QUEBEC CITY – Céline Dion is coming home. The mega pop sensation is set to play the Plains of Abraham Saturday for the second time in five years. And like Paul McCartney before her, the artist will be paying tribute to the victims of Lac-Megantic.
“She is very sensitive about it,” said concert promoter Sylvain Parent-Bédard. “This is one of the biggest tragedies and that’s why she gave $100,000 and she might do something special more than giving money but I can’t tell about it today.”
Yves Aucoin, Dion’s artistic director, said the star is deeply affected by the recent tragic events. “She’s touched. I know she’s with those guys in Lac-Megantic, praying with them.”
As crews prepare for the big night, setting up no less than ten giant screens and 250 moving lights, reporters are told Dion is particularly excited about playing Quebec. She’ll reconnect with fans during a one-time only almost all-French show.
“We’re sitting around the table and we’re playing all the records, this and that, and everybody gets high about it because it’s fun to be hearing the songs we haven’t heard in so long,” explained Denis Savage, tour manager. “It’s going to be very good, I think the show is great.”
Perhaps a sign the public is satiated – Quebec City has hosted a myriad of big names in the past few weeks – 20,000 tickets for the Dion concert are still available.
“It’s a matter of offer and demand,” said passerby Patrick Dubois. “People have to make choices, people have budgets to respect.”
Parent-Bédard believes Quebec City will continue to attract big productions in the future.
“If we come here and we reach our aim, our financial objective, then everything is ok. So at more than 40,000 tickets sold, there’s going to be a good atmosphere, a good ambiance and people are going to like the show that she’s prepared,” he said.
Before hitting the stage, Dion will be receiving the Companion of the Order of Canada from Governor General David Johnston. Her new album Loved me back to life will be released later this fall.