The 3rd of July 2008 officially marks the 400th founding of Quebec City, a milestone reached by few other North American cities. The French adventure in the New World began at “Kebec’, an Algonquin word meaning ‘where the river narrows’. This settlement would soon become Quebec City, and in turn the capital of New France, and today a UNESCO World Heritage site and the thriving capital of the Province of Quebec in Canada.
Quebec City is hard at work preparing for the commemoration of this historic event. Focusing on the role that Quebec City has long played as a meeting place, the 400th anniversary programme of events will showcase the city’s history, as well as celebrating its vibrant present and looking forward to a dynamic future.
Beginning on New Year’s Eve 2007 and concluding with a unique one –off performance by Quebec’s most famous brand the Cirque du Soleil, at the closing ceremony on 19th October, Quebec City’s 400th birthday party promises to be sensational, with a multitude of different events and interactive exhibitions taking place throughout the year. One of the summer’s highlights will include “The Image Mill” , a large scale giant screen multimedia show created by the famous Quebecois writer and director Robert Lepage. Robert Lepage has taken up the challenge of telling the story of Quebec City, using multiple projections onto an immense 600 metre wide screen. Based on the number 4 (four centuries, four seasons, four roads, four compass points etc), this spectacular 40 minute ‘son et lumiere’ show made up of 400 images will even make its way into the Guinness Book of Records . The festivities will culminate in major celebrations from 3- 8 July 2008, in commemoration of the date the city was officially founded by the great explorer Samuel De Champlain.
The heart of the festivities will take place at Espace 400e – a thematic exhibition pavilion located in the Old Port of Quebec. Espace 400e will host the ‘Passengers Exhibition’ , an interactive tribute to the millions of people from all over the world that passed through the city over the course of its 400 years of history, the multimedia show ‘Image Mill’ by Robert Lepage, the ‘Ephemeral Gardens’ an outdoor showcase garden design project, plus a wide range of daily activities and shows created specifically of this great historic celebration