Village Harmony

Quebec – July 21 – August 2, 2019 (12 days) – $1200 adult/$975 youth

Date: July 21 - August 2, 2019
Venue: Aux berges du lac Castor, Saint-Paulin, Quebec
Leaders: Mary Cay Brass, Nicholas Williams, Gabrielle Bouthillier
Price: $1200 adult / $975 youth

We deliberately try to make this and our other international camps more affordable for high school & college student participation by offering a youth discount.

Village Harmony is excited to announce a brand new camp in Québec.

An excellent opportunity to discover the natural beauty and vibrant culture of la belle province, the camp will focus on Québécois singing traditions – chansons à répondre, complaintes, and songs of the voyageurs.

We will begin with a residency at Aux Berges du Lac Castor, a nature and arts retreat center in La Mauricie with 30km of hiking trails, and access to great swimming and canoeing on a private lake.

Gabrielle Bouthillier and Nicholas Williams will teach songs from Québec, as well as from Breton, English, and Georgian traditions.

Veteran Village Harmony leader Mary Cay Brass will round out the teaching with songs from Bosnia, Croatia, and Macedonia as well as some early New England shape note.

After the teaching week, we will head to Mémoire et Racines, Québec’s premier traditional music festival, in neighbouring Lanaudière region, for full immersion into Québécois traditional music and dance. Following this, we will head east to visit historic Québec City, and on to the Bas-St. Laurent region, staying with local residents and sharing evenings of music, food, and dancing.

We will finish the trip in the Eastern Townships, close to the Vermont border, for more concerts and musical connections.

There will be just 25 places available at this camp.

Attention will be paid to creating a mixed age and mixed gender vocal ensemble.

Apply Now!


Mary Cay Brass

Mary Cay Brass of Athens, Vermont
directed her first Village Harmony camp 30 years ago. She directs two very popular “Village Harmony” style community choirs in Vermont and Massachusetts and is the co-musical director with Peter Amidon of the Hallowell Hospice Choir. Mary Cay is also a dynamic contra-dance keyboardist and accordion player. She spent two and a half years in the former Yugoslavia on a Fulbright Scholarship in ethnomusicology and has published two book/CD collections of music from that region. Mary Cay has  organized and led four Village Harmony trips to the Republic of Macedonia and four to Bosnia and co-led a Lithuania camp. She has helped organize two new Village Harmony camps for summer 2019 in Quebec and Kentucky! Her website is




Nicholas Williams

Nicholas Williams is a singer and multi-instrumentalist known for his playing with the bands Genticorum and Crowfoot, as well as his duo projects with Alex Kehler and Laura Risk.  He has taught harmony singing sessions at Pinewoods music camp, Ashokan Northern Week, and Northeast Heritage Music Camp, and leads a Village-Harmony-inspired singing group in his home town of Waterville, Québec.

Gabrielle Bouthillier

Gabrielle Bouthillier is a stage artist, singer and instrumentalists, as well as a researcher and transmitter of sung heritage. Member of several ensembles, including Strada, Serre l’Écoute, Rond-la-Boule, Duo Elmaleh-Bouthillier and The New Cackle Sisters. She both runs and teaches at l’Atelier de chant traditionnel de Québec et l’Atelier d’harmonies de Québec, projects dedicated to promoting music from not only the francophone oral tradition but also American and European folklore, reviving musical material otherwise only accessible from recordings.


Aux berges du lac Castor, Saint-Paulin, Quebec

Where the magic of man meets the beauty of the earth.

At a time of mega-outfitters and upscale resorts, Aux berges du Lake Castor offers an intimate setting with community and ecological value. Founded as a workers’ cooperative in1999, Lac Castor has continued to strive to renovate and beautify this unique property, with a network of 30 kilometers of signposted trails with viewing platforms, benches, picnic tables, and interpretation panels.

In January 2009 a “creative chalet” was built, for artists from different disciplines to come create in an inspiring and enchanting setting, complete with meeting rooms, community kitchen and free access to outdoor and nautical equipment.

The cooperative has hosted many storytellers, singers, entertainers, dancers and artists, including: My Aries, Fred Pellerin, Blues Gitan, Yves Lambert, Alain Lamontagne, Les Tireux d’Roches, Dobacaracol, Polemil Bazar, Tomas Jensen, The Forked Languages, the traveling theater Le Cochon Souriant, Richard Desjardins, Tricot Machine, Marco Calliari, Misteur Vallaire, Vincent Vallière, Les Charbonniers de l’Enfer, Lisa Leblanc, Quality Motel and many others.