The International Exhibition of crèche at Rivière Éternité

Since 1988, the tiny village of Rivière Éternité in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region, north of Quebec City, has held an annual international exhibition of Christmas crèches. From mid-November to mid-January, this exhibition displays artistic works and collective projects of three different kinds.

First, the community hall of the parish church houses more than 230 crèches created by artists and artisans from some 50 countries. Then outside, on the fronts of houses, crèches created by the village’s inhabitants are displayed. Since night falls rapidly, these are lit up from four o’clock in the afternoon. Finally, in front of the Tourist Housing Centre, a few crèches carved from snow by local residents are set up. Last year, some 10,000 visitors came to admire 365 different crèches on display.

Each year, the Corporation, chaired by Mrs. Eugénie Bouchard, exchanges crèches with other countries, particularly with France. In 1994, for example, the town of Trévarez in Brittany was honoured. This year, it is the turn of Arles in Provence to display its crèches and its santons. In exchange, Arles will display pieces from Rivière Éternité during its Salon international des santonniers (international santonniers salon).

Commonly called the "Modern Bethlehem", Rivière Éternité inaugurated a Nativity scene in the fall of 1995 carved in the mountain located in the heart of the village. The work is that of the sculptor Serge Claveau of Chicoutimi.
Canadian Heritage Information Network
Mission de la recherche et de la technologie, Direction des Musées de France, Musée de la civilisation, Provincial Museum of Alberta, Musée national des arts et traditions populaires, Département de l'organisation des systèmes d'information,

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