New France is celebrated in Old Quebec
Published Thursday, August 10, 2017 8:15PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 11, 2017 8:55AM EDT
Walking through Old Quebec is always a bit of a trip back in time but the New France Festival takes it to another level.
This festival has been an annual tradition for two decades.
"We've been doing this since 1996, and it's been a festival to represent our heritage and where we're from," said Benoit Bernier.
The festival uses people in period costumes, playing music and eating foods from the era to give people a window into life in the 16th and 17th century.
General Manager Melanie Raymond said part of the fun is introducing people to old-time games while also throwning in a few made up just for fun.
"There's one which is the chicken throwing. It's not real chicken - these are plastic chickens. You have two teams, there's a wall so you have one member of each team on each side. One is throwing the chicken and one is trying to catch them," said Raymond.
However one Quebec City historian said the events presented at the festival are so far from reality that she started her own event.
Catherine Ferland, PhD in history, said the fun and games have nothing to do with being a settler in New France.
"There is nothing here from New France. There is no historical coherence," said Ferland.
"I have found, personally, that the festival has become diluted. A few years ago there was historical rigour that was very present, it was well done, but over time, they've moved away from that."
Ferland decided to organize a series of her own conferences with fellow historians at different venues in the St-Roch and St-Sauveur neighbourhoods.
Organizers say Ferland's conferences actually complement their own activities and they're just trying to make history accessible to everyone.
"That's the aim. We have to be open and democratize the event and the history," said Bernier.
This year is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Marie Rollet and Louis Hebert in Quebec City as the first permanent colonists from France.
The festival continues until Sunday.