Happy Anniversary, Quebec City

illustration by Chris Gash

The city is celebrating its 400th birthday all year long (and beyond) with events aimed at locals and tourists alike.

The city of Quebec kicked off its yearlong 400th birthday party in January, and the calendar is crammed with anniversary events, exhibits, and performances yet to come. (See myquebec2008.com for the details.)

January 16, 2008-April 19, 2009 At the Musée de la Civilisation, an exhibit named "Urbanopolis"--with models, roundtable discussions, performance art, and film screenings--imagines what city life will be like in the next 400 years.

February 14-April 27 The Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec honors local painters and sculptors with "Quebec: A City and Its Artists," a show of over 160 works that date from the 17th century through the 1960s.

March 15 The Quebec Symphony Orchestra performs Mahler's Symphony of a Thousand. More than 800 singers and 200 musicians will be involved.

June 10-September 28 Eleven (out of 250) garden designers from around the world were chosen to create the 3,660-square-foot Ephemeral Gardens.

June 20-July 29 Director Robert Lepage debuts Image Mill at Espace 400e, a new waterfront performance pavilion with outdoor cafés. The slide show of the city's history will be projected onto grain elevators along the St. Lawrence River.

July 3-5 When the city officially turns the big 4-0-0 on July 3, the Plains of Abraham, a public park in the Old City, becomes the center of attention with a torch-lit parade and a fireworks show.

August 15 Revelers can party all night long during the Walking Road. The event includes outdoor movies and a floating dance floor that extends over the river.

October 19Cirque du Soleil debuts a show commissioned for the anniversary; the details are being kept hush-hush.

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