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Tempêtes et Passions returns to the stage

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Guy Lessard, the president of Tempêtes et Passions, announced the return of the troupe’s seasonal activities on March 11. Two concerts scheduled during the 2020-2021 season have been put back on the program and will be offered online and, if public health regulations permit, also in person.

Robert Mercure back in town to help rebuild tourism

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Photo: Ville de Québec YouTube site

A well-known figure in Quebec City’s tourism industry is returning to town after a brief stint in Montreal.

Robert Mercure, who served as director general of the landmark Château Frontenac hotel from 2007 to 2018, will be the new head of the city’s tourism office as of April 23.

Pink elephant-caterpillar coming to Parc Bardy

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Photo: Ville de Québec

The Ville de Québec recently unveiled the model of a work of art created by artists Cooke-Sasseville for Parc Bardy, in collaboration with a group of students from the nearby École des Jeunes-du-Monde.

St. Patrick’s Day trivia

Photo: Lise Lafond from QCT archives

It’s said that wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day keeps you from getting pinched – it makes you invisible to leprechauns, who like to pinch the people they see. A more plausible explanation is that the colour green came to be associated with St. Patrick during the 1798 Irish Rebellion – the British wore red, and the Irish wore green.

Tax time countdown has begun

Revenu Québec would like to inform taxpayers and professional tax preparers that it is now possible to file 2020 income tax returns online via ImpôtNet Québec. Quebecers who use this service can obtain their tax refund two times faster than if their return is sent by mail.

Beware the Revenue Canada scams as tax season approaches

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The phone rings. After a moment’s delay, the mechanical voice identifies itself as Visa security and describes a couple of weird charges on a credit card.

At that point, most people mutter a few choice words and hang up. The call is obviously a scam.

Remparts to play Foreurs and Huskies in Val d’Or

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Photo: Jonathan Roy/QMJHL

After a nine-hour bus ride to Val d’Or, the Quebec Remparts will get a chance to lace up their skates and play four games in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) protected environment series in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region.

SLC Lions sports teams start planning for next season

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Photo: Luc Lang

The CEGEP Champlain–St. Lawrence (SLC) Lions sports teams hoped all year long, like their college counterparts throughout the province and Canada, that maybe, just maybe, the pandemic would ease up before the end of the winter sports season and there might be a way to get some games in.

Capitales sign more players as baseball season approaches

There might be snow on the ground, and the dome may still be in place at Stade Canac, but the Québec Capitales have been very active this past week, signing two key players.

Frank Nigro, a catcher who played his college baseball with the Wilmington University Wildcats in Delaware, will join the Capitales.

The story behind Carré Lépine


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Photo: Shirley Nadeau from QCT archives

A very short street and a stairway are named in honour of the Lépine family, notably Germain Legris dit Lépine (1821-1899) who began his career as a cabinet maker. In 1844, he opened a coffin-manufacturing business on Rue Saint-Vallier Est. Due to the deadly cholera and typhus epidemics of that era, business grew rapidly. He also began to organize funerals.

Students march to demand a return to school sports

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Photo: Cassandra Kerwin

High school student and football player Isaac Pépin led some 22,000 Quebecers in a march around the National Assembly on March 7 as they waved signs demanding that Premier François Legault reinstate school sports.

Quebec City celebrates St. Patrick’s Day throughout March

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Photo: Cassandra Kerwin

Spring is in the air, and with St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, the organizers of the Défilé de la Saint-Patrick de Québec (DSPQ) are determined to keep the season festive and green despite the pandemic.

Cartier Starbucks among coffee giant’s closures

Photo: Jonathan Letellier-Black

Despite its apparent prime location, the Starbucks coffee shop at the corner of Avenue Cartier and Boulevard René-Lévesque is one of some 200 outlets the Seattle-based company is closing across Canada.

The Montcalm Starbucks is among three others closed in the city, including on Boulevard Charest and at Jean Lesage Airport. The outlet on Grande Allée closed last fall.


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Photo: Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain

March 8, 1827 – The Quebec Gazette
The House of Assembly of the Provincial Parliament of Lower Canada voted a sum not exceeding 25,000 pounds for shares in the Welland Canal.

As plague abates, June federal election talk bursting out all over

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If a scenario now being bandied about in the high councils of media punditry comes to pass, Canadians could be slipping their ballots into the box at about the same time as medical types are slipping a COVID-19 vaccine dose into the tender shoulders of the last groups of people slated to get a shot.

City declares kitchen waste recycling pilot project a hit

Photo: Ville de Québec

The city’s kitchen waste recycling pilot project was a smash success, declared city officials on March 1. In announcing the results of the test involving more than 2,000 households, Mayor Régis Labeaume noted how eager residents are to see a full program implemented.

Jacquelyn Smith leads Transition Québec toward fall poll

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Photo: Jacquelyn Smith

When Jacquelyn Smith first moved to Quebec City in 2006, her French was just about good enough to puzzle out that the mayor of the city at the time, Andrée Boucher, was a woman. Now, 15 years later, with a Université Laval law degree under her belt, Smith is hoping to follow in Boucher’s footsteps and become the second mairesse in the city’s history.

Remparts can’t find a way to beat the Saguenéens

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Photo: André Émond/QMJHL

The Quebec Remparts finished their six-game schedule in the Chicoutimi protected environment, losing 3-0 to the Chicoutimi Saguenéens on March 7 at the Centre Georges-Vézina.

The loss gives the Remparts a record of two wins, three losses and one overtime loss in the Saguenay.

Laplante’s 2021 plans for Capitales go all the way from A to Z

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Québec Capitales president Michel Laplante has several plans for his team in 2021 if the Frontier Baseball League can’t play out its regular season as planned.

“We have a plan B and I can say that we are up to plan Z for 2021,” said Laplante during a press conference with Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume and Coun. Steeve Verret on March 1.

Canada’s Hockey Dad will be missed at Pee-Wee Tournament

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Photo: Patrick Dom via Twitter

Walter Gretzky, the father of hockey great Wayne Gretzky, affectionately known as Canada’s Hockey Dad, died peacefully on March 4 at the age of 82 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Maple syrup … every Quebecer’s favourite ‘sauce’

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Photo: Danielle Burns

March is maple syrup month in Quebec. As spring approaches and melts the snow, the sun warms the maple trees and gets the sap flowing.

An urban tree-tapping (acériculture) exhibit in the park adjacent to the Grand Marché drew sweet-toothed March breakers to the outdoor Érablière Godbout kiosk for samples of maple syrup and products, information and a bucket hunt.

The St. Patrick’s Day parades of 1911 and 1921


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Photo: Joe Lonergan

The Défilé de la Saint-Patrick is cancelled for the second year in a row, so it’s a great time to look back on celebrations from a century, and more, ago.

Up and coming entertainment

• The Trio celtique presents The Craic Sessions, a series of online performances, from March 12 to 14. For details, see the article below.

Trio celtique presents The Craic Sessions for St. Patrick’s Day

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Photo: the Trio celtique

Zita Bombardier-Touret and Vanessa Bergeron, whom some readers may remember as “the two Marys” in the Quebec Art Company’s 2018 production of Jesus Christ Superstar, along with guitarist Antoine Bensoussan, together known as the Trio celtique, have recorded The Craic Sessions, a special show for St. Patrick’s Day. It will be broadcast online over three days, March 12, 13 and 14.

The Aran sweater: the original Irish sweater

Photo: Lise Lafond

The classic Aran sweater is the original Irish fisherman’s sweater. These hand-knit sweaters have quite a tale to tell. A staple in fishermen’s wardrobes for over 100 years, an Aran sweater keeps the wearer warm while braving the wind, fog and harsh weather on the unforgiving North Atlantic Ocean, which ranks as one of the most dangerous oceans in the world.

St. Patrick’s Day trivia

St. Patrick’s Day is one of those special days that, while celebrated across the country, doesn’t quite warrant public holiday status in Canada – except in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Sale of DND land last piece of merged English school project

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Photo: Image from Google Earth

An understated Feb. 23 media release communicated the announcement, but the sale of less than a hectare of Department of National Defence (DND) land in Sainte-Foy to the Quebec ministry of education is huge news for Quebec City’s English-speaking community.

Shannon and Valcartier St. Patrick’s Day festivities go virtual

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Photo: Allison Kirkwood

This time last year, the town of Shannon was buzzing. Parents were sewing sequins onto dance dresses and rehearsal rooms were vibrating with the distinctive sound of hard shoes. The curtain was just about to rise on the 54th edition of the Shannon Irish Show.

In wake of pandemic, do music festivals need to be estival?


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To everything, there is a season,” goes the song “Turn! Turn! Turn!” – a big hit for the Byrds in 1965, written by Pete Seeger in the ’50s, and taken almost verbatim from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, circa 450 BC. Some scholars consider that chapter, of uncertain authorship, to be a literary masterpiece of the Good Book.


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Photo: Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain

March 1, 1821 – The Quebec Gazette
A recent shock of earthquake was felt on Tuesday morning last, about four o’clock, at Valcartier, distant about 18 miles to the north-west of this city. It was accompanied by a rumbling noise resembling that of distant thunders.

March 2, 1871 – The Morning Chronicle

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