Message from the Artistic Director

Dear music lovers,

We are proud to invite you to this year’s edition of the Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival, which will take place from July 25 to 27.

2024 marks the 48th anniversary of the Festival, and we are still as driven as ever by our desire to showcase Baroque music performed on period instruments in inspirational locations that our community is proud of.

This summer, we invite you to discover how nature, the elements and the four seasons inspired numerous composers from the Renaissance and Baroque periods and continue to do so today. Of course, the Festival will include the most famous of the Four Seasons, by Antonio Vivaldi, but we will also be exploring how his concertos influenced the works of 18th-century French composers. In addition, you will have the chance to hear the Four Seasons of Scottish composer James Oswald, French composer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier and English composer Christopher Simpson, three little known works that deserve to be heard more often. Other notable elements on this year’s program are a concert of 16th and 17th-century choral works, an exploration of early music for amateur musicians of all ages and a lecture on the hurdy-gurdy and the repertoire for our closing concert.

We are delighted to be hosting some forty musicians, who I am sure will surprise and move you. What a pleasure it is to be welcoming some of the best musicians from Canada and abroad to present six impressive concerts! We would be remiss not to mention the participation of the Mission Saint-Charles Orchestra and Choir, who have been the pride of our festival for 38 years, along with the creation of four new works by renowned Acadian poets Pierre-André Doucet, Emma Haché, Dyane Léger and Jonathan Roy.

We want to take a moment to thank our loyal volunteers, sponsors and donors, without whom the Festival would not exist. And a big thank you to our artistic partners, as well—the Pallade Musica ensemble and the Montreal Baroque, Barachois Summer Music and Under the Spire festivals—who will be making it possible for us to share the Festival’s projects with other communities in eastern Canada throughout 2024 and 2025.

We hope this edition of our Festival will be an emotional journey and an exceptional shared experience for all.

We look forward to haveing you join us in our celebration of Baroque music on the islands of Lamèque and Miscou this summer!

Vincent Lauzer,
Artistic Director of the Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival 

Our history

The Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival is an annual festival dedicated to music from the period of 1600 to 1760, performed on period instruments. Founded in 1975 by harpsichordist Mathieu Duguay, the Festival has earned an enviable reputation on the New Brunswick and Canadian musical scenes, and even abroad.  Each year, the Festival presents a series of high-calibre concerts at the end of July, making it a not-to-miss cultural event in Acadie.  Most concerts are presented in churches and halls on the picturesque Lamèque Island, of which the colourful Saint-Cécile Church in Petite-Rivière-de-l’Île with exceptional acoustics.

Over the years, the Festival has proven to be one of the most interesting musical events of its kind in Canada, with concerts respecting the aesthetics of the Baroque era.  Each season, the Festival presents outstanding performances on period instruments (or replicas).  Its program includes vocal and instrumental selections, featuring choral works, chamber music and solo pieces by renowned musicians.

A Great Festival on a Small Island
From the seed of a single harpsichord recital in 1971, the Festival came into its own in 1975 and was incorporated in 1976. Since then, many memorable concerts have been presented in the intimate and charming settings on Lamèque Island and surrounding area.  

Over the years, numerous world-renowned musicians have performed at the Festival: Musica Antica Köln, Il Tempo et Florilegium, the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal, the Toronto Consort, excellent soloists such as Emma Kirby, Renata Pokupic, Agnès Mellon, Shannon Mercer, Karina Gauvin, and Nigel Rogers; pianofortists Steven Lubin and Andreas Steir; cellists Peter Wispelwey and Jaap ter Linden; violonist Rachel Podger, not to mention harpsichordists Geneviève Soly, Blandine Verlet, the late Scott Ross, Hank Knox, Blandine Rannou, Luc Beauséjour, and Rachelle Taylor.

Mission Saint-Charles Choir and Orchestra
The Festival's own choir and orchestra, La Mission Saint-Charles, was created in 1985 to celebrate the three hundredth anniversary of the birth of Johann Sebastian Bach.  The size of La Mission Saint-Charles varies according to the needs of the music performed each year.  The orchestra is comprised of professional musicians while the choir is a mix of professional and experienced amateur singers from the community.  Each year, La Mission Saint-Charles presents masterworks of the Baroque repertoire for orchestra, choir and soloists, making each performance a long-awaited musical moment for concert-goers. Since its inception, La Mission Saint-Charles has been led by Hervé Niquet (France), Andrew Parrott (United Kingdom), Christoph Spering (Germany), Bernard Labadie (Canada), Rinaldo Alessandrini (Italy), and Jaap ter Linden (Netherlands), to name but a few. Furthermore, the Festival has been a stepping stone for many Acadian artists, such as sopranos Suzie Leblanc, Pascale Beaudin, and Nathalie Paulin. Between 1977 and 2017, CBC Radio was an important partner of the event, contributing even further to the Festival’s renown in Canada.

Season after season, a selection of prestigious artists and a dedicated effort to maintaining high standards for its musical programming have made the Festival a prestigious event that welcomes patrons from well beyond the borders of New Brunswick. Most concerts take place in Sainte-Cécile Church which is an attraction in and of itself. Built in 1913, it was repainted in 1968 by the parish priest in a multi-coloured motif. Its wooden structure offers perfect acoustics for the music, and with its coloured interior, it makes a dramatic impression on audiences. 

Board of directors

Jean-René Noël, chairman – Campbellton

Denis Ferron, vice-president – Village-des-Poirier

Roseline Hébert, secretary-treasurer - Lamèque

Marie-Anne Ferron, administrator – Lamèque

Paulette Sonier-Rioux, administrator – Shippagan

Johannes Larsen, administrator – Miramichi

Roseline Paulin, administrator – Tracadie

Daniel Chiasson, administrator – Moncton

Martin Mallet, administrator - Shippagan


Team of the Festival

Vincent Lauzer, artistic director

Nathalie Stewart, administrative director