The King of Hochelaga – The Best Kept Secret in America



A theatrical hoax played for the full month of January at minus 25 degrees, under the stars and under a large ceremonial tent (shaputuan) on the grounds of the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve market. This fable scrambles reality, archeology, history and fiction and twists together history with a practical joke. A moment of madness presented in coproduction with Momentum Theatre within the project called: Twelve masses for the beginning of the end of time made up of a different show presented four times each month in 1999.


In 1534 during his first voyage, Jacques Cartier goes back up the Saint Lawrence River and at Hochelaga meets a group of Iroquois and their king. On his return the following year he finds the village deserted and that the Indians have disappeared. What has happened? Following a prophesy kept secret for generations with the Iroquois, the body of the King of Hochelaga had been mummified and frozen in an immense block of ice at the base of the great caves in the east end of Montreal Island. At the dawn of the new millennium, the time for the return of the great king has come. Ondinnok and a group of Indians proposed to thaw him and discover the secret that he ought to have handed down to all humanity.

Performance Dates

1999    January 14 to 17 – Montreal, Maisonneuve Market

The Team

Concept: Catherine Joncas & Yves Sioui Durand

Director/Designer: Yves Sioui Durand

Actors: Stéphane Crête, Yvon Dubé, Hélène Major, Jean-Pierre Matte, Jean-Marc Niquay, Jean-Pierre Ottawa, Dominique Pétin, Yves Sioui Durand & 20 other participants

Assistant: Claudia Poirier

Technical Director: Patrick Durnin

Ice Sculpture: Jacques Baril

Production Director: Lucie Juneau

Special Participation: the Youth Council of the Montreal Indian Friendship Centre, the Thunder Hawk Dancers of Kahnawake and Mr. Billy Two Rivers.


Producers:  Ondinnok & Momentum Theatre