First Edition of the Festival

Remembering the festivals he had attended in Europe a few years earlier, Father Lindsay felt that the time had come to make his dream come true. The first Festival was held in 1978. Major symphonic concerts were presented at Joliette Cathedral and in churches throughout the region. Two of Father Lindsay’s allies would be at the heart of the Festival’s development for many years to come: Marcel Masse and René Charette.


Father Fernand Lindsay served as both Artistic and Executive Director. In 1984, Paul Dupont-Hébert was hired as the Festival’s new Executive Director, instituting a new artistic orientation including the addition of Pop concerts.

Fondation Père Lindsay | Père Fernand Lindsay, sa vie, ses œuvres 

La Fabrique culturelle | Notre père… Fernand Lindsay


Building the
Amphithéâtre de Lanaudière

Construction of the Amphithéâtre de Lanaudière in Georges-Rondeau Park. Architect Michel Gallienne and his colleagues — stage director Yvon Sanche and acoustician Lionel J. Lortie—created this enchanting site with exceptional acoustics.


The Amphitheatre will accommodate 2,000 people under the roof and 4,000 on the lawn.


1988 – Notes d’allocution Lise Bacon, Deputy Premier and Minister of Cultural Affairs.

30 years later: Construction of MAISON DE LA MUSIQUE RENÉ-CHARETTE, en hommage à ce grand Lanaudois d’exception.


Inauguration of
the Amphithéâtre de Lanaudière

Official opening of the Amphithéâtre de Lanaudière on July 17. Highlights include a 15-minute standing ovation at the beginning of the concert.

"Music has made its home in Lanaudière, and great things will come of it" - Father Fernand Lindsay, on the evening of the inauguration.


Many artists and music critics who many other facilities of the same kind in the U.S. had nothing but praise for the Amphithéâtre de Lanaudière, notably for the success of its acoustic design.


François Bédard, Executive Director, and Louise Forand-Samson, Assistant to the Artistic Director, join Père Lindsay. Together, they revisit the Festival’s artistic vision to focus on its original mission: classical music.


The 25th anniversary opens with the colossal 8th Mahler Symphony, where 425 artists perform on the Amphitheatre stage.


C’est l’occasion de mesurer le chemin parcouru depuis sa fondation. Le Festival est reconnu comme le plus important du genre au Canada: Martha Argerich, Cecilia Bartoli, Marilyn Horne, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Rudolf Noureev, Rostropovich, Neville Marriner et l’Academy of St Martin in the Fields... have already passed through Joliette!


Père Fernand Lindsay décède le 17 mars 2009, à l’âge de 80 ans. Plus de 1000 personnes ont assisté à la cérémonie, qui a eu lieu à la Cathédrale de Joliette.


In the autumn of the same year, Alex Benjamin—who had worked with Father Lindsay for a decade—succeeded him to become the Festival’s second Artistic Director.



The Amphithéâtre de Lanaudière is renamed Amphithéâtre

En mémoire du Père Fernand Lindsay, ce lieu mythique est renommé l’Amphithéâtre Fernand-Lindsay en juillet 2010.


The Amphithéâtre’s new high-definition video system, along with several cameras and four large screens, enables audiences to enter into the heart of the orchestra. 


The team of experts who operate this system transformed the concert experience, giving the musicians of the orchestra’s various sections room to shine.


Renaud Loranger was appointed Artistic Director of the Festival in September 2018, becoming, at 34, the first holder of the post to be younger than the institution.


Under his leadership, a number of artists perform for the first time here. They include tenors Michael Spyres and Lawrence Brownlee, pianists Hélène Grimaud, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Alexandre Kantorow, baritone Matthias Goerne as well as Les Arts Florissants and William Christie.



A Renewed Management Team

François Bédard leaves in May 2020 for a well-deserved retirement, after 29 years with the Festival.

Xavier Roy begins a new chapter in 2020 as the new General Manager of the Festival de Lanaudière. He shares with Renaud Loranger the same ambitious vision for the Festival's development.


The new Hors les murs series fait son apparition dans la programmation du Festival, afin de mettre en lumière la fantastique relève musicale québécoise via des concerts dans des lieux inusités. Que ce soit dans l’entrepôt d’une microbrasserie ou dans une grange rustique, le public y a vécu des expériences hors du commun.


The Festival’s Board of Directors est paritaire pour la première fois depuis sa création. Le Festival est privilégié de compter sur l’engagement de 14 leaders provenant du monde des affaires, des médias et de l’entrepreneuriat.

Free admission to the lawn for the citizens of Greater Joliette, for the opening concert of the 46th edition of the Festival, where 5,000 people visited the site.

In collaboration with several partners, the Festival was able to produce several free activities for all: a first Open Day sur le site de l’Amphithéâtre, un premier grand concert au centre-ville de Joliette, des méditations musicales sur la terre et sur l’eau et plus encore.

Construction of the MAISON DE LA MUSIQUE RENÉ-CHARETTE The new Lanaudière music headquarters and Festival offices.


Le Devoir | Lanaudière retrouve ses couleurs

La Fabrique culturelle | Un nid, deux musiques