Blais to champion “Ottawa Destination Plan” in 2013

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Stephen Blais Champlain

Commemorating Champlain’s 400th Anniversary Voyage to Ottawa

Councillor Blais to champion a plan to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s voyage to Ottawa in 1613. Champlain is an important historical figure, considered to be the Father of New France.

“As residents of the nation’s capital, we are immensely proud of Samuel de Champlain’s contribution to our national and local history,” says Councillor Blais. “By recognizing and celebrating Champlain’s historic voyage, this will have significant educational, tourism and economic potential for Ottawa.”

Samuel de Champlain ventured west from Quebec City in the summer of 1613 to discover a great western sea. Champlain was the first explorer to describe and document what would become Bytown, aided in his discovery by Algonquin guides that inhabited the area.

Blais’ initiative is praised by Jean-François Lozier, Curator of Canadian History Before 1800 at the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

“Among the historical figures from the early days of Canadian history, Samuel de Champlain was one an experienced navigator, a gifted cartographer and an ambitious builder”, says Lozier. “The memory of his voyage along the Ottawa River in 1613, at the end of which he left us the first descriptions of what would later become the National Capital Region, is worthy of being perpetuated and celebrated”.

Blais will bring forward a motion to Council, seconded by Mayor Watson, for the City to develop a plan to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s voyage to Ottawa in 1613.

The motion will be tabled at the Council meeting of December 14th for consideration in January 2012. A report is expected in March which will outline potential celebratory, educational and tourism campaigns/initiatives and partners as well as associated timelines and costs.