Défilé de la Saint-Patrick de Québec

The parade

  • 50 000 + visitors
  • 1000 + participants
  • 120 + volunteers

Saturday March 25, 2017
Start Time 2:00 pm
Downtown Québec City
Celebrate the wearing of the green!

On Saturday March 25, downtown Québec City will echo to the sounds of bagpipes and the footsteps of participants in the 8th annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade!

Route for 2017

Classic elements

A parade with plenty of music!

The renowned quartet comprising the combined bagpipes and percussion groups of the police forces of Boston (Boston Police Gaelic Column of Pipes and Drums), New York (Pipes & Drums of the Emerald Society of the New York City Police Department), Chicago (Pipes and Drums of the Chicago Police Department) and Toronto (the Toronto Fire Services Pipes and Drums) is back once again this year! The Défilé de la Saint-Patrick de Québec offers a rare opportunity to see these three groups perform on the same occasion.

What’s more, we will have welcome the Québec City police force (Service de police de la Ville de Québec), the Montreal Pipes & Drums, the RCMP Pipes and Drums, and the pipe band of the 78th Fraser Highlanders – Fort St. Andrews.

A colourful parade

At the same time, local citizens will parade with Irish wolfhounds, and will march in groups representing Celtic dance troupes, leprechauns, historical re-enactors, dance schools, circus performers, Gaelic football clubs, and a fine showing by members of Irish families who take part in the event year after year. All told, more than 50 participant groups join in the parade!

Grand marshal for 2017

M. Stephen Burke

Joseph Ernest Stephen Burke was born in Quebec on April 5, 1950. His ancestors came from County Galway. Although the exact year they immigrated to Canada is unknown, Quebec records show that his great-great-grandfather, Tobias Burke, was living in Saint-Raymond de Portneuf in 1833. As for his great-grandfather, Michael P. Burke, he was one of the first sergeants in the Police provinciale de Québec, today’s Sureté du Québec. Stephen Burke did his primary and secondary schooling in English at Leonard Elementary School, and at St. Patrick’s Boys’ Elementary and High School. He went on to study actuarial science at Laval University and pursued a career in Quebec’s civil service for over 35 years; in the Régie des rentes (Quebec Pension Plan) and the Société d’habitation du Québec (Quebec housing corporation). His command of both English and French enabled him to represent Quebec at a number of federal-provincial negotiation tables. For the same reason, he was involved in international relations for many years, among both the French-speaking nations (la Francophonie) as well as the United States. Mr. Burke retired from the civil service in June 2008.

In 1997, Stephen Burke was elected school commissioner, for Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School in the Commission scolaire des Découvreurs. He remained there until 1998 when he became commissioner in the Central Québec School Board (CQSB), where he has served as Chairman since December 2009.

In addition to being an experienced organiser and speaker, Mr. Burke has always been an active volunteer. Most notably, he is a 3rd and 4th degree Knight of Columbus, a fraternal order established in New Haven, Connecticut, by a young Irish Catholic priest, the Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney. Under the able direction of Marianna O’Gallagher, Mr. Burke enjoyed hosting a full day of Irish songs and dances as part of the Irish Summer festivities on the Plains of Abraham in 1997. Mr. Burke has served on the Board of the Voice of English-speaking Quebec on two occasions. A former President of the 2010 fundraising campaign for the Fondation des petits bonheurs d’école, he hosted a benefit brunch in November last year for this same foundation. He is a life member of Centraide Québec. Finally, he was President of the 2015 and 2016 editions of the Quebec City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.

The organizing committee is proud to highlight the involvement of Mr. Stephen Burke in the Quebec City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, as well as his important contribution to the civil service by naming him Grand Marshal of the Défilé de la Saint-Patrick de Québec 2017.

Photo credits: Allison Kirkwood




Be right in the heart of the festivities!

The Québec City St Patrick’s Day Parade is more than 1000 participants, musicians, dancers, buskers, Irish-born families, charitable organizations, historical re-enactors, leprechauns and the ‘little people’, all of whom enliven downtown Quebec each year to the great delight of the spectators. Join the celebration!


Join the team!

Every year more than 120 volunteers pitch in to make the parade a shared festive and fun-filled event. Various positions are available: ranging from reception to security, as well as assistance with the setting up. Come join us!