Community News

Hooked on School Days – Our actions, A+ in their success!

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The 14th edition of Hooked on School Days (HSD) will take place across Quebec from Feb. 11 to 15.

125 years ago: the inauguration of the first Winter Carnival

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain

The first Quebec City Winter Carnival was inaugurated on Monday, Jan. 29, 1894. Governor General and Lady Aberdeen had been invited as guests of honour for the occasion, but a major storm delayed their departure from Ottawa.

PM’s statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued the following statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day Jan. 27:

Winter photos!


In front of City Hall, this statue of Bonhomme Carnaval dances as a friendly reminder that Quebec City’s Winter Carnival is fast approaching. Photo by Danielle Burns

Going squirrelly over nuts

Photo: Lise Lafond

Big crane goes up on Grande Allée

Photo: Jonathan Letellier-Black

Carnaval de Québec is coming to Avenue Maguire

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Photo: Shirley Nadeau

Frigid temperatures, snow and ice everywhere can only mean one thing: Carnaval de Québec – Quebec City’s 65th renowned Winter Carnival – is barely a week away. This year, festivities will be spread throughout the greater Quebec City and Lévis areas. Over 60 business districts have organized their own special activities as part of the Hydro-Québec partner events from Feb. 8 to 17.

Lifelong Learning launches spring 2019 program

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Photo: Shirley Nadeau

Some 40 Lifelong Learners attended a Welcome Tea held on Jan. 15 in the Valcartier Family Centre at its new address on 2630 Blvd. Hochelaga.

The gathering was an excellent opportunity to meet new members and hear about upcoming activities.

Funny, how Big Tobacco is quitting “ordinary” cigarettes


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Photo: Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain

Any Bob Newhart fans out there? Sure there are. The American comedian and actor, still performing occasionally at 89, is the master of the deadpan reaction. His specialty is one-sided telephone conversations, and perhaps his best-known bit is his transatlantic chat with Sir Walter Raleigh in the English colony of Virginia.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow . . . no more!



 Avenue Cartier on a snowy Sunday afternoon. Let the snowplow pass!

Photo by Peter Black


Canada non grata in Saudi Arabia and China


On Jan. 12, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, welcomed 18-year-old Saudi refugee Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun (who now goes by Rahaf Mohammed) at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. The image of Freeland warmly embracing Mohammed, posing for the media, was as striking as it was diplomatically unwise.

The story behind Avenue Calixa-Lavallée


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Photo: Screenshot from Google Maps

This street was named after Calixa Lavallée (1842-1891), best known for composing the music for “O Canada,” which officially became the national anthem of Canada in 1980.



January 23, 1819 – The Quebec Gazette

Teaching French

Musée de la civilisation puts rock art online

Photo: Cassandra Kerwin

It is now possible to see Indigenous stone engravings from all over Canada virtually, thanks to the exhibit on the website of the Musée de la civilisation de Québec (MCQ).

Wrapping up the Christmas Hamper Campaign – Thank you!

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Photo: CCHC

Thanks to the efforts of nearly 200 volunteers, the 23rd annual Community Christmas Hamper Campaign (CCHC) is coming to a successful close.

Fifty-Fifty: the best of both worlds

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Photo: Dennis Cox

When I first arrived in Quebec City from Sherbrooke in June 2001, I immediately immersed myself in the activities of the English-speaking community. As a writer, one of the first contacts I made was Michèle Thibeau of the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph, who took the time to outline activities available to English-speaking newcomers.

Magical, unsettling Zanzibar


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Photo: Ruby Pratka

Zanzibar. The word itself sounds almost mythical, like “Timbuktu” or “Siberia.” Shorthand for a place where legends come to life. I think I was about five the first time I heard the word, in a kids’ alphabet song where the singer had obviously had to do a bit of digging to come up with enough “Z” words.

Quebec City gears up for 1894 Carnival


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Photo: Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain

One hundred and twenty-five years ago, barely a year after the opening of the Château Frontenac, Quebec City was preparing for Winter Carnival. Held intermittently since then, the Carnaval de Québec, as we now know it, has been celebrated annually since 1955, the year that Bonhomme Carnaval, the mascot of the festival, made his first appearance.


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After a brave 28-year struggle with Lyme disease and Parkinson’s, William James Robertson died peacefully on January 16, 2019 at Saint Brigid’s Home, Quebec.

William was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba on November 28, 1941. He grew up in Whitehead, Nova Scotia; Aylmer, Quebec; and Ottawa, Ontario, before settling in Quebec City, where he lived for 50 years.


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On Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018, Robert “Bobby” Norman Brown passed away peacefully at his home in Kelowna, B.C. surrounded by his family after a short battle with cancer. Robert was born on May 21, 1954 to Norman and Rolande (Guillot) Brown in Quebec City, Quebec.

Community Calendar

Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 10 a.m. – Teleconference on Community Palliative Caregiving with social worker Zelda Freitas at Saint Brigid’s Home (Foundation Room), 1645 Ch. Saint-Louis, Sillery. Reserve your place by calling Jan Anderson, community organizer with the Wellness Centre, 418-684-5333, ext. 1539.

Pee-Wee Tournament celebrates 60th with book, Bobby, Guy and Hanson Brothers

Photo: Peter Black

In 1960, the 28 teams entered in the first edition of what has become one of the world’s most prestigious youth hockey tournaments played their games in two Quebec City arenas, both of which are now defunct.

Mega fun at the Mega Parc amusement centre

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Photo: Jonathan Letellier-Black

After a year of work, the revamped Mega Parc at Les Galeries de la Capitale opened in mid-January and welcomed throngs of fun-seekers.

The mall park features 18 rides and attractions, including several new ones. Four of the original rides were restored, including the spectacular Italian-made carousel, situated in the centre of the reconfigured skating patinarium.

Bonhomme Carnaval’s Dream under construction


 Bonhomme Carnaval’s Dream is becoming a reality in Zone Loto-Québec Royal Court, Place George-V, where a ship, a giant owl and a miniature Château Frontenac are being carved out of snow. Bonhomme’s Royal Court and Ice Palace are directly in front of this sculpture. Photo by Cassandra Kerwin

Glambition! My, how times have changed

Photo: Ed Sweeney

As I walked down the hallway of the Faculté des sciences de l’administration (Faculty of Business) building on the campus of Université Laval, I glanced at all the graduation class photos from the 1930s onward. As the years went by a pattern became clear, and it wasn’t until I arrived at the 1955 class photo that I spotted – Gisèle Cotnoir.

Bonhomme Carnaval’s Ice Palace is coming together

Photos by Jonathan Letellier-Black

Light at the end of the tunnel for VIA Rail upgrade plan?

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If you’ve taken the early morning VIA Rail train between Quebec City and Montreal in the darkness of winter and have a window seat on the side facing southward, you are treated to what might be described as a terrifying thrill ride while sitting still on a siding.

Morrin Centre’s new workshop series is a laughing matter

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Setting up a punchline, using music in stand-up, communicating satire through cartooning, and improvising a funny skit are just some of the things you will learn during the Morrin Centre’s upcoming Laugh Lab series.


Photo: Creative Commons - Public Domain

January 15, 1859 – The Morning Chronicle

The story behind Carré Cameron

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain

Carré Cameron is not actually a square but a U-shaped street named in honour of British explorer Verney Lovett Cameron (1844-1894).

Born in Radipole, in Dorset, England, Cameron joined the Royal Navy in 1857, served in the Abyssinian campaign of 1868, and worked for a considerable time on the suppression of the East African slave trade.

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