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February 6, 1998
(Tourism, Culture and Recreation)

Newfoundland and Labrador to Celebrate Canada with Soiree '99

Newfoundland and Labrador will lead a celebration of Canada next year as Soiree `99 toasts the province's 50th anniversary of Confederation.

Premier Brian Tobin and Sandra Kelly, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, today outlined plans for the year-long event, including the Soiree `99 logo and slogan of "Celebrating Canada Our Way." The event took place at the annual convention of Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, the provincial tourism industry association, which was held in Gander.

"Soiree `99 has a dual message of the value of our country, and how our province has enriched this nation since coming on board," Premier Tobin said. "This will be an opportunity to highlight the vast natural and cultural treasures that are particular to this province, along with our well-honed ability to hold a party."

"We want our fellow Canadians to see the greatness, the richness and the diversity of the spirit of Canada through the lens of Soiree '99 and have a lot of fun while they're doing it," the premier said.

Tourism Minister Kelly says Soiree `99 is the second step in Newfoundland and Labrador's three-phased major celebrations program, which also includes the Cabot 500 Anniversary Celebrations held last year, and the pending Viking Millennium in the year 2000.

"We simply can't overstate the value of such major celebrations to Newfoundland and Labrador," Tobin says. "The year-end estimates are indicating the Cabot 500 celebrations generated an additional 69,000 non-resident visitors to our province, an astounding 22 per cent increase over the previous year."

"We've proven that Newfoundland and Labrador can undertake major projects, and do them well," he added. "Now it's our objective to build on that success with a stellar national celebration called Soiree `99."

"It's our job now to make sure Soiree `99 becomes a familiar and desirable product all across the country," Kelly says. "We're celebrating our nation, and all Canadians should feel as though they have a personal invitation."

The Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation is currently examining a potential schedule of events and partnering opportunities. While the promotional plans for Soiree `99 are already being developed, the department will be working with all sectors of the provincial tourism industry to maximize this significant opportunity for Newfoundland and Labrador, and for Canada.

An interactive Soiree `99 website can be accessed through the government web site at or at, and will be updated regularly.

Contact: Doug Burgess, Director of Communications, (709) 729-0928

1998 02 06 3:10 p.m.

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