When I took part in the Gala de l’Amitié hosted by the « L’amitié n’a pas d’âge » (Friendship Knows No Age) association on May 29, 2015, I had the great surprise of winning the event’s attendance prize: a gift certificate for a family of four, offered by the CAMMAC Music Centre! This package included a whole week for two grandparents and two children for March Break, from February 28 to March 4, 2016. Having myself no grandchildren that could come along with me for this week, I was very happy that my great friend Michelle Lemay was willing and able to come with her 5-year-old grandson Noam and her daughter Marie-Pier. The latter’s spouse, Rémi, also joined us to share in this unforgettable adventure.

Besides being located in enchanting surroundings in Harrington, amid the Laurentians, the CAMMAC Music Centre offers a well-structured program including targeted periods for every age group (4–6, 7–9, 10–12, teenagers, adults), so everyone can participate in their choice of activities without feeling rushed.

Music lovers of all ages enjoy a diversified artistic experience: in addition to the opportunity to learn or practice a variety of instruments with the judicious advice of professionals, participants may join in a choir, a dance group, and even music reading initiation sessions.

Moreover, during the week we spent at CAMMAC, the schedule included special activities such as an overview of Japanese culture by learning origami and an ice stained-glass workshop. We also had the privilege to attend to a presentation of First Nation tales and legends around a campfire; another day, it was a brass quintet from Youth and Music Canada that offered us an incredible performance of Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.

I should not go without mentioning the variety of meals served thrice a day, in addition to the nutritious snacks available to kids between meals. From the most demanding taste to the largest appetite, there was something for everyone!
The week ended with a concert where every participant had the opportunity to present their new knowledge and share the result of their learning with an audience.

In sum, my stay at CAMMAC was an unforgettable experience. Since I have limited musical knowledge, I focused on singing, an art I had not practiced for a long time. And I came back home with an enthusiasm and a willingness to pursue my apprenticeship.

Many thanks to all the team, who gave themselves wholeheartedly, day after day, to ensure the success of this fantastic week.

My very special thanks to the management at CAMMAC for their generosity which allowed my friend Michelle’s family and myself to enjoy this incredible experience.

Andrée Pinsonneault
March 2016