An important venue for classical music.

Far from resting on its laurels, the Lanaudière Festival, already on the list of the most important classical music events in North America, continues to aim high with its house of music project.

The Festival, established with its amphitheater in the south of the city of Joliette for several decades, is now looking to the center of the capital of Lanaudière for the installation of this future headquarters of classical music that will bear the name of René Charette, one of the its founders.

The goal: to position the region as the undisputed center of classical music in Canada.

The headquarters of the Festival will be moved there and those of the collaborating cultural entities will also be installed.

The $2.5 million project, which should be completed next year, provides for the development of a multifunctional room and another dedicated to cultural mediation, as well as a media library that allows musicians to consult collections of scores and records.

Photo courtesy: Hétu-Bellehumeur architectes inc.

“We are really talking about a return to a balance between international ambition and very strong local roots, explains Xavier Roy, general director of the Lanaudière Festival, in an interview, stressing that it is the will of the locals that has the strength of the festival in its beginnings in 1978. It will go through the festival program in summer, but above all with the activities that we will organize throughout the year with the Maison de la musique René-Charette.

The House will also house a performance hall with approximately 100 seats for recitals, recordings, rehearsals and creative residencies.

She will consolidate […] our commitment to young people with the establishment of a center of specialization in music education, added Mr. Roy. It will also be the scene of meetings between the public, amateur musicians and professional musicians.

René Charrette, who died almost three years ago, was one of the three founders of the Festival in the late 1970s (along with Father Fernand Lindsay and former Federal Minister Marcel Masse, both of whom are also deceased).

“Since the foundation of the Festival, René Charette was very involved in it, until his last breath on July 4, 2019, the Festival underlined, in March, during the announcement of the Maison de la musique René-Charette project. . In agreement with the Charette family, the Lanaudière Festival considered it important to underline the immense heritage bequeathed to the culture of the region, whose influence today crosses our borders.

Mr. Charette was also at the center of an amphitheater project for the Festival, when he chaired the musical event’s board of directors. The long-awaited facility was opened in 1989.

“He was a lover of classical music, especially opera, Jacques Martin, mayor of Joliette from 1982 to 1990, told us, himself very involved in the development of music in his community, particularly within the Festival. He would be happy to see that.”

Often referred to as a “great Lanaudois”, René Charette also made a name for himself as director of the Société nationale des Québécois de Lanaudière, of which he was president for many years.

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