Every evening at dusk, when the river disappears to give way to the stars, Charlevoix plunges into 1000 years of its history with all the beauty and poetry that inhabit it. Through five luminous paintings projected in the environment of La Malbaie, Cité Mémoire Charlevoix composes an ode to its landscape of mountains and sea and to all the pioneers who forged its memory.
The public is invited to a fascinating journey through time and space in La Malbaie, on a new route that stretches from Pointe-au-Pic to the Casino de Charlevoix. Through various digital installations that are sometimes contemplative, sometimes interactive, spectators are lulled by stories and images inspired by the history of the region.
The show, created by Montréal en histoire, is added to various circuits which, through the Cité Mémoire application, allow you to discover 70 points of interest in Charlevoix.
Once again, the designer, Michel Lemieux, has teamed up with the playwright Michel Marc Bouchard to offer us this unique multimedia show, whose concept is similar to that of Cité Mémoire Montréal, but in a completely different setting, more raw and authentic.
“We’ve been imagining this circuit for two years, two years of trying to identify the historical places of anchorage that are the most interesting to showcase this heritage,” says historian and executive producer Martin Landry. The result is convincing. A cliff that borders the river was chosen as a screen to project images onto – including giant-format faces that are superimposed transparently on the rock face as if they had been painted on the elements. On the log drive, further on, visitors see the fish and logs pass under their feet like the old log drivers, in an interactive table in which one participates spontaneously.
“Our goal is to arouse curiosity and create wonder, because that’s what opens a door for the viewer and we can enter it to transmit the content and the poetry of the texts,” says Michel Lemieux.
The team has no more control over the weather and it was in the rain that it made its final adjustments the day before the premiere, on June 28. The technical director, Yvan Klein, slept only an hour, but has been working on the site for two months. “In Montreal, we generally project from existing buildings. Here, it was necessary to build masts, arches, integrate the equipment into the environment and ensure that it resists salty air and winds. Everything had to be rethought,” he notes.
It is with the humility imposed by nature and the splendours of the area that the craftsmen of Cité Mémoire Charlevoix approached this show, notes Michel Marc Bouchard, quoting Laure Conan, the country’s first French-speaking novelist and daughter of La Malbaie: “In great works, there are no small workers. »
Cité Mémoire Charlevoix features a cast of well-known actors and others from Charlevoix. Guylaine Tremblay provides the narration with her warm and endearing voice, identifiable among all, “a Charlevoix voice”, she says with pride, underlining the beauty of the texts.
Cité Mémoire Charlevoix creates dazzle and emotion. We will be moved by the painting of Ti-Louis the blind at the Forget’s which revisits an evening when the richest man in the region (Rodolphe Forget, played by Jean Harvey) invited the poorest, an itinerant storyteller named Louis Simard (Vincent Leclerc), to entertain his guests. The scene, based on a real and documented story, addresses resort society, poverty and the tradition of servants in Charlevoix.
Les Muses de Charlevoix is another particularly tasty tableau that brings together three exceptional women from La Malbaie: trade unionist Laure Gaudreault (Marie-Chantal Perron), feminist and politician Thérèse Casgrain (Marie-Thérèse Fortin) and Laure Conan (Marie-Ève Beaulieu). Although they are from different eras, Michel Marc Bouchard had fun bringing them together over a meal. “I wanted to honor them. These first outbursts of feminism particularly affect me, says the author. We pretend to believe that after this impact, people will want to know more about these characters. »
One thing is certain, it is with another look that we will observe the landscape and the region after this journey which takes shape this summer, but will be presented over four seasons for the next five years. To get the full experience, first download the Montréal en Histoires app (free, in French and English).
Glamping: enjoying nature in comfort, gear-free and hassle-free. Two new experiences are available to visitors to Charlevoix this summer.
Seduced by the chirping of birds and the smell of moss that mingles with the scents of conifers, the mind calms down in no time at the open-air domain (DACO). The site offers six pretty houses topped with large skylights, which allow you to observe the sky from your berth. Added to this concept are sites for motorhomes and five pitches with platforms and hammocks to pitch your tent.
“That’s what we like and there are very few in the area,” says one of DACO’s two founders, Mona-Lee Pinkos, as she leads us to our cabin. We will experience a “wild” campsite in a luxury version, which is nothing to displease us.
The Astral 2 welcomes us without it being necessary to bring anything other than bedding and food. Since no car traffic is possible on the site, it is on a trolley that we will transport the luggage to our home, without difficulty on flat ground.
Our home is warm with its wood cladding and color accents injected by a few pretty accessories. Despite a persistent rain that deprives us of stars, we see the clouds scroll by, while daydreaming in a large bed (queen) or a large suspended hammock. The space is small, but bathed in light. Everything is in a reduced format, from the kitchen to the bathroom where there is only an outhouse.
A miniature wood stove will heat the place in chilly weather, which is the complete opposite of what we need on a summer night when the temperature is close to that of a sauna. The owners have fortunately thought of remedying the situation by adding fans. No shower in these houses, which could convince us that the soap attracts mosquitoes, but we will want to cool down after seeing the toilet block, which is particularly cozy with its walk-in showers.
The site has interesting common areas, while preserving the privacy of its visitors with well-spaced grounds where neighbors are invisible. A large fire area allows people to gather and will be the meeting point for open-air film screenings. The owners also plan to welcome music groups there during occasional evening shows, the first of which is scheduled for August 26. The canine gent is not left out either with a dog park which includes a body of water and games.
“It’s really that community spirit that we want to infuse here. People have the choice to stay ‘at home’, but we encourage encounters,” says Mona-Lee Pinkos. A fun garage, the 123DACO, offers all the classic board games. The place is open to campers, but also to visitors – Fridays, weekends or by reservation during the week. You can nibble on the spot or bring your lunch. Above all, you can cool off while stirring the dice, a natural wine or a beer from the region in hand (sold on site).
In Saint-Siméon, the Village Viking Hóp offers exceptional glamping accommodation. Immersion, unusual, allows you to leap back 1000 years to experience the habits and customs of a fascinating people. Recently opened to the public, the site offers 12 rustic tents. Each houses beds, tables, stools and kitchen accessories and can accommodate 2 to 4 people (single tent) and up to 8 in double format.
All visitors have access to the common kitchen under a marquee where meals are prepared over a wood fire on a large Viking barbecue. We will not fail to stimulate his warrior fiber with an ax throw on the alleys provided for this purpose.
The site, located in the woods, will expand in the coming years. The construction of a village began this summer. It will eventually accommodate permanent or seasonal residents, a blacksmith, a market and all the conveniences offered in the past… without electricity or running water. Eventually, we plan to offer a Viking festival to tell the story of this people of navigators and their arrival in North America.
The region is particularly busy this summer with several new additions to its already generous offer
The Flight of the Mechanical Bird is, along with Cité Mémoire, one of the two new features that help make Charlevoix shine at night. The sound and light show allows you to fly over the landscapes of the Massif under the stars, aboard the resort’s chairlifts. On a multi-sensory route of nearly 6 km, which alternates between aerial walks and lantern walks, spectators are transported into a dreamlike luminous universe set to bewitching music and sound effects.
You can choose to start the course from the top of the mountain or from its base, where Club Med de Charlevoix is located. The establishment also offers the possibility of enjoying the facilities of the Village for a day or an evening, without staying there. You can also combine the experience with a three-course dinner at Camp Boule, the restaurant located at the top of the mountain.
Éclats is the new show not to be missed between August 10 and October 2, in La Malbaie. Created by the collective Les 7 Doigts de la main, this acrobatic cabaret with the air of a funfair is inspired by the stories and heritage of the region which it revisits in a kaleidoscopic journey in 12 scenes. This exhilarating journey through time takes place under the marquee of the Hôtel-Casino de Charlevoix. Éclats is presented as part of the Fééries de Charlevoix, which offers other activities for the whole family until September 4.
The first hydrogen passenger train in North America made its maiden voyage on June 17 in Baie-Saint-Paul. Quiet and emission-free, the Coradia iLint joins Charlevoix’s fleet of diesel trains and is on trial until September 30 only. Throughout the summer, it will liaise between Montmorency Falls and Hôtel Germain in Baie-Saint-Paul, from where you can walk to the center of the village.
This pilot project is an opportunity to test the development stages of this European technology in the field and to test out the American market. Twenty-seven similar trains are currently in circulation in Europe. “The energy world is watching us go. It gives us great visibility, says Frédéric Audet, sales manager for Train de Charlevoix. We deeply hope that he will stay and that we can one day offer green mobility in the region to the Hautes-Gorges and inland. »
Since the Charlevoix railway meanders on the winding bank of the river, the speed is limited to 50 km/h. It will take about two and a half hours to get to your destination, contemplating a landscape of great beauty, visible only by train. The trip includes a tasting of Charlevoix products. Different packages including accommodation are also available.
For $50, travel the gourmet routes of the region and Quebec in search of the flavors of the region and its producers, with the new Bon appétit gourmet passport. The offer, valid for one year, includes tastings, exclusives and discounts across the province, but Charlevoix is particularly represented with 17 producers, including vegetable and livestock farms, cheese factories, various vineyards, microbreweries and cider houses.
The Charlevoix region is home to several microbreweries where you will not fail to stop to quench your thirst and have a hearty meal. One of them is making its debut at L’Isle-aux-Coudres at the end of the summer. Founded by Cidrerie et Vergers Pedneault, which planted its first orchards in 1918 and began producing cider in 1999, the microbrasserie l’Étale will have a 150-seat restaurant space offering a bistro-style meal open over four seasons.
The region has been an inspiration for several artists, including Jean Paul Riopelle. Charlevoix honors him at the Musée d’art contemporain de Baie-Saint-Paul and at the Musée de Charlevoix, in La Malbaie, where many of his works are exhibited. The MC also has its permanent collection which highlights the historical and artistic heritage of the region.
Naval history buffs should take a detour to the Musée maritime de Charlevoix, in Saint-Joseph-de-la-Rive, which presents three new exhibits. Finally, to learn more about the meteorite that gave Charlevoix its silhouette and which is discussed in the Cité Mémoire and Éclats shows, first visit the Astroblème Observatory in La Malbaie. Book your guided tour and, at the same time, a place to observe the sky from the Astronomical Observatory, located in the neighboring building.