Martin C. Barry
Laval’s Centre de la Nature was transformed into a wonderland of activities and events on June 24 as the city pulled out all the stops to mark Quebec’s Fête nationale holiday.
While smaller gatherings were also held in many neighbourhoods of Laval throughout the day, municipal officials held a special ceremony at Laval city hall during the afternoon for the raising of the Fleurdelisé flag, followed by a reception.
A Fête nationale concert that evening at the Centre de la Nature was attended by tens of thousands of people.
Heritage important: El-Khoury
“This truly is a day to feel proud to be participating and recognizing the importance of this yearly event which is part of our heritage,” said Laval-Les Îles Liberal MP Fayçal El-Khoury who was among the many dignitaries who turned up at the Centre de la Nature as well as at city hall later.
“I encouraged my staff and family and constituents to come out and participate and we will all be taking part here all day,” he added.
Delivering the keynote address during the morning at the Centre de la Nature, Michel Leduc, president of the organizing committee for Fête nationale festivities in Laval, said the Quebec of today is a place of “diversity, solidarity, generosity.
The Quebec of today
“The Quebec of today is also about the environment, sustainable development, the preservation of green spaces,” he continued. “It’s also a place of innovative businesses, of workers who work daily for the well-being of the population.”
After being introduced by Vimy Liberal MP Eva Nassif, Alfred-Pellan Liberal MP Angelo Iacono read out a statement Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had written for the Laval Fête nationale celebration. “On this day we celebrate the rich history of Quebec, our heritage as well as our language,” the Prime Minister said.
“St-Jean-Baptiste is also a celebration of the French culture from one ocean to another,” he added, “a day during which we pay homage to Francophone Canadian women and men in all the provinces and all the territories who are an essential pillar of our country.”