Skip to main content

1989–1998: A Successful First Decade

In 1989, the Carrefour mondial de l’accordéon celebrated its 10th anniversary. The international event had remained firmly rooted in the community, while providing plenty of highlights through the years.

An Accordion Museum

Newspaper article published in L’Oie Blanche, titled An Important Tourist Attraction for the Region: Montmagny Opens an Accordion Economuseum.

L’Oie Blanche, 30 October 1994

In 1992, the Carrefour mondial de l’accordéon acquired its first instrument collection from Frank Ravenda. This marked the beginnings of the Musée de l’accordéon. But it wasn’t until 1994 that, thanks to the hard work of staff and volunteers, the organization opened an accordion museum in Montmagny. As Canada’s only museum dedicated to the accordion and its musical heritage, the institution aims to explain the instrument’s origins, history and development. In this way, the general public can discover the many sides of the “squeezebox.”

Marcel Azzola

In 1993, the festival achieved a major coup when it booked French accordionist Marcel Azzola, accompanied by Lina Bossati on piano. Winner of multiple national and international competitions, Marcel Azzola was a master of the chromatic accordion and the originator of classical- and jazz-style accordion playing in France.

Marcel Azzola – (captions available in both FR and EN) View the video with a description 

During his career, Marcel Azzola performed alongside Édith Piaf, Tino Rossi, Boris Vian and Jacques Brel. He recorded hundreds of film scores, including the one for La Zizanie, starring Louis de Funès. After campaigning to have the accordion taught at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris, he was named a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2007 (he had previously been named a Knight).

Alfred Montmarquette Tribute

On 4 September 1994, the Carrefour mondial de l’accordéon hosted the world premiere of a recital concert in honour of Alfred Montmarquette. An accordionist originally from New York, he immigrated to Quebec in 1920. He became well known in the province when he was in his 50s, performing on Conrad Gauthier’s Veillées du bon vieux temps. Alfred Montmarquette had a captivating and catchy style of playing, inspired by fanfares. It made a strong impression on audiences and can still be heard among many of today’s accordionists. Over the course of his career, he played with Olivia Légaré, Eugène Daignault and La Bolduc. He made about a hundred 78 RPM records. The tribute concert was the brainchild of Gabriel Labbé, a harmonica player and avid collector of 78s. It was rebroadcast across Radio-Canada’s FM radio network on 11 February 1995.

Alfred Montmarquette Tribute Concert— (captions available in both FR and EN) View the video with a description