Celebrated as an olde worlde outpost of France, this city is far more modern than it seems at first glance, says Sarah Barrell.
A breaching whale is not an uncommon sight in coastal Canada. But this one blows spume high above the city of Quebec, so there is a collective intake of breath from the thousands of spectators gathered along the waterfront.
This is no wildlife display. We are in the heart of the city and the whale is the animated creation of Quebec’s renaissance man, Robert Lepage. One of the most anticipated highlights of the city’s current 400th birthday celebrations, Lepage’s The Image Mill is a 40-minute movie-cum-sound-and-light show (plus smoke and water), which uses the port’s grain silos as a 600m- long, 30m-high screen.