In 2008, the capital of the province of Quebec is hosting more than 130 special events, exhibitions, shows, parades, concerts and activities to celebrate the 400th birthday of the founding of Quebec City in 1608.
The new Espace 400e is the main gathering place and performance site. It's located in Quebec City's Old Port area, at Bassin Louise, where the St. Lawrence River and the Saint Charles River meet.
For 120 days, from June 3 to September 28, Espace 400e will be the location for 2,000 street art shows, 100 kids' workshops, 100 musical performances, 100 lectures and debates and more than 100 community events.
Key locations in Espace 400e are the Bistro, the Ephemeral Gardens, the Piers, the Meetings Park, the Marquee and the Grand Square, where visitors will find day and evening entertainment and food. Its roof shelters more than 500 people.
The Promenade Samuel De Champlain, a $70-million five-kilometer linear park, runs between the St. Lawrence River and Boulevard Champlain.
A new walking path, the VivaCité Stroll, begins at Faubourg Saint-Jean-Baptiste, passes through Saint-Roch, Old Port and Place Royale, and ends at Petit Champlain. Walkers will discover the history, military and religious heritage, museums and parks of Quebec City.
From June 3 to October 19, Espace 400e hosts the Passagers/Passengers exhibition, designed and directed by Patrice Sauvé. Using images, quotes and music, the multi-media show tells the stories of some of the five million inhabitants and visitors who have lived and passed through Quebec City during its 400-year history. Viewers can follow their footsteps by picking up a suitcase belonging to one of 20 passengers.
Tickets to Passagers/Passengers cost $5 and $7 and are available through Billetech or by calling (418) 643-8131 or 1 (877) 643-8131 toll-free.
The Image Mill
For forty evenings, between June 20 and July 29, visitors and residents can see the largest outdoor projection in the world. Created by Robert Lepage and Ex Machina, The Image Mill is a 3-dimensional animation of Quebec City's past, present and future.
The forty-minute multimedia show is projected on a massive 600-metre, 10 story-high screen on the Bunge company grain silos.
Between June 10 and September 28, visitors can stroll through 11 artistic gardens in Espace 400e. Designed by artists from the First Nations, France, United Kingdom, U.S.A., Canada and Quebec, they depict the Meetings and Encounters theme of Quebec City's 400th anniversary.
Nearby Encounters Park, west of the Parks Canada Interpretation Centre theme pavilion in Espace 400e, is a place for visitors to relax and stroll.
Quebec City 400th birthday
July 3 is the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City by Samuel de Champlain in 1608. The birthday party lasts three days, from July 3 to 6.
Events include a high mass at Basilique de Québec, a military parade and a Plains of Abraham gathering of families and friends for an official souvenir photo, photographed from the air on July 6. A fire sculpture and a torchlight procession introduce an enormous urban opera, on July 5, featuring 1,000 street and stage performers supported by 1,000 extras.
Paul McCartney concert
A free concert by Paul McCartney takes place July 20th on the Plains of Abraham.
On August 22, Celine Dion and several great musicians perform in a free public concert on the Plains of Abraham.
The Walking Road, on August 15, features a multi-media show that combines fire, water, music and acrobats. An all-night party follows, on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, with dancing on a large raft-style dance floor on the river.
400th anniversary performances
Between January 1 and October 31, a travelling show uses music and theater to depict Samuel de Champlain's life and journey from Brouage, France, to Quebec City.
On Thursdays to Sundays, during the summer, at Place-Royale, Théatre de l'Aubergine invites the public to join comedians, musicians and street artists in re-creating scenes from Québec City's history on a life-size stage.
From January 23 to December 17, The Founders Duel combines music, history and theatre to portray Samuel de Champlain and Pierre Dugua de Mons deciding who deserves the title of founder of Québec City. Performances take place in arrondissements de la ville de Québec, Lévis, Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures and l'Ancienne-Lorette.
Until November 10, Palais Montcalm hosts The Greats of Yesterday and Today, a series of twelve encounters between members of Ordre national du Québec and historical figures from Québec.
Cirque du Soleil
On October 19, Cirque du Soleil performers and artists from Québec and French-speaking counties create a circus, in Pepsi Stadium (Colisée Pepsi), showcasing several cultures.
The Wendake community will host several 400th anniversary events, including games and canoe races. The Huron-Wendat Nation have lived in the Québec City area since 1650. Today, they live 10 kilometers north of Québec City.
For a complete list of fortification tours, photographic and art exhibits, concerts, sports competitions, historical re-enactments, fireworks displays and more, visit Quebec City's 400th Anniversary website below or call Tourisme Quebec at 1- (877) BONJOUR.