Awards from the Jeunesses musicales du Canada, Order of Canada, Order of Quebec, First National Prize Lescarbot, Calixa-Lavallée Prize, Tourism Award of Excellence for Quebec, Honorary Doctorate from the Universities of Laval and McGill… posthumously inducted into Montréal’s Opera Hall of Fame. Who is this man, this religious?
Born on May 11, 1928, in Trois-Pistoles on the shores of the St. Lawrence River, from a family of five children, Fernand begins taking piano classes when he is five. He then starts his classical studies at the Seminary of Rimouski, where he continues to study music: piano, clarinet and organ. His uncle, Georges Lindsay, titular organist of Montréal’s cathedral and piano teacher at the seminary in Joliette, speaks to him about this music and art environment. Attracted by this, Fernand moves to Joliette in September 1943. He discovers his vocation as a teacher and decides to respond by choosing religious life and entering the community of the Clercs de Saint-Viateur. His intelligence is remarkable, his imagination always in motion and he has an incredible capacity to carry out his projects. The students love this professor of Literature, of Philosophy and of Music. They find in him an inspired guide who introduces them into the world of culture and of beauty that, for him, are ways to move closer to God.
Founder of the Music Camp of Lanaudière, Father Lindsay will be the main activity leader of this camp for more than 40 years. Four camps of two weeks each gather over 400 young musicians each summer. For 45 years he directs the choir of the Chanteurs de la Place Bourget, in Joliette.
After travelling to Beirut and Salzburg in 1963, when he returns he begins dreaming of organizing a festival of Classical Music in the province: concerts in beautiful churches around Quebec, with the participation of internationally known artists and for this event he wishes to also build a big amphitheatre in the middle of nature. Some friends share his same desires and help him launch the project. All over Quebec, the Festival de Lanaudière and its amphitheatre still witness of the presence of Father Lindsay, whose body now rests in Joliette, in the cemetery of his community, since 2009.