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Summertime in the Saguenay

By Billi Bob Levasseur
A career in the forest products industry offers as many rewards and opportunities as it does challenges. That’s what participants in Forest Products Association of Canada’s (FPAC) Green Dream Internship Program are discovering on the job at Resolute.
We are pleased to share a series of blogposts written by the new interns on their work experience and adventures.

I’ve already completed eight weeks of my internship at RFP’s Kénogami mill. Summer is in full swing and it’s the opportunity for people to get out, have fun and make the most of what the region offers. A wide range of activities is available to people living in the Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean region and I’d like you tell you about the ones I’ve been lucky enough to experience.

Bagotville International Air Show

The air show was held for the first time in 1953. Over the years, it has built an excellent reputation throughout North America. No effort seems to be spared to make this event a top-notch aviation show. Air demonstration teams, such as the Snowbirds, the CF-18 demonstration aircraft and the Sky Hawks, as well as several aircraft from the United States, have already confirmed they will take part in the show on June 22 and 23, 2019. The show is presented every two years and attracts more than 100,000 people each time (the number of visitors exceeded 132,000 in 2017).

In addition to watching spectacular air demonstrations, the public can discover the various facilities and services at Canadian Forces Base Bagotville. Visitors can also see and visit a variety of aircraft exhibited on the ground. The site has been expanded for 2019 to display more military and civilian aircraft as well as vehicles used by the Canadian Armed Forces.

Bagotville Air Show
Bagotville Air Show

Festival des vins du Saguenay

Over time, the Festival des vins du Saguenay has become Québec’s biggest, most important but, above all, most enjoyable wine event according to the locals. This summer marks the 13th consecutive edition of the festival.

This event takes place from July 11 to 13, 2019, in downtown Chicoutimi. It’s increasingly popular with people from the region; wine lovers can taste local products and discover new varieties and vineyards. 

Festival des bières du Monde

This annual event takes place from July 18 to 21 in the port area of Chicoutimi and it’s a great opportunity to taste the creations of brewers from Quebec and the other Canadian provinces. Discover more than 450 different beers, including about 100 that are local. Various exhibitors from all over the world will also be on site. The festival offers free activities and shows for the whole family.

Saguenay’s Festival des bières du monde in Chicoutimi’s port area
Saguenay’s Festival des bières du monde in Chicoutimi’s port area

Outdoor excursions

With the arrival of warm weather, I’ve discovered some of the region’s must-see attractions. Here are a few places that captured my interest. I hope you’ll be inspired to explore them too. For outdoor enthusiasts, the Saguenay region is full of parks, trails and breathtaking landscapes. But it also offers attractions for aficionados of history, art and culture.

I rambled around in the Parc du Fjord-du-Saguenay, I hiked the Via Ferrata and I even cycled quite a distance on the magnificent Vélo route des Bleuets. Here’s a short roundup of the places I’ve explored.

Véloroute des Bleuets

The Véloroute des Bleuets (blueberry bike path) is a circuit that goes around Lac Saint-Jean, covering more than 256 kilometres and crossing 15 municipalities. Its four types of route are designed for the Performance Cyclist, the Family-Recreational Cyclist, the Touring Cyclist and finally the Mountain Biker and Fat Biker. All cyclists will be delighted by the many possibilities.

 Cycling on the Vélo route des Bleuets
Cycling on the Vélo route des Bleuets

Parc national du Fjord-du-Saguenay

Via Ferrata

The Via Ferrata circuit in the Fjord-du-Saguenay National Park takes hikers up the imposing walls of Baie Eternité. Three circuits have been set up so that you can discover the incredible views of the Saguenay Fjord’s bay. You’ll ascend safely at your own pace, accompanied by a professional guide. A 200-metre suspension bridge provides breathtaking views.

The 200-metre vertical wall of the Via Ferrata in Fjord du Saguenay National Park
The 200-metre vertical wall of the Via Ferrata in Fjord du Saguenay National Park

Sentier Eucher

The Sentier Eucher runs along the edge of the Fjord in the La Baie area. At the start of the trail, you’ll see the remains of barker burners, a bark incinerator and stone foundations. The trail goes all the way to the summit, offering a magnificent view of the Baie des Ha! Ha! The Centennial Cross at the top was erected in 1938.

View from the top of the Sentier Eucher
View from the top of the Sentier Eucher

Plage Belley in Saint-Henri-de-Taillon

Plage Belley in the Saint-Henri-de-Taillon campground is one of the prettiest beaches in Québec. A visit confirms just how beautiful the beach is, with its white sand stretching for three kilometres. It’s very popular in the summer, especially for watching sunsets.

Plage Belley in Saint-Henri-de-Taillon
Plage Belley in Saint-Henri-de-Taillon

Dining out

I live in Chicoutimi, the town next to Kénogami, so I’ve had the opportunity to explore the area and sample the restaurants. The variety of fine dining is surprising and it emphasizes local produce and products. So I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to five excellent restaurants I’ve discovered in the area.

Chez Georges – Chicoutimi

Chez Georges was founded by Georges Abraham in 1960. Its cuisine is distinguished by Italian influences. It’s a business passed down from generation to generation. Currently Jean-François Abraham is keeping up this fine tradition.

The restaurant is on Racine Street in downtown Chicoutimi and is a magnet for cultural and political personalities who visit the region.

Restaurant Chez Georges during the Festival des vins du Saguenay
Restaurant Chez Georges during the Festival des vins du Saguenay

Le Bistrot Café Summum – La Baie

The bistro that is also known as BCS takes an avant-garde approach that gives free range to expression and personality. Offering a dining experience based on an unusual alliance between bistronomy and emerging culture, it’s a haven for adventurous people in search of new gastronomic pleasures.

Restaurant Bistro Café Summum La Baie
Bistro Café Summum in La Baie

La Voie Maltée (L’usine LABrasserie) – Chicoutimi

L’usine LABrasserie, a restaurant/brewery next to La Voie Maltée, offers a modern dining concept with more than 100 seats in an industrial setting. It has a central bar with views of the brewery and an open kitchen next to the dining room. Local products are emphasized as well as oysters, outstanding fresh fish, exclusive offerings and much more. To enhance the culinary experience, the restaurant features the craft beers made by La Voie Maltée, as well as a selection of wines and cocktails.

L’usine La Brasserie (La Voie Maltée)
L’usine La Brasserie (La Voie Maltée)

Hopera – Jonquière

Hopera is the ideal place to discover different beers, some of them brewed with unusual ingredients that can win over people who aren’t even beer lovers. Hopera also has the best pizza in town, with its signature crust. The restaurant strives to support local businesses. Whether sourcing a variety of produce from local farms, creating a garden to become more self-sufficient in vegetables or making dough by hand each day, Hopera’s vision is to minimize its ecological footprint.

Hopera microbrewery/pizzeria in Jonquière
Hopera microbrewery/pizzeria in Jonquière

Restaurant Midas – Saint-Félicien

This restaurant isn’t far from the Saint-Félicien zoo in Lac-Saint-Jean, and I decided to try it on the strength of a positive review by Benoit, the host of Sur le pouce on Canal Évasion. It serves up fast food but everything is delicious and the quality is good. For a family meal or a quick bite, you won’t be disappointed. The BBQ poutine and the pizza are excellent, and there’s even an ice cream place right next door.

Midas restaurant and snack bar in Saint-Félicien
Midas restaurant and snack bar in Saint-Félicien

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