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Canada Plus - November and December

Your bimonthly newsletter from the High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom Subscribe now to Canada Plus

Canada Plus

A Message from the High Commissioner

Photo - Janice Charette

It feels somewhat odd to be writing a cheerful holiday message during a global pandemic. From Diwali to Hanukkah, Christmas to Kwanzaa, what is traditionally a time for celebration and joy is instead marked by the stark reality that we are now entering our ninth month of the COVID-19 crisis. Many countries around the world, including Canada and the UK, have seen too many people who have suffered and in some cases died from this disease. Both countries are implementing measures to keep us safe but that keep us apart. And so it’s understandable that many of you may not be feeling as festive as usual. So, knowing this, dear readers, I felt it was important to write you a different kind of message for this edition of Canada Plus.

Firstly, on behalf of everyone at Canada House, I want to tell you that we are thinking of you. Although we can not be together in person, we are all in this together. Our thoughts are with all of those of you whose lives have been touched by this disease. Know that there are many resources available to help, from our stellar consular officers providing crucial services to Canadians, to resources like Canada’s Wellness Together Portal which offer free support to those struggling with feelings of isolation or mental health issues. I have been amazed by the dedication and commitment of our wonderful Canada House team, all of whom continue to work tirelessly to respond to the challenges posed by COVID-19. No matter what, they carry on proudly representing Canada in the UK while providing Canadian citizens, families, businesses and investors based here with vital information and assistance.

Secondly, let me thank you for the efforts and sacrifices you have made while playing your part to help contain this virus. Especially at this time of year, I know that not being able to visit friends and family and celebrate the holidays with them is a bitter pill to swallow. That is particularly hard for expat community members whose family and friends are back in Canada. Like many of you, I will also be staying in London this year, far from other members of my family back in Canada. Thank you for your resilience and diligence in continuing to adhere to public health guidance. In doing so, you truly are life-savers.

As we look to the holiday season ahead, let us try to remember its true meaning. Take a moment to reflect on how brave, resilient and community-minded people have been this year. Let us express our gratitude for the healthcare heroes keeping us safe, the scientists innovating to find treatments and a vaccine for COVID-19, for the key workers stocking our shelves, cleaning our offices, and otherwise keeping us going. And of course, we are grateful for the strong and enduring friendship that Canada has with the UK - our close ally, partner and good friend. Working together, we are managing the worst impacts of this crisis and building a better future for all. Let us find joy where we can – a virtual game night with friends, a video call to a loved one, or a hot cup of tea under a warm blanket while it’s raining outside. Most importantly, let us look towards 2021 with hope – hope for brighter, healthier and more prosperous days ahead when we can be together again.

Wishing you all the safest and happiest of holidays,

 Signature - Janice Charette
Janice Charette

Consular Corner

The Holiday Season

Did you have plans to visit your family in Canada or for them to come here for the holidays? 

You and your family should be aware that both the UK and Canadian governments travel advice remains to avoid all non-essential travel.

Should your relatives from Canada decide to visit you despite government advice, note that Canadian travellers arriving in the UK are subject to 14-days of self-isolation on arrival and on return to Canada.
Travel and medical insurance may be hard to find or may not cover travellers in the event of sickness abroad, including COVID-19 related illness. Canadian visitors to the UK should be aware that there is no reciprocal agreement on healthcare between Canada and the UK.

Canadians based in the UK looking to travel back to Canada during the holiday season will face similar measures, including a mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival and return, movement restrictions, potential travel and medical insurance issues and possible difficulty returning to the United Kingdom.
The UK is subject to various lockdowns; for information on the restrictions and measures in place see below:

Consular services & emergency contacts

Canadians in the UK in need of emergency assistance can contact the High Commission on 020 7004 6000 or You can also check our COVID-19 FAQs page, visit the Government of Canada’s official coronavirus advice page or check our Travel Advice and Advisories for the latest guidance.

If you have a question for us, please email: with the subject line “Consular Corner”.

IRCC Information

Q: What are the new rules regarding visiting extended family members in Canada?
A: The exemptions to travel restrictions have been broadened to allow certain extended family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to travel to Canada, subject to meeting all necessary requirements. For the most up-do-date information and a step-by-step guide on how to apply, please visit the Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

Did you know?

From developing Pablum in 1930 and adding vitamin D in milk to reduce the incidence of rickets in 1968, to identifying early-onset Alzheimer's genes in 1995 and participating in scientific research against COVID-19 in 2020, Canada is at the forefront of medical innovation. See a timeline of Canadian historical discoveries which improved the world's health at Innovative Medicines Canada.

Business Brief

Your Business & Brexit

Recognizing that Canadian companies doing business in or with the United Kingdom may be affected by the UK’s departure from the European Union, the Government of Canada has prepared Brexit and United Kingdom-European Union trade negotiations: Summary information for Canadian companies, which provides useful information regarding Brexit and the potential impact on Canadian firms. This site will be regularly updated as new information becomes available.

Looking back on September and October

Terry Fox Run UK

Terry FoxIn September, the High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom joined forces with the British High Commission in Canada to create the “Diplo-Team For Terry”, a cross-Atlantic virtual team of runners, walkers, cyclists and swimmers who participated remotely in this year’s Terry Fox Run and covered 3,500 kilometers together. Held in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Terry Fox’s “Marathon of Hope”, this year’s Run marked its first return to the UK since 2007. We are so proud that the Terry Fox Run London raised the most funds of all the international Terry Fox runs this year: over £50,000 GBP for the Institute of Cancer Research, wow! Heartfelt congratulations to the organizers and thank you to everyone in the UK who took part for contributing to this outstanding achievement!

EduCanada UK Virtual Undergraduate Fair

Every year, the High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom hosts an academic fair for aspiring international students and their families to find out more about higher education opportunities in Canada. This year’s Fair – reimagined virtually in response to COVID-19 – offered 450 young people from the UK and the Republic of Ireland the chance to meet with representatives from 20 Canadian universities, as well as representatives of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency to learn more about studying in Canada.

If you would like to explore higher education opportunities in Canada, please note that the Government of Canada has announced changes to travel restrictions affecting international students. Designated Learning Institutions with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by their province or territory can now reopen to international students who are currently outside of Canada. Be sure to read the new rules carefully and ensure you follow all necessary steps and meet all criteria before booking any travel.

What’s Coming Up?

Until February: Position As Desired: Exploring Black Canadian and Black British identity | Photographs from the Wedge Collection

Collage - Position As Desired

L-R: Jalani Morgan, Black Lives They Matter Here, 2014 | Sandra Brewster, Blur 14, 2019 | Dawit Petros, Sign, 2003

In celebration of Black History Month in the UK (October 2020) and running until Black History Month in Canada (February 2021), the High Commission of Canada is proud to partner with the Wedge Collection (Toronto) to bring you a virtual preview of ‘Position As Desired: Exploring Black Canadian and Black British identity | Photographs from the Wedge Collection’, set to launch physically at the Canada Gallery next summer. In anticipation of the physical presentation, this exclusive, newly-curated online arrangement provides a discourse between the work of Black Canadian and Black British lens-based artists, exploring parallels in artistic practices and lived experiences, shared histories and important differences. Discover it now on Culture Canada.

Until mid-December: Cape Dorset Video Initiative
As part of our #CanadaGoesDigital campaign, the High Commission of Canada in the UK is collaborating with the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative in Kinngait and Dorset Fine Arts to bring you a series of eight short videos exploring the Inuit Art of Kinngait. Addressing themes such as the environment, history and culture, these videos will be released weekly on Culture Canada

sākihiwē festivalOctober 20 – December 1: Honour Song | Tributes to Indigenous Trailblazers in Music
Canada Goes DigitalThe sākihiwē festival is partnering with the High Commission of Canada to launch a new series of hour-long tributes to Indigenous trailblazers in music. Each episode will broadcast for free on YouTube and Facebook. The series will feature cross-cultural electro-pop singer iskwē, throat singing duo PIQSIQ, trilingual Inuk chanteuse Eilsapie, and country/folk singer-songwriter William Prince, each honouring members of the Indigenous music vanguard. Show dates will be released regularly on Twitter at @CanadianUK. Stay tuned!

October 22 – February 21, 2021: British Museum exhibition - Arctic: culture and climate
The British Museum celebrates the ingenuity and resilience of Arctic Peoples throughout history in a major new exhibition which tells the powerful story of respectful relationships with icy worlds and how Arctic Peoples have harnessed the weather and climate to thrive. The exhibition is accompanied by a series of online lectures and discussions on the themes of climate change, COVID-19 and cultural diversity.

Meet upNovember 3 – December 29: Weekly online get-together
Starting Tuesday, November 3, join the Canadian Expat Meetup Group for a weekly virtual social gathering with fellow members. Please note that weekly events alternate between Tuesday and Wednesday, please visit the website for specific details on dates.

PoppiesNovember 11: Canada House Remembers – A Virtual Day of Commemoration for Remembrance Day 2020
 This coming Remembrance Day, join the High Commission of Canada and Canadian Defence Liaison Staff in the UK for a special day of virtual commemorative activities, including a virtual moment of silence at 11:00 GMT. Follow the #CanadaHouseRemembers conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to find out more.

Meet upDecember 25: 2020 Online Christmas Call
Online social gathering for Christmas 2020 with members of the Canadian Expat Meetup Group.

Until December: Visit the Meryl McMaster exhibition in our Virtual Canada Gallery

Collage - McMaster, Cartography of the Unseen, 2019 | Edge of a Moment, 2017

L-R: Cartography of the Unseen, 2019 | Edge of a Moment, 2017

Canada Goes DigitalWhile the High Commission’s Canada Gallery remains closed to the public, you can still visit our online Canada Gallery as part of our exciting #CanadaGoesDigital initiative. Fans of the original Canada Gallery, previously only accessible to in-person visitors, will be delighted by this new virtual art experience.

Why not pay us a visit and view Indigenous-Canadian artist Meryl McMaster’s latest series, As Immense as the Sky (2019)? McMaster describes this exhibition as sculptural photography that gathers the wisdom and folklore of McMaster’s mixed heritage, drawing upon themes of memory, migration, genealogy and time as she retraces the footsteps of her ancestors. Her images explore the intersections of both her Indigenous and European heritage whilst revealing Canada’s conflicted colonial legacies.

Visitors can explore all the works featured in the show with exclusive, never-before-seen artist commentary and audiovisual elements, including a narration of McMaster’s poems in Cree to accompany each piece of art.

Follow us on social media!

With the current pandemic changing the way we work and interact, we are creating more and more original interactive online content for you to enjoy. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, both in English and French, for all the latest on Canadian news and culture in the UK!

You can follow us here:

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Archive - Canada Plus

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