Posted in Olympics
Maison du Quebec, C’est bien
I have made the trip out to Quebec house two times, with each time providing a unique experience.
The giant cube-like structure that lights up blue at night certainly stands out, even amidst other stand out venues in the immediate vicinity. The inside however is quite plain and subtle with the giant white walls opening up at the ceiling, a stage/seating area, and a back bar/cafeteria/tourism desk. The fact that the ceiling is completely open air was quite shocking considering we are in a city that has been known to produce a bit of moisture for several consecutive days or weeks. It appears the courageousness of the Quebecois paid off in this instance as the weather has been uncharacteristically dry, making an open air concept a success.
The first time I went to Quebec house was the mid afternoon. There wasn’t much going on at first other than people drinking $10 beers, which although overpriced was (supposedly) very good, coming from a great Quebec microbrewery. After a while an acoustic guitar duo from northern Quebec came on and played a very somber, but interesting set which provided some insight into life in this relatively barren region of the province. Sitting down at table, I decided to partake in a Quebec tradition and have some poutine. My mistake was not asking the price until the food arrived. I was shocked to find out that it cost $12.00 for a small plate of cold poutine. This was the greatest case of Olympic robbery that I have experienced so far and I do not recommend anyone make the same mistake.
The second time that I went to le maison du Quebec it was approximately 10pm, and the venue took on a completely different feel. After a very cool French band finished up an upbeat session, an amazing contortionist that hung from ropes over the stage and wowed the crowd. This was then followed by a duo of acrobatic gentlemen who performed gravity-defying stunts within the context of a play. Both of these performances were very different than anything I’ve ever seen and a great display of French culture. I was extremely impressed.
The lack of corporate branding and advertisements was very surprising. The only corporate messaging I saw was at one of the beer stands (advertising the microbrewery). Tucked away in the back there was a booth set up which highlighted tourism in Quebec. The staff at this desk were very friendly and helpful; the problem is that it is easy to miss as it is not in a strategically sound spot that ensures visitors pass through it.
All in all I would rate my time at the Quebec house as tres bien. Experience a small slice of Canada’s richest cultural province, just stay away from the $12.00 poutine!