Superb coastal scenery paired with the village’s quaint layout, complete with switchbacks down a winding road to reach the beachfront across town – all these are reasons why l’Association des plus beaux villages du Québec ranks Saint-Irénée among Québec’s most beautiful villages.
Founded in 1840, Saint-Irénée’s architecture stand outs because of the friendly co-existence of rather modest buildings alongside other more well to do villas once owned by prominent French-Canadian vacationers who frequented this lovely area. And so it was that Hon. Joseph Lavergne, a colleague of Wilfrid Laurier’s, and Hon. Adolphe-Basile Routier, a poet who penned the lyrics to Ô Canada, all vacationed here. The Charlevoix’s MP in the House of Commons, Rodolphe Forget masterminded the creation of a railway linking Québec City to La Malbaie. He was among a number of vacationers to have left their mark, and who continue to leave their mark, on the history of Saint-Irénée.
Internationally renowned for the quality of its curriculum, interestingly enough Domaine Forget is located on the very grounds that once belonged to Rodolphe Forget. Brimming with history, this compound is today an international music and dance academy for youth and emerging professionals.
Domaine Forget is where every year the International Music Festival takes place, an event that features over thirty concerts. Built in 1996, Salle Françoys-Bernier boasts above-par acoustics specially designed for music. The hall welcomes over 600 guests who enjoy the privilege of listening to artists of their choice selected from among a truly diverse repertoire that graces its annual calendar of events.