High points of the 400th anniversary celebrations - Originality on a grand scale for 400th festivities

    MONTREAL, June 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Quebec City's 400th anniversary
celebrations are fast approaching, and the 400th anniversary designers of the
great events were enormously pleased to present their projects today.

    December 31, 2007

    As the New Year dawns, celebrations will hit the ground running with a
one-of-a-kind work for which the artistic direction was given to Denis
Bouchard with the assistance of Nancy Bernier. Audiences will be plunged into
an audacious international production that combines dance, ground-breaking
music, acrobatics, fireworks, sound montage, and visual effects to transform
Place d'Youville into one enormous party. The on-stage festivities will be an
invitation for locals and people from around the world to celebrate their love
for Quebec City.
    "The unique beauty of Place D'Youville will come to life in a succession
of spectacular dance routines and bold acrobatics. I'm thrilled to be taking
part in the event that will kick off the festivities and usher Quebec City
into its fifth century of existence," declared Denis Bouchard.

    July 3, 2008

    Quebec City's birthday will mark the peak of the 400th anniversary
celebrations before an audience that will include not only the public but
numerous dignitaries from various countries. The traditional solemn mass
followed by a salute to Champlain and ceremony of freedom of the city will be
followed by the powerful and majestic opening event of the summer festival.
The day will be capped off with a fire sculpture on the Plains of Abraham at
11 p.m. and a torchlight procession to welcome IRO at Bassin Louise.
    Rumours have been flying for weeks about the travels of this
extraordinary little character and his unlikely vessel. IRO, the hero of our
urban opera is welcomed by the crowd into the city shining with a thousand
lights. After a long sea voyage alone in his bottle ship, he opens his eyes to
discover Quebec City's environment, people, and history.

    July 5, 2008

    Opéra urbain tells the story of Quebec City's 400 years in a
larger-than-life contemporary musical, visual, and cinematic extravaganza.
Created by Danielle Roy, this performance will bring together noted stars of
the stage to lead a series of preparatory workshops for the public.
    "You have to realize that the real stars of Opéra Urbain are the people
of Quebec City-they'll be the creators and main actors of the entire work.
What we're creating here is a kind of show that's never to my knowledge been
produced in North America. It's a challenge that I'm convinced the entire
population of the city will take up with aplomb," declared Danielle Roy.

    July 6, 2008

    The festivities will continue July 6 on the Plains of Abraham with "the
great gathering," in which one and all will be invited to a giant picnic with
entertainment. An aerial photograph taken of families, the young, and the
not-so-young, gathered to celebrate in a place that happens to be the legacy
of the 300th anniversary celebrations, might well show up as part of the
500th anniversary celebrations-who knows?

    August 15, 2008

    The full moon of August 15 will gaze down on a tribute to the mighty St.
Lawrence River as part of Chemin qui marche (Moving Path). The theme of this
performance, "Encounter" will be the unifying element that showcases the
river. Designed by Olivier Dufour, Chemin qui marche will frame Quebec City's
400 years using the most advanced technology of our day.
    "Throughout this night you'll see aerobatics, dance, mega-projections,
and stunts with fire and water combined with musical performances-there's even
a dance floor that floats! This enormous multimedia spectacular will take
place on the banks and the water all night long," says Olivier Dufour.

    October 19, 2008

    Cirque du Soleil will officially close the 400th anniversary
celebrations. A performance will be presented at Colisée Pepsi featuring
artists from Quebec and countries of La Francophonie who will share their
forward-looking vision with the public. All the magic and poetry of Cirque,
matched with the cultural diversity of Quebec and the French-speaking world
will be spread out before the people of Quebec City.
    "The entire Société du 400e anniversaire de Québec team is honored to be
working with gifted artists like those who have presented their vision today.
As you can see, these world-class, original works will worthily mark our
400 years in this new world. Each one will provide us with powerful
experiences that will remain forever etched in our memory. I hope you will all
join us for this major celebration," concluded Société senior executive
director Josée Laurence.

    Le Moulin à images: the history of Quebec City in mega-projection

    For forty days, residents and visitors in Quebec City for the 400th
anniversary celebrations can experience Moulin à images, the largest outdoor
architectural projection ever created. In a forty minute extravaganza, Robert
Lepage and Ex Machina will celebrate four centuries of human and material
development at the very "point where the river narrows" at Bassin Louise, on
the vast surface of the La Bunge grain silos. Beyond a historical fresco,
Moulin à images promises a playful three-dimensional romp through the city's
present, past, and future.
    Moulin à images will take the form of a mosaic of iconic images, sounds,
and ideas organized around the four major ages of Quebec City's existence-the
age of waterways and exploration, the age of land routes and colonization, the
age of railways and industry, and the age of air travel and communication. The
first opportunity to take part in this pioneering re-imagining of Quebec City
will take place after sunset on June 20, 2008, the evening of the summer

    Passengers: A high-flying tribute to human movement

    Some five million people have traversed Quebec in the past 400 years.
While some were only passing through, others stayed awhile-or their entire
lives-leaving behind still-vivid traces of the stories they lived out in this
city. Amerindians, French, English, Irish, Scottish, Chinese, and German
destinies intertwined to shape the provincial capital.
    Bear witness to their encounter with Quebec City through Passengers, an
outstanding tribute to the millions of human beings who have passed through
Quebec in its 400 years of existence, helping to make the city a vital
crossroads. Moving and spectacular, this exhibition will place humans at the
centre of history in a setting evocative of a universal, modern
thoroughfare-the airport.
    Through words, images, and imaginative reenactments, the exhibition will
recount the creative movement that makes Quebec City what it is. Expect to
enjoy this interactive and bold multisensory experience with its backdrop of
mass human movement.

For further information:

For further information: Martine Descarreaux, Project Manager - Media
Relations, Société du 400e anniversaire de Québec, (418) 648-2008, ext. 325

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