The Corporation du patrimoine et du tourisme religieux de Québec watches over the animation, interpretation and enhancement of religious heritage in the Quebec City region.
Quebec City is host to important events that will shape the history of the region – les Grands Voiliers and the visit of Pope John Paul II. These events take place at a time when an increasing number of people are choosing Quebec City as a tourist destination. Monsignor Maurice Couture, assistant bishop in Quebec City, calls together several people to reflect on the place that the church should hold in the tourism realm, an industry experience rapid growth. Aware of the importance of religious heritage in its historic, architectural, artistic, cultural, archivist and ethnological dimensions, the committee members realize that the Church is barely recognized and difficultly accessible to foreign tourists as well as the local population.
Under the direction of the Plateau pastoral region, the committee gains its official recognition by Cardinal Louis-Albert Vachon. Around regional animators, the committee is composed of ecclesiastical stakeholders interested in tourism and pilgrimages as well as tourism industry professionals interested in faith and religion.
The reflection of committee members will direct them to propose a first promotional tool and enhancement of religious heritage, the guide Québec Pierres Vivantes. This being the case, the first tourist circuit is offered to visitors who will discover the testimonies of faith of their ancestors who left churches, chapels, convents, monuments, museums and invaluable treasures.
Originating from this first enhancement project, the first partnership is created with religious institutions in Old Quebec. Soon after, a second important project will be developed by this religious tourism committee: the conception and operation of a light and sound show inside Quebec City's Notre-Dame Basilica-Cathedral. This project will finally see the light of day six years later.
Dedicated to making known Quebec City's first bishop, the centre takes its place inside Quebec City's Notre-Dame Basilica-Cathedral.
Organized by the Corporation, this conference attracts over 160 people who come to talk about their concerns and share their experiences.
Since its beginning, the Corporation has the looked after the reception of passers-by and the dissemination of information for tourists and pilgrims. It has strived to:
Over the years, the Corporation has become known for its guided tours, youth hikes and pilgrimages. Its varied activities are targeted toward diverse clienteles – those curious by the culture, the history and the art as well as those looking to find a deeper spiritual experience.
Since its beginning, the Corporation has joined several partners with the goal of developing various projects. Starting with only a few members, the Corporation now has around 40 members from different religious denominations. Additionally, it has partnered with organizations, stakeholders and major events thereby participating in the promotion of touristic and cultural tourism in the Quebec City region.
In the beginning the CPRTQ focused its efforts in Old Quebec. Today, its activities are spread over the whole Quebec City region.