July 15, 2009
Burlington, Vt. – Governor Jim Douglas welcomed dignitaries today from Quebec, France and New York to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s exploration of the region.
The Governor and members of the Vermont Lake Champlain Quadricentennial Commission hosted a breakfast and special welcome ceremony at the Hilton Hotel in Burlington for dignitaries visiting Vermont for the anniversary celebration.
“I am honored that our guests from Quebec, France and New York have joined us for this historic event,” the Governor said. “The 400th anniversary of Champlain’s exploration is a time for us to come together and celebrate our shared history and cultural roots.”
Dignitaries at the ceremony included France Dionne, Quebec Delegate to New England, François Gauthier, Consul General of France for New England, and Neil LaBlanc, Consul General of Canada for New England. Also in attendance were U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Celine Paquette, Vice Chair of the New York Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Commission, Burlington Mayor Bob Kiss, and Bruce Hyde, Chair of the Vermont Lake Champlain Quadricentennial Commission.
Champlain, a French explorer from Brouage, France, was also the founder of Quebec City. Arriving at Lake Champlain from the north in early July 1609, Champlain and his guides entered the lake in a fleet of 24 canoes. Champlain’s founding of Quebec City and subsequent exploration of Lake Champlain was the starting point of a permanent French presence in North America. The 400th anniversary commemorates this important historical moment in the region’s history – the first contact between European and Native American cultures in Vermont’s Champlain Valley – and the cultural contributions of the people living in Vermont today.
Events are taking place throughout the summer and include a variety of heritage festivals, art exhibits, bike and paddling tours, culinary events, history tours, interactive activities, cultural demonstrations and community fairs. For more information, visit www.celebratechamplain.org.
Source: Office of the Governor
Last Updated at: July 15, 2009 11:31:44