Founded in 1985 by John Grew and a small group of dedicated friends, the French and English overtones in the festival's name were chosen specifically to refer to the presence of more than one cultural force in Nova Scotia’s development, and to pay tribute to the province's diverse musical heritage.
Current Artistic and Managing Director, Barbara Butler, continues to guide the organization in its original mandate, while promoting its growth from a summer festival to include a year-round concert series. St. John’s Anglican Church, in the UNESCO world heritage site of Lunenburg, is the home base of the organization, and its primary venue for the year-round concerts. We travel further afield during the summer season, our main opportunity to take musicians on tour and visit venues in the far-reaches of the province.
One of our main goals in working with the venues we do, venues of all sizes and histories, is to promote a sense of community and shared pride in Nova Scotia's rich heritage. It is as much about bringing great traditional and early music to local communities as it is about offering the visiting musicians a taste of Nova Scotia, its landscape, its people, and its historic venues.
Volunteers are at the heart of each event, warmly welcoming local, national, and international musicians and audience members alike to the 26 communities partnered with Musique Royale. Our work would not be possible without the generous support of each local community. We gratefully thank them, and all our patrons and sponsors, named and unnamed. Whether you are a local resident in a seaside community on the South Shore, or a visiting traveller in the magnificent highlands of Cape Breton, Musique Royale has a concert for you!