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Quebec City’s 400th Anniversary Celebration

Tourny Fountain was built with the $4 million gift from the owners of the Simons Department Store to the city for its 400th anniversary.
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Tourny Fountain was built with the $4 million gift from the owners of the Simons Department Store to the city for its 400th anniversary.

2008: Joyeaux Anniversaire: Happy Birthday Quebec City!

Quebec City International Festival of Military Bands

We were there for the largest celebration of military music in North America, the 10th Annual edition of the Quebec City International Festival of Military Bands. The world’s best military bands captivated the crowds in a series of special events, concerts, and a military tattoo held throughout the city. The Changing of the Guard at the Citadel featured a guest band each day. The weekend was capped off by a grand parade along Grande Allée with military bands from all nations.

The festival is an opportunity for civilian and military artists and professional musicians from diverse lands to come together and celebrate their common and unique interests and talents. Each band included a much-appreciated touch of Quebec in its performance.

French marching band, Québec City's 400th Anniversary, Canada
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French marching band, Festival Parade along Grande Allée, Québec City’s 400th Anniversary

bagpipers, Québec City 400th Anniversary
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bagpipers, Québec City 400th Anniversary

Polished brass, bagpipes, batons and drums wowed the audience, yet none were more colorful than the Asians and Russians, who brought along dancers and other performers who captivated their enthusiastic audiences.

Russian band, Quebec City's 400th Anniversary, Canada
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Russian band, Quebec City’s 400th Anniversary, Canada

NYPD band, Quebec City's 400th Anniversary, Canada
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NYPD band, Quebec City’s 400th Anniversary, Canada

The five day event held each August with bands from five countries, was expanded for this special year include 1200 musicians from thirteen countries –Canada, Germany, Belgium, Chile, South Korea, United States, France, Norway, The Netherlands, Poland, United Kingdom, Russia, Singapore.

Singapore performers, Quebec City's 400th Anniversary, Canada
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Singapore’s colorful dancers and bamboo instruments, Quebec City’s 400th Anniversary, Canada

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Yvan Lachance, Chairman and CEO of the Quebec City International Festival of Military Bands, took on the challenge of this event. He is delighted to have had this opportunity to bring these groups together and to include, for the first time, this professional and colorful music from Asia.” It is for us a magic moment”, he told our group.

Korean musicians, Quebec City's 400th Anniversary, Canada
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Korean musicians, Quebec City’s 400th Anniversary, Canada

Korean musicians and dancers, Quebec City's 400th Anniversary, Canada
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Korean musicians and dancers, Quebec City’s 400th Anniversary, Canada

The Ministry of National Defense of Korea responded to his invitation by saying that “We remember what you (Canada) did for us in the Korean War. We will be there to say thank you.”

Russian Alexandrov Red Army Choir and Ensemble

Russian Alexandrov Red Army Choir and Ensemble, Québec City 400th Anniversary, Canada
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Russian Alexandrov Red Army Choir and Ensemble, Québec City 400th Anniversary, Canada

This was the fourth time that the much-admired Russian Alexandrov Red Army Choir and Ensemble has performed in Quebec City. Le Grande Theatre de Québec was the setting for the performance by this, the most renowned and prestigious military ensemble in the world.For this special year, this group took part in the Military Tattoo and parade for the first time.

Russian Alexandrov Red Army Choir and Ensemble, Québec City 400th Anniversary, Canada
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Russian Alexandrov Red Army Choir and Ensemble, Québec City 400th Anniversary, Canada

Russian Alexandrov Red Army Choir and Ensemble, Québec City 400th Anniversary, Canada
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Russian Alexandrov Red Army Choir and Ensemble, Québec City 400th Anniversary, Canada

The chorus, orchestra, and dance troupe dazzled the enthusiastic and appreciative audience with Russian folk tunes and popular music performance.
For this special year, the Russian Alexandrov Red Army Choir and Ensemble also took part in the Military Tattoo and parade.

Québec City Military Tattoo

bagpipers, Quebec City's 400th Anniversary, Canada
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bagpipers, Quebec City’s 400th Anniversary celebration

Military Tattoo, Québec City 400th Anniversary, Canada
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Military Tattoo, Québec City 400th Anniversary, Canada

The following night, the Coliseum was filled with the sounds of the pipes and drums as the Quebec City Military Tattoo led the way at the Quebec City Military Tattoo at the Pepsi Coliseum.

Twenty-five formations took part in the Quebec City Military Tattoo, including the United Kingdom’s Band of the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. The festival is an opportunity for civilian and military artists and professional musicians from diverse lands to come together and celebrate their common and unique interests and talents.

It was a spectacular performance of music and dance with over 1000 performers from 12 countries, all choreographed with special effects and lighting.

The Russians and South Koreans dazzled the crowds with their energetic performances and there were and so many standing ovations from the audience of over 8,000 that we lost count.

Military Tattoo, Québec City 400th Anniversary, Canada
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Military Tattoo, Québec City 400th Anniversary, Canada

In addition, the Quebec City Military Tattoo featured a celebration of the return of soldiers from Afghanistan and emotional tribute paid to those who remain there and those who died.

The 400th year celebration

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Image Mill, Quebec City's 400th Anniversary, Canada
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Robert Lepage’s Image Mill, the largest architectural projection ever mounted, Quebec City’s 400th Anniversary celebration, Canada

There are many free events at historic sites like Place Royale, and many of the commemorative activities are centered at Espace 400th, specially designed for the festivities. A variety of special gardens, like the one on the much-visited roof of the Musée de la Civilization, have been created throughout the city. The small electric Écolobus takes passengers around the Old Town free of charge.

Accommodations

Our hotel on Parliament Hill was the family-owned Hôtel Château Laurier. It is conveniently situated between the Plains of Abraham and Grande Allée. It faces Place George-V, site of Big Band concerts, and is just a five minute stroll from Old Quebec. Its historic facade is modeled after the opulent Parliament Building, its interior has just been renovated, and it houses a restaurant and convenience store.

Joyeux anniversaire, Québec City!

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