Portal:Quebec

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Quebec /kəˈbɛk/ or /kwɨˈbɛk/ (French: Québec [kebɛk] ( )) is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking identity and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level. Quebec is Canada's largest province by area and its second-largest administrative division; only the territory of Nunavut is larger. It is bordered to the west by the province of Ontario, James Bay and Hudson Bay, to the north by Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay, to the east by the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick. It is bordered on the south by the U.S. states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. It also shares maritime borders with Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia.

Quebec is the second most populous province, after Ontario. Most inhabitants live in urban areas near the Saint Lawrence River between Montreal and Quebec City, the capital. English-speaking communities and English-language institutions are concentrated in the west of the island of Montreal but are also significantly present in the Outaouais, the Eastern Townships, and Gaspé regions. The Nord-du-Québec region, occupying the northern half of the province, is sparsely populated and inhabited primarily by Aboriginal peoples.

Sovereignty plays a large role in the politics of Quebec, and the Official Opposition social democratic Parti Québécois advocates national sovereignty for the province and secession from Canada. Sovereignist governments have held referendums on independence in 1980 and 1995; both were voted down by voters, the latter defeated by a very narrow margin. In 2006, the Canadian House of Commons passed a symbolic motion recognizing the "Québécois as a nation within a united Canada."

While the province's substantial natural resources have long been the mainstay of its economy, sectors of the knowledge economy such as aerospace, information and communication technologies, biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industry also play leading roles. These many industries have all contributed to helping Quebec become the second most economically influential province, second only to Ontario.

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Cirque du Soleil performance of Alegria, at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Cirque du Soleil (/ˈsɪərk d sˈl/; English: "Circus of the Sun"), is a Montreal-based entertainment company, self-described as a "dramatic mix of circus arts and street entertainment." It was founded in Baie-Saint-Paul in 1984 by two former street performers, Guy Laliberté and Daniel Gauthier.

Initially named Les Échassiers, they toured Quebec in 1980 as a performing troupe and encountered financial hardship that was relieved by a government grant in 1983 as part of the 450th anniversary celebrations of Jacques Cartier's discovery of Canada. Le Grand Tour du Cirque du Soleil was a success in 1984, and after securing a second year of funding, Laliberté hired Guy Caron from the National Circus School to re-create it as a "proper circus". Its theatrical, character-driven approach and the absence of performing animals helped define Cirque du Soleil as the contemporary circus ("nouveau cirque") that it remains today.

Cirque expanded rapidly through the 1990s and 2000s, going from one show to 19 shows in over 271 cities on every continent except Africa (until March 2011, as their arena show Saltimbanco will tour South Africa) and Antarctica. The shows employ approximately 4,000 people from over 40 countries and generate an estimated annual revenue exceeding US$810 million. The multiple permanent Las Vegas shows alone play to more than 9,000 people a night, 5% of the city's visitors, adding to the 90 million people who have experienced Cirque worldwide. In 2000, Laliberté bought out Gauthier, and with 95% ownership, has continued to expand the brand. Cirque's creations have been awarded numerous prizes and distinctions, including a Bambi Award in 1997, a Rose d'Or in 1989, Drama Desk Awards in 1991 and 1998, three Gemini Awards and four Primetime Emmy Awards.

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The tugboat Daniel McAllister, docked at the Lachine Canal.

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On June 24, 1534, French explorer Jacques Cartier planted a cross on the Gaspé Peninsula and took possession of New France in the name of King Francis I of France. On his second voyage on May 26, 1535, Cartier sailed upriver to the St. Lawrence Iroquoian villages of Stadacona, near present-day Quebec City, and Hochelaga, near present-day Montreal.

In 1541, Jean-Francois de la Roque de Roberval became lieutenant of New France and had the responsibility to build a new colony in America. It was Cartier who established the first French settlement on American soil, Charlesbourg Royal.France was disappointed after the three voyages of Cartier and did not want to invest further large sums in an adventure with such uncertain outcome. A period of disinterest in the new world on behalf of the French authorities followed. Only at the very end of the 16th century interest in these northern territories was renewed.

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Quebec - Administrative regions of Quebec - Culture of Quebec - Geography of Quebec - Quebec history - People from Quebec - Politics of Quebec - Quebec law - Cities in Quebec - Montreal - Quebec City - Quebec stubs - People from Quebec stubs

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The harbor at Havre-Saint-Pierre.


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Ontario  Ontario
Quebec  Quebec
Nova Scotia  Nova Scotia
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Manitoba  Manitoba
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Prince Edward Island  P.E.I.
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Alberta  Alberta
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