July 02, 2008
Contact: Erica Houskeeper, Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing
MONTPELIER, Vt. – Gov. Jim Douglas and Sen. Patrick Leahy today joined officials and dignitaries from Vermont, New York and Quebec to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City.
Celebrations included a reception aboard the Lois McClure schooner and a ceremony dedicating two Barre granite monuments presented as gifts to Quebec City from Vermont and New England. The Quebec City Quadricentennial marks the 400th anniversary of when Samuel de Champlain founded the city in 1608, which was also the starting point of a permanent French presence in North America. After arriving from the north the following year in July 1609, Champlain and his guides explored the lake that now bears his name.
“Vermont and Quebec share many economic, cultural, social and historical connections, including that of explorer Samuel de Champlain, the founder of this magnificent city,” said Gov. Douglas. “The Quadricentennial celebrations in Quebec and Vermont are an opportunity for us to celebrate, raise awareness of our common heritage and values, and encourage additional economic activity.”
The schooner Lois McClure, which sailed from Lake Champlain, along the Richelieu River and the St. Lawrence Seaway to participate in the celebrations, hosted a public reception earlier today. While docked in Quebec City, the schooner is serving as the ceremonial vessel during special events for dignitaries and officials, including members of the Quadricentennial Commissions from Vermont, New York and Quebec. Sen. Leahy and his wife Marcelle, who is the honorary chairperson of the Franco-American Heritage Committee, are serving as hosts aboard the schooner. Gov. Douglas and his wife Dorothy Douglas joined the Leahys in greeting guests today.
The reception was followed by a dedication of two granite monuments given to Quebec City from Vermont and New England. Both monuments were crafted by Rock of Ages in Barre, where many Quebecois settled to work in the quarries and stone sheds. The Vermont monument includes a quote – in both English and French – from Samuel de Champlain as he entered Lake Champlain nearly 400 years ago.
“Marcelle and I are delighted to travel to Quebec City for this celebration. We have a deep appreciation for Quebec and her people and the common heritage we share,” said Sen. Leahy. “We look forward to enjoying the festivities in Quebec and inviting our Canadian friends to visit the Champlain Valley in 2009 when we can return their warm hospitality.”
In 2009, Vermont will celebrate the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s exploration. More than 60 events are already planned to take place throughout the Champlain Valley in 2009, ranging from heritage festivals and musical performances to cultural exhibits and shipwreck tours.
“We are incredibly honored to be part of the 400th anniversary of Quebec City’s founding,” said Bruce Hyde, chair of the Vermont Lake Champlain Quadricentennial Commission and Vermont’s Tourism and Marketing Commissioner. “As we prepare to commemorate Lake Champlain’s Quadricentennial in 2009, both Vermont and Quebec have an historic opportunity to celebrate and explore Samuel de Champlain’s extraordinary legacy.”
For more information, visit www.CelebrateChamplain.org.
Source: Department of Tourism and Marketing
Last Updated at: July 02, 2008 14:14:29