Monday, July 29, 2013

Champlain Day?

In an opinion piece published today in the Globe and Mail, historian Charlotte Gray proposes that the August statutory holiday celebrated in most Canadian provinces and known most commonly as the Civic Holiday be renamed Champlain Day.  Part of me feels like punching holes through her glib arguments, but part of me thinks: Why the hell not?  Champlain is, no question, one of the most endearing figures of French colonial / Early Canadian history.

Gray doesn't allude to it, but as it happens there is a whole lot of Champlain-related stuff going on this Civic Holiday... uhm, I mean Champlain Day, Monday, August 5th, at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau.  Canoeists who have been retracing part of the explorer's journey along the Ottawa River as part of the fundraising "Défi Champlain" will be landing there through the afternoon.  The Museum, in collaboration with the Réseau du patrimoine gatinois, and the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Nation, will meanwhile be holding a day of dance, music and traditional knowledge demonstrations.  As this coincides neatly with Quebec's "Mois de l'archéologie", museum curators Jean-Luc Pilon and Yves Monette will also give talks on the archeological evidence of the French and Algonquin presence along the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers.  The irony here is that August 5th is not a holiday in Quebec...



No comments:

Post a Comment