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The consecration of the Butte

In the fall of 1960, when he inaugurated the first of a series of “extensions” to the stage area, Gilles Mathieu decided to mark the occasion with a special event.

Black and white portrait of Félix Leclerc.

Félix Leclerc

Thinking of Félix Leclerc, he got him to agree to do a recital one Saturday night in October. This was to be the consecration of the boîte à chanson. Gilles printed 200 tickets at $2 each and all sold out in record time. However, on the night of the show, 400 people show up at the Butte. Fortunately, with such an enthusiastic audience, Félix agreed to do a second show with several people on stage.


Félix Leclerc album cover recorded at La Butte. An exterior image of La Butte serves as a background in front of a photo of Félix Leclerc holding a cigarette.

Record cover

Captivated by the creative effervescence of the place, Félix Leclerc would set the heart of the Butte throbbing several more times until 1970.

“After the shows,” said Gilles Mathieu, “we would stay up until the early hours of the morning and then I would drive Félix back to the Auberge La Paysanne, where he would always sleep. He would arrive in Val-David on Saturday afternoon in his little Volkswagen, with his wife Dedouche, and leave on Sunday afternoon, after we had all eaten together at a friend’s house.”

Collage of black and white photographs of 10 artists who performed at La Butte: Les Jérolas (Jean Lapointe and Jérôme Lemay), Jean-Guy Moreau, Emmanuelle, Monique Leyrac, Monique Miville-Deschênes, Georges Dor, Félix Leclerc, Robert Charlebois, Diane Dufresne and Jacques Michel.

Do you recognize them?