French-Canadian soldiers: back in service

Maxime Auclair
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Actors are seen here during rehearsals.

On September 1, Maison Lepailleur will host the instructional and enjoyable theatrical production called “Enrôlez-vous” (get enlisted), an initiative of the Québec-Labrador foundation. The troop will break the ice in Châteauguay by staging three free representations at 10:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:00 pm. It will then continue to do a small tour in the Monteregie region, specifically in La Prairie, Chambly, Lacolle, Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu and Napierville in line with the bicentenary of the 1812 war.

Thanks to funding from Canadian Heritage, the Québec-Labrador Foundation managed to ask Réal Fortin to write the stage play; Fortin is a historian living in the region who has already written several works. The stage production will be carried out by Jean-Alexandre Côté, co-founder and artistic co-director of Chambly’s Café-Théâtre who has some 20 years’ experience under his belt in this particular endeavour. The roles of the historical characters will be played by dynamic and talented young actors: Patrick David Campbell, Christian Cardinal, Valérie Gagnon-Laniel and Vincent Michaux-St-Louis.

Brief historical background

It has been two hundred years since the war between the British and Americans, a conflict that lasted almost three years until the signing of the peace treaty. The French Canadians and the Indians therefore intervened in the American invasion, the goal of which was to try to seize Lower Canada. Their efforts, however, were in vain.

Some historians say that the British had stolen a safe containing the salaries of enemy soldiers. François Guillet, heritage project coordinator for the Québec-Labrador foundation, promised that the veil will be lifted on this mythical legend. Blending comedy, drama and action, the play will captivate the young and not so young, and will enlist their collaboration during the show’s interactive portions, said Mr. Guillet. The public will also have the chance to get to know the Voltigeurs regiment and to listen to the narration of battles that took place in Châteauguay, Lacolle and Plattsburgh.

The Foundation…in a few words

The Québec-Labrador foundation is a non-profit organisation whose mission is, on one hand, to promote culture and heritage, and on the other hand, to protect the environment by collaborating with rural communities in Quebec, Newfoundland, Labrador, and the New England states. To finish off festivities related to 1812, the foundation will erect two commemorative plaques in St. Luc and on the St. John fort to inform residents about this stunning segment of our history.

Organisations: The Québec-Labrador foundation, Maison Lepailleur will host, Canadian Heritage

Lieux géographiques: Châteauguay, Lacolle, Chambly Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu Quebec New England

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