PRESS RELEASE – For immediate release

Québec City, June 6, 2017 – The Tall Ships that Québec, Lévis and 34 other cities in six provinces will be hosting during this summer’s 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation are now on their way! Casting off in a few days from Las Palmas in the Bermudas, they will stop in Boston before setting sail for the St. Lawrence River. Preparations are underway to make every stopover in Canadian waters a truly festive occasion.

“Thanks to Rendez-Vous 2017, thousands of Canadians will have the opportunity to take part in the Canada 150 festivities through this extraordinary experience,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “I hope many of you will come out to admire the tall ships that will drop anchor in several Canadian ports this summer, including those in Québec and Lévis. A host of exciting activities awaits you!”

“The Québec Port is proud to be hosting RDV 2017 as part of Canada’s 150 celebrations. We are happy that the people are able to enjoy the different public spaces of the port and we welcome you all to this historical celebration that will feature the Tall Ships, as the commemoration of the maritime heritage that founded Canada”, added the CEO Mario Girard.

RDV 2017 culminates in Québec and Lévis

To celebrate the arrival of all these ships in the capital, the only port to host the entire fleet at the same time from July 18 to 23, the Port of Québec wharves and the Paquet wharf in Lévis will be places to gather, discover and be cheerful.

As the Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity and Minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale region, François Blais, said, “Holding this major event here in Québec City is very important for the region, and I’m proud to be hosting one of the premier activities of the summer. The presence of all these tall ships in our port during the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation will certainly give the region international exposure.”

From the smallest to the most impressive, such as Germany’s Alexander Von Humbolt, the Europa from Holland, the Lord Nelson from England, and Canada’s own Picton Castle and Bluenose II, these vessels will be open to the public, and are sure to inspire anyone who climbs aboard for a tour.

“Having so many of these ships here at once is an event in itself,” according to the president of Rendez-vous naval de Québec, François Moreau, “and we hope that both visitors and the local population alike will take advantage of this unique opportunity to meet the sailors and to share their adventure during these celebrations.”

A blockbuster program

In the Port of Québec

Four exciting activities highlight the Tall Ships celebrations:
• Veles e Vents, an explosive, magical performance by the Catalonian company Xarxa Teatre, July 19 and 21 at 9 p.m. at the Agora in the Port de Québec.
• Parade of Crews, July 20 at 2 p.m. in the streets of Québec, as 3,000 sailors march 1.5 kilometres through the city accompanied by musicians, characters and other street performers.
• Impressive fireworks, in collaboration with the Grands Feux LotoQuébec, on July 22 at 10 p.m. from the middle of the river.
• Parade of Ships, as of 8 a.m. on July 23 from the Québec Bridge toward Ile d’Orléans.
“The departure of the fleet is always a big emotional experience,” said Daniel Gélinas, general manager of 3 E. “And since this will take place in the morning, everyone’s invited to come start their day with a coffee dockside.”

To entertain people waiting to board the ships for a tour, street performers will be moving through the crowds on the docks. Keep an eye out for:
• The West Trainz project, a set of musical pieces inspired by the world of railroads.
• The public artwork entitled 10 à l’échelle de Beaufort, specially created by Carole Baillargeon for RDV2017 and Passages insolites, and presented by Ex Muro and Danse K par K.
• Commando Guimauve and the Cie La Bugne, sea creatures from the gigantic Columbian art troupe Bimana, plus colourful, wacky and amusing characters from Productions Épisode, magic tricks by Capitaine Loran and much more.
What’s more, at dusk from July 19 to 22, at around 8:30 p.m. the Sea Shanty Cabaret comes to life in the Maison Chevalier. These songfest evenings are hosted by Robert Bouthillier and the Atelier de chant traditionnel de Québec, in collaboration with Ès TRAD.

“We’re so excited to be hosting all these magnificent tall ships during this signature event of the festivities marking the 150th anniversary of the Confederation,” said the mayor of Québec, Régis Labeaume. “This grand reunion promises to be a truly spectacular occasion that will be long remembered. With the program announced today, everything is in place to make RDV 2017 a huge success!”

In Lévis

On the south shore, where there will be one tall ship docked and open to the public, all the activities will take place on the Paquet wharf.

“In Lévis, the Quai Paquet fountain, the most powerful of its kind in Canada, will take centre stage to create a unique setting for spectators. This beautiful site is perfectly situated to give large numbers of residents and tourists a front-row seat for the exceptional show on the St. Lawrence River. Once again, our hopes to focus on the river as a link between Lévis and Québec is coming to life in an extraordinary scenery,” said the mayor of Lévis, Gilles Lehouillier, as he announced the following activities:
• Sound, water and light show
• Mana, the extraordinary discovery of various peoples from a fantastic world of circus performance and fantasy illusions, July 20 and 21
• Rosheen, July 20
• Road Blues Band, , July 21
The detailed program can be found at RDV2017.com under the section “Cities of Québec and Lévis”.

The Amerigo Vespucci, the only ship of its kind…..cheers!

The Amerigo Vespucci has decided to take the lead! The ship will be in Québec from July 4 to 8, a few days in advance of the fleet. Due to scheduling conflicts, this Italian Navy ship can only be here on those dates.

Getting to the Port of Québec

Exceptionally, the Réseau de Transport de la ville de Québec (RTC), known for its effective public transit service, will provide shuttles to help make the event a success.

“It’s only natural for the RTC to become involved in this event. The population has now adopted the bus as a quick, hassle-free way to get to and from special activities,” explained RTC president Rémy Normand.

Trainee sailors

A few spots are still open for those who dream of casting off for an adventure on the high seas. Many options are available, from a two-day coastal sail on the St. Lawrence to crossing the Atlantic on the last leg of the race that ends in France.

“Our partnership with RDV 2017, one of the ten “Signature Events” of the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation, will give us the opportunity to educate visitors on a transportation mode that shaped our history,” said Guy Cormier, president and CEO of the Desjardins Group. Our association with the trainee program for the 15-25 year-olds demonstrates our dedication to our values of cooperation and mutual aid that are put to the test every day on a sailboat.

“To live onboard one of these ships and share the everyday tasks with the crew is a unique and enriching experience that we would like to offer to as many people as possible,” said STI chairman, Doug Prothero.

For more information, go to www.RDV2017.com and www.sailonboard.com

The Tall Ships will set sail on August 28 from Halifax on the final stretch of this transatlantic race, organized by Sail Training International, which started on April 13 in Greenwich, England. They are expected to reach Le Havre, France between August 31 and September 1.

RDV 2017 is made possible thanks to funding from the Government of Canada, the Government of Québec, the City of Québec, the City of Lévis, Québec City Tourism, the Port of Québec, Ocean Group, RTC, the Commission de la capitale nationale and the Société des traversiers de Québec.

Special thanks to Desjardins, presenter of the event, to Hyundai Canada and the Kronenbourg beer, as well to our media partner Radio-Canada.

Categories: Arts & Culture

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