Institut Nazareth

Institut Nazareth. Co-educational school for blind children, founded in 1861 in Montreal by Benjamin-Victor Rousselot and the Grey Nuns. Music was a part of the general curriculum from the outset.

Institut Nazareth

Institut Nazareth. Co-educational school for blind children, founded in 1861 in Montreal by Benjamin-Victor Rousselot and the Grey Nuns. Music was a part of the general curriculum from the outset. Rosalie Euvrard (b Châtellerault, France, 1851, d Nancy, France, 1920) arrived from France in 1876 and collaborated with Paul Letondal to develop a school of music within the institution. She served as both organizer and teacher until 1881, when she returned to France and taught in Nancy.

The newspapers of the time reveal the influence of the school on the cultural life of the area, describing annual concerts which introduced both first-rate performing talents and important new works to the Montreal public and a choir whose reputation led to tours of the province. Many considered the school the earliest conservatory in Montreal. For more than 100 years it offered instruction by leading Quebec musicians, including Françoise Aubut, Camille Couture, Achille Fortier, Gustave Labelle, François Morel, and R.-O. Pelletier; and trained others including Gabriel Cusson, Paul Doyon, Alfred Lamoureux, Conrad Letendre, Armand Pellerin, and Jeannine Vanier. The school organized the first workshops in piano tuning in French Canada. In 1917 Laval University conferred affiliate status upon the school, thus recognizing the high standard of its teaching; and in 1920 the University of Montreal made the Institut Nazareth one of its first annexed music schools. It was through this connection that the organist Armand Pellerin in 1921 received the first B MUS granted by the University of Montreal. The affiliation was terminated in 1967 by the terms of the new university charter.

The Institut Nazareth changed location in 1932 and again in 1940, and in 1956 an organ was installed. A letter dated 28 Feb 1975, from the director, Sister Thérèse Parent, announced to the staff the 'cessation of all general activities of the Institut Nazareth'. It merged with the Institut Louis-Braille in June 1975, continuing thereafter as the Institut Nazareth et Louis-Braille. Relocated in Longueuil, the two were incorporated under the administration of the Chambly Regional School Board.

Founded 1953 in Montreal as a school for blind boys, and administered by the Order of St-Viateur, the Institut Louis-Braille became noted for its piano-tuning classes. These apprenticeship workshops were established in 1954 by Raphael Brilotti. Their study program is registered as part of the secondary professional training course of the Ministry of Education of Quebec and remained in 1990 the only courses of their kind in the province.

See also The blind.


Further Reading

  • Journal de l'Institut Nazareth [publ in braille] (Montreal 1877-1936)

    1861-1961 - Les Trois âges d'une oeuvre séculaire (Montreal 1961)

    Institut Louis-Braille. Archives