Former Beatle set for Quebec City concert amid protests

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Paul McCartney at Live 8 in 2004
Image: The_Admiralty.

Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney received a hostile reception this week from some Quebec separatists as he prepares for his concert on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City on Sunday.

The controversy began when Quebec artist Luc Archambault released an open letter last week criticising the concert as a "British invasion". The letter was also signed by some other separatists including a few Parti Québécois politicians. The concert is located at the site of the 1759 Battle of the Plains of Abraham on which British and French troops battled. Quebec premier Jean Charest dismissed the letter, noting that Quebec superstar Celine Dion does not face criticism when she sings in various nations.

When interviewed by Radio-Canada on Thursday, the musician suggested that the protestors "smoke the pipes of peace and to just put away your hatchets" and indicated his appearance was a matter of friendship and good will.

McCartney's performance is among numerous scheduled events marking Quebec City's 400th anniversary this year. Celine Dion is scheduled to perform at the Plains of Abraham next month.