzle.” After her death in 1997, Jay’s brother David continued the feature, which now appears in hundreds of newspapers around the world. Jay’s brother Gary, who died in 2002, was a renowned magician, television producer, lawyer and government lobbyist.

The Ouellet brothers’ maternal grandparents were Senator Josie (Dinan) Quart and Harry S. Quart of Quebec City. In 1937, Harry Quart was part-owner of the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph in partnership with Gwyllym Dunn, J.S. O’Meara and the Price family.

Jay’s photo of the 2013 Loto-Québec fireworks was featured on the front cover of the special 250th-anniversary edition of the QCT, published on June 21, 2014, and, in tribute to him, is featured again on the cover of this edition.

The last photo that Jay submitted, of the comet Neowise, is on the QCT’s website. Both the first and last of his photos that were published in this newspaper are of rarely occurring celestial bodies. Just like Jay, they are one of a kind.

Jay’s obituary, written by his brother David, can be found here. 


​QCT photographer Jay Ouellet (1946-2020) took this photo of the Loto-Québec fireworks​ in July 2013. ​ Photo by Jay Ouellet from QCT archives


Below is complete list of all articles published in the QCT that featured photos by Jay Ouellet, or articles by or about him, from 2007 to 2019. 


Oct 2019 - Rouge et Or wins first place and home-field advantage 

Aug 2019 - La Grande Foire de Québec signals the end of summer 

July 2019 - Canada Day celebrations in 1977  

June 2019 - QCT journalists win four QCNA awards 

Nov 2018 - Laval takes home 10th Vanier Cup with 34-20 win over Western   

Nov 2018 - Laval wins Dunsmore Cup 

Nov 2018 - Université Laval sports: football, rugby and soccer 

Oct 2018 - The BIRDS are back! 

Oct 2018 - Laval hands Carabins second loss with overtime thriller 

Oct 2018 - Irish Heritage Quebec gives guided tour of St. Patrick's Cemetery 

Sept 2018 - Saint-Roch XP livens up Rue Saint-Joseph 

Dec 2017 - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the QCT

Sept 2017 - Laval's offence has no mercy for Concordia 

July 2017 - Backstreet Boys were back in town for 50th FEQ 

July 2017 - DNCE dance the night away at FEQ's 50th 

July 2017 - Nick Jonas and Michel Fugain perform at FEQ 

June 2017 - QCT takes six prizes at the QCNA Better Newspaper Awards 

July 2017 - Flo Rida keeps spirits flowing at FEQ 

July 2017 - Sheryl Crow brings country sunshine to the Bell stage 

July 2017 - A "Ferry Crowded House" at FEQ 

March 2017 - Défilé de la Saint-Patrick swings into spring 

July 2016 - Canada Day display lights up Quebec City's skyline

June 2016 - Happy Canada Day! - O Canada! 

March 2016 - 2016 Défilé de la Saint-Patrick an "ode to spring"  

Dec 2015 - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the QCT     

Sept 2015 - Total eclipse of the full and super moon 

Sept 2015 - Rouge et Or open season with a 12-9 win 

Aug 2015 - Paying it forward (in Nova Scotia) 

July 2015 - FEQ: BOSTON's lead guitarist, Tom Scholz 

July 2015 - FEQ: The Doobie Brothers listen to the music 

July 2015 - Keith Urban brought a bit of country to FEQ 

July 2015 - Canada Day fireworks almost fizzled out 

April 2015 - Matthew Weston meets aplastic anemia head on 

April 2015 - The luck o' the Irish at Pub St-Patrick  

April 2015 -  Irish eyes were smiling on the Défilé de la Saint-Patrick 

*March 2015   Jay Ouellet's moon photo has gone mega-viral 

Nov 2014 - Montreal’s Carabins defeat Laval's Rouge et Or 12-9

Nov 2014 - Rouge et Or roaring towards another victory at PEPS 

July 2014 - FEQ: Blondie and Billy Joel take centre stage 

July 2014 - Steve Miller Band warms up the crowd at FEQ 

July 2014 - Piano man Billy Joel plays to his audience at FEQ 

July 2014 - Would you like to receive a copy of the QCT's special 250th-anniversary edition?  

April 2014 - Kennedy and Côté are winners at UFC Fight Night 

April 2014 - UFC has a hold on Quebec City this week 

Feb 2014 - A crisp crescent moon  

Feb 2014 - Ultimate Fighting Championship coming to Quebec City 

Jan 2014 - QCT photographer featured by NASA  

Nov 2013 - Rouge et Or win their 12th Dunsmore Cup

Nov 2013 - Holy rainbow!  

Oct 2013 - A colourful finish to the Rouge et Or season 

*Aug 2013 - Festive Fireworks reflected on the St. Lawrence River 

July 2013 - Paul gives "all his loving" to the people of Quebec 

July 2013 - McCartney Mania Captures Quebec 

July 2013 - Stevie in a Wonderful mood for last night of FEQ 

July 2013 - FEQ: Alx Rose: the face of Guns 'N Roses 

July 2013 - FEQ: Black Keys satisfy fans   

July 2013 - Canada Day celebrations in Quebec City - 2 

July 2013 - Canada Day celebrations in Quebec City-1 

July 2013 - Irish visitors to Quebec City and Grosse Île 

May 2013 - Birds of a feather flock together 

March 2013 - Irish taffy in the Bois de Coulonge 

March 2013 - The Défilé de la Saint-Patrick just keeps getting bigger and better  

Jan 2013 - Boy George brings in the New Year 

July 2012 - Lionel Richie wows crowds at the Festival D'Été  

Dec 2011 - Merry Christmas Québec - Château Frontenac 
Nov 2011 - Rouge et Or win the Dunsmore Cup

July 2011 - Over 100,000 fans pack the Plains for Metallica

July 2011 - Sir Elton John performs at Festival D’été de Québec

July 2011 - Snippets from the main stage at Quebec City Summer Festival

July 2011 - The Royal Tour of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

July 2011 - Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive in Quebec City 

July 2011 - Remarks by Prince William ... Freedom ... City Ceremony at City Hall

April 2011 - The mind of Guetta Famous DJ plays in Quebec City

Dec 2010 - Festive celebration of long-awaited McGreevy Manor

Sept 2010 - Rouge et Or win opener 

July 2010 - Festival d'été de Québec 2010 - & Fergie 

July 2010 - Festival d'été de Québec bigger than ever in 2010 - Santana   

June 2010 - International Space Station over Quebec; Watched in Awe 

June 2010 - Quebec Air Show attracts 107,000 visitors  

March 2010 - Saint-Patrick's Day Parade brings out the city's green 

Dec 2009 - Christmas 2009 front page photo D'Orsay restaurant    

Nov 2009 - Festival d’Été de Québec bigger than ever in 2010

Nov 2009 - Mayor Regis Labeaume laying wreath at the Cross of Sacrifice 

Oct 2009 - QCT contributor's work on display in the US  

Aug 2009 - Stade Municipal painted green for Celtic Night 

June 2009 - The British are coming - driving classic sports cars 

April 2009 -  Quebec City's photographer's shot of Ground Zero chosen out of thousands for publication in National Geographic 

March 2009 - Snowboarders catch big air in downtown Quebec City 

Jan 2009 - Quebec welcomes the new year with a bang 

Dec 2008 - Christmas in the Capital  

Nov 2008 - Rouge et Or Vanier cup bound

Aug 2008 - Fans fulfilled after performance by Céline and friends 

Aug 2008 - Baseball, dancing and sun mark this year's Celtic Day 

July 2008 - McCartney Mania Captures Québec

July 2008 - Sun shines on Summer Fest, Aznavour croons and the Blind Boys belt

July 2008 - Bucking broncos and bulldoggers ride into town 

July, 2008 - Canada Day goes off with a bang 

April, 2008 - Former Royal Rifles of Canada mourn the lost of the armoury 

April, 2008 - Les Voltigeurs save their drums and some of museum contents 

March, 2008 - Pub Dunn set for St. Patrick's 

March, 2008 - Rebels take trophy from 95th Quebec International Bonspiel

Feb, 2008 - Bonhomme and Prime Minister Harper

Feb, 2008 - Winter Carnival Ice Canoe races 

Feb, 2008 - Calgary Stampeders win hearts 

Jan, 2008 - Canadian Rangers travel to share in celebrating 400 years of history

Dec, 2007 - Régis Labeaume wins mayoral election in a surprise landslide