3...2...1! - It's time to celebrate Quebec City's 400th anniversary!

    QUEBEC CITY, Dec. 31 /CNW Telbec/ - The organizing committee of Québec
City's 400th anniversary festivities vibrantly invites you to start
celebrating... tonight! After years of planning and preparations, our team has
put together an attractive calendar of events in order to commemorate in style
this historical event.
    "For nearly 8 years now, the organizing committee has been working
wholeheartedly in order to celebrate Québec City in style", explained Mr. Jean
Leclerc, Chairman of the board of the Société du 400e anniversaire de Québec.
"All this time, Québec's 400th anniversary seemed distant, ambitious and
abstract to some people. But today, only a few hours away from a memorable
Kick-Off, everyone can feel the emotion and excitement rising among the team
and the population as well. It's a privilege to be part of this momentous
occasion in the history of our city and the world is invited to be a part of
the celebration", concluded Mr. Leclerc.
    In 1608, Samuel de Champlain established the first permanent French
settlement in North America. With him, a new era began. Thus in 2008, we
celebrate the blooming of French culture in the New-World as well as the
founding blocks of Canada. Furthermore, for centuries, Québec City was the
point from which many great explorers sailed away on their extraordinary
endeavours. In this spirit, thoughout history, our city remained a major
entryway for immigrants who sought a better life.
    Keeping with those qualities of courage, perseverance and ingenuity, in
2008, Québec has become a blooming city where avant-garde and history connect
and emulate each other. With a budget of 90 million dollars, the organizing
committee has orchestrated a calendar that reflect our 21st century society
and our hopes for an even brighter future.
    Among over 130 meaningful events spread out through the next 10 months,
world renowned director Robert Lepage will create a breathtaking Image Mill -
the largest multimedia projection ever produced in the world. July will be
marked by the fascinating Urban Opera - an amazing blend of street arts and
people that represents one of the 9 original productions signed by the
organizing committee. The Cirque du Soleil will create an astounding original
show. Celine Dion will sing for a hundred thousand people on the Plains of
Abraham. Espace 400e will present 120 days of non-stop activity ranging from
live music, theater and circus acts to the artistic Ephemeral gardens and an
interactive exhibit called "Passengers".
    All year long, Québec City's key players will present enhanced editions
of their events, such as the Québec Winter Carnival renewing with its fabulous
tradition of Winter Wonderland Parade, the Museum of Fine Arts hosting as a
world exclusive an unprecedented exhibit of hundreds of the Louvre's
masterpieces, and so on. An impressive list of international conferences and
events such as the Sommet de la Francophonie and the Ice Hockey World
Championship - a first in North America - will complete some 300 days of
    But in only a few hours, it will be Kick-Off time! Some 400 artists among
which 200 tapdancers, 100 singers and 50 dancers will take the stage by
passionate storm on Place d'Youville. Slices of history, comedy, dance and
love will light up the place.
    Bruno Pelletier, Stéphane Rousseau, la Bottine Souriante, Florence K,
Claire Pelletier, Les Batinses, Les Violons du Roy and members of the First
Nations will perform for 15,000 people in front of Palais Montcalm. The
opening show will climax with breathtaking fireworks that will mark the
passage into 2008. The inaugural event will be followed by the 400-Year
Journey - Interactive tour next January 5 and 6.
    It's now time to celebrate Québec, a city where people and cultures,
nature and urbanity come together with good living and warmth. No matter where
you are, come and join in the celebration.

    The Société du 400e anniversaire de Québec thanks its Major Partners:
Desjardins, Bell, Hydro-Québec, Unibroue, SAQ/Vins de France, and

    The Société du 400e anniversaire de Québec is an independent, non-profit
organization which is financed by the Government of Québec, the City of Québec
and the Government of Canada, and whose mandate is to coordinate and produce
these celebrations.

For further information:

For further information: Roxanne St-Pierre, Manager, National and
International Media Relations, Société du 400e anniversaire de Québec, (418)
648-2008, ext. 560, Cell: (418) 925-8455

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