• Holiday greetings & CAMMAC Christmas memories
• Online classes coming up in January
• The 30 best Christmas Carols of all time?
• In memoriam: Joscelyn Ann Hurst
Dear CAMMAC Community,

Did you know that the idea for CAMMAC was born at Christmastime?
While riding out a snowstorm at a northern retreat between Christmas and New Year’s Day in 1952, Madeleine Little, husband George, brother-in-law Carl and his wife Frances came up with the idea for what would eventually become CAMMAC: as the snow piled up around them, they dreamed of creating a place where people could get together in summer to make music in a relaxed, non-competitive way. On their trip back home, they put together a plan to do exactly that, and the first Canadian Amateur Musicians / Musiciens Amateurs du Canada retreat took place the following summer at Otter Lake in Huberdeau, Quebec, welcoming just over two dozen musicians for two weeks of music immersed in nature.

"From the start, we believed that the camp should be bilingual and that being an amateur musician does not mean you are inferior; the word amateur comes from 'amore' which means 'love.' Maureen Forrester and Louis Quilico gave one of their first recitals there.” – Carl Little

Nearly 70 years later, the Littles’ vision remains alive and well, having grown into a thriving organization that remains devoted to bringing people of diverse ages, backgrounds and levels of musicianship together to learn and to make music.

Things have changed at CAMMAC since the original plan was hatched, but in reality, things haven't changed all that much! The summer camp has moved to permanent facilities at the Music Centre at Lake MacDonald in Harrington, receiving over 1000 people each summer (not far from the original Otter Lake location). Vibrant regional communities have formed in Toronto, Ottawa-Gatineau and Montreal. An annual music festival welcomes world-renowned musicians for a summer concert series in the Laurentians. Despite this growth, the original spirit and intent for CAMMAC remain the same, and the organization is now known all around the world for its welcoming, family-oriented values.

"CAMMAC is family fare. There are activities for adults, adolescents and children. Now it's not uncommon that there are four generations at the same time; children come back with their children." – Madeleine Little

Generations of families still come to CAMMAC so that their children can benefit from the same joy in making music at camp as their parents did. Recent camp experiences are still very much like those of the past, as you can see for yourself by comparing “Harmonie”, produced in 1977 by the NFB, with “Feel the Spirit of CAMMAC!”, produced in 2018:

To read more about CAMMAC, past and present:
“All art enriches life, and people have always had the fundamental need to make music.” – Madeleine Little

Madeleine's words ring as true today as they did 68 years ago. This has been a year in which music has become increasingly important to everyone's well-being.

The CAMMAC Music Centre was silent for most of 2020, and regional activities could not take place. But the countless donors, volunteers and musicians who have worked tirelessly to grow the Littles’ dream into what it has now become continue to support the organization, and many new members and contributors have added their efforts to the cause. We hope to be able to welcome you all again soon so that we can make music together in 2021.

If you’d like to contribute to CAMMAC’s Annual Fundraising Campaign, there is still time to do so and benefit from a last-minute donation in 2020 for your tax receipts:
The Board of Directors and staff of CAMMAC wish each and every one of you
a happy holiday season, and a healthy
and musical New Year!
Dear CAMMAC friends,
What an incredible year 2020 was! I still remember the fantastic March Break Week spent at the Music Centre in March 2020. As we all know, everything closed soon after ...

Since then, (and with a lot of determination, imagination and effort) we continue to offer you online programming. It is our way of keeping in touch with all of you, our members, but it is also a commitment to our wonderful teachers and CAMMAC staff in these uncertain times. This is a very positive and exciting project!

I am proud to see that the Music Centre continues its mission of encouraging people of all ages to experience the joy of making music together in a welcoming and cooperative environment – online! We also continue to honour our values: music creates people-to-people bonds that transcend differences in age, language and culture. In the context of COVID-19, this connection between people is even more necessary to break the isolation and loneliness of confinement.

Thank you for your unwavering support for the major challenges of the CAMMAC Music Centre. The virtual online program will surely be part of the educational offering of the CAMMAC well after the pandemic since it allows CAMMAC to keep in touch with you, our members, and even to welcome new members without geographical barriers. I was very touched by the comment from one of our participants at the Christmas Cabaret who told us how moved he was to participate and attend a "virtual concert" with the public for the first time in 9 months!

I know, that for many of our teachers, this has been the most difficult year of their careers. Even so, we continue to see the extraordinary level of resilience, determination and creativity that everyone demonstrates in ways they can to do their jobs and even re-invent themselves. At the CAMMAC Music Centre, we continue to do everything we can to maintain the strong bond between members of the CAMMAC community. We also participate in promoting culture and the arts to support the diversity and vitality of artists and arts organizations and to ensure that they remain at the heart of the cultural life of the Laurentians, Quebec and Canada. We are an integral part of the cultural ecosystem.

I end this message with the strong hope of seeing you again at the Music Centre in 2021. What a celebration it will be! I wish everyone a brighter year for all of us, and of course, a year filled with beautiful music.

– Guylaine Lemaire, Artistic Director
On behalf of the CAMMAC Board of Directors, I wish all members of our community a safe, healthy, and comfortable winter holiday season. We look forward to building on the classic CAMMAC themes and new variations that have developed this year, to bring you musical joy and companionship in the coming year.
I have enjoyed connecting with many of you during our online activities this year, as well as through the newsletters and via personal emails. We thank you all for your participation and generous support and we hope to be able to meet in person soon. 
With loving reference to my cohorts in the Knitters on the Porch group, and our song from the CAMMAC Online Holiday Cabaret, I wish you all some happy Lake Macdonald Dreaming on all these Winter Days :)
– Susan King, President, Board of Directors
All the best for the holiday season and may 2021 be a much more usual CAMMAC experience for us all. 
Stay safe and healthy throughout!!
– David Stitt, Vice-President, Board of Directors
Best wishes for the Holiday Season from CAMMAC Toronto Region!!!
– Sheila MacRae, CAMMAC-Toronto Region Representative 
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the best for the holiday season. Despite the impossibility of seeing each other in person, I wish you a pleasant holiday season and a better year for 2021 than its predecessor. With all my heart I wish you inner peace, lots of love and many of the daily joys that will keep us going until we can meet again.
Keep your spirits up and I hope to see you soon!
Marc Cousineau, Operations Coordinator

Please note that the CAMMAC administrative offices will be closed from December 19 to January 3. On behalf of our staff and myself, I would like to take this time to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
I look forward to meeting many of you as soon as we can once again welcome our members at the Music Centre.
– Cynthia Bonenfant, Executive Director
The 30 Greatest Christmas Carols
of All Time?
It is, of course, a matter of opinion, but Classic FM has made their list, and checked it twice. Do you agree?
Start 2021 off on a high note!
Commit to making music next year by taking a workshop, attending a lecture or signing up for some private coaching.
Let’s make music!
Please register at least 24 hours in advance. Please note also that our offices will be closed throughout the holidays. Registrations and payments will be processed beginning on January 4.
This new workshop series will cover several instrument families and musical styles, with a focus on maintaining and improving your level of playing. (For all levels of players).
On the program this month:
• The trumpet with Karen Donnelly, Principal Trumpet for the National Arts Centre Orchestra.
• The clarinet with Simon Aldrich, Principal Clarinet for l’Orchestre métropolitain.

On Mondays, we get together with Mélodie Rabatel and invited guests for an evening of conversation and choral singing.

Rachel Beausoleil will guide us through some well known Italian tunes to practise pronunciation and have fun!

Véronique Brouillette from the Clinique de l’artiste will help you to discover several techniques and exercises to help you to feel good in your body while playing music. 

Join BrendaLee Wilson for an end of day yoga class that will focus on spinal and joint mobility, breathing and relaxation. 

Excerpts of the Eighth Book of Madrigals by Monteverdi
Andrew McAnerney returns to explore the history of Monteverdi’s eighth collection, and why this music is so interesting and highly regarded. This lecture is presented in collaboration with the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal, who will be performing an online concert of extracts from the collection later this month.

Rachel Beausoleil explores the warm sounds of the Caribbean and South America to bring some spice to a cold January!
February 16, 1933 – December 9, 2020
It is with great sadness that we have recently learned of the passing of a long-time CAMMAC member. We’d like to extend our sincerest condolences to the family of Joscelyn Ann Hurst.
Please note that the family is planning a virtual get-together on Saturday December 19 2020 for people to get together to remember Joscelyn. Please contact for information and to register. A Celebration of Life, as per Mrs Hurst’s wishes, will take place at a later date.
You can read a tribute to Mrs. Hurst by CAMMAC member Anastasia Llewellyn at the following link:
For more news from CAMMAC's Regions,
head over to their websites:
85 Chemin CAMMAC
Harrington, QC
J8G 2T2
Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
819-687-3938 • 1-888-622-8755