Armand J. R. Vaillancourt is a Québécois sculptor, painter and performance artist born on September 3, 1929, in the city of Black Lake, Quebec, Canada, which is now a part of the city ofThetford Mines. He received his art training at the École des beaux-arts de Montréal.
In 1971, a publicly commissioned fountain entitled Vaillancourt Fountain, often called "Québec libre!" was installed in San Francisco, United States. One of his best known sculptures, Québec libre! is representative of the relationship between Vaillancourt's art and his political convictions. It is a huge concrete fountain, 200 feet long, 140 feet wide and 36 feet high sitting near the city's financial district at the Embarcadero Center. The night before its inauguration, Vaillancourt inscribed Québec libre! in red letters, to note his support for the Quebec sovereignty movement and more largely, his support for the freedom of all people. The following day, seeing that the city's employees erased the inscription, he jumped on the sculpture during its dedication to reinscribe the phrase.