Champlain 2013

The National Capital Commission, the City of Gatineau, the City of Ottawa, the Embassy of France in Canada, and the Algonquin community have come together to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s arrival in the Ottawa Valley.

This event’s cultural, touristic, and community-oriented programming, the result of unprecedented collaboration between the leading cultural figures of the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau, was unveiled on January 25th at a press conference held at the Embassy of France.

Reception at the Embassy of France

400 years ago, French explorer Samuel de Champlain undertook an epic journey up the Ottawa River (called Kichi Sibi by the Algonquin people at the time), a journey enriched by contact with the members of the First Nations that he met along the way. To breathe new life into this iconic moment in history, 2013 will feature a series of cultural, touristic, and community-oriented events in Ottawa and Gatineau, thanks to efforts from 23 governmental and regional organizations.

The full event programming schedule

- Cultural, historic and touristic activities set to take place
this summer to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Samuel de
Champlain’s passage in Canada’s Capital Region

PDF - 48.8 kb
Activities happening this summer
(PDF - 48.8 kb)

- Events will include:

  • Champlain statue on Nepean Point by two French artists using state-of-the-art technology
  • the passage of one hundred canoes up the Ottawa River
  • a series of cultural and heritage activities on Petrie Island (Orleans)
  • a public conference featuring experts in studies of New France at the Canadian Museum of Civilization
  • A variety of expositions at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Centre d’interprétation de Plaisance, and National Gallery of Canada.
  • And many more.
A website dedicated to this historic event will provide information on all of the events planned:


The logo features the image of Rideau Falls, which Champlain had admired in 1613, and the Ottawa River, also known as Kichi Sibi among the First Nations, which connects Ottawa to Gatineau. The hills of the Ottawa Valley represent the horizon; the green, blue, and white represent the Francophonie; and the sun represents the warmth, friendship and eternal hope of the people who make Canada’s capital region come to life.

Speech by the Ambassador Philippe Zeller

... Our image of Champlain is a multifaceted one, comprising different opinions and perspectives. This year, Champlain will be represented not only in a fashion that respects different memories of him, but also with attention to historical accuracy, which all of the sources involved must take into account ... READ

Last modified on 22/05/2013

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