Sketches from Quebec City’s Sacred Music Festival

victoirealtarMy husband and I just returned from a wonderful trip to Quebec City, one of the oldest and certainly the ‘French-est’ city in all of Canada.  The ancient part of the city, with some buildings dating to the 1600s, is beautifully preserved and overflows with the dramatic history, poetic culture and passionate faith of the French explorers and Catholics who founded the town.

By sheer luck we visited during the International Des Musiques Sacrees de Quebec, which featured music of one faith or another almost every day in churches, libraries and museums.  We heard three magnificent concerts, one being flutist Anne Thivierge with a harpsichordist (sorry I cannot find her name) at the beautiful church of Notre Dame des Victoires in the old town.  As we waited for the performance, an old gent was tuning the harpsichord


That’s just a tiny bit of the ornate altar sculptures that I started to sketch in behind him – it was truly a breathtaking chancel, it is pictured in the photo above right.

I was able to both enjoy the delightful baroque music played by Ms. Thivierge and do some rough sketches –



She played a baroque-era wooden flute with a beautiful mellow sound – the program calls it ‘la flute traversiere,’ which means the player blows across the embouchure, not into it like a recorder.

We look forward to returning to Quebec, there was much more to see than we had time for on this vacation!

These sketches are (c) Pat Achilles and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the artist.