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October 2012 Archives

Hamlet, a man for our times

persephone productions.jpgIn one French theatre in Montreal, they're doing a production called "Hamlet is dead" (Hamlet est mort). But the prince of Denmark is alive and well, in English, in a new staging by Persephone Productions.

The company is performing Shakespeare's Hamlet with a cast and crew of twenty-something actors, set and lighting designers.

Gabrielle Soskin directs the play. She's also the founder and artistic director of Persephone Productions, which supports emerging talent.  Christopher Moore plays the introspective lead.

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Haunted Mountain walk on Mount Royal

haunted-mountain1.jpgHalloween is the time to see Montreal in a whole new light. . . at night.

Take the Haunted Mountain tour up Mount Royal to hear tales of past residents of the city who stuck around - or so Donovan King says.

At 8 pm, he'll be leading the way up the mountain.  Donovan King is a firm believer in theatre, as well as ghosts. He's the founder of  the international Infringement Festival in Montreal, as well as a seasoned tour guide.  Donavan spoke with Sonali Karnick this morning.

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John Ralston Saul's "Dark Diversions"

Dark Diversions.jpgCanadian essayist John Ralston Saul is considered one of the world's leading thinkers.  Time magazine has called him a 'prophet'. He's probably best known for the philosophical trilogy that began with "Voltaire's Bastards."

John Ralston Saul is also engaged in a number of international causes. Recently he signed on for a second term as president of PEN International,  which promotes literature and freedom of expression. Small wonder then that John Ralston Saul, who is also a novelist, hasn't published any fiction for 15 years.

He's back with a new novel, Dark Diversions: A Traveler's Tale. It's a black comedy, told from the perspective of a journalist who loses himself in privileged international circles, from exiled princesses to the nouveaux riches. 

John Ralston Saul joined Sonali Karnick in studio.

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Making Electric Vehicles a practical choice

electric car.JPGWith gas prices on the rise, the electric car might be looking more and more attractive. Both the car industry and Hydro-Quebec are trying to make it a practical choice for Quebecers. Right now there are 100 electric recharging stations for cars in Montreal, Quebec City and Sherbrooke. Hydro-Quebec plans on installing even more of them soon. 

A conference on electric vehicles just wrapped up in Montreal and participants in various pilot projects shared their experiences.

Robert Cadieux is one of the people who has been driving an electric car as part of Hydro-Quebec's pilot project. He joined Sonali Karnick in-studio, along with Chantal Guimond, Director of Energy Services for Electric Vehicles with Hydro Quebec.

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Tourism Quebec: Sunday Update

Micheline Lachance of Tourism Quebec looks at Halloween-themed activities for Quebec.

Aquarium de Québec (Québec)
Tonight (from 7pm through 10pm)

Weekends at the Zoooooooooo ! (Granby Zoo, Eastern Townships)
On today

Halloween at La Ronde

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Toque et Tablier: not your grandmother's fruitcake

intrigant1.jpgIt's almost time to prepare your traditional Christmas fruitcake. For those of you who like fruitcake, that is. It can be a hard sell.

But there's a company in Drummondville that is hoping to change your mind about fruitcake.

They've reinvented the recipe - and they're re-branding it too, with elegant, bright-coloured boxes and names like le distingué, le mémorable and even le prétencieux. The company is called Toque et Tablier and you can find their products in stores across the province.

distingue chocolat et bière noir.jpgPierre Trudel - who's a retired food inspector - is co-owner with his daughter Maryline.

He spoke with Sonali Karnick from the  Drummondville industrial park where he makes his fruitcakes.

(Photo, left, le distingué with chocolate and stout beer; courtesy of Toque et tablier)


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Erin Balser: spooky Halloween reads

Halloween is just around the corner, and it's a holiday reserved mainly for the kids. But what about the adults among us in the mood for a scare? 
Erin Balser  from CBC Books tells Sonali about her favourite three spooky Halloween reads:

Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante.jpgCarrie by Stephen King.jpgThe Guardians by Andrew Pyper.jpg                                                                       

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C.S. Richardson: The Emperor of Paris

TheEmperorOfParis.jpgScott Richardson spent his career as a book designer. Then one day, instead of working on the design, he wrote his own novel.

That book was The End of the Alphabet and it won him a Commonwealth Writers' Prize.

Not bad for a first try.

Scott Richardson is still vice president and creative director at Random House Canada.

But he's now published his second novel, as C.S. Richardson.

It's called The Emperor of Paris.

Scott Richardson joins Sonali Karnick in studio to talk about his 'second act' and the new book. 

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Deepa Mehta: Midnight's Children

Midnight's Children poster.jpgSalman Rushdie's popular and controversial novel Midnight's Children is now on the big screen.

The movie is directed by Canadian filmmaker - and Genie-award winner -- Deepa Mehta.

Deepa Mehta is best known for her critically-acclaimed trilogy of films : Water, Earth and Fire.

Midnight's Children is set against the backdrop of the historic events surrounding the partition of India and Pakistan.

The fictional main character Saleem Sinai is born at the exact moment that India becomes an independent nation, between midnight and 1:00am.

Saleem and other children born at the same hour discover they have special powers. And if you want to find out what they do with them, you'll have to check out Midnight's Children!

 The movie will be in theatres on November 2nd.

 Director Deepa Metha joins Sonali Karnick on the phone from Toronto.

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Tourism Quebec: Halloween activities

Pumpkin patch.jpgMicheline Lachance from Tourism Quebec suggests we head out to the nearest u-pick pumpkin patch this pre-Halloween weekend:

1) Labonté de la pomme - Verger & Miellerie (Oka, Laurentides)
    Season ends around October 31st

2) Le Verger du Flanc Nord (Mont St-Hilaire, Montérégie)
    Season ends around October 31st

3) Ferme Bédard et Blouin (Beauport, Quebec region)
    Season ends around October 31st

For further details or information for your region, go to: . Or call toll-free during the weekend: 1 877-Bonjour (1-877-266-5687).


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Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

North America's first aboriginal saint was canonized  today in Rome.  St. Kateri Tekakwitha, known as the Lily of the Mohawks, was the daughter of a Mohawk father and Algonquin mother.

Anne-Marie Phillips-Boyer was in Rome for the ceremony and spoke with Sonali Karnick about how emotional it was for her to witness the event.

The Mohawk community in Kanawake also held a special celebration for St.Kateri.  We spoke with one of the organizers of the event, Joe Delaronde. 
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Alix Ohlin's "Inside"

Inside.jpgAuthor Alix Ohlin lives and works in Pennsylvania, but she grew up in Montreal. And her latest novel, Inside, is very much linked to her hometown - it even features a snowglobe on the cover!

But the story moves around too: Montreal, New York, Iqualuit, Los Angeles, and Rwanda, almost all places that Alix Ohlin has travelled to. They're all connected to four main characters, all linked to each other as therapists and patients. Their stories raise questions about our responsibility for others and for ourselves.

Inside has been shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller prize and for the Roger's Trust Fiction Prize.

Alix Ohlin joins Sonali Karnick to tell us about her own journey in writing the book.

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PONDER project: building brain muscle

Mountain top.jpgOur brains, as much as our bodies, need exercise.

And if you build brain muscle, you protect yourself from neurodegenerative diseases  - like Alzheimer's.

Jens Pruessner, the director of the McGill Centre for Studies in Aging, puts it like this: dementia is like climbing down a mountain -- it takes longer to reach the bottom if you start at 1,000 feet, than if you start at 100 feet.

To help us stay up on that mountain, the centre has launched the PONDER project with the Douglas Mental Health University Institute.  We get to play games online - free brain training! -  and they get to do more research.

Professor Pruessner joins Sonali Karnick in studio.

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Le Bal du dimanche: do the continental!

If you're in downtown Montreal on various Sunday afternoons this fall and winter,  take the opportunity to learn how to mambo...or samba....or do the continental.

These dance lessons take place in the at the Place des Arts, in L'Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme. You dance with the crowd - and a live orchestra. The event is called - le bal du dimanche.

Dance instructor Chantale Dauphinais joins Sonali Karnick in-studio to talk about this free activity for individuals, couples and families.

**Put these dates on your calendar for upcoming events: the continental (Oct 21, 2pm), mambo (Nov 18, 2pm), disco (Dec 9, 2pm), Brazilian samba (Feb 17, 2pm), and flamenco (Mar 24, 2pm).

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Mark Bérubé and the Patriotic Few

mark berube album.jpgMark Bérubé and his band have concerts coming up in venues ALL OVER the province...from New Richmond ... to Shawinigan... to Sherbrooke. And travel has played a big part in his life too.

So when he was in Quebec City recently, he sat down with the CBC's Rachelle Solomon -- and a big Canadian atlas.

Click here to hear the original item on CBC Radio's Breakaway in Quebec City.

Tourism Quebec: Sunday update

On the weekend that Kahnawake's Kateri Tekakwith is canonized in Rome, Micheline Lachance suggests a tour of Quebec's shrines:

1) St Joseph's Oratory of Mont Royal (Montreal)

2) Our Lady of the Cape shrine (Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Mauricie)

3) Ste-Anne-de-Beaupré (Quebec Region)

4) St Anthony's Hermitage of Lac Bouchette (Saguenay- Lac St-Jean)

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Hockey season opens for Montreal Stars

Wardo getting puck out.jpgLuckily, the Canadian Women's Hockey League isn't locked out and they're ready to start their season tonight against Boston.

It's a league that operates on a small budget but with some very big talent. The defending Clarkson Cup Champions, the Montreal Stars boast Olympic gold medallists, and national and world champions. On top of all of that, tickets for their games are slightly less expensive than going to the Bell Centre: admission is $10!

This morning, Montreal Stars players Catherine Ward and Haley Irwin got up early on game day to join Sonali Karnick in-studio. Catherine is from Montreal and played for Dawson College and McGill University. Haley Irwin is from Thunder Bay, Ontario.  Both are Olympic gold medallists from Canada's national team.

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Life of Pi: Yann Martel on the red carpet

Life of Pi movie poster.jpgThe story of a tiger, a boat and boy named Pi was an award-winning novel.

Now Yann Martel's Life of Pi is a movie in 3-D.

Academy-award winner Ang Lee directs what some thought to be an impossible story to bring to the screen.

The movie gets its Canadian debut at the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma in Montreal this afternoon at 3pm at the Scotiabank Theatre. (It opens in cinemas in November.)

Yann Martel, who actually wrote the original book in Montreal, joins Sonali Karnick on the phone from his home in Saskatoon.

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Tourism Quebec: Saturday update

Micheline Lachance from Tourism Quebec has these suggestions for your weekend:

1) Festival de jazz de Québec (Québec)
   Through October 28th

2) Secrets of the Maya, Musée canadian des civilisations (Gatineau, Outaouais)
    Through October 28th

3) Montréal, Ville d'histoire (Montreal)
    Through december 31st


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Durham County Poets: 100 years of experience

Durham 071.JPGThe Durham County Poets came together in a coffeehouse in Ormstown in the Chateauguay Valley.  That's where they also started writing songs in weekly sessions. This week, they launch their first album.  But as they point out, collectively, the five Poets have over 100 years of musical experience - in other bands. Sonali Karnick spoke with lead singer Kevin Harvey and Jim Preimel who plays percussion.

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Alphée des étoiles

alphee.jpgA new documentary by filmmaker Hugo Latulippe has just opened in Quebec cinemas. He is known for his political films questioning the status quo including Bacon, the film, and What Remains of Us. This time, the subject is more personal, more intimate.

 Alphée des étoiles is a love letter to his daughter. Alphée is a joyous little girl with straw-blonde hair but she also has a rare genetic disorder that affects her neurological and muscular development. When her parents were told she would not attend regular school or develop normally, they decided to take a year off to devote it to her.

Hugo Latulippe, his wife Laure Waridel, their son Colin and Alphée all moved to a small village in the Swiss alps, to an unoccupied house owned by a distant relative and made this film.

Hugo Latulippe, along with his wife Laure Waridel who is an environmentalist and social activist herself spoke with Sonali Karnick.

(*See also: Radio-Canada's related web-documentary about four Quebec families whose children live with rare diseases.)

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A clean family affair: Créations MJA

bath salt.jpgMarie-Johanne Gagné and her mother Alice didn't know what they were getting into when they started making and selling their own bath products. Now, three generations of the family help out in the production.

Creations MJA sources local ingredients for their bath bombs, bath fizzes and bath salts.  They also have other handmade products that are environmentally friendly.

Sonali Karnick met with Marie-Johanne and Alice at Townshipper's Day in Farnham this year and found out more about their family business. 


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Tourism Quebec: Sunday update

Micheline Lachance of Tourism Quebec takes a look at a series of museums that also have a crafting or retail element in Quebec called Economuseums.

Papeterie Saint-Gilles (Charlevoix, St-Joseph-de-la-Rive)

Jules Saint-Michel, Luthier (Montreal)

Les Artisans du vitrail (Québec City)

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The Cookbook Club launch

Sunday Brunch cookbook.jpgWe often talk with cookbook authors and restaurant owners and chefs on this show, since food's such an important part of weekends. Now, we'd like to invite some home cooks to join us on the show too.

We're calling this our Cookbook Club.

Each month, we'll send out a new cookbook to two people - anywhere in Quebec - so they can try some of the recipes at home. Then we'll call our reviewers up at home or invite them back to the studio to talk about what they thought of the cookbook, good or bad. 


Fast Flavours cookbook.jpgBack to Baking cookbook.jpgJonathan Cheung, the resident chef and owner of Westmount cookbook store Appetite for Books,  talked with host Sonali Karnick about the first three books our club members will try at home.


If you're interested in being a reviewer (and getting a free cookbook), drop us a line at Tell us which of the books you'd like to review and why.

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Take a virtual tour of the Cree Cultural Centre

Cree Cultural Institute interior.jpgThere's a new museum in Quebec - and you can visit it from anywhere in the province.

The Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute is a beautiful spruce-beam structure shaped like a traditional Cree longhouse tent.

It holds a collection of cultural artefacts from the James Bay Cree heritage, dating back to the 1700s.

And it's in Oujé Bougoumou in the James Bay region.

But we can all go to the museum because its website offers a virtual visit. You can walk the rooms, zoom in to see artefacts, read stories told by local Cree residents, and see films relating to the objects.

It's such a rich interactive website that it won an award this week from the International Council of Museums. And it was up against museums on the scale of the Louvre in Paris, as well as institutions in Germany, Portugal, Italy and Taiwan. No small feat.

We've got the executive director of the museum with us this morning - Stephen Inglis.

Before he got involved with the Cree Cultural Institute, he was the director general of research and collections at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa.

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Burma: Rivers of Flavor

Burma book.jpgRudyard Kipling once wrote: "This is Burma. It's quite unlike any place you know about."

Burma is still pretty mysterious for most of us, but interest is growing. The New York Times says its the new exotic travel location for 2012.  

Award-winning cookbook author Naomi Duguid has spent her career highlighting the flavours and traditions of Asia, from The Seductions of Rice to Beyond the Great Wall. 

In her latest cookbook, she sheds light on Burmese cooking. Burma: Rivers of Flavor has plenty of recipes,  as well her trademark beautiful photographs and stories about life in this country bordered by India, China, Laos and Thailand. Naomi spoke, in-studio with Sonali Karnick.

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Modern Flavours of Arabia

Modern flavours of Arabia.jpgSome new flavours to explore today for this week's food item....

Suzanne Husseini is the former host of one of the most popular cooking shows in Middle East - and one of the judges on Top Chef Middle East.

Her new cookbook - her first North American cookbook - is called Modern Flavors of Arabia.

It's a beautifully illustrated book featuring chapters on breakfast, lunch and dinner - along with snack plates called 'mezze'.

There are traditional Arabian foods with modern twists. And ingredients like saffron, cinnamon, pine nuts, pistachios, dates, oranges, and sesame.

You can practically taste it.

Suzanne Husseini emigrated with her family to Canada as a young girl. She now divides her time between Ottawa and Dubai. (*Click here for recipes she talked about today.) 

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Peter Kirby: The Dead of Winter a few weeks early

The Dead of Winter.jpgShady development deals, corruption and a police investigation. Sounds like the Charbonneau commission but it's actually part of the plot of Peter Kirby's new mystery novel, The Dead of Winter.  

The story is set in Montreal and Morin Heights and involves the case of a serial killer who is out to get Montreal's homeless. 

Author Peter Kirby is also a lawyer in his spare time, specialising in international law.

He joined Sonali Karnick in studio to talk about The Dead of Winter.

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(**Please note: Peter Kirby will launch his book at Paragraphe bookstore  in Montreal on Tuesday, October 16th from 6 to 8pm, and will be at Quebec City's crime and mystery literary festival on October 26th and 27th.)


Micheline Lachance from Tourism Quebec brings us these suggestions this weekend:

1) Festival du nouveau cinéma (Montreal)
    Through October 21rst

2) Festival de l'oie blanche de Montmagny (Chaudière-Appalaches)
    Through sunday

3) Festival de conte : Les jours sont contés (Sherbrooke, Eastern Townships)
    Through October 21rst

For further details on activities, making accomodation reservations or receiving brochures, you may visit the Tourism Quebec web site :
Or call toll free at 1 877-Bonjour (1-877-266-5687).

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Jonathan Goldstein turns 40

Goldstein book.jpgThe host of CBC Radio's Wiretap, Jonathan Goldstein was going through a bit of a crisis over turning 40. He didn't think his life was where it should be, in spite of the fact that he's got a radio show, written 3 books and contributes to This American Life and The New York Times Magazine. But he thought he should also have overflowing bookcases, carpets from foreign lands, and a wife and kids.

So he wrote a book about turning 40.

"I'll Seize the Day Tomorrow" is the story of his last year in his 30s and the day he crosses the line. Jonathan will be launching the book on Tuesday night at the Sala Rossa in Montreal but before that, he spoke with Sonali Karnick.
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Stress Part 6: understanding your stress

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Well Stressed by Sonia Lupien.jpgIn our six-part series on stress with Dr Sonia Lupien, we've talked about how we figure out what stresses us and what we can do about chronic stress. Today is our final installment.

Dr Sonia Lupien is the founder and director of the Centre for Studies on Human Stress in Montreal, which combines research with public outreach.  She's also a professor of psychiatry at the Université de Montreal.

Her latest book is called "Well Stressed: Manage Stress Before It Turns Toxic."


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Get your "jazz hands" out for Guys and Dolls

GuysAndDolls.jpgTime Magazine once called  Guys and Dolls 'the greatest of all American musicals."
It's now playing in a new production at the Segal Centre in Montreal.

It's the story of gamblers in 1940's New York and it's also a love story.  All the big gamblers have gathered for The Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game in New York.  Meanwhile, the Save a Soul mission is looking for sinners. One gambler bets another he can get the uptight girl from the mission, to go to Havana with him.

Diana Leblanc, the director of the Segal Centre production, is taking her own gamble.  Although she's a veteran theatre director from the Stratford Festival as well as the co-founder of Soulpepper Theatre in Toronto, this is her first musical.  Diana Leblanc spoke with Sonali Karnick about the show.
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Tourism Quebec: Sunday Update

Micheline Lachance of Tourism Quebec takes us though the province for cultural activities going on this Thanksgiving weekend.

Festival La Virée    (Carleton-sur-mer, Gaspésie)

Festival international de la poésie    (Trois-Rivières, Mauricie)

Symposium provincial des villages en couleurs    (Anse St-Jean, Lac St-Jean)


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Kaguyahime, the Moon Princess

Eva rehearsing.jpgKaguyahime: The Moon Princess opens the season at the Grands Ballets Canadiens. It's a 10th-century Japanese  folktale that has already inspired films, books and even a video game.

The story is about a princess whose beauty is so great that princes fight for her hand in marriage.  Princess Kaguya, however, isn't flattered by this kind of attention and chooses her own path.

The ballet was created by award-winning Czech choreographer Jiri Kylian, one of Les Grand ballets favourites.  The music is by Maki Ishii with traditional Japanese elements such as Kodo drummers and gagaku, which is a form of Japanese classical music.Sarah rehearsing.jpg 

Eva Kolarova and Sarah Kingston play Kaguyahime on alternating nights throughout the show's run this month.  Both Eva and Sarah dance in their first leading role.

They joined Sonali Karnick in-studio.

(Photo, above, Eva Kolarova; right, Sarah Kingston. Courtesy of JL Ratel) 

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Dance with Kylian : You may also be interested in the accompanying photo exhibition of the work of Kaguyahime's choreographer Jiri Kylian: "Danser avec Kylian" runs from October 9 to 29 at Place des Arts.

The Selector of Souls by Shauna Singh Baldwin

Selector of souls.jpgA Grandmother makes a difficult choice for her daughter, choosing to relieve her of the burden of another girl baby in the family, in the opening pages of Shauna Singh Baldwin's new book, The Selector of Souls.

The award-winning author deals with the 1990s controversy over sex selection in India, as well as religious and political tensions.

At the heart of the story are two women from two very different backgrounds.  One is a servant who returns to her family in turmoil.  The other has every financial advantage in the world but has to leave all of it behind, including her only child.

Back in Montreal where she was born, Shauna Singh Baldwin joins Sonali Karnick in studio.


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You can hear author Shauna Singh Baldwin reading from her latest novel, The Selector of Souls, here: Shauna Singh Baldwin reads from Selector of Souls

Ab Fab in Saguenay

sag LA FAB flood.JPGThe stage-show "La Fabuleuse Histoire d'un Royaume" has been performed for the past 25 years in Saguenay.

And in that time, more than one-million people have seen this massive production.

It tells the story of the region's history --- from 1603 until present time. And it does so with 200 volunteers on stage.

Three years ago, the show was translated and began performing in English. The CBC's Rachelle Solomon was in Saguenay recently and saw the show.
She joins Sonali Karnick from our Quebec City studio.


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Tourism Quebec: Saturday update

Here's Micheline Lachance's list for this weekend:

1) Check Tourism Quebec's fall foliage map to see where the leaves are the most colourful.

2) Festival de l'Oie des Neiges (Snow Geese festival) (Cap Tourmente, Québec)
   Through Monday

3) Le Festival de Blues de Joliette (Lanaudière)
    Through Sunday

4) Tournée des 20 (artist studio tour) (Brome Mississquoi area of the Eastern Townships)
     Through Sunday

For further details on activities, making accomodation reservations or receiving brochures you may visit Tourism Quebec's website: Or call toll free at 1 877-Bonjour (1-877-266-5687).

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