Québec’s very own Ariane Moffatt has been awarded the 2009 Rapsat-Lelièvre prize for her third album, Tous les sens, featuring a skilful and wide-ranging blend of musical styles and sounds. The singer/songwriter will officially receive her prize in July during the Spa Francofolies in eastern Belgium, at which she will also perform. The ceremony will mark the 25th anniversary of the Rapsat-Lelièvre prize, which honours francophone songwriters in Wallonia-Brussels and Québec.
Only a few weeks after the conclusion of the fifth Summit of the Americas, key inter-American cooperation issues are back in the spotlight at the sixth International Summer School on the Americas, which will be held at Laval University from May 10-16. Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, spoke at the opening ceremony of the summer school, which is organized by the Inter-American Studies Center (ISC) in affiliation with the Institut québécois des hautes études internationales (HEI).
At the end of work meetings held in Montréal and Québec City on May 4 and 5, 2009, Michèle Sabban, President of the Assembly of European Regions (AER), and Alfred Pilon, President, CEO and Secretary General of Les Offices jeunesse internationaux du Québec (LOJIQ), confirmed their commitment to forging direct, formal relations between the AER and LOJIQ conducive to the establishment of agreements favouring the sharing of expertise and joint participation in youth programs, including Eurodyssey and the Youth Summer School, and activities to promote sustainable development and youth citizen involvement.
On May 8, Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, took part in the signing ceremony for an agreement between Montréal International and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), under which WADA will keep its secretariat in Montréal until 2021. The document was signed on the WADA premises by John Fahey, WADA President, David Howman, WADA Director General, and André Gamache, President and CEO of Montréal International.
Strengthening economic ties between Québec and Japan topped the agenda at the meeting between Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, and Hiroaki Isobe, Japan’s new Consul General in Montréal, on April 30 in Québec City. During his first official visit to the capital, Mr. Isobe also met with Premier Jean Charest and several members of his government, as well as with other Québec political figures.
At the European Union–Canada Summit today in Prague, European Council President Mirek Topolanek, EU High Representative Javier Solana, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the start of free-trade negotiations leading up to an economic partnership agreement between Canada and the European Union.
On April 30, David Fetter, US Consul General in Québec City, unveiled a plaque commemorating the 175th anniversary of the US’s consular presence in Québec at a ceremony attended by Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie.
Exhibitors from around the world were in Brussels from April 28 to 30 to take part in the international European Seafood Exposition. The trade fair provides a unique opportunity to arrange for the export of Québec products and form business partnerships in Europe. It is also an ideal venue for comparing products and suppliers, learning about emerging trends and tasting new products before they reach the consumer market. Over 1,500 exhibitors from 87 countries participated.
Brussels, March 4, 2009 — SNC-Lavalin1 is pleased to announce that Belgium-based BV2, a key pharmaceutical and biotechnology engineering firm in the Benelux countries, is joining forces with SNC-Lavalin in Europe.2 With a workforce of 63 employees, BV2 is headquartered in Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-Waver near Mechelen (north of Brussels).
A group of Australian parliamentarians headed by the President of the Federal Senate of Australia, John Joseph Hogg, made a visit to Québec City on April 20. Meetings held with representatives of the Québec government during the visit enabled Québec to promote its advantages as a partner of interest when it comes to fighting forest fires, developing the mining sector and administering Aboriginal affairs.
On April 27, the European Union member states and the European Commission gave the green light to pursuing trade liberalization with Canada. Over the past two years, Québec has paid a key role in promoting a new-generation economic partnership agreement, which is expected to benefit all Canadian provinces and all EU member states.
French and Québec authorities finalized 14 mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs) in Paris on April 27. The MRAs were signed during the first meeting of the bilateral committee responsible for implementing an agreement between France and Québec on recognition of professional qualifications, co-chaired by Pierre Arcand, Québec’s Minister of International Affairs and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, and Alain Joyandet, France’s Secretary of State for Cooperation and La Francophonie.
During his recent visit to Montréal for a series of concerts at Place des Arts, French singer Charles Aznavour was made an Officer of the National Order of Québec. His award was presented by Premier Jean Charest on April 25.