The Champlain monument was dedicated in an inaugural ceremony held 21 September, 1898. The story of the monument's commissioning and celebratory installation on Dufferin Terrace near fort St-Louis, 10 years prior to the three hundred year anniversary of Quebec's founding by Samuel de Champlain, itself may have played a leading role in generating interest and giving focus to what became a great festival celebration. Already at this celebration an audience of 25,000 people witnessed an historic commemoration of international importance. Representatives of France, Great Britain, and the United States took part in the tremendous "Fête de Champlain". The event was conceived as an apotheosis of Samuel de Champlain and had many motivations.
A call for submissions announced in July of 1895 by the Comité du monument Champlain solicited design ideas from artists, sculptors and architects. The honour was awarded to the French sculptor Paul Chevré (1867-1914). Funds were raised across Canada by la Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Québec.
"With the honouring of the memory of Champlain at the foot of his monument on Dufferin Terrace by l'Association catholique de la jeunesse Canadienne-Francaise, the celebrations which marked Quebec's Tercentenary were commenced."
"It was Sunday, the nineteenth of July. The day was an ideal one. Quebec had assumed a festive air, emphasized by the profuse decorations which covered every part of the city. ... The youth of French Canada ... [f]ormed into a procession consisting of about five thousand persons, these youths marched toward the Terrace and after depositing floral tributes on the Champlain monument, orations were delivered, eulogistic of Quebec's founder, and at the same time an urgent appeal for the unity of French Canadians in matters of nationality and religion."
"Arriving at the Terrace towards three o'clock in the afternoon where a large number of people had already gathered, the monument was at once bedecked with a shower of flowers delicately interwoven and neatly superimposed. These were presented by the Catholic Association of French-Canadian youth, the Loyola Circle, the Chevalier du Levis circle, the Champlain guard and by the youth of St. Sauveur."
"The monument now overlaid with pacific garlands was then encircled with Zouaves and other military guards. Several thousand voices sang Canada's national anthem; bands played; ensigns fluttered; military commands were given, and the Quebec Tercentenary was on!"
The Quebec Tercentenary Commemorative History (Quebec: Daily Telegraph, 1908), 18-19.