In the space of just over a year, five states in the United States Upper Midwest passed resolutions designating day-long celebrations of their special ties – as friends, partners and allies – with their neighbour to the north. Through these events, Canada’s Consulate General in Minneapolis drew an unprecedented level of attention among elected officials and other leaders to the importance of the Canada-U.S. relationship.
Starting in Des Moines, Iowa and concluding in Bismarck, North Dakota, the Consulate spearheaded “Canada Day at the Capitol” events in each state in its territory – Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North and South Dakota. Thanks to “Canada Day at the Capitol” activities and media coverage, the Consulate was able to communicate facts about the Canada-U.S. relationship that often get overlooked because of the familiarity of the two countries, particularly in this friendly, border region. The North Dakota House resolution, for example, stated:
Four states offered Consul General Martin Loken the rare privilege of delivering formal addresses to their legislatures. Loken was warmly welcomed, receiving standing ovations in every chamber. The three “Canada Day at the Capitol” events held in 2010 also celebrated the 40th anniversary of Canada’s diplomatic presence in Minneapolis.
Across the U.S., other Consulates General have successfully partnered with additional states on similar “Canada Day” initiatives to raise awareness, generate goodwill and strengthen the vital Canada-U.S. partnership. The Consulate General in Minneapolis will continue to foster the relationships that were established and entrenched as a result of its “Canada Day at the Capitol” initiatives and will develop more opportunities to promote Canada throughout its territory.
Canada Day at the Capitol in Des Moines, Iowa: Consulate General of Canada in Minneapolis staff with House Assistant Majority Leader Helen Miller and Senator Daryl Beall
|Speaker of the Nebraska Legislature, Mike Flood, presented Consul General Loken with a resolution honouring the Canada-U.S. relationship. Also shown: Governor Dave Heineman and Secretary of State John Gale.|
|Consul General Loken acknowledges the warm welcome from the North Dakota House of Representatives|