Mr. Speaker, on May 9, at the national gala of the Quebec tourism awards, the Festival Western de Saint-Tite won the prestigious gold medal in the category for festivals and tourism events with an operating budget of $1 million or more. It is a great honour to be recognized by the entire Quebec tourism industry, and certainly a huge reward for the citizens, volunteers and businesspeople of Saint-Tite.
In 2007, this international event celebrated its 40th anniversary in great style, and shattered an attendance record with more than 725,000 festival-goers. It also generated some $50 million in economic spinoffs. Such great success over the years would never have been possible without the invaluable contribution of its 550 volunteers.
I am very pleased to invite all Quebeckers to the 41st edition of the festival, which will be held from September 5 to 14, 2008, and which promises to be just as fantastic as the last.