Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

September 19, 2007 15:46 ET

As Part of Quebec City's 400th Anniversary, the Citadelle Celebrates Samuel de Champlain, Navigator, Geographer and First Governor

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 19, 2007) - Their Excellencies, the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada, and Jean-Daniel Lafond, are pleased to announce that the Citadelle (residence of the Governor General) will participate in Quebec City's 400th anniversary celebrations in 2008. A special program was finalized yesterday at the conclusion of working sessions with the delegation from the City of La Rochelle and other partners: the Societe du 400e, the City of Quebec, Public Works and Government Services Canada and the Royal 22nd Regiment.

"Quebec City will celebrate 400 years of Francophone presence in America and the beginning of an adventure that would lead to the Canada we know today," explained Her Excellency Michaelle Jean. "My husband and I want to open the Citadelle to the public as much as possible next year, when Quebec City will be hosting thousands of visitors."

Le Grand Livre de Champlain

The cities of La Rochelle, Royan and Rochefort, France, will be presenting the Canadian people with a masterful original work: Le Grand Livre de Champlain. Le Grand Livre takes us back to Samuel de Champlain's voyages to New France and brings together under one cover his notes, maps and etchings. Contemporary artists have brought new life to the accounts and illustrations from his logs. The pages of the book were drawn and written by hand, based on Samuel de Champlain's notebooks. Set in a metal binding, the pages are 2.2 metres high and 1.5 metres wide and are made of canvas on wood. The book weighs 500 kilograms. Visitors will be able to turn the pages themselves. Le Grand Livre will be on display in the Cap-aux-Diamants Redoubt, just a few steps from the Governor General's residence at the Citadelle of Quebec, beginning in May 2008.

Exhibits at The Redoubt

A remnant of the French regime's earliest fortifications, the Redoubt dates back to 1693. It is a defence structure, currently classified as one of North America's oldest military buildings. The Redoubt is currently being prepared and will host exhibits beginning in May 2008. In addition to the Grand Livre de Champlain, two other exhibits will connect the history of the Redoubt and that of the governors. "Restoring stones would simply be an administrative exercise, if not for the fact that the stones have significance; they tell us the story of settlement by the French regime," said His Excellency Jean-Daniel Lafond.

Early Impressions of Quebec

The Peter Winkworth Collection of Canadiana: Early Impressions of Quebec, will be on display inside the Citadelle. This exhibit will include an exceptional collection of works illustrating Quebec's history. Peter Winkworth, who was born in Quebec and settled in Great Britain, amassed a considerable number of prints, watercolours, drawings, lithographs, etchings and oil paintings over a 45-year period. This exhibit is made possible through the cooperation of Library and Archives Canada.

La Grande Traversee (the great crossing)

Dozens of navigators will be embarking on La Grande Traversee Atlantique, setting sail as Champlain did from La Rochelle to Quebec City. The departure will be on May 8, the same day that Le Grand Livre de Champlain will be presented to the Canadian people in La Rochelle at a large public nautical celebration.

Cap sur les ports Francophones (setting sail for Francophone ports)

The Agence Universitaire de La Francophonie and Escales Improbables, of which the Governor General is honorary patron, propose a transatlantic voyage filled with artistic emotions, intellectual discussions, gatherings and knowledge. In February 2008, the sailboat Rara Avis will leave Bordeaux, France, and will reach Quebec City, with stops in Morocco, Senegal, Haiti and New Brunswick. Travelling from port to port, artists, philosophers and academics will be part of the crew for this geographical and cultural journey. In early June, the first crew will be greeted by the Governor General and her husband. Their Excellencies will invite them to meet with their Canadian Francophone and Francophile counterparts at a special Art Matters forum at the Citadelle. These forums, initiated by His Excellency Jean-Daniel Lafond, present an opportunity to observe and question the cultural challenges evolving in our society. Over 20 Art Matters forums have already been held in Canada and abroad over the past two years.

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