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New France Festival, Quebec, Canada PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta   
Francois Gagnon Musee de Amerique Francaise - photo by Luxury ExperienceLes Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France SAQ in Québec City, Canada celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2011, and Luxury Experience was there to partake of the festivities! The annual historic festival was inspired by the lives of the first European settlers, and the daily events and attendees dressed in period clothes brought the world of Old Québec to life.

The city of Québec, Canada takes pride in its French heritage, as was evidenced during the Les Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France SAQ (SAQ New France Festival) held from August 3 - 7, 2011. Many residents, as well as visitors, got into the spirit of the festivities by donning period costumes that they had either created, rented, or purchased from the various street vendors.  

The New France Festival website provides instructions and patterns for creating the costumes should attendees desire to make their own costumes and attend the festival dressed as commoners, bourgeoisie, nobility, or lexicon for the period of 1675 through 1715. The site also describes the attire in detail, the fabrics used, and the various hairstyles of the day.   

Meet the Faces of New France Festival   

Imagine how exciting it was to stroll along the streets of Old Québec and turn back the hands of time and meet the people of New France! Special daily events were scheduled throughout the city, and we experienced as much of it as we could!   

In our travels, we met "City Founder Samuel de Champlain"  in front of the impressive Hôtel du Parliament (Parliamnent Building) designed by Eugène-Étienne Taché and built between the years 1877 and 1886. This stunning building has 26 statues on the façade, has four wings, and a crown at the top of the building, lit when Parliament is in session.   

Guided Tours of the Hôtel du Parliament are conducted Monday through Friday from 9:00 am until 4:30 pm, with additional hours between June 24 and Labor Day. Tours are also offered on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 am until 4:30 pm. Admission and Guided Tours of the Parliament and the National Assembly Library is free.   

Hotel du Parliamentl, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience
Hôtel du Parliament

Please visit the website for additional information, www.Assnat.qc.ca   

Hôtel du Parliament
1045, rue de Parlementaires
Québec, (Québec) G1A 1A3
Canada
Telephone:     +1-418-643-7239
Toll Free:       +1-888-337-8837
Website:        
www.Assnat.qc.ca

Eglise Notre-Dame-Des-Victoires, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience 
Église Notre-Dame-Des-Victoires 

The Église Notre-Dame-Des-Victoires, built between the years 1687 - 1688 is a lovely church whose details include a high altar designed and created by David Ouellet in 1878, a votive offering of a replica of the ship La Brézé, the chapel of Saint Geneviève, paintings, and frescoes from 1888.  

Simon Lemelin and Amélie-Anne Blais Wedding- Nouvelle-France Festival, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience
The Ceremony
Simon Lemelin and Amélie-Anne Blais

However, this year, for the first time during Les Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France SAQ, there was a marriage ceremony at the church. Simon Lemelin and Amélie-Anne Blais celebrated their love and their marriage dressed in period clothing with a traditional ceremony that dated to 1703. What a thrill for the spectators to witness  the wedding ceremony. Congratulations to the newlyweds!  

Guestss at Simon Lemelin and Amélie-Anne Blais Wedding- Nouvelle-France Festival, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience Guests at Simon Lemelin and Amélie-Anne Blais Wedding- Nouvelle-France Festival, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience 
Bridal Party and Guests
 

Simon Lemelin and Amélie-Anne Blais Wedding - Nouvelle-France Festival, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience
The Kiss
Simon Lemelin and Amélie-Anne Blais
    

Église Notre-Dame-Des-Victoires 
Place-Royale
Québec, (Québec)
Canada
Telephone:   +1-418-692-1650
Fax:              +1-418-692-3546

We met François Gagnon who was dressed in a period costume when we visited the Museum Chapel at the
Musée de Amérique française, which focuses on the "birth of French culture in North America. The Centre's goal is to bring together the Francophones and Francophiles of the Americas while highlighting and promoting a community that can ensure the future of the French language in a culturally diverse milieu."   

Francois Gagnon - Nouvelle-France Festival, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience
François Gagnon 

The Musée de Amérique française is open daily from 9:30 am - 5:00 pm from June 24 - September 7, and for the rest of the year, they are open Tuesday - Sunday from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm. The museum is closed on Monday and December 25. Admission: Adults: $8.00, Seniors (65+ with ID): $7.00, Students (17+ with ID): $5.50, Children (12 - 16): $2.00, Children (11 and under): Free. Tuesday from November 1 - May 31: Admission is free; Saturday during the months of January and February, admission is free from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm   

Musee de Amerique Francaise, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience 
Musée de Amérique française 

Musée de Amérique française 
2, côte de la Fabrique
Québec, (Québec) G1R 4R7
Canada
Telephone:    +1-418-692-2843
Toll Free:      +1-888-710-8031
Fax:               +1-418-646-9705
Website:       
www.MQC.org

The Fashions of the Times 

As we walked along the cobblestoned streets, we stopped to chat with Sarah Verville-Labbe and her mother Marie Therese Verville, who were both elegantly dressed in period costumes created by Sarah Verville-Labbe. Sarah's costume creation, circa 1780 complete with gorgeous feathered hat, was inspired by the Thomas Gainsborough painting.  

Marie Therse Verville  - Nouvelle-France Festival, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience Sarah Verville-Labbe - Nouvelle-France Festival, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience
Marie Therese Verville               Sarah Verville-Labbe

We also met Sylvie Dubé and Leonard Lemieux who were fashionably dressed in costumes of her creation. Sylvie told us that she has a wardrobe of 20 costumes that she made, and we looked forward to seeing her in various costumes from her collection over the course of the multi-day festival.  

Sylvie Dubé and Leonard Lemieux- Nouvelle-France Festival, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience
Sylvie Dubé and Leonard Lemieux  

Another stunning "fashionista" of the day was Edith Chartier, a designer who specializes in the creation of 17th, 18th, and 19th century costumes, in her costume suitable for a duchess.  

Edith Chartier  - Nouvelle-France Festival, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience
Edith Chartier

Alain Deschamps, Anne Marie Dionne, and Ida Francoeur also captured the spirit of the festival with their attractive costumes.  

Alain Deschamps, Anne Marie Dionne, and Ida Francoeur - Nouvelle-France Festival, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience
Alain Deschamps, Anne Marie Dionne, and Ida Francoeur 

Attendees dressed in costumes from all walks of life, and we met Daniel Levesque, who graciously posed by a cannon, and Pierre Thibáult, who was dressed as trapper Claude Thibáult for one of the skits. 

Daniel Levesque  - Nouvelle-France Festival, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience
Daniel Levesque

Pierre Thibault - Nouvelle-France Festival, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience 
 Pierre Thibáult as trapper Claude Thibáult
and others for a skit

Ready, Aim, Fire  

Guards - Nouvelle-France Festival, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience
Guards

Nouvelle-France Festival, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience
FIRE!
 

At Artillery Park, we watched as the soldiers loaded the cannon, and then proceeded to fire it to the delight of the audience. We stopped to chat with Gabrielle Bergeron, Daniel Soly, and their darling 2-month old baby, Liam Soly, who had traveled from Montreal to attend the festival and dressed in costumes that Gabrielle created. Baby Liam took his first festival in stride, and managed to sleep through the firing of the cannon.  

Daniel Soly, Gabrielle Bergeron, and baby Liam Soly - Nouvelle-France Festival, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience 
Daniel Soly, Gabrielle Bergeron, and baby Liam Soly 

The Giants  

We also visited the tent of the traditional "Giants" that weigh more than 100 pounds (45 kg) each and are carried on a person's back in parades and for special festivals, with the exception of the Champlain Giant which stands at almost 20 feet (6 meters) and requires 2 people to carry him.  

Giants at Nouvelle-France Festival, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience Giants at Nouvelle-France Festival, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience Giants at Nouvelle-France Festival, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience  

A few of the Giants we saw included Samuel de Champlain, Belle Guelle - the friendly monk, Grand Cru, and The Great Spirit of the Nations.  

At the Public Market  

The public market was a showcase of regional products and provided us with the opportunity to sample sweet corn-on-the-cob, cheese curds, fresh berries, potato dishes, and meet the interesting vendors dressed in period costumes.  

Food Vendors at Nouvelle-France Festival, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience
Sweet Corn-on-the-Cob  

Entertainment  

There was ongoing entertainment each day that included skits, choral groups, a wide variety of music, and even stilt-walkers dressed in period clothing.  

Choral Group Entertains at Nouvelle-France Festival, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience
Choral Group Entertains 

The festival also had many interesting demonstrations including those by the Guilde des Dentellueres et des Brodeuses (Guild of Lacemaking and Embroidery) on Place-Royale, whom we watched with great fascination at their speed and skill of the women; and a silversmith who dazzled by creating spoons and other objects. For attendees interested in tracing their ancestry, there were genealogy booths, and of course, vendors of antiques as well as reproductions so that attendees could authenticate their look for future festivals.  

Antique Pistol Vendor at Nouvelle-France Festival, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury ExperienceSliversmith at Nouvelle-France Festival, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience 
Antique Pistol Vendor                  Silversmith        
 

Lacemaker at Nouvelle-France Festival, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience 
Lacemaking
  

Les Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France SAQ (SAQ New France Festival) had something for all age groups and interests, and Edward and I thoroughly enjoyed attending. The next time we attend though, we will definitely be dressed in period costumes!  

Enjoying a pint at Nouvelle-France Festival, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience
Patrons enjoying a pint
 

For more information on Les Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France SAQ (SAQ New France Festival) please visit the website: www.NouvelleFrance.qc.ca.  

In Costume at Nouvelle-France Festival, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience
Elegantly Dressed 

Nouvelle-France Festival, Quebec, Canada
Les Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France SAQ (SAQ New France Festival)
290, rue Joly
Québec (Québec) G1L 1NB
Canada
Telephone:   +1-418-694-3311
Toll-free:      1-866-391-FETE (3383)
Fax::             +1-418-626-7252
Website:      
www.NouvelleFrance.qc.ca  

Read other articles on Québec, Canada in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, Events, and Spas sections. 

See you next year at the Nouvelle-France Festival, Quebec, Canada - Photo by Luxury Experience
See You Next Year

Bonjour Quebec, CanadaFor more information on Québec, Canada please visit the websites: www.QuebecRegion.com, and www.bonjourquebec.com. 

© September 2011. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com All rights reserved.

 
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