Around the world, children's choirs are part of a thousand-year-old tradition. However, it was only in the middle of the last century, through the intuition and will of Mgr. Fernand Maillet (1896-1963), that a new life was given to the Pueri Cantores (Latin for Little Singers).
Maillet took his choir around the world, from church to church. Not only did the Little
Singers soon gain an international influence, but similar children's choirs were soon
created in their wake. In 1947, Maillet instigated the creation of the Fédération Française
des Petits Chanteurs, a grouping of French children’s choirs, and, in 1951, the birth of the
From France...to Quebec
In the 50s, a first Quebec federation was born thanks to the initiative of Mgr. Maillet who, on a few occasions, accompanied by his Petits Chanteurs à la Croix-de-Bois, led gatherings of nearly 2000 Little Singers in Quebec. The Maîtrise de Québec, founded in 1915, joined this early Quebec federation in 1951, before it ceased to exist in the 1960s.
In May 1983, the leaders of Les Petits Chanteurs de Laval revived the Fédération des Pueri Cantores du Québec, under the presidency of Mgr. Claude Thompson, and re-joined the Fédération Internationale.
From then on, each choirmaster who had previously worked alone in his parish, school, city, or region was now part of a larger group. Exchanges began to occur between the directors and then, through gatherings, between the young choristers themselves, and this, in many subjects: music, education, spirituality.
Since its foundation, the Fédération des Pueri Cantores du Québec has held eight national congresses. In 1995, the Quebec federation hosted the 27th International Congress, which included twenty-six choirs representing eleven countries. Countless opportunities for the Pueri Cantores to share moments of fraternity, both at home and elsewhere!
Today, the Pueri Cantores are an incredible youth movement that promotes education through singing, living in community and especially liturgy.
The Canadian Federation of Pueri Cantores allows Quebec children’s choirs to pursue
their goals though a variety of initiatives. It financially supports the occasional
pairing of its choirs, organizes national conventions, supports choir participation in
international conventions and assists in the formation of choirs and their directors.
In accordance with its mission, the Canadian Federation of Pueri Cantores pursues the following objectives:
To allow member choirs to benefit from economies of scale, for example, through the lending of music scores
To increase the efficiency and effectiveness with which Federation choirs pursue their charitable goals (for example, by offering development sessions)
Liturgical singing, especially Gregorian chant, and sacred polyphony, both classical and modern
Secular repertoire suitable both in style and content to the voices of children
To develop a sense of community among the children of the world by sharing the peace of Christ
To group children’s parish choirs and school choirs operating on the legal territory of Canada