Festival Celtique de Quebec
The Celts have deep roots in the Quebec City region, with many Irish settling along the shores of the St. Lawrence Seaway during the Famine years.
“It is quite a story,” smiles Guy Morisset, president of the Festival Celtique de Quebec. “The two cultures literally assimilated one another over time. The Irish men were understandably smitten with the French women, and the French men probably could not resist those feminine Irish charms.”
Those deux solitudes will celebrate their unique cultural mélange again this September with five days of Celtic cultural activities.
“The festival has really evolved since it was founded in 2005,” says Morisset. “Back then we only had a handful of people involved, and only another handful showing up for events.”
While the gathering has maintained its not-for-profit status, and works hard each year to find new funding, Morisset notes that the get-together has grown significantly in just a decade.
“We have expanded our program again this year with a wider variety of cultural experiences, including more musical performances, whisky and bourbon tastings, workshops, and activities for children.”
A kilt-run is also on the agenda.
“This is our first year for this event,” he explains, “and we are expecting a good turnout. Actually, you see quite a few kilts around Quebec City.”
To his point, Morisset adds that the festival will appeal to all Celts.
“We have a large number of Scots here also, and there are many residents with Welsh, Cornish and Manx roots here as well. And, of course, there is the French connection of Bretagne.
“So, yes,” he continues, laughing, “there will be some drinking involved.
“Of course, this is a first and foremost a family-oriented festival that is open to everyone. You don’t have to be Celtic to enjoy what the culture has to offer.”