During a writing retreat on the Island of Orleans from June to October 1946, Félix Leclerc completed his first novel, Le fou de l’île, dealing with life along the shores of the St. Lawrence River. Following a stint in Paris and Montreal, he returned to the island in 1970 and moved into a house that he had built with his own hands with the help of friends.
In 1975, the year the Montreal Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society presented him with its Calixa Lavallée Music Award, Félix Leclerc entered into a musical collaboration with the orchestrator François Dompierre that yielded, among others, a masterful production of Le tour de l’île, a song that expresses the poet’s love for his adopted land and mirrors the island’s tranquility. The song also reflects the artist’s sovereigntist convictions and his indignation at the Canadian government’s decision to invoke the War Measures Act during the October crisis in 1970.
In 1979, Félix Leclerc accepted to lend his name to the ADISQ (Association de l’industrie du disque et du spectacle québécois) statuettes, the Félix awards. ADISQ presented Leclerc with its Tribute Award in the very first annual awards ceremony.
Félix Leclerc lived on the Island of Orleans until his death on August 8, 1988.