Welcome to Pontiac Enchanté’s 2019 concert season!
10 years ago, we started presenting summertime concerts, unsure of either the potential for growth or even the viability of planning a further summer festival. Now, as we look back on our first decade of music in the barn, we are proud to have pushed through those initial uncertainties, and have watched the concerts gradually grow into an established year-round series. We have welcomed artists from across Canada and further abroad, and have formed relationships with the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation, the Honens International Piano Competition, Ottawa Chamberfest, and the Swedish, German, Austrian, and Icelandic embassies in Ottawa.
In 2019, we are presenting eight concerts, with an exciting roster of artists. Despite our continued expansion, our core mission has remained the same: we provide a performance platform for outstanding musicians, both from Canada and further afield. We have a unique set up which allows artists to come to Venturing Hills Farm a number of days before their performance in order to rehearse, reflect, and experience the natural beauty of our surroundings. Between intensive rehearsals, musicians at Pontiac Enchanté have been known to head off on hikes on mountain trails, participate in beach volleyball tournaments, ride horses, swim or skate in/on the pond, go skiing, and in one less fortunate case, lug heavy pails of maple sap through slushy spring snow to the boiling shed during syrup season. At a time when musicians are dealing with increasingly hectic schedules, we think that this kind of experience is both rare and important. The experience that we offer our audience is also a special one. The small size of our concert studio makes for a very intimate concert environment. Before and after the concerts, we welcome our audience to take in the beauty of the cliffs of the Eardley Escarpment, directly behind the barn, to chat to the artists, and to say hello to some of the horses that live in the stalls beneath the concert studio. None of this would be possible without the help of our many very generous sponsors, to whom we are very grateful.
Here’s to another ten years of music under the escarpment!
Carson and Tait Becke, co-directors
Venturing Hills Farm is home to an acclaimed equestrian training center which has, since its origins, produced national and international level riders, in addition to providing introductory riding and educational experiences to children and adults through summer camps and outreach programs. Clientele consists of Ottawa region residents, and boarders from other parts of Canada and the USA.
In 2013, Rae Becke represented Canada and Quebec at the North American Young Riders Championships at the Rolex venue in Kentucky, placing 8th overall and 2nd highest placing Canadian. She is at the elite level of the ‘Programme D’Excellence’ for eventing in Quebec.
Venturing Hills Concert Studio was designed and built by Jacques Chapleau, Peter Becke, and Thomas Becke, with acoustic advice from Ross Murray, and materials from Logs End. Recordings work done in the studio has included albums by artists such as Ian Tamblyn and Peter Hum. The Studio now features a state of the art audio-visual system, generously sponsored by Desjardins in 2012. It has an audience capacity of approximately 130 people.