Quebec marks 180th edition of Fete nationale today
MONTREAL – Celebrations to mark the 180th edition of Quebec’s Fête nationale continue today with festivities across the province.
In Quebec City Monday night, thousands of people packed the historic Plains of Abraham to mark Quebec`s official holiday.
Quebec City police say there were some arrests for minor offences but reported no significant incidents.
Today in Montreal, an annual parade will wind through downtown to Maisonneuve Park in the east end for a concert in the evening.
Events are scheduled to take place in most Montreal boroughs and across the province. In all, some 1,100 shows are scheduled to take place.
A new Leger Marketing study for the Association of Canadian Studies shows that francophones feel a strong attachment to Quebec around Saint-Jean Baptiste day.
That doesn’t ring true for anglophones and allophones, who have yet to be convinced that Saint-Jean is a celebration for all Quebecers.
The association believes festivities for the Fete nationale, which are organized by la Société-St-Jean-Baptiste, would be more warmly embraced if the message behind it was less political and more celebratory.
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Prime Minister Stephen Harper is scheduled to deliver a speech marking the holiday in Saint-Lazare-de-Bellechasse, outside Quebec City.
In a statement, Harper said today’s festivities “allow us to appreciate how Québécois and francophone heritage have contributed to building a united and prosperous Canada.”
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau also issued statements marking the holiday.