For six weeks every year, the CIOC festival celebrates with events around the city like concerts, cocktail hours, documentaries and collaborations with major Montreal orchestras. But while you may have to fork out ticket money for some of those, it's the St. Joseph Oratory event that is truly one of the main highlights.
- After hosting free outdoor concerts this summer, Montreal's St. Joseph's Oratory is welcoming the public to free organ concerts as part of the Canadian International Organ Competition this October.
- Donations are encouraged so be sure to bring cash!
Every Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. in October you can attend a free concert at St. Joseph's Oratory put on by the Canadian International Organ Competition (CIOC).
While it's not exactly free, entrance is granted by a voluntary contribution — which can be whatever you are able to afford at the time. So it's up to you what you would like to donate.
The concerts by the CIOC are meant to build public awareness and interest for organ music and have organists from around the world participating. Because let's be honest, organs aren't at the top of anyone's musical must-listen to list. A lot of us associate organs with long church services or great aunt Edna's funeral. But that's not all that they are capable of.
Organ music is definitely not as popular now as it once was back (way, way back) in the day and the CIOC is looking to change that. If you're a music fan, this is your chance to hear how powerful and eerily beautiful the organ can sound.
The basilica actually has one of the top ten ranked most prestigious organs in the world. It still bears the name of master organ builder Rudolf von Beckerath. It's quite the sight to behold.
Ok, organ music may not sound all that exciting. If you've heard it in the past it may have sounded loud, brash, heavy and yeah, rather unmusical. But these instruments are also capable of ethereal, melodic and mysterious sounds.
The free concerts continue Sunday, October 6 with Montreal's very own Luc Beauséjour. So if you're going to catch any of the events, why not give a bit of support to our home town organist.
Spending a Sunday afternoon listening to a free concert at one of the most famous spots in Montreal doesn't seem like such a bad way to spend the day.
Canada International Organ Competition
October 6 - Luc Beauséjour (Montréal); 3:30 p.m.
October 13 - James Mellichamp (USA); 3:30 p.m.
October 20 - Els Biesemans (Belgium); 3:30 p.m.
October 27 - Nathan Laube (USA); 3:30 p.m.
Where: 3800 Queen Mary Rd; St. Joseph's Oratory
Cost: Free! Donations welcome.