Interviewee: Mr. Denys Legare Principal Director, Communication & Marketing Society of 400th Anniversary of Quebec City （Date: August 31, 2007; Place: 952 Grande Allee West, Quebec; Interviewer/Writer: Takahiro Miyao）
After about two hours of a comfortable train ride from Montreal, I arrived in Quebec City, the provincial capital, which is a much smaller and more congenial place than Montreal. This was my first visit to Quebec City since 1976, and I found some things never changed, while some other things completely changed compared to 30 years ago. Its Old Town, surrounded by walls and symbolized by Chateau Frontenac, looked exactly the same as before, but business and tourist activities seemed really booming this time around. In fact, Quebec City is now busy preparing itself for 10 month-long events to commemorate its 400th anniversary to start at the end of this year. So, I first visited the office of the Society of 400th Anniversary of Quebec City to find out about the celebrations.
Summary of Mr. Legare’s Interview
There is going to be a “big party” to celebrate our 400th anniversary. There are two ways to celebrate. One way is to have a lot of protocols and a lot of VIPs coming to hold official ceremonies. But we will do it our way, that is to offer to the general public 10 months of festivities from December 31 this year through October 19 next year. During that period, we will offer about 130 activities, including a memorable closing show on October 19 to be performed by Cirque de Soleil, which was born in this city twenty some years ago and has continually been supported by its citizens since then.
The key events include “the Image Mill,” the biggest multi-media architectural projection onto the huge surface of a six-kilometer-long grain mill, about the city’s past, present and future in playful animation to be produced by one and the only Robert Lepage, from June 20 until July 29. Another important thing is, of course, our main celebrations for Quebec City’s founding by Samuel de Champlain, who is believed to have settled in the city on July 3, 1608. So, we will have a series of major events from July 3 for the day’s big shows to be attended by many dignitaries from around the world, July 4 for simultaneous celebrations for Quebec and the U.S., July 5 for “Urban Opera” with the world’s greatest street artists and performers (some from Japan) paying tribute to the city, through July 6 for great family gathering by picnicking in the Plains of Abraham.
This July 6 event is important, because the Plains of Abraham was given to Quebec City as a gift to commemorate its 300th anniversary back in 1908, when this park was only made accessible to rich people from high society and not to low come class in the city. In order to signify a hundred years of democratization in Quebec society, we will have a picnic in the Plains of Abraham by inviting people from all classes. That is the point of having this event, and the family gathering will be immortalized by an aerial photograph that will be our legacy to the city’s 500th anniversary in 2108. This way Quebec City, a World Heritage Site, will be a place of encounters for all kinds of people with different historical and cultural backgrounds. So we welcome Japanese visitors to join the celebrations. References: 400th Anniversary of Quebec City: http://www.ville.quebec.qc.ca/en/400_anniversaire/ Quebec 1608-2008; Calendar of Events: http://www.monquebec2008.com/MonQuebec2008/?lang=en-ca
(Written by T. Miyao) ------------------------------------------------------------- デニ・レガレ氏 ケベック市200周年記念協会・事務総長 （2007年8月31日、ケベック市記念協会事務所にて；聞き手：宮尾尊弘）