The 16th Annual SAQ New France Festival

The 16th Annual SAQ New France Festival


PRESS STATEMENT For immediate release

The 16th Annual SAQ New France Festival: Turn back time!
Quebec City, July, 2012

From August 1 to 5, the SAQ New France Festival will take a special look at the exploration and invention that came alive at the time of New France, a period rich in discovery. Festival-goers of all types the curious, the epicurean, and all those who love a fantastic party will be able to go back in time to experience new dimensions of our history, thanks to a cast of fascinating characters, interactive events, culinary happenings and spirited nightlife. They all come together to make the historic district’s vibrant past live again. “What’s unique about the SAQ New France Festival is that it takes place right in the cradle of French civilization in North America. Besides showcasing the architecture and urban life in Old Quebec, the Festival lets visitors discover an amazingly history and heritage that lies just under the surface. The culinary delights, the thousands of costumed characters and the nights of dancing guarantee a fantastic event for celebrating and commemorating our past,” said Audrey St-Pierre, president of the Festival.

OPENING NIGHT: PARADE OF THE GIANTS AND CONCERT BY GROUP LE VENT DU NORD
Starting off the festival with a bang, the Opening Parade takes place on Wednesday, August 1 at 7 pm. Over 600 characters will take to the streets to delight festival-goers with song, dance and costumes. The stars, of course, are 20 Giants, including Grand Cru, Champlain, and Marie Victoire.

At the TD Stage, the Quebec band Le Vent du Nord takes the stage at 9 pm. Their strong rhythms and engaging lyrics never fail to make the audience get up and dance. This Quebec band has been considered unique ambassadors of Francophone culture and an important part of the progressive folk music movement in Quebec since 2002. It’s the perfect way to kick off the festival: a magical and musical start to five full days of celebrating and experiencing the past!

PLACE DE PARIS SAQ: THE PERFECT MEETING PLACE
The Place de Paris square will be bustling with activity during the 2012 New France Festival, providing stimulation for all your five senses. See, taste, smell, listen, and dance there’s so much to see and do! “The New France Festival is a multisensory experience, putting festival-goers right at the heart of the events and offering activities that bring a wonderful authenticity to a festival that celebrates history and heritage,” said Stéphan Parent, the Festival’s program director.

THE QUEBEC FOOD MARKET: FOR THOSE WITH GREAT TASTE!
Visitors from near and far will enjoy the special showcase at the new public market, the Quebec Food Market, at the Place de Paris SAQ. Come and discover the superb quality of our products and the vast knowledge of local producers. You’re sure to fall in love with the myriad delicious products grown or prepared in our region, all of them listed among the 14,000 Quebec products certified “Aliments du Quebec” (Quebec foods) or “Aliments préparés au Quebec” (foods prepared in Quebec). It’s an opportunity not to be missed.

GREAT PERFORMANCES AT THE TD STAGE
The new TD Stage at the Place de Paris SAQ is ready for action! Make this magnificent stage your number one destination in the evening to raise your glass and dance the night away. And don’t miss LE VENT DU NORD (August 1), a stellar group that has played more than 1,000 concerts in four continents; and BOURRASQUE CELTIQUE (August 2), a Quebec group with legions of fans in Europe that demand their return year after year. The band’s music blends the traditional and the progressive, and their live show is dynamic and original—each piece is a journey in itself. CARIBBEAN NIGHT (August 3) features a high-energy musical group from Guadalupe, and LES BATINSES EN FRANCHE COMPAGNIE (August 4), with dancers from the Nadia Desgagné School of Dance, bring you dance performance like you’ve never seen. Inspired by Quebec folklore and driven to innovate, Les Batinses have captivated audiences with their musical creations for over a decade now; their stunning performances are some of the most exciting in modern dance. Accordion, violin, guitar, bass, drums, percussion, feet and voice all come together to express an irresistible joie de vivre. “With the TD Stage, the celebration takes place right at the busiest spot of the event. With so many festival-goers in one place, this year’s Festival is going to have an energy like never before,” says program director Stéphan Parent.

A VIBRANT, EXPANDED SAQ INN AT BOISVIN
While you quench your thirst at the tables of the new expanded Inn, the amazing musicians of Oyez Oyez! and the Racine group take turns on stage for a series of performances. Take the opportunity to sample and savour some of the local products from different regions of Quebec.

BATTERIE ROYALE, YOUTH ZONE
The Youth Zone stage, brought to life by Armand la Brindille, hosts performances throughout the day: it features Captain Jack and d’Iberville, storytellers with boundless imagination, along with the Racine family, and it will entertain young and old. Don’t miss the smithy on wheels, present through the duration of the Festival. Some new events are also featured: musket firing sessions on Saturday and Sunday; Improv and Legends; a stonemason; a glass blower: and photo souvenirs.

MUSÉE DE LA CIVILISATION: LEARNING AND EXPERIENCE

GARDEN OF DISCOVERY: SEE AND USE INVENTIONS FROM THE PAST
Jean-Jacques Belleau and Charles de la Tour are two colourful characters who will introduce to you some inventions from the time of New France: the barometer, the thermometer, the telescope, the lightning rod, and the magic lantern. Besides trying out these instruments for themselves, children can create their own coat of arms, which makes a wonderful souvenir that you can treasure.

PLACE ROYALE: MORE WELCOMING THAN EVER BEFORE
Place Royale is now the perfect place to enjoy a product from the SAQ Stall, to meet merchants from the Place des Traditions, and to visit the herbalist, who can find a cure for whatever ails you. The Ghost Walking Tour also returns to the Festival to give visitors goosebumps ($15 with the Medallion). On the neighbouring streets, the notary and his “scriveners” will be delighted to sign your marriage contracts, and the Quebec Garrison (La Garnison de Québec) will reconstruct the life of soldiers and officers in a brigade of the French Colonial Infantry, as faithfully as possible. Charismatic perfumers will intoxicate you with their flowery language as well as their sublime fragrances.

THE MOLSON EXPORT TERRACE
The Molson Export Terrace is sure to be a favourite new gathering place. Festival-goers can relax and take in the entertainment and excitement that surrounds them.

CARIBBEAN RUM 5 À 7
The perfect relaxing atmosphere to taste delectable high-quality Caribbean rums, with Caribbean music and short theatre and history presentations. ($30 with the Medallion). August 2, 3 and 4 from 5 to 7 pm.

FORNEL HOUSE: GENEALOGY AND HISTORICAL TRENDS
In addition to the Library and National Archives of Québec and the Genealogical Society, the Québec-France Association building will be filled with activity, with workshops on Fashion and Trends in New France presented by Laurier Québec. An expert will provide interesting demonstrations and information about hairstyles and makeup in New France. A new event called Life Sized, created in cooperation with the Dauphine House, presents the first full scale version of New France in Quebec.

CARIBBEAN DAY: ISLANDS OF PLEASURE
On Friday, August 3, the Caribbean sun will shine directly on New France! It was over 300 years ago that Intendant Talon began to trade with the West Indies. Now, in 2012, we share this part of history through performances, stories, rum tasting, crafts and talks. Let the warmth of the tropics refresh you with a total change of scenery. In cooperation with the Centre de la Francophonie des Amériques.

CETIÈRE PARK: NAVIGATOR’S DISTRICT
See a motley crew of sailors straight out of a story book, all with different jobs, waiting to set out on a voyage (that clearly will never happen!). This is the perfect chance to talk to them, to try out their work techniques and discover what life was like on board their ships. Don’t miss the training for young crew members and the unveiling of the earliest known submarine. Visitors can also try the magic lantern and take a course in the use of marine signal flags, in cooperation with the Naval Museum of Québec. Set sail for some fascinating discoveries!

THE PARKS OF THE HISTORIC DISTRICT IN FULL BLOOM
At Parc de l’UNESCO, the Huron-Wendat recreate the daily lives of their nation’s people at the time of New France, with demonstrations of craft techniques and Native American song and dance. At the Archéo-Québec booth, put on your archaelogist’s hat to search for the important historic site’s hidden artifacts. Parc Félix-Leclerc offers beautiful scenery alongside Rue de Petit-Champlain, where you can admire the elegant, refined craft of the Lacemakers and Embroiderers Guild. At Parc du Petit-Champlain, you’ll find the Great Chess Game, as well as with a friendly notary who will teach you how to play the game which was very popular with citizens in New France. Set your inner artist free at the Maison Chevalier garden, where you can participate in the creation of a large collectively-made frescoe, guided by professional painter-sculptors. The frescoe will be developed and completed over the length of the Festival, so stop back in from time to time to see what progress has been made on your masterpiece!

EXPERIENCE NEW FRANCE FROM HEAD TO TOE: PUT ON A COSTUME!
Have you ever dreamed of being someone from another time? Go to the “Dress Up” page on the nouvellefrance.qc.ca website for helpful information, including tips on how to make your own costume and where to buy suitable materials. Three-cornered hats, scarves and mugs will also be for sale at the festival.

STREETS FILLED WITH ENTERTAINMENT
Strange and fascinating characters roam our streets: from crooks to perfumers, from noblemen to cart pullers, from explorers in cloaks to walkers on stilts, all ready to share amazing tales and hilarious stories, you’ll find memorable characters at every turn. Stroll down Rue de la Truanderie (“Street of Crime”)—if you’re brave enough—and rub shoulders with thieves and swindlers who are plotting to nab your belongings. You’ll also find representatives of the Historical Society of the “Filles du Roy” and the Genealogical Society, soldiers, muskateers, and merchants who will be happy to show you their products and even barter with you. The founding families of new France will reunite to share stories and adventures of their arrival in a new land. Head to Rue St-Pierre and Rue Notre-Dame to learn about the origins of your family name and to reconnect with your ancestors.

PUBLIC TRANSIT: EASY AND EFFICIENT
The Réseau de transport de la Capitale (RTC) is the most efficient way to access festival areas throughout the SAQ New France Festival. To take a bus that will drop you just a few steps away, your best option is the 400 bus, accessible from the 800/801 Metrobus. For all information about public transportation during the festival, go to www.rtcquebec.ca.

THE 2012 MEDALLION: YOUR TICKET TO TURN BACK TIME!
Festival-goers can also pick up the Medallion for $10 at the festival sites to access all activities from August 1 to 5. Enjoy a free Coaticook ice cream with the purchase of a Medallion and participate in an online contest for the chance to win prizes, including a one-week trip to Paris, offered by Groupe Voyages Québec. Many thanks to our partners: Groupe Voyages Québec, Coaticook, Via Rail Canada, Laurier Québec, Revue Cap-aux-Diamants, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Les Promenades Fantômes.

This August, all are invited to take part in the Festival, to dress up in a period costume and pick up the 2012 Medallion, the official pass to the 16th Annual SAQ New France Festival. From July 11 to 29, while quantities last, the Festival is offering advance purchases of the Medallion for $8 at participating SAQ outlets in the greater Quebec area.

Thanks to our public partners!
The SAQ New France Festival would like to extend its sincere thanks for the important contributions from the public partners that have helped make this event possible over the years. The following departments and organizations have given valuable support for the 2012 Festival. Federal: Canadian Heritage, Canada Economic Development; Provincial: the National Capital Office, the Ministry of Tourism, The Ministry of Culture, Communicications, and the Status of Women, the Ministry of International Relations, the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Ministry of Health and Social Services, the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC); Municipal: the City of Québec and the Office du Tourisme de Québec.

August 1 to 5, 2012: Turn Back Time!

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