Okay, so shoot me. I, along with 5 other friends, decided to play hooky from the conference goings today and go into Montréal. We hired a van, total damage was 575$ plus tip. Not bad, especially as the van driver was an excellent tour guide as well.
One of the places we visited was, of course, the Notre-Dame Basilica (http://www.basiliquenddm.org). Much to my surprise, they charged a 4$ admission fee. According to their guide:
An admission fee was introduced in January 1999 to help defray the costs of conserving and restoring the building. No contribution is required, however, to attend Mass, participate in other religious services, or for personal prayer.
Hmmm. So if you just wanted to go in to pray, and not to be a tourist, could you get out of paying the 4$??? I didn't feel that strangely about going into a church since I visited St. Patrick's in New York, when I got a definite moneychangers in the temple feel when I walked in there.
Anyway, I picked up a bulletin, and I started to drool. Here's why. If you're going to be in Montréal over the next couple of months, you ought to swing on by for their International Festival of Organs of Notre-Dame of Montréal (my rough translation of the French).
Here's my rather rough translation. Read it and drool.
Every Sunday nights at 7.00 pm (except 24 June), there will be organ recitals presented at the Basilica of Notre-Dame. For its fourth season, the festival will present three special concerts (***) and two concerts (**) dedicated to the 350th anniversary of the arrival of the priests of Saint-Sulpice.
24 June **Studio of Ancient Music; Benoît Marineau, Titular Organist, Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours
1 July Frédéric Roberge
8 July ***Marie-Claire Alain, France
15 July ***Olivier Latry, Titular Organist, Notre-Dame-de-Paris, France
22 July Laurent Martin
29 July Pierre Grandmaison
5 August Isabelle Demers
12 August **Pierre Grandmaison (Le chemin de croix de Marcel Dupré)
19 August Yves Préfontaine
26 August ***Daniel Roth, Titular Organist, Saint-Sulpice de Paris