Yves Hélie is not only an accomplished musician and teacher he's also an accordion repair technician, a profession that is becoming more scarce. Yves has clients who entrust him with their accordions from as far as Europe and USA in addition to Canada.
Being an accordion lute (repair technician) means that he does the maintenance and tuning, but also modifications and transformations according to the needs of his clients.
Originally from the Drummondville area, his parents had a music store in the basement of the family house : «Le royaume de la musique», so Yves grew up in that environment that became his passion and vocation.
This special room in the house had an undeniable magic for Yves who happened to spend a lot of time there, so he had the chance to meet musicians coming from anywhere in Quebec who were buying or bringing their accordions for repairs. It was one of the few stores to sell accordions at the time.
The name Hélie was rapidly associated to accordions retail because of the vast inventory in the store. Yves quickly involved himself in the family business, for as soon as he was able to play a few tunes, his father was asking him to do demonstrations on different accordions for the customers for whom it was the first contact with the instrument.
Yves also watched his father doing repairs on accordions and at some point he started to build his own experience through trial and error while still following his father's footsteps. So one day he picked up the torch and became an accordion (and harmonium) repair technician as well. After learning that way, Yves perfected his techniques by going to Italy to do a training course to learn from other experts in the field.
The mastery acquired today makes him a sought-after repair technician who enjoys a well established reputation. Astonished by his renown having crossed the ocean with years, he's very proud of it. To know that so many musicians - from Quebec, USA and Europe - wish to entrust him with their instruments gives him a lot of satisfaction. Les accordéons Maugein in France even solicited him as a tuner.
Yves Hélie became a must as a repair technician and tuner for the accordion players because they know that by manipulating the reeds in specific ways, Yves can make accordions play with a Cajun or Quebec sound, as much as a Musette (France) or a Celtic sound, depending on each musicians' style.
His extended knowledge of the instrument brought him to collaborate with Marcel Desgagné, owner of Sag'né Accordions for the creation of a new 15 button accordion, that offers more possibilities on the melodic level.
This accordion allows one to play the 12 keys on a small accordion, which spares the player to carry several instruments. More on Sag'né Accordions in the Friendly Links page.
Even though his home and workshop are located in Sherbrooke (Eastern Townships), Yves has a pick-up point in Montreal to make it easy for many of his clients and another one in Stanstead near the Vermont border for his clients in United States. See the page : To contact me to have his phone number and email and ask him the details about that.
Yves hopes to pass on his accordion repair technician skills to his children if they want, so that the name of Hélie continues to be associated with the accordion for a long time.