On visit to Burlington, Vermont - Pierre Arcand pays tribute to Québec-Vermont relations at the Lake Champlain Quadricentennial

Burlington, Friday, July 10, 2009 – The Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand, unveiled the sculpture that the Government of Québec presented to Vermont on Québec Day, organized in conjunction with Lake Champlain's 400th anniversary celebrations. Vermont Governor James H. Douglas attended the ceremony alongside the Mayor of Burlington, Bob Kiss.

“This sculpture by the Montréal artist Jacek Jarnuszkiewicz is entitled 'Dialogue inaltérable' (Unfailing dialogue). It symbolizes the strength of the bonds uniting Québec and Vermont. The leaves and letters grafted onto its intertwined stems represent complementarity and dialogue,” said the Minister.

While in Burlington, Minister Arcand discussed common issues such as energy, transportation, the environment and the economy with Vermont Governor James H. Douglas.

Vermont is Québec's leading New England trade partner and is the second largest buyer of Québec-made products in the U.S. Beyond commercial trade, Québec and Vermont collaborate closely in a number of sectors, including energy and the environment. Joint efforts to promote clean renewable energy sources have been a prime focus for several years now.

During his Burlington visit, Minister Arcand will also have an opportunity to meet Québec artists participating in the Burlington International Waterfront Festival. Several performers, including singer Elisapie Isaac and the groups Les Charbonniers de l'Enfer, Les Cowboys fringants and Le Vent du Nord will be on stage for Québec Day.

Last year, Vermont took part in Québec City's 400th anniversary festivities and presented the city with one of three U.S. commemorative stones placed along the Samuel-De Champlain Promenade. Vermont also sent the famous Lois McClure schooner north for display in Québec City's harbour and facilitated participation by a Vermont music group in the New England Folk Festival at the Grande Place du 400e.

Photographs available upon request.

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