What does Victoria Day mean to Canadians?
Time to open up the cottage? A public holiday, offering a long weekend after a long winter?
Not in Canberra. To celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday, the High Commission gathered locals with strong connections to Canada together on a Sunday morning for pancakes, maple syrup and (real) bacon. With Canadian music ringing out from the loud speakers and a game of street hockey in the parking lot, the group marked the beginnings of the northern summer. The irony was not lost on the crowd, who were rugged up for a sunny but cool morning in Australia’s capital, to supervise their kids playing in piles of autumn leaves on the High Commission grounds.
High Commissioner Michael Small welcomed nearly 250 guests to the picnic-style family breakfast which had something for everyone, from a tour of the High Commission’s art collection to face painting and a treasure hunt for the little ones. As for the trivia competition - did you know that Jumbo the Elephant died in St Thomas Ontario? Now you do!
Canadian Geographic Magazine’s “Accessible Arctic” exhibition was displayed to showcase the beauty of Canada’s north and to celebrate the diversity of the arctic landscape, people and wildlife. Guests were able to tour the grounds and enjoy its garden in the antipodean autumn.
Young and old alike left in high spirits with full bellies in a parade of red and white balloons, perhaps dreaming of summer at the cottage.