September 4, 2009
Saguenay inaugurates its new international cruise welcome pavilion
Saguenay, September 4th, 2009 - The mayor of the city of Saguenay and President of Promotion Saguenay, Mr. Jean Tremblay, carried out the inauguration of Saguenay's international cruise welcome pavilion in the presence of the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament for Jonquière-Alma; the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of State for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Member of Parliament for Roberval-Lac-Saint-Jean; Mr. Serge Simard, Minister for Natural Resources and Wildlife and Member for Dubuc; and the MS Eurodam's Captain Darin William Bowland.
"We now have the final result of several years of work and a project which required an investment of $33 750 000 by the provincial and federal governments, as well as by the city of Saguenay. Today we are proud to say "mission accomplished". With the pier and the welcome pavilion completed, we now have the necessary infrastructure to receive passengers from the four corners of the world and continue developing this new tourism market for the benefit of the entire region" declared the mayor.
As far as Minister Blackburn is concerned, Saguenay can now establish itself on the international scene: "I am convinced even now of the tremendous potential of this tourism product to attract visitors. We are already seeing convincing results. This year, 15 cruise ships and thousands of tourists from around the world will discover Saguenay. They will be able to enjoy our hospitality, our talents and our expertise. They will be enchanted by our beautiful region, and who knows, they might come back a second time!"
"In order to set in motion a sound process for sustainable economic development in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, the region has equipped itself with a modern port infrastructure that will allow it to receive cruise ships of large tonnage. In search of a diversification strategy to boost the regional economy, the local decision-makers have given priority to cruise tourism, which constitutes a strong industry for growth and jobs. Today, the inauguration of the international cruise welcome pavilion in Saguenay illustrates the amount of effort put forward by all the socio-economic players in order for this project to be possible. From the start, it was important that the Canadian government invest in this project which takes into consideration the unique features of the region", announced the Minister of State, Denis Lebel.
A whole programme of activities was planned out for this special inauguration day. To begin with, in the morning all the project contributors were invited to the official ceremony, during which commemorative plaques were given to dignitaries and the captain of the MS Eurodam ship. The ceremony was followed by a cocktail party and afternoon meal featuring local food products. After waving off the MS Eurodam at promptly 5pm, the public were then invited to visit the welcome pavilion and enjoy an evening variety show starring the Mystica group, the Ecce Mundo dancers, Jeanick Fournier, Annie Villeneuve and Québecissime. A pyro musical fireworks show topped off the evening's events.
The welcome pavilion, which has a unique style of its own, is made of wood, aluminium and stone. Concerned with respecting the environment and purchasing supplies locally, the pavilion was built for the price of 5 million dollars by the company Technipro Inc., who was the general contractor for the project, architect Alain Voyer and Cegertec, who ensured all the engineering. Inside you'll find a complete tourist information office, a location for twenty or so artists, craftspeople and shopkeepers, as well as a rest area overlooking the fjord. During the fall, the pavilion will be open from Friday to Sunday and on days when a ship calls.
Priscilla Nemey, Tourism and communication director
Saguenay inaugurates its new international cruise welcome pavilion [28 Kb]