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Complete Guide to Quebec – All You Need to Know

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Quebec was founded in 1763 and has become the second most populated province in Canada.  Quebec stands out in the Canadian provincial landscape thanks to the fact that the official provincial language is French. This consequently lead to the majority of the population being French-speaking.

Approximately half of the residents of the entire province of Quebec choose to settle in the greater Montreal area, and for good reason.  You can find several of these reasons in an article released earlier this year – 10 Reasons to Move to Montreal 

So what makes us so sure it’s better than France? 

 

Economic Quebec

The government of Quebec has launched the Stratégie québécoise de la recherche et de l’innovation (SQRI) in 2007 which aims to promote development through research, science and technology. The government hopes to create a strong culture of innovation in Quebec for the next decades and to create a sustainable economy.  Quebec is considered as one of world leaders in fundamental scientific research, having produced ten Nobel laureates in either physics, chemistry, or medicine.

Quebec’s economy leans heavily on its substantial amount of natural resources, but it also has a developed technological sector which includes a wide variety of industries such as aerospace, information and communication technologies, biotechnology and more.  All these have contributed to keeping Quebec in second place in economic output.  The economy of Quebec is ranked the 37th largest economy in the world and 28th for the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita.  Firmly grounded in the knowledge economy, Quebec has one of the highest growth rate of gross domestic product (GDP) in Canada.  Quebec is experiencing faster growth of its R&D spending than the other Canadian provinces, creating more jobs and opportunities and attracting immigrants from all over the world.
This is the reason so many French speakers choose Quebec over France or even Switzerland. With so many opportunities and a wide variety of positions, and with the speed of Quebec’s economic growth, Quebec is in need of French speaking immigrants. It is the ideal immigration destination for French speakers.

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Society of Quebec

The Commission tasked with consulting Quebec Society on the matter of arrangements regarding cultural diversity founded by the Quebec Premier in 2007 reasserted the 3 fundamental values which comprise the base for Quebec society:

  • Equality between men and women
  • Primacy of the French language
  • Separation of church and state

Furthermore, Quebec is a free and democratic society that abides by the rule of law.

These fundamental values are not subject to argument and are expected to be upheld by all citizens, residents and visitors.
You could argue these are the same values as anywhere else in the developed western world, but anyone who watches the news or talks to the local population in many of the countries in the developed world knows it’s not so simple. Many countries may claim these as their values, but in reality these values are bent for the benefit of the wealthy or the government.
Meanwhile, Canada maintains these values above all, even when it comes to Trudeau.

 

Natural Quebec

Quebec winters are cold and snowy – perfect for those who love winter wonderlands, skating or skiing. The summers are hot and – in some areas – humid, perfect for swimming, biking, and other summer activities.  Slightly cooler summers can be found in the northern territories.  Climate conditions can vary from region to region, depending on elevation and distance from the ocean.

Quebec is fortunate to have one of the world’s largest reserves of fresh water: it has 3% of the world’s renewable fresh water.  Over its massive territory, it contains many bodies of water: Over half a million lakes and 4500 rivers that pour into the Atlantic ocean.

It’s a paradise for nature lovers; Quebec has some of the world’s legendary and most adorable land wildlife, inhabiting Quebec’s 750,300 square km of forest: white tailed deer, moose, muskox, caribou, black bears, polar bears, cougar, arctic fox, squirrels, snowshoe hare, groundhog, chipmunk and the Canadian Beaver.  The aquatic wildlife does not fall behind: blue whales, beluga whales, mike whales, harp seals, walrus and narwhals.

It’s enough to make us think we’re living in a Disney movie!

Cultural Quebec 

One of the main arguments on behalf of France is that of the culture – France has a wealth of art history which keeps it at the top of the cultural world to this day. While we bear no disrespect for France’s cultural credentials, we believe Quebec’s culture is just as rich, diverse and wonderful as that of France, if not better in some ways. Quebec’s cultural world is also deeply rooted in history as well as the modern world and we know you’ll love it too. Quebec’s culture blends its historic roots with its aboriginal heritage and the contributions of recent immigrants, as well as receiving a strong influence from English-speaking North America.

Music and Dance

Montreal’s cabarets rose to the forefront of the city’s cultural life during the Prohibition era of Canada and the United States in the 1920s.  The cabarets radically transformed the artistic scene, greatly influencing the live entertainment industry of Quebec.  The Quartier Latin of Montreal and Vieux-Québec  in Quebec City are two hubs of activity for today’s artists.  Life in the cafés and “terrasses” (outdoor restaurant terraces) reveals a Latin influence in Quebec’s culture, with the théâtre Saint-Denis in Montréal and the Capitole de Québec theatre in Quebec City being among the principal attractions.  Of course, as the province is a modern society, you can find all types of music in Quebec today.

Traditional Quebec music is imbued with many dances: the jig, the quadrille, the reel and line dancing.  Various instruments are more popular in Quebec’s culture: harmonica, fiddle, spoons, jaw harp and accordion.  The podorythmie is a characteristic of traditional Quebec music and means “giving the rhythm with the feet”.  Quebec traditional music is currently provided by various contemporary groups seen mostly during Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations, Quebec National Holiday and many local festivals.

 

Festival du Bois, Quebec

 

Film

Several movie theatres across Quebec ensure the dissemination of Quebec cinema. Thank s to the Cité du cinéma and Mel’s studios the city of Montreal is home to the filming of various productions.  The State corporation Télé-Québec, the federal Crown corporation CBC, general and specialized private channels, networks, independent and community radio stations broadcast the various Quebec téléromans, the national and regional news, interactive and spoken programmations, etc. 

Les Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois is a festival surrounding the ceremony of the Jutra Awards Night that rewards work and personalities of Quebec cinema.  The Artis and the Gemini Awards gala recognize the personalities of television and radio industry in Quebec and French Canada. The Film Festival of the 3 Americas in Quebec City, the Festival of International Short Film, Saguenay, the World Film Festival and the Festival of New Cinema, Montreal, are other annual events surrounding the film industry in Quebec.

Prose

Quebec literature was first developed in the travel accounts of explorers such as Jacques Cartier, Jean de Brébeuf, the Baron de La Hontan and Nicolas Perrot, describing their relations with indigenous peoples. The Moulin à paroles traces the great texts that have shaped the history of Quebec since its foundation in 1534 until the era of modernity. The first to write the history of Quebec, since its discovery, was the historian François-Xavier Garneau. 

Various tales and stories are told through oral tradition such as the legends of the Bogeyman, the Chasse-galerie, the Black Horse of Trois-Pistoles, the Complainte de Cadieux, the Corriveau, the dancing devil of Saint-Ambroise, the Giant Beaupré, the monsters of the lakes Pohénégamook and Memphremagog, of Quebec Bridge (called the Devil’s Bridge), the Rocher Percé, of Rose Latulipe, and many more.

Popular French-language contemporary writers include Louis Caron, Suzanne Jacob, Yves Beauchemin, and Gilles Archambault. Mavis Gallant, born in Quebec, lived in Paris from the 1950s onward. Well-known English-language writers from Quebec include Leonard Cohen, Mordecai Richler, and Neil Bissoondath.


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