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19 Mar 2013

Launch of activities for the 50th anniversary of the Québec Government Office in London

<span style="font-size:10px;color:grey;/*margin-top:-1em;*/"> Minister Gagnon-Tremblay with Foreign Officer Minister for North America, Alistair Burt, Alistair Burt <i>(Photo: Foreign and Commonwealth Office) </i></span>

On March 17, Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, Monique Gagnon-Tremblay, ended a mission to the United Kingdom during which she launched the program of year-long activities to mark the 50th anniversary of the Québec Government Office in London. The Minister also participated in several political meetings in the capital.

Some one hundred movers and shakers from the economic, cultural and institutional communities participated in the launch, which was held on the sidelines of a presentation of the opera Rusalka conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin at the Royal Opera House. Organized in collaboration with British and Québec partners, the 50th anniversary activities are aimed at raising awareness of Québec talent and know-how in Britain. Cinema, theatre, haute cuisine, business and digital art will be showcased until October 2012.

Activities on the program include the participation of Québec artists in the Manchester music and digital art festival FutureEverything in May thanks to the collaboration of Mutek Festival in Montréal. The Eccles Centre of the British Library will also host Alexander Reford, the Director of Les Jardins de Métis, this spring. Also on the program is a seminar on the Plan Nord during Invest in Canada week on the occasion of the Summer Olympics, as well as a performance on June 24 by the winner of the 2012 Joseph-Rouleau Award at the Montréal International Musical Competition to celebrate the Fête nationale du Québec. Lastly, a gala to mark 50 years of economic relations will be jointly organized by the Canada-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce.

Political and institutional meetings

The Minister met with Foreign Officer Minister for North America, Alistair Burt, and Chairman of the British-Canada All Party Parliamentary Group, Andrew Rosindell. Ms. Gagnon-Tremblay used the occasion to present the Québec Government’s European Strategy that, among other things, prioritizes the proposed Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the Plan Nord to strengthen ties with Europe. The United Kingdom is Québec’s main trading partner in Europe and the third in the world.

Ms. Gagnon-Tremblay also met with British Council Chief Executive, Martin Davidson. Since 1980, an exchange program has provided an opportunity for sixty language assistants from Québec and Britain to teach French or English as a second language in various regions of the United Kingdom and Québec. This cooperation between Québec and the British Council was consolidated in 2002 by an agreement that covers, in addition to education, the cultural and science and technology sectors.

The Minister also took advantage of her time in London to meet with Secretary-General of La Francophonie, Abdou Diouf, and Grand témoin de la Francophonie for the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean. Both were in London to attend a Francophone concert in Trafalgar Square on March 17.

The United Kingdom is one of Québec’s most important international partners. The Government of Québec established its permanent residence there in 1962, just one year after Paris.

50th Anniversary of the Québec Government Office in London
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