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Québec City | UNESCO City of Literature

Québec City and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO are pleased to announce that the city has been designated a City of Literature by UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network. Québec City is the first French-speaking city to earn this distinction.

“Québec City is the cradle of French-language culture in North America. It’s a creative city on the move, and its rich literary life reflects the French-speaking, English-speaking, and Indigenous people who live here,” said Régis Labeaume, Mayor of Québec City. “The city is currently home to 200 authors and over 100 organizations, publishers, and booksellers that are driving the literary revival in Québec. Thanks to them, we’re able to demonstrate our creative leadership as a UNESCO City of Literature.”

“Here in Québec City, we embody and are proud to promote the accent d’Amérique,” said Julie Lemieux, vice chair of the executive committee responsible for culture, heritage, and urban planning. “This recognition from UNESCO affirms Québec City’s position as a leader in library sciences, technoculture, and digital innovation and cements our status as a literary capital on the world stage.”

“We’re thrilled Québec City has been welcomed into this prestigious international network,” said Christina Cameron, president of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. “Contributing to culture and creativity is key to sustainable urban development, and we’re thrilled with the great work Québec City’s literary community has done on this front.”

Québec City’s application highlighted: 

  • The success of the Québec City public library network (4.2 million books borrowed each year)
  • Maison de la littérature’s contribution to the vitality of the city’s literary community
  • Innovative digital media companies in the book industry and creative writing organizations
  • The Literary and Historical Society of Québec (Morrin Centre) and Éditions Hannenorak, a publisher devoted exclusively to Indigenous authors
  • The option to pursue graduate studies at Université Laval, one of the few universities to offer a doctoral program in creative writing

About the UNESCO Creative Cities Network
The UNESCO Creative Cities Network is currently formed by 180 cities from 72 countries covering seven creative fields: crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, music, and media arts. It was founded in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. The goal of the network is to place creativity and cultural industries at the heart of development plans at the local level and cooperate actively at the international level. The network has designated 28 Cities of Literature.

About the Canadian Commission for UNESCO
The Canadian Commission for UNESCO serves as a bridge between Canadians and the vital work of UNESCO—the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. By promoting UNESCO values, priorities, and program in Canada and by bringing the voices of Canadian experts to the international stage, the Commission contributes to a peaceful, equitable, and sustainable future that leaves no one behind.

About Bibliothèque de Québec
“Explore. Have fun. Dream.” Bibliothèque de Québec is the place to go to explore, discover, and have fun. It is a first-rate local cultural institution. By 2020, it will be a leader and model in French-language e-books as well as one of the coolest and most connected libraries in the province.


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