News Release Article from  Canadian Heritage

The 150th Anniversary of Confederation in 2017: It's Happening Right Here!

March 17, 2016 – Montréal – Department of Canadian Heritage

During an event today at the studio of Réalisations Inc., the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, announced the Government of Canada’s vision for the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017 while celebrating Montréal’s technological and creative excellence at the announcement of the federal contribution to two projects as part of the Canada 150 Fund.

According to Minister Joly, the 150th anniversary of Confederation gives the Government of Canada an opportunity to engage and inspire Canadians in their communities. It is also a time to come together to celebrate our shared values, our Canadian identity, our achievements, our majestic environment and our place in the world.

The vision seeks to bring people together and inspire them. It will feature themes focusing on diversity and inclusiveness, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, youth and the environment.

To make 2017 a memorable year of celebrations for all Canadians, Minister Joly today confirmed that the Government of Canada will continue to invest in national, regional and local projects to increase Canadians’ awareness and invite them to participate in the many events taking place throughout the year.

SESQUI: A home-grown immersive experience

Minister Joly took the opportunity to announce funding of close to $9.5 million for the SESQUI project. Joining her were Joanne Loton and Andrea Stewart, Executive Producer of SESQUI; Roger Parent, President of Réalisations Inc.; and Guy St-Amour, Technical Producer and Dome Designer, SESQUI Tour.

With the help of this investment, SESQUI will present Canadians with a festival that will take place in a portable village of dome structures, including an immersive digital space that features live events, interactive programs and a 360° film experience.

Expo 67: A partnership for Montréal’s 375th anniversary

Minister Joly, who was also joined by France Chrétien Desmarais, President of the Society for the Celebrations of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary, also announced a partnership with the Society that will help pair two major anniversaries in 2017.

Thanks to a contribution from the Government of Canada of up to $4 million, the partnership announced today will make it possible to move forward with projects to commemorate Expo 67—an important moment in the history of Montréal and of Canada.

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Quick Facts

Program for the 150th anniversary of Confederation

  • The main themes of the Government of Canada’s vision for the 150th anniversary of Confederation are diversity and inclusiveness, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, the environment and youth.
  • The Canada 150 Fund was established in April 2015. It has an overall budget of $210 million.
  • Through the Fund, the Government of Canada will continue to make strategic investments in activities that support the vision of the 150th anniversary and encourage Canadians to participate directly.
  • SESQUI is a touring, immersive media experience that reframes how we imagine Canada as a country.
  • The Society for the Celebrations of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary, active since spring 2013, is a non-profit organization whose mission is to organize the celebrations for Montréal’s 375th anniversary in 2017, by working in tandem with various private and public partners.

Quotes

“Expo 67 left its mark on a whole generation of Canadians and launched Montréal onto the international scene. The centennial celebrations were a catalyst for IMAX, a larger-than-life project that has left its mark on the film industry in Montréal and around the world. We can also find this promising outlook on the future in the team behind SESQUI. In 2017, Montréalers are invited to highlight two milestones in their history: the 150th anniversary of Confederation and the 375th anniversary of their city. Let’s be proud of who we are and celebrate our successes, our artists and our flourishing film and performing arts industries.”
—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“We are honoured to be one of Canada 150’s pan-Canadian signature initiatives and to have the opportunity to share the first look at the SESQUI experience with everyone today. SESQUI was born out of the desire to celebrate Canada’s creative spirit and innovation while bringing people together in a unique and immersive experience. At SESQUI, we are invested in the advancement of culture and technological innovation that will help contribute to the success of Canada’s creative economy.”
—Andrea Stewart, Executive Producer of SESQUI

“We are very happy about this new contribution from the Government of Canada to the 2017 festivities in Montréal. I would like to thank Canadian Heritage and Minister Mélanie Joly for this definite commitment. It will allow us to commemorate Expo 67, a significant event in the history of Montréal and Canada, which already showed, almost 50 years ago, the vibrancy of Montréal.”
-France Chrétien Desmarais, President of the Society for the Celebrations of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary

“Over the course of Montréal’s 375 years, 1967—when we hosted the World Expo—was certainly one of the most important in our history. The year 1967 not only shaped Montréal's international image, but Canada’s as well. Today's action by the federal government underscores the importance that 1967 had for all of Canada.”
—Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montréal.

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Pierre-Olivier Herbert
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