Schooner sets sail for Canadian visit

BURLINGTON The Lake Champlain Maritime Museums replica 19th-century schooner Lois McClure set sail from Burlington June 17 on her momentous voyage to Quebec City; she will serve as the regions good will ambassador for Quebecs Quadricentennial celebration in July. The Champlain Quadricentennial Commissions for both Vermont and New York were on hand to give the schooner a send off on her two-month journey heading north, past French forts along the Richelieu River, to the St. Lawrence River and Quebec. Lois McClure will be visiting key Quebec ports of call, with major events planned in Quebec City June 30-July 6. This time-traveling journey permits us to articulate the long and rich history we share with Quebec and the Hudson along our regional waterways, said Art Cohn of the museum. Our trip to Quebec will help commemorate Samuel de Champlains founding of Quebec City in 2008. In 2009, we will be back to celebrate his brief but profound visit to the Lake that now bears his name. Cohn joined others at Perkins Pier to mark the beginning of the journey. At the ceremony, Cohn received a crate of goods from the basin program and the Vermont and New York Quadricentennial Commissions to bring to Quebec City as a symbol of the shared history and connection through commerce. The crate, made by Randall Ouellette of Vergennes, contains goods from both sides of the lake including apples, cheese and maple syrup. Government officials from Quebec invited the Lois McClure to be part of the citys celebration, and will host the vessel at a new central harbor venue built especially for the celebration. While docked in Quebec City, the schooner will serve as the ceremonial vessel for dignitaries and officials, including members of the Quadricentennial Commissions from Vermont, New York and Quebec during special events. More than 50 events have already been approved for the 2009 Quadricentennial celebration in Vermont.

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