Message from the Governor General, Ms. Michaëlle Jean
I am delighted to welcome everyone to the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) General Assembly and International Scientific Symposium.
I am certain you will agree that the City of Québec, resplendent as it celebrates its 400th anniversary this year, is an excellent choice to host this assembly! Architecturally, it is a splendid example, reminiscent of the charms of the Old World and profoundly influenced and shaped by its natural beauty, climate, historic events and the spirit of its inhabitants.
Canada abounds in magnificent monuments, buildings and places that symbolize or identify its cultural heritage, rich traditions and colourful history. It is therefore vital that we preserve and promote this heritage, that we convey its essence to our children and proudly share it with the rest of the world.
ICOMOS understands, as I do, how crucial it is that we conserve and hand down this collective memory. ICOMOS’ task and mission are incredibly exciting, and I applaud the passion of its members, their tireless efforts and the admirable work they are doing.
I hope that this assembly will prove most successful and that every participant will have the opportunity to discover and enjoy the history, vitality and beauty of the City of Québec and the warm hospitality of its citizens.
The Governor General
Message from the Canada's Environment Minister, M. John Baird, P.C., M.P.
As Canada’s Environment Minister, it is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the 16th General Assembly and International Scientific Symposium of the International Council on Monuments and Sites, which takes place from September 29 to October 4, 2008 in Québec City, Canada.
The World Heritage Convention is one of the most widely recognized and effective conservation instruments today, mobilizing a global movement for the protection of the shared heritage of humanity.
Our Government, through Parks Canada, contributes to the international heritage movement through its leadership role, participation and support. Over the last year, we have taken real action to protect and preserve many of Canada’s natural treasures from coast to coast to coast. This includes a massive expansion of the Nahanni National Park Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as the creation of new National Wildlife Areas in our north, the creation of the world’s largest freshwater marine conservation area in Lake Superior, and many others.
The conservation of our World Heritage Sites is a shared responsibility and Canada is grateful for the invaluable contribution that ICOMOS Canada has made over the years in establishing conservation standards and principles, and monitoring the state of World Heritage Sites in this country.
In conclusion, I warmly welcome all of the delegates to Canada for this important conference. I wish you the best during the 16th General Assembly and hope that will be a productive forum for dialogue and exchange from around the world.
John Baird, P.C., M.P.
Canada’s Environment Minister
Message from the Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women, Ms. Christine St-Pierre
Québec City’s rich heritage takes on even greater significance this year as the city celebrates the 400th anniversary of its founding. As the birthplace of a distinct culture as well as the fountainhead of exploration for a vast portion of the North American continent, the city possesses its own particular character, which has shaped its history and is reflected in its architecture, its artistic expression and the way it envisions its development.
In this year of festivities, our national capital is proud to be host to the ICOMOS General Assembly and International Scientific Symposium. I firmly believe that these meetings will give rise to valuable exchanges on the protection and development of movable and immovable heritage, which constitute the vast richness of civilization.
I would like to wish all guests a wonderful stay in our city and hope you make interesting discoveries while wandering the hospitable streets of the cradle of Québec culture.
Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women
Message from the president of ICOMOS, Mr. Michael Petzet
President of ICOMOS it is an honour and pleasure to heartily invite you to the
16th General Assembly of ICOMOS to be held in Quebec City from the 29th
September until the 4th October 2008. This third General Assembly in the
Americas is a chance for our members to become acquainted with the outstanding
cultural and natural treasures of Canada and in particular with Quebec which
was inscribed in the World Heritage List in 1985. This ancient capital of the
French colonies in North America, founded in 1608, will be celebrating its
400th anniversary with us.
Canada and its President Michel Bonnette are working hard to ensure that the
Assembly will be, I am convinced, an unforgettable event and are looking
forward to presenting the Canadian genius loci in an exemplary way. The theme of the
Scientific Symposium, “Finding the Spirit of Place : Between the Intangible and
the Tangible” is very relevant for an international organisation such as ours
who is concerned with the conservation and protection of monuments and sites:
the genius loci of monuments and sites is intimately connected to the spirit and message of a
place and can enhance all our activities in conservation.
Organizing Committee is putting together a very attractive programme and I am
convinced the 16th General Assembly will be a great success.
Welcome to Quebec, welcome home
Quebec is one of the beloved old cities that we recognize as belonging to us all. World heritage cities, they serve as vessels of universal memory. Each one tells, in its own way, a part of the history of the world. In 2008, Quebec City will take center stage and will fill you with the kind of delight and awe that overwhelm us when we wander the winding streets of Florence, Riga, Lima, Istanbul, Luang Prabang, Ouro Preto, Polonnaruwa and so many other mythical cities inscribed on UNESCO's list.
You are invited to the party: Quebec City will be 400 years old. Four centuries of creating a new world, of building our heritage and forging our identity. For some people, that won't seem so very long, but that's okay. For Canadians and Quebeckers, it's a history packed with purpose, courage and determination, deeply rooted in the vast and wild open spaces of the country. That's why we form an extensive network of people passionate about culture and heritage.
The heritage fabric of this country is made up of various fibres which give the land its rich and vibrant colours: Amerindian origins, French and British influences, natural landscapes, a strong religious presence (Catholic in particular), local culinary specialties, skilled trades and industries, wildly varied flora and fauna, maritime and Nordic elements, immense territories. This amazing diversity is part of our collective identity; it served as inspiration in establishing the theme of the ICOMOS 16th General Assembly and Scientific Symposium in 2008: Finding the Spirit of the Place.
Here's an invitation to reflect on what makes a place significant, on what gives it a soul, and sometimes a heart, on the states of mind and of consciousness that emanate from the monuments and sites on which we operate in our various professions and which give a distinctive contour to a culture's population. It will also be an occasion to look ahead and to ask about the future of our heritage and how to preserve it in these times of great change.
Now is the time to contribute your insight and experience to help advance this thought process. We hope to see all of you in Quebec City in 2008. Come celebrate a big birthday with us. Welcome to our city, welcome to yours.
President of the Organizing Committee
Quebec ICOMOS 2008
Message from the the Huron-Wendat Nation, Mr. Max « One-Onti » Gros-Louis, Great Chief
In the name of the Huron-Wendat Nation, member of the great family of the First Nations of Quebec and Canada, I want to welcome to our ancient lands the members of the International Council on Monuments and Sites and wish them a pleasant stay in Quebec City during the beautiful fall foliage season.
Many of our men and women, both the young and old alike, will most certainly already be in the woods as it is our tradition, every year at the beginning of October, to honor the Spirit of our forests by hunting the game that inhabits them. We will nevertheless be there to greet our ICOMOS friends from Canada and abroad who have come to Quebec City to participate in the Conference and will welcome them to our new hotel and museum where we proudly exhibit our culture, our history and our traditions.
As host Nation of the City of Quebec’s anniversary festivities, we join with its citizens in celebrating the cohabitation of a territory which has defined the boundaries of a friendship that now goes back 400 years old. Thus, it will be in a highly festive ambiance that we will meet each other during your stay at the beginning of the fall.
Kind regards to all,
Max « Oné-Onti » Gros-Louis
Dear colleagues and friends of ICOMOS,
On behalf of my ICOMOS Canada colleagues, I am delighted to welcome you to the ICOMOS 16th General Assembly and International Scientific Symposium that will be held in Québec City from 29 September to 4 October 2008.
It will be an exciting event that will take place under the high patronage of Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada. The Symposium’s theme “Finding the Spirit of Place” has already raised much interest. More than twenty Scientific International Committees have confirmed that they will meet in Quebec City. The General Assembly will elect a new President as well as the members of the Executive Committee. The International Forum of Young Researchers and Professionals in Cultural Heritage will be a great opportunity for youth to share experiences and discover ICOMOS. Special events and receptions will introduce you to our Canadian culture including its aboriginal people and customs, and post-congress study tours will offer you a unique opportunity to discover a part of our vast and multi-faceted country.
Quebec City, a jewel of UNESCO’s World Heritage List, is a picturesque and welcoming city that is happy to celebrate its 400th anniversary in your company.
The Organizing Committee team as well as my ICOMOS Canada colleagues await the pleasure to welcome you warmly.
President, ICOMOS Canada