.:: HISTORY ::.
Located in the heart of Mount Orford Provincial Park, at the foot of the mountain the Orford Arts Centre provides a space where nature and culture come together in a symbiotic relationship so necessary to fostering artistic development.
Founded in 1951 by Gilles Lefebvre and the Jeunesses Musicales du Canada movement, the Orford Arts Centre and its 222 acres of pristine protected forest has become the site of one of North America’s most important summer music academies.
Over the years, the Orford Arts Centre developed in harmony with its surroundings and, in 1960, undertook the construction of a 500 seat recital hall which would subsequently be named the Gilles Lefebvre Concert Hall. In 1988 the Charles-Leblanc Pavilion, with forty practice studios ranging in size from a symphonic rehearsal space to a soloists cubicle, was completed. In 2003 the latest pavilion was completed housing administrative facilities and accommodations for visiting artists and professors. In all, the Orford Arts Centre comprises seven buildings and a number of rustic rehearsal chalets spread out in the forested areas of the site.
Since its inception, the Orford Arts Centre has carved out a distinctive place for itself amongst musical establishments thanks to those who have contributed to the training of generations of musicians which today include performers who rank among the worlds finest. Our reputation also rests on the international excellence of the musicians who have shared the concert stage as part of the Orford Festival.
2010 is the Orford Arts Centre’s sixty year of musical endeavour with the focus on a tradition of musical excellence and education. Our efforts have and continue to be fervently dedicated to the development and training of highly talented young musicians of all races and nationalities who are reaching the end of their studies or who are at the beginning of a professional career. Summer workshops and master classes, held over a period of nine weeks, form the basis of training for these bright young individuals.
In conjunction with the Academy and as an organization dedicated to the dissemination of classical music, the Orford Summer Festival has distinguished itself as one of Quebec’s major cultural events through incomparable musical performances. More than 60 concerts are given each summer by renowned orchestras, ensembles, guest artists, prestigious professors attached to the Academy and the finest students of our Academy. These events draw listeners from all over the province and both nationally and internationally and also provide the communities of the Eastern Townships with local presentation possibilities. The Festival is intimately tied to the Academy and is an essential component of a young musician’s training.
Beyond the scope of our musical activities, the Arts Center has three exhibition spaces which provide a place for the works of internationally acclaimed visual artists as well as a permanent collection and a sculpture garden.
Since 1995, the Arts Centre has operated an auberge to house festival artists, academy professors and students during their summer-long stay at the Orford. Beyond the summer season the Auberge is open to individual visitors, cultural groups and corporate events and with Mount Orford’s ski slopes just minutes away, the Arts Centre’s Auberge has become a major year-round resource for the region.