All about our illustration “From Pioneers To Citizens”

The artist Razvan designed the illustration for our Classic TourOld Québec: From Pioneers To Citizens“.

It’s quite easy to understand the content and theme of the tour with such title. Visitors will travel back in time and discover the history of Québec City, from the beginnings of French colonization to more recent historical events. At the end of this introductory tour, they understand how the past influenced the democratic society we have today in Québec Province.

Razvan decided to include only two strong elements to illustrate the tour: one for the pioneers and one for the citizens.

An anonymous French-Canadian for the pioneers

Pioneers are the people who are among the first to explore or settle an area. Indigenous people are in North America since thousands of years, but during the tour we focus on the past 400-500 years, therefore we talk about the European pioneers: the French. Québec City is originally a fur trade post and very little French people establish in the area.

When we think about the pioneers, we have in mind Samuel of Champlain, founder of Québec City in 1608, or Louis Hébert, first French settler here with wife and kids in 1617. Unfortunately, we don’t have accurate paintings of them. We can also extend the scope to all the French people in Canada in the 1600s.

It is quite a challenge to find paintings or sketchs or drawings of the people back to the 1600s in Canada. Especially because we wanted to avoid a specific character: it was better to choose an anonymous person.

Razvan chose a representation of a French Canadian in war dress during the winter, published in 1722, but depicting a scene from the late 1600s. Pioneers probably look like this back to the second half of the XVIIth century. Smoking is an influence from indigenous people to French-Canadians and, like them, they carry a sac à pétun (little bag to keep tobacco). Men have muskets to hunt game and fight in the militia. This specific character may not be a pioneer, but pioneers look like him and therefore this representation was relevant for our illustration. 

Pioneer of the illustration.
Pioneer of the illustration.

Representation of a French Canadian in war dress during the winter, published in 1722 by Claude-Charles Bacqueville de La Potherie.
Representation of a French Canadian in war dress during the winter, published in 1722 by Claude-Charles Bacqueville de La Potherie.

The Parliament Building for the citizens

What is the most relevant, significant and famous symbol of democracy in Québec City and Québec Province as well? The Parliament Building of Québec naturally! It’s also in front of that building we end the tour. Using the Hôtel du Parlement to represent the citizens on the illustration was the obvious choice. It also reflects the fact the historical tour is about people and buildings.

As a reminder: Québec City is the capital of Québec Province, while Ottawa is the capital of Canada. Canada is a federation and its provinces have many powers. Each of the ten provinces have a legislative assembly, like a state capitol in the US. In Québec Province, the official name of the legislative assembly is Assemblée nationale du Québec (National Assembly of Quebec). The building itself is the Hôtel du Parlement du Québec (Parliament Building), which is located at the edge of Old Québec, just in front of its city wall.

Parliament Building of Quebec back to the 1890s.
Parliament Building of Quebec back to the 1890s.
Parliament Building of Quebec, by Razvan for Tours Accolade
Parliament Building of Quebec, by Razvan for Tours Accolade.

Style & typo

The illustration has a vintage style to be sure the result is timeless, while remaining relevant for a historical tour.

Blue is the main colour of Québec Province, but we wanted something brighter, that’s why we chose a turquoise sky as background.

Typo work fits with its vintage style and a fleur-de-lis was added to it in order to use the most famous symbol of Québec Province and remind you this introductory tour is just perfect to understand the unique history of the Beautiful Province and not only Québec City.

Typo work in French.
Typo work in French.
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Typo work in English.

An illustration for the guided tour… and tie-in products

Original purpose of the illustration was to have something epic and beautiful to promote our guided tour Old Québec: From Pioneers to Citizens. Something different than the pictures we see everywhere. Something unique and poetic.

Illustration in French: Vieux-Québec: Des Pionniers Aux Citoyens.
Illustration in French: Vieux-Québec: Des Pionniers Aux Citoyens.
Illustration in English: Old Quebec: From Pioneers To Citizens.
Illustration in English: Old Quebec: From Pioneers To Citizens.

Razvan did a fantastic job to illustrate our Classic TourOld Québec: From Pioneers To Citizens“. So fantastic we thought it could be nice to print it as a poster or to use it for mugs and more tie-in products. If, like us, you adore this illustration, take a look at our online shop of tie-in products.