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SECTION II – Analysis of Program Activities

Strategic Outcome:

Prestigious, accessible, safe and educational historic and urban sites.

The role of the NBC is to make the great historical battlefields in Quebec City a national park numbered among the most prestigious parks in the world where the use of historic park in an urban setting is balanced and safe and where the awareness of the assets of the area, as well as its history and the history of the country, is assured.

Program Activities:

2.1 Conservation

As part of this activity, the NBC preserves the legacy and integrity of the Battlefields Park for future generations by maintaining infrastructure, the horticultural landscape and a protected site for Canadian and foreign users and visitors.

This activity allows the NBC to offer one of the most prestigious parks in the world and the opportunity to safely enjoy and use a historic park in an urban setting.


The NBC has an obligation to uphold the development plan drawn up for the Park in the early 20th century by Canada’s first landscape architect, Frederick G Todd, at a time when the world’s great urban parks were being created. It is charged with preserving natural areas, carrying out development in some spots to address 21st century needs, and restoring some sections of the Park to maintain their aesthetic appeal. Ongoing horticultural and arboricultural work must be kept up to protect the vegetation cover and conserve the countryside character and its reputation as a heritage jewel.

All these actions help maintain the quality and preserve the standing of the Park and provide Canadians with one of the most prestigious parks in the world.

One challenge facing the NBC is maintaining the balance between the historical and urban vocations of the Park, its role in interpreting history and its use for popular public activities. It also has to maintain the Park’s tranquil ambience while making it a dynamic space accessible to the public.

Financial Resources (in thousands of dollars)

Planned Spending

Total Authorities

Actual Spending




Human Resources




19 FTEs

19 FTEs

0 FTEs

Expected Results:

The NBC planned to maintain easy access to the site and the site’s cleanliness and aesthetics, making it a great place where people can enjoy themselves.

It also planned to proceed with the emergency restoration of its road infrastructure and certain facilities, such as fences and buildings.

Performance measurements and indicators:

Use of the site

Comments and answers to the survey

More than 4,000,000 visitors and users annually – estimated number of spectators at events in the park, participation in activities offered and interpretation activities and exhibitions.

No data available for fiscal 2006–2007. However, staff regularly receives positive comments on the quality of facilities and satisfaction with the work carried out.


Number of events held on the site

Number of accidents and incidents

Operations and supervision

232 applications for holding an activity in the park were received and processed. Major events include National Day, Canada Day, Quebec City Summer Festival and the Quebec City Carnival. Other events include, picnics, filmings, weddings, parades, cross-country skiing competitions, bike races, military demonstrations, and fundraising events. Of the applications received, some 60 activities were not held.

  • 160 accidents and incidents were reported to the park’s security service (eg, assistance for injured individuals, theft and vandalism).
  • External assistance was required 109 times (eg, Quebec City police department and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec).
  • 620 traffic violations
  • 1,229 parking violations
  • 4,336 interventions (eg, parking metre monitoring, damage, pedestrian prevention.)

Results achieved:

In order to meet these objectives and offer a prestigious and safe site, the NBC’s Green Space Services:

  • Installed a ramp for persons with reduced mobility in the Joan of Arc Garden.
  • Installed natural flagstone to facilitate access and beautify the eastern portion of the Joan of Arc Garden.
  • Ordered 20 benches (a new prestige model) for the Joan of Arc Garden for its new memorial gift program.
  • Repaired greenhouse hotbeds.
  • Redeveloped certain plant beds in the middle of the park and restored petanque pitches on the big field.
  • Restored a portion of the site where major events are held using sand-coloured stonedust.

As it does every year, the NBC held its Great Celebration of Nature event, which was a success thanks to the co-operation of Mother Nature, a greater number of partners (close to 30 exhibitors), lively entertainment and extensive promotion of the event. During the event, the new memorial gift program was launched. It is now possible to contribute to the park’s conservation mission by making a donation for a prestige model bench designed with the Plains in mind or for planting a tree. In 2006, a total of $12,000 was raised and will go to replacing benches and maintaining the park’s tree cover.

As planned, close to 50,000 plants were produced, shrubs were improved, trees were planted (201 in all) and the Info-Plant Terminal continued to be updated. Like last year, the NBC used all of the compost made from leaves and other residue collected in the park (approximately 95 v3).

Green Space Services staff consisted of eight seasonal or part-time horticulturists and one seasonal arboriculturist. It should be noted that the NBC was not responsible for maintaining the landscaping of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and the Canada Garden in 2006. The reorganization of tasks and improved production methods helped to better address needs for workers available during the season, thereby avoiding the need to hire students or trainees.

The NBC participated in the national Communities in Bloom contest for a second year, and received a perfect score of five blooms for its quality service and its heritage showcase.

The Tree Canada Foundation and the Mirage hardwood lumber company made a contribution of $1,000 to the NBC for the planting of trees on its site.

As the manager of one of Quebec’s largest urban forests, the NBC was a key partner in organizing the 7th Canadian Urban Forest Conference in Quebec City.

Like the other objectives of the "Conservation" program activity, Maintenance Services carried out a number of projects to improve the quality of facilities and ensure user safety, including:

  • The restoration of all Grey Terrace mortar joints in order to consolidate retaining wall stones.
  • Repairs to Park des Braves railing.
  • The consolidation of the granite wall along Champlain Boulevard protecting motorists.
  • Repairs to the roof of the public washroom facilities in the western portion of the park.
  • The manufacturing and installation of 200 metres of metal fence east of the Discovery Pavilion.
  • The creation of a 3.5-km snowshoeing trail.
  • The development of a master plan for walking and cross-country trail marking/signage.
  • The implementation of 90% of the computerized equipment management planning system.

Maintenance Services comprised 19 workers, including 6 permanent and 13 seasonal employees. It is subdivided into five complementary business lines for maintaining the park: carpentry, painting, welding and machinery, masonry and housekeeping.

Thanks to the allocation of an additional $500,000 from a special health and safety budget, the NBC was able to do emergency roadwork, which addressed part of the road network and sewer system east of the park (George VI Avenue) and involved the paving of Gilmour Hill. It also cleaned up and stabilized the cliff.

Work done in fall 2006 caused inconveniences to visitors and users, as traffic had to be rerouted and roads were temporarily closed. However, all appropriate safety measures were reviewed and taken to prevent incidents or accidents in the park.

In winter, the NBC prepared plans and specifications in order to be able to undertake other infrastructure works in spring 2007, including roadwork (Wolfe roundabout, another part of George VI Avenue, part of Garneau Avenue), the restoration of Grey Terrace, the restoration of the site of major events and the expansion of 390 Bernières Avenue (to house public washroom facilities and offices), and repairs in various sectors of the park. The budget totalled $4,216,000.

The work period had to be reviewed to ensure that the work did not coincide with major events that will be held on the Plains in summer 2007, including National Day celebrations (more than 200,000 spectators) and Quebec City Summer Festival (close to 500,000 spectators). Furthermore, projects were selected according to activity priorities and schedules and anticipated use in 2008.

In order to ensure the site can be visited with complete peace of mind, the NBC’s security services patrol the Plains 24 hours a day by car, on foot, by snowmobile, on cross-country skis and snowshoes, ensuring ongoing surveillance in the park in winter and summer. Security services were able to rely on the assistance of Quebec City’s police department for serious incidents that occurred on the site, such as hit-and-runs, injured or missing persons and distress situations. It should be noted that in order to ensure the security of users and NBC assets during major events held on the site, such as National Day and Canada Day celebrations and Quebec City Summer Festival, the NBC hired additional workers.

In 2006–2007, the eight officers of the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires (indeterminate, part-time and on call) and one Security Services official had to intervene in the performance of their duties to issue traffic tickets in the park; 620 tickets were issued mainly for exceeding the speed limit. In order to better control traffic, the NBC acquired new speed detection equipment and increased traffic monitoring to enforce the speed limit in the park. Four security officers were given training on how to use the device and radar operations were conducted between June 2006 and March 2007. The result: 223 tickets were issued and 208 warnings were given.

The traffic plan also had to be revised in anticipation of work that will be carried out in the park in 2007 and events scheduled for 2008.


2.2 Development

The purpose of this activity is to showcase the history of the site and its cultural, recreational and natural treasures so as to emphasize its dual role as a historical and urban park. In support of this activity, the NBC carries out improvements, welcomes visitors, puts on exhibits and activities, provides public services, and disseminates information to users and visitors from both Canada and abroad.


As part of enhancing its grounds, the NBC needs to promote its history and become a reference in historic battles and the Conquest. It therefore needs to be dynamic and ensure the delivery of quality services and activities to raise awareness of the area’s assets, as well as its history and the history of the country.

To do so, it adopts the following means: exhibits, interpretation activities, guided tours, the presentation of shows, promotional activities and the dissemination of information through various media.

Financial Resources (in thousands of dollars)

Planned Spending


Actual Spending




Human Resources




22 FTEs

22 FTEs

0 FTEs

Expected Results:

The NBC planned to offer services, exhibitions and educational and cultural activities to visitors year-round. It wanted visitors to be well informed and well received.

It also planned to develop, thanks to new development projects, various attractions, such as terraces and monuments.

Specifically, the NBC hoped to improve dissemination methods and lay the groundwork for the festivities making the 100th anniversary of Canada’s first national historic park. Furthermore, with a view to commemorating the 250th anniversary of the historic battles of Quebec, the NBC intended to plan and draw up an events calendar and recruit partners interested in becoming involved in the commemorative events.

Performance measurements and indicators:

Number of activities offered

Comments from users

The number of activities offered, ie, close to 40 on-site teaching programs, in-class activities, daycare services and playgrounds; some 30 activities for the general public, such as War Councils, guided lantern tours, Halloween festivities and the Great Celebration of Nature. Tours of the Odyssey exhibition, the Louis S. St. Laurent Heritage House, Abraham’s Bus and Martello Tower. Web site:

Staff regularly receives positive comments on the quality of the activities and services offered. See Table 8 for satisfaction levels.


Attendance to activities and services

Revenue generated by activities and services

A total of 183,248 visitors took part in activities and services, including those mentioned above and shows at the Edwin-Bélanger Bandstand.

A total of $366,781 was generated by the above-mentioned activities and services, the souvenir shop and Internet station.

Results achieved:

To achieve these results, the NBC offered various client services, exhibitions and educational and cultural activities throughout the year. The number of visitors at the various attractions (eg, Discovery Pavilion, the Louis S. St. Laurent Heritage House and the Martello Towers) was up 24% (79,196 visitors1) from the previous year (64,001 visitors1). Interpretation activities included in-school programs and daycare and playground services were also more popular, with participation increasing by 6% from the previous year (54,0521 participants in 2006–2007, compared with 50,9901 participants in 2005–2006).

1 Statistics established based on attendance numbers and the number of reservations.

In 2006–2007, the NBC demonstrated innovation with respect to its Halloween activities, presenting a variety of activities throughout October. The Plains of Abraham site and the events that were held were considered to be among the top 10 places to celebrate Halloween, according to the French-language magazine L’Actualité. However, owing to chilly weather, only 2,000 or so2 people participated in the activities. Nevertheless, many people, who were not taken into account in the statistical survey, got to enjoy the decorations in the Joan of Arc Garden.

2 Statistics established based on admission or attendance estimates.

In order to better promote the fascinating history that makes our country unique and explain and demonstrate NBC know-how when it comes to historical interpretation through teaching and multimedia materials, the NBC gave training and interviews and held workshops and conferences for tourism students, high school teachers from various Canadian provinces and Quebec history teachers (elementary and secondary), thereby pursuing its goals to improve the dissemination of information by sharing its expertise with the target clientele.

Among the others means used to disseminate information, the NBC also issued press releases to the media announcing all of its regular and special activities and work being done in the park. The NBC’s Web site ( also provides increasingly comprehensive information, notably on the history of the park, the services and activities offered, and the NBC itself. Forms are now available on-line, including a volunteer registration form for the epic to be held in 2008. The number of visitors to the site totalled 281,3103 in 2006–2007, representing an average of 23,442 visitors per month.

In order to provide the most accurate information about its services and activities and improve information quality, the NBC made a few changes to the layout and promotional text in its educational program pamphlets.

Furthermore, in order to better disseminate history and provide information in a more dynamic manner, a few changes were made to some activities and a new activity related to the history of New France was developed.

During the reference period, Client Services had approximately 30 indeterminate, full-time and on-call employees to ensure management, the delivery of educational activities and reception services. The NBC also benefited from a YMCA assistance program, obtaining the services of an office trainee for nine months.

However, owing to the greater popularity of the activities offered, the increase in attendance and market conditions that made it increasingly difficult to recruit qualified staff, the NBC had to modify its hiring strategy for interpretation and reception staff. It implemented a permanent recruitment process, improved competition postings and included them on the NBC’s Web site. This new approach resulted in a greater selection of qualified candidates and made it possible to better meet Client Services needs.

It should be noted that the "1759: From the Warpath to the Plains of Abraham" Web site, which has been on-line since September 2005, is very popular. On March 31, 2007, the Web site reached 100,0003 visitors. It provides a wealth of information about the battles on the Plains of Abraham.

3 Statistics based on the LiveStat¨. XSP program of the DeepMetrix¨ Corporation.

The NBC received a few honourable mentions in 2006 for its "1759: From the Warpath to the Plains of Abraham" Web site, including:

  • The award of excellence in heritage interpretation from the Association Québécoise en Interprétation du Patrimoine;
  • Official selection for the virtual exhibition of the International Audiovisual and Multimedia Heritage Festival;
  • The Télé-Québec audiovisual and multimedia award from the Société des Musées Québécois.

The NBC has been able to rely on a number of loyal partners to promote its services and activities, especially members of various tourism associations, such as the Traditional Huron Site, Autocars Dupont and Forfaits Québec, and hotels, including Les Chalets Mont Sainte-Anne, Giron de l’Isle and l’Hôtel Jardin Sainte-Anne. In 2006–2007, the NBC was part of a network of museums, the Regroupement des Institutions muséales de Québec, which refers visitors to many sites, including those of the NBC.

The NBC also received the support of a number of media partners, including the Journal de Québec, CITF Rock Détente, TQS, Le Soleil and the Chronicle Telegraph, that help promote its services and activities. The value of these partnerships totalled more than $150,000.

The NBC took part, at no cost, in a study conducted by the Société d’attractions touristiques du Québec to find out where clients who take part in certain activities or use services offered (eg, Martello Tower 1, the Louis S. St. Laurent Heritage House, Abraham’s Bus and the Odyssey exhibition) come from. The study revealed that 54% of clients were from Canada, 19% from the United States and 27% from other countries, including France (39%), England (12%) and Australia (7%).

For the 14th year, the NBC’s Cultural and Technical Services presented 35 concerts with various themes, such as jazz & blues Thursdays, Fridays pops, worldbeat Saturdays and enchanting Sundays. During the summer of 2006, some 48,0004 people attended free-admission, open-air shows in the intimate setting and exceptional decor of the Edwin-Bélanger Brandstand. Although no shows were cancelled, a few were cut short by bad weather.

4 Statistics established based on admission or attendance estimates.

Cultural and Technical Services comprised one indeterminate employee, one seasonal technical assistant, two hosts and four students. The person overseeing Cultural and Technical Services mainly looks after the programming of summer shows, video production for presentation purposes and the maintenance of all audiovisual equipment and exhibitions.

The attractions that were developed were mentioned above under the "Conservation" activity section, as the work also addressed accessibility, cleanliness and aesthetics, especially in the Joan of Arc Garden.

Organization of 100th anniversary festivities

In 2006, the NBC laid the groundwork for the festivities marking the 100th anniversary of the Battlefields Park with a view to further promoting the site’s history. To do so, the history and festivities committees held a number of meetings and determined the program.

In addition to the regular activities organized annually by the NBC (eg, the Great Celebration of Nature and Halloween), which will be enhanced, programming will include an intensive week of theme events showcasing the park’s history, including the installation of a Canada tent, where many federal partners will be on hand to participate in the event.

The NBC will be able to rely on the help of Laval University architecture students, who will build scale models of old buildings that once stood on the site. The models will be featured in an exhibition on how the site has changed over time.

In addition, the NBC intends to unveil a bust in honour of Lord Grey, Canada’s Governor General in 1908, who played a major part in developing the park, and Frederick G. Todd, Canada’s first landscape architect, who designed the Battlefields Park, in June 2008. A bas relief of Abraham Martin, after whom the Plains of Abraham are named, will also be unveiled in June 2008.

The NBC undertook a large-scale project involving the production of a show and composition of a music score that will be performed over five days on the site where major events are held. The epic, which will feature close to 700 extras and volunteers, will recount the history of the Plains of Abraham over the last 400 years. Agreements were signed with the composer and producer for the production of the show and with 13 circles of Federation 24 of the Cercles de Fermières du Québec for some 1,600 costumes. A tab was added on the NBC’s Web site under 2008 ( to provide comprehensive information about the project and enable volunteers wishing to participate in the epic to register. The exhibition at the Louis S. St. Laurent Heritage House was exceptionally closed for a period of around two years so the rooms can be used for volunteer recruitment purposes and preparations for the epic.

The activities marking the 100th anniversary will give Canadians the opportunity to learn about their historical heritage and the events that unfolded on the site of the Battlefields Park. The NBC will try to free up, from its resources, a budget of $500,000 for the festivities, which is very modest considering the magnitude of the event to be marked. Steps were taken in 2006–2007 to obtain additional funding, which appear to be essential to ensure the success of the festivities and the visibility of the NBC and the Government of Canada. In this respect, the NBC should be set in the coming months.

The activities to be held were announced in the media during a press conference, and a number of radio and television interviews made it possible to provide more information on the planned activities. The media perceives the NBC as being well organized and well prepared with regard to the events to be held in 2008.

The NBC designed and produced a promotional calendar of the events marking the 100th anniversary, including those of other organizations to be held in the park in 2008 (eg, old-fashioned golf tournament, and the closing ceremony mass of the World Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City). It distributed the calendar to wholesalers, journalists and teachers.

Posters and pennants were also put up in the park and on the main streets around the park to promote the 100th anniversary in 2008.

It is important for the NBC to mark this anniversary in an exceptional manner. This will involve major co-ordination with local stakeholders and the Société du 400e anniversaire de Québec, as the Plains of Abraham will do double duty in 2008.

In order to meet this objective, all services will be involved in preparations, depending on their areas of authority, and one person has especially been assigned to support the organization. The individual in question was replaced in her Client Services position.

250th anniversary of the battles

With a view to carrying out its mandate and achieving its strategic objective, the NBC intends to mark the 250th anniversary of the battles by re-enacting a significant page in our country’s military history. The park was the setting for the confrontation between the French and British empires in 1759 and 1760, at the heart of a global battle for dominance by the two superpowers. The historical battles were part of the Seven Years’ War, which many consider to be the first true world war. The battles of 1759 (Battle of the Plains of Abraham) and 1760 (Battle of St. Foy) were the most decisive, as they changed the course of North American history. Hence the importance of preserving Canada’s historical heritage for future generations and showcasing it for the public.

In 2006–2007, the NBC planned and undertook the organization of the commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the historic battles to introduce Canadians to the rich heritage of one of the world’s most prestigious urban parks and help them better grasp the important role the site played in Canadian history.

The NBC forged a partnership with the Quebec Historical Corps to stage a re-enactment of the battles, a major event that is highly anticipated by the public and re-enactors. More than 2,000 participants will depict the life of soldiers at the time and how pitched battles were fought. The Québec City Tourism will also help promote the event. A budget of $160,000 is planned for the re-enactment.

In 2006–2007, the NBC also undertook archaeological excavations totalling $20,000 on Cap-aux-Diamants. More than 82 volunteers, overseen by a team of professionals under the supervision of an archaeologist, participated in the digs. The site’s archaeological potential is significant, as in 1760, the year of the Battle of St. Foy, a blockhouse was built by James Murray, commander of the British troops. The NBC hopes to make it a permanent interpretive site by 2009. Other sites also show potential. The NBC planned to set aside an annual budget in this respect, as the archaeological digs will help us better understand how the land was used throughout the ages, emphasize the development of the site, and promote the site’s history and rich heritage through educational programs and interpretation activities.

The NBC also developed more partnership agreements, including one with the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec for an exhibition in 2009 on major works depicting the historic battles of Quebec City and the Seven Years’ War. It is a unique opportunity to bring together works that could not be shown together otherwise. The NBC will be responsible for publishing the exhibition catalogue.

Preparations are also under way for other commemorative events related to the Battle of the Plains of Abraham and the Siege of Quebec.

The NBC is working on a book of French soldiers in New France during the Seven Years’ War (1755–1760) with the Société Généalogique Canadienne Française. The book launch is scheduled for September 2009.

Research, analyses and compilations are under way to develop a public database on British soldiers who participated in the battles of 1759 and 1760. This demanding and ongoing project involves meticulous work. As a result, the NBC hired additional staff to help with the project. It also entered into partnerships with the Department of National Defence and the Morrin Centre in Quebec City. Considering the NBC’s mandate, the compilation of the names of the French and British soldiers and the information gathered will be a worthwhile contribution with respect to interpretation initiatives for the NBC.