1997 is the year the whole world will be dropping in to help Newfoundland and Labrador celebrate their 500th anniversary. The famous mariner, John Cabot, on a voyage from Bristol, England, landed on an uncharted coastline called "New Founde Lande". Now, 500 years later, the people of Newfoundland and Labrador plan to host dozens of spectacular events to show the world their boundless enthusiasm and excitement for a very special land. For a complete listing of all festivals and events, you are invited to call for a free 1997 500th Anniversary Travel Guide at 1-800-563-NFLD
On June 24, 1997, 500 years to the day that John Cabot landed in "New Founde Lande", an exact replica of his vessel, the Matthew, will make landing at Bonavista. With full sails billowing and a vast flottila of escorting vessels, the Matthew will be greeted by the provincial premier, the Honourable Brian Tobin, and many world leaders including Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. The Matthew will then begin a 46 day sailing adventure around Newfoundland and Labrador. 17 ports will be visited with a grand festival planned for every stop!
John Cabot's arrival at Bonavista marked a beginning of European settlement in North America. To review the effects of this historic event, the Newfoundland Historical Society, in collaboration with other leading historical and cultural groups, are hosting a world symposium focused on Cabot's voyages. This includes the North Atlantic world of the 15th and 16th centuries and of course, the lasting impact of Cabot's landfall. Native leaders will offer their perspectives and the public is invited to take in this thought provoking, controversial and informative event.
This period will feature a choral festival of song featuring choirs from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Czech Republic, England, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, and the United States. World class choirs will gather in St. John's, Corner Brook and Labrador, singing not only in the great cathedrals, but under the sun as well. This choral festival will be capped by a gala performance featuring a 400 voice children's choir and a 400 voice adult choir supported by an orchestra of over 100 members. Special guests will be England's The King's Singers, one of the most sought after vocal ensembles in the world, and Canada's internationally renowned The Iseler Singers.
The Summit of the Sea is a major environmental initiative of these 500th Anniversary celebrations. More than 3,000 policy makers and shapers from around the world will meet in St. John's to discuss our dependence on the ocean, the lessons we have learned and also failed to learn, and new approaches to developing a truly sustainable relationship between people and the sea. Public lectures by leading thinkers on ocean issues, the world premiere of composer Jim Duff's Newfoundland folk suite, a gala screening of "People of the Sea", and an international youth event are just part of the activities that will surround the Summit of the Sea.
You are invited to join a series of sports and cultural events in Labrador spanning two exciting weeks. The Labrador 400 International Sled Dog Race, nordic skiing, alpine skiing, cross-country skiing in the Wapuskatto Mountains, drama, arts and crafts, and the Labrador 1997 Winter Games are some of the events. This Northern Lights Festival should be a must for any recreational and competitive winter sports enthusiast and for anyone who yearns to see new places, find new adventures, or just see the Aurora Borealis in all its natural splendor!
A calendar of 78 unique events, created especially for the 500th Anniversary celebrations, will keep you entertained throughout the year! Coordinated by the Newfoundland & Labrador Arts Council, the 1997 Year of the Arts will be a Canadian first. You can join over 1,300 artists, dancers, writers, sculptors, musicians, painters, poets, and singers in a dynamic celebration of the province's arts!
For a vacation to remember, a free 240 page 500th Anniversary Travel Guide will help you to dicover hundreds of festivals and special events in Newfoundland & Labrador. Call toll free 1-800-563-NFLD.
Your comments are welcome at "dhaaheim at telus dot net"Http://www.tourcanada.com -- Revised: January 3, 1997