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HISTORY

OUR FOURTH DECADE!
The Festival’s origins
Joliette could claim to have a good number of musical organizations active in 1975: a cultural center that supported the city’s concert activity, several music schools, three youth orchestras, a summer music camp, a regional music competition, several choirs ̶ in other words, a musical setting waiting for something more to happen. The opportunity for this “something more” happened in the summer of 1977, when Father Fernand Lindsay, Clerc de St-Viateur and Director of the Cultural Center, took a chance in having the Montreal Symphony Orchestra come out and give three concerts in the Joliette cathedral. The audience received the Orchestra warmly, so it was time to move ahead. Recalling European festivals he had visited a few years earlier, Father Lindsay saw that the opportunity to make his dream come true had arrived.

1979 Affiche

Getting started
It is the summer of ’78. The Festival begins! Eight concerts are presented in memory of Schubert on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of his death. Also that summer, a new star ascends into the musical firmament, the young Lanaudière violinist Angèle Dubeau, then just sixteen. The following year the Festival made a further impact in offering some of its 35 concerts outside Joliette in some of the Lanaudière region’s fine churches and at the Lanaudière Music Camp at Lake Priscault in St. Côme. In 1979, the Festival attained legal status and formed its first board of directors. Father Lindsay and the Festival’s collaborators and administration (notably Marcel Masse, René Charette and Paul Dupont-Hébert) began looking toward international recognition on a level enjoyed by leading music festivals. They envisioned “creating a place where a large audience could listen to beautiful music performed by the greatest musicians.” The following years saw performances by world-renowned soloists and ensembles. Music lovers from far and wide came in increasing numbers to this musically festive corner of the country.

International status
Over time, the Festival grew in renown, garnering praise from critics and music lovers alike. It was not long before Father Lindsay could write: “The Festival has truly become international.” By this time Marilyn Horne, Frederica von Stade, and Rudolf Nureyev had appeared in Joliette!

And so it became the largest classical music festival in Quebec, ranking with the finest festivals of its kind in Europe and the United States. Its summertime season provided artistic and cultural energy for the province, its attendees came from everywhere. In 1987, the media reported that thousands of music lovers were attending; across the span of its 74 events, attendance was 15% above expectation. The Festival reached even greater heights in 1988, with events spread over two months, 2,000 musicians coming from fifteen countries, and audiences arriving in ever-increasing numbers. “If one wants to hear great music during the summer,” noted Father Lindsay, “one must come to Joliette.” Music lovers in constantly increasing numbers agreed.

An outstanding Amphitheatre
The Festival was now a true engine of tourism and economic development for the entire Lanaudière region. But it lacked one essential ingredient to completely fulfill its mission: an outdoor amphitheatre. “Its construction,” remarked René Charette, President of the Board, “represents a golden opportunity to expand our cultural market by creating a center of excellence.”

The Festival thus came to a critical turning point in 1989 with this new amphitheatre, which seats 2,000 listeners under its roof and 6,000 more on the lawn. Many musicians and music critics who have seen similar facilities in the United States are unstinting in their praise for Lanaudière’s Amphitheatre, particularly as regards the success of its acoustics. Architect Michel Gallienne and his colleages, scenographer Yvon Sanche and acoustician Lionel J. Lortie – all from Quebec City – truly created a marvel, and everyone agreed that the setting was enchanting. “Music has made itself a nest in Lanaudière, and this will lead to great things,” said Father Lindsay on the night of the inauguration of the structure.

A story of success and loyalty
With the appointment of a Co-artistic Director, Louise Forand-Samson, and a new General Manager, François Bédard, the 1990s saw further developments built on past achievements. The quality of performances remained high and attendance increased, as did the Festival’s reputation and the enthusiasm it generated among critics and music lovers. The Festival de Lanaudière had carved for itself an enviable niche in the pantheon of musical events.

The Festival is now an essential destination for classical music lovers, and one of the main stops for the world’s most illustrious artists and ensembles. It has welcomed, and continues to welcome the likes of great singers like Cecilia Bartoli, Marilyn Horne, Frederica von Stade, Deborah Voigt, June Anderson, Ewa Podles, James Morris, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Ben Heppner, Richard Margison, Karita Mattila, Karina Gauvin, Magdalena Kozena, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Frédérique Antoun, Suzie LeBlanc, Dawn Upshaw, Jamie Barton, Phillip Addis, Quinn Kelsey, Jennifer Larmore, Susan Platts, Anthony Dean Griffey, Sondra Radvanovsky, and Russel Thomas

– great instrumentalists like Itzhak Perlman, Maxim Vengerov, Vadim Repin, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Angèle Dubeau, Michel Dalberto, James Ehnes, Vlado Perlemuter, Till Fellner, Anton Kuerti, Alicia de Larrocha, Gidon Kremer, Marc-André Hamelin, Emmanuel Ax, Alisa Weilerstein, Alain Lefèvre, Mitsuko Uchida, Antoine Tamestit, Alexander Melnikov, Midori, Baiba Skride, Catrin Finch, Rachel Barton Pine, Johannes Moser, Gabriela Montero, Nicholas Angelich, Alina Ibragimova, Viktoria Mullova, Piotr Anderszewski, Mihaela Ursuleasa, Pieter Wispelwey, André Laplante, Lars Vogt, Benedetto Lupo, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Jonathan Biss, Jennifer Koh, Cédric Tiberghien, Ronald Brautigam, Christian Tetzlaff, Leif Ove Andsnes and Beatrice Rana

– renowned chamber music ensembles like the Lindsay String Quartet, the Gryphon Trio, the Wiener Klaviertrio, the Quatuor Wilanow, the Orford Quartet, the Tokyo String Quartet, the Erato Quartet, the Cleveland Quartet, the Vermeer Quartet, the Zemlinsky Quartet, the wind quintet Pentaèdre, the Modigliani Quartet

– great conductors like Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Kent Nagano, Charles Dutoit, Paavo Järvi, Ivan Fisher, Bernard Labadie, Sir Neville Marriner, Jacques Lacombe, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Eliahu Inbal, Julian Kuerti, Fabien Gabel, Jean-Marie Zeitouni, Frieder Bernius, Jean-François Rivest, Franz-Paul Decker, Gregory Vajda, and Manfred Honeck

– and great orchestras and choirs like the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, the Orchestre Métropolitain, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Les Violons du Roy, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Kremerata Baltica, Europa Galante, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, Concerto Köln, the Vancouver Chamber Choir, and Kammerchor Stuttgart.

Father Fernand Lindsay, c.s.v., Ph.D
Founder
Father Fernand Lindsay began studying music from a young age. As a member of the Clercs de St-Viateur, he founded and became the driving force behind a number of musical and cultural organizations in conjunction with his teaching activity. If he was the “spark” that ignited the Festival de Lanaudière, he is today the flame that fans a musical event of international stature. The Lanaudière Amphitheatre is the physical realization of his dream to make “beautiful music” available to the general public. Father Fernand Lindsay is a member of the Order of Canada and received the medal from the Ordre du Québec. He received the Prix de l’excellence touristic du Québec and was the first in the nation to receive Canada’s Lescarbot Award. In November 2002, he received the Governor General’s Award from Ramon John Hnatyshyn. In June 2003, the Faculty of Music at McGill University bestowed on him an honorary doctorate.

Father Fernand Lindsay died on March 17, 2009. He remains a fount of inspiration for the entire staff of the Festival de Lanaudière.

In July 2010, the Lanaudière Amphitheatre was renamed the Fernand Lindsay Amphitheatre as a tribute to the Festival’s founder.

PRIZES AND AWARDS WON BY THE FESTIVAL DE LANAUDIÈRE
2013

Concert of the Year – Romantic, Post-Romantic, and Impressionist, presented as part of the 17th Opus Awards Gala
2012
Regional Award Winner, presented as part of the Grand Prizes of Quebec Tourism
Excelsior special, awarded at the Greater Joliette Chamber of Commerce Gala
Finalist in two categories at the Mercuriades competition: “Economic and Regional Development Contribution,” and “Sustainable Development.”
2011
Musical Event of the Year Prize, presented at the 15th Opus Awards Gala.
2010
Concert of the Year, regions 2010 Prize, presented at the 14th Opus Awards Gala
2009
Bronze Winner in the Grand Prizes of Quebec Tourism
2007
Broadcaster of the Year Prize, awarded at the 11th Opus Prize Gala
2004
Gold Award Winner, as part of the Grand Prizes of Quebec Tourism
2003
Regional Award Winner, as part of the Grand Prizes of Quebec Tourism
2001
Tribute Prize, awarded at the 10th Desjardins Grand Prizes Awards for culture in Lanaudière
1999
Maximilien-Boucher Arts Award, presented by the Société nationale des québécois
1998
Regional Concert of the Year Prize 1998, awarded as part of the 2nd Opus Prizes Gala.
Tourism Event Award, presented by the Ministry of Tourism as part of the Grand Prizes of
Quebec Tourism.
1997
Regional Concert of the Year Prize 1997, awarded as part of the 1st Opus Prizes Gala.
1993
Tourism Event Award, presented by the Ministry of Tourism as part of the Grand Prizes of
Quebec Tourism.
1989
Regional Tourism Event Award, presented by the Ministry of Tourism as part of the Grand
Prizes of Quebec Tourism.
1988
Runner-up in the Tourism Category, awarded by the Greater Joliette Chamber of Commerce, as
part of the Excelsiors Gala.
Raoul-Charrette Award, presented by the Société nationale des québécois.
1987
Tourism Event Award, presented by the Ministry of Tourism as part of the Grand Prizes of
Quebec Tourism.
Honors Certificate as Runner-up in the Tourism Category, awarded by the Greater Joliette
Chamber of Commerce as part of the Excelsiors Gala.
1986
Regional Tourism Event Award, presented by the Ministry of Tourism as part of the Grand
Prizes of Quebec Tourism.
1985
Tourism Promotion Regional Winner as part of the Grand Prizes of Quebec Tourism.

PRIZES AND HONORS AWARDED FOR THE PERMANENCY OF THE FESTIVAL DE LANAUDIÈRE
2012
Robert P. Morin Prize 2012 awarded to François Bédard, General Manager, by l’Ordre des Administrateurs agréés du Québec.
First Prize for Cultural Administrator of the Year, awarded to François Bédard, General
Manager, HEC Montreal.
2009
Father Fernand Lindsay is posthumously inducted into the Canadian Pantheon of Lyrical Art.
2003
Tribute Award presented to Father Fernand Lindsay by Festivals and Events Quebec.
Doctorate in Music, honoris causa, awarded to Father Fernand Lindsay by McGill University.
2002
Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award, presented to Father Fernand Lindsay by the Foundation of the
Governor General’s Awards for the Performing Arts.
2001
Father Fernand Lindsay, Recipient of the Édouard-Montpetit Medal.
1998
Doctorate in Music, honoris causa, awarded to Father Fernand Lindsay by Laval University.
1996
Father Fernand Lindsay, recipient of the Opus Tribute Award presented by the Quebec Council of Music to honor the talents of musicians, performers, composers and broadcasters who
contribute to the musical culture of Québec.
Award of Excellence, presented to Father Fernand Lindsay as part of the Grand Prizes of Quebec Tourism.
1993
Father Fernand Lindsay, recipient of the Calixa-Lavallée Award, presented by the Société St-Jean-Baptiste de Montréal.
1991
The Lescarbot Prize of National Distinction, presented to Father Fernand Lindsay by the
Canadian Ministry of Communications.
1990
Father Fernand Lindsay is made a Knight of the National Order of Quebec.
1987
Father Fernand Lindsay is made a Member of the Order of Canada.
Father Fernand Lindsay, recipient of the Maximilien-Boucher Arts Award presented by the
Société nationale des Québécoises et Québécois de Lanaudière.
1986
Father Fernand Lindsay is presented with the Jeunesses Musicales of Canada Medal.

PRIZES AND HONORS AWARDED TO LES AMI(E)S DU FESTIVAL DE LANAUDIÈRE
2013
Winner of the Claude Mason Trophy, Culture and Recreation Category.
2011
Winner of the Robert Lussier Award, Volunteer Group Category.

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