This month is overflowing with 400th anniversary activities

For a comprehensive schedule of happenings related to the 400th anniversary of Quebec City, see the official calendar of events at http://www.myquebec2008.com.

By JORDAN HIMELFARB

After months of speculation and hype, Quebec City’s 400th anniversary celebrations started off with a bang. Several, actually. Some 50,000 were in attendance at Place d’Youville as fireworks marked the end of 2007 and the beginning of Quebec City’s 400th year.

The New Year was ushered in with a spectacular multimedia show, including many live musical performances — among them a surprise set from Quebec pop star and CBC radio personality Gregory Charles — as well as dance, light and pyrotechnic displays. See photos here.

Don’t fret if you happened to miss out on the first installment of 400th fun; January is overflowing with events in celebration of the city’s long history.

1) Québec vue par Kedl. 400 ans de passion, is an exhibition of the work of Quebec City photographer Eugen Kedl at the Observatoire de la Capitale. More than 60 pictures by this world-renowned landscape photographer are currently on display, which, taken together, provide a pictorial history of this picturesque city. The works will be showcased until October 31. Pay to get in to the Observatoire and admission to the exhibit is free.

2) While Quebec City residents celebrate their city’s past, the Musée de la civilisation will consider the future of cities in general. To be unveiled January 16, the museum’s new exhibit, Urbanopolis, will pose questions related to urban planning in the 21st century, pondering “the creative, ecological, and technological potential of the cities we build for tomorrow,” according to the museum. How exactly this exhibit will go about addressing such questions is a mystery; find out for yourselves beginning next Wednesday.

3) English-speaking Quebecers might be particularly interested in the Voices From the Crossroads series of events, dealing with the history of the city’s anglophone community. To kick off its year-long festivities, Morrin Centre will stage several performances of Rosina, an operetta that has gone unperformed in Canada since 1794. Written by Frances Moore Brooke, a Quebec City resident of the late 18th century and North America’s first novelist, the operetta will be performed by students from the Conservatoire de musique et d’art dramatique de Québec at the former Morrin College assembly hall. For more information on the operetta and the rest of the Voices From the Crossroads events, go to www.400voices.morrin.org.

For a comprehensive schedule of happenings related to the 400th anniversary of Quebec City, see the official calendar of events at http://www.myquebec2008.com.