Quebecois don Stetsons for 400th anniversary promo

But marching in the Calgary Stampede parade was just one element of a spirited awareness campaign for Quebec City's upcoming blowout.

A contingent from Quebec City swapped their voyageur toques for cowboy hats to march in last Friday’s opening parade for the 95th Calgary Stampede. It wasn’t just because the two villes are twin cities (who knew?); it was part of the Société du 400e anniversaire de Québec’s comprehensive awareness campaign for next year’s quadricentennial celebrations.

Partnering with the City of Québec, the Québec Winter Carnival, Québec City Tourism, Pôle Chaudière-Appalaches and area businesses, the non-profit Société is showering the Stampede specifically, and Calgarians generally, with Quebecois spectacles, treats and ads. Cossette Communications’ Quebec City shop is handling both creative and media for the initiative.

Every residence in Calgary is receiving ads for the 400th anniversary in the Stampede’s official daily events schedule. The Société has a promotional stand at the Stampede entrance to invite visitors to mark the 2008 celebrations in their agendas and to choose Québec City as next year’s vacation destination.

As well, a promotional video is being shown each morning of the rodeo at pancake breakfasts in downtown Calgary. And thousands of invitations from Quebec’s iconic Bonhomme Carnaval were sent out for Snow Treat, a Stampede event at which 8,000 ice cream cups with maple syrup will be handed out. Various Quebec City-area businesses are staging related promotions. Decacer, a local maple syrup provider, brought 315 litres of syrup and 155 kilos of maple flakes to serve at the pancake breakfasts. And maple has been chosen as the featured syrup flavour at the Stampede’s signature restaurant, the Lazy S Lounge.

Additionally, explains Lucie Latulippe, senior director of national and international affairs at the Société du 400e, the Stampede promo ‘will allow us to continue discussions with the city of Calgary and the Stampede in order to include them in our program of activities next year.’