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Canada Plus – November and December 2019

Your monthly email 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

As the clocks go back and the nights draw in, the holiday season will soon be upon us. I have always seen this time of the year as one of reflection – a time to ponder past successes and to envisage the road ahead. Our autumn months were marked by a series of exciting events. Our colleagues from the Trade Commissioner Service led a celebration of London Fashion Week at Canada House with great style and class. Our Public Diplomacy section spearheaded an extremely popular and successful Open House London event in September, which saw over 385 members of the public visit us for a special tour of Canada House, including our first ever accessible tour in British Sign Language. In November, we’re looking forward to coming together to remember the lives lost in the Great Wars in defence of our freedom, peace and democracy. As winter approaches, we look forward to gathering with dear friends, colleagues and families, both here in the UK and in Canada, to celebrate the holidays and toast to all that we share. From myself and the High Commission of Canada in the UK, may we wish you all happy holidays! 

 Signature - Janice Charette
Janice Charette


A Celebration of Canadian Design at Canada House

“A Celebration of Canadian Design at Canada House”, featuring designs by Anastessia Sel Jewelry, David Dixon, Iris Setlakwe, Judith & Charles, J.Y. Gao, Krippit, Pranga & Co, Studio Lorem Ipsum, Vandal, and Yoga Jeans.

Canada kicks off London Fashion Week

“I’m here again at Canada House for the Toronto Fashion Incubator exhibition, which has become an established tradition and is now really like the official start of London Fashion Week.” – Hilary Alexander OBE

Now in its fourth season, Canada House hosted “A Celebration of Canadian Design” during London Fashion Week in September, in partnership with the Toronto Fashion Incubator, where we welcomed ten Canadian designers from across the country for a showcase event that attracted top UK and international buyers, sales agents, influencers and media. Guests were able to meet Canadian designers whose work embraces innovation and sustainability, and discover creations by Indigenous designers, and gender-neutral fashion.

50th Anniversary of the Kootenay Explosion

50th Anniversary of the Kootenay Explosion - Brookwood Cemetery

50th Anniversary of the Kootenay Explosion - Brookwood Cemetery
On Wednesday, 23 October, the Canadian Defence Liaison Staff of the High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom gathered with the friends and families of the victims and survivors of the tragic Kootenay Explosion for a commemorative ceremony marking its 50th anniversary. In the years following the tragedy, Able Seaman (AB) (Ret’d) Allan “Dinger” Bell – one of the Kootenay survivors – has worked alongside former crewmates and their families to keep the legacy of his brave fellow seamen alive. The ceremony, which took place at Brookwood Cemetery (Woking, UK) where four of the victims are buried, was one of many events to mark the occasion and featured a wreath-laying service in their memory.

About the Kootenay Explosion

On the morning of October 23, 1969, nine crew members were killed aboard HMCS Kootenay – a Restigouche-class destroyer whose starboard gearbox failed while conducting a routine full-power trial during an exercise in the English Channel off the coast of Plymouth. 53 other crew members were injured.

As a result of the accident, the name Kootenay has come to denote the significance of damage control to the Royal Canadian Navy. The incident had far-reaching effects, as it precipitated major improvements to firefighting and damage-control practices to prevent future tragedies.

On October 23, 2002, the RCN opened a new firefighting facility at CFB Halifax.  It was named the Damage Control Training Facility (DCTF) Kootenay in honour of the the sailors who were onboard HMCS Kootenay during the 1969 explosion.

Business Brief

Your Business & Brexit

Recognizing that Canadian companies doing business in or with the United Kingdom may be impacted by the UK’s departure from the European Union, the Government of Canada has prepared 'Brexit – Summary information for Canadian companies' with useful information regarding the future of the relationship between the UK and the EU, and the potential impact of Brexit on Canadian firms. This will be regularly updated as new information becomes available.

Consular Corner

The Consular Program of the High Commission of Canada in the U.K. now allows Canadian citizens to book appointments online for the following services:

  • renewing or obtaining a passport;
  • obtaining citizenship, or;
  • notarising a document.

The emergency service will still be available, but in an effort to minimize waiting times for regular services, appointments are now required. Make an appointment.

Consular Q&A

Question: I live in Penzance and can’t make the 5-hour journey to London to renew my Canadian passport at the High Commission of Canada. What do I do?

Answer: Unable to make the trip to Trafalgar Square in London because of the distance, work commitments or other obligations? Canadians living in the United Kingdom are reminded that most services can also be obtained by mail. Apply for a passport by post.

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

Visa Info

Question: My partner is British and was convicted of drinking and driving in the UK a few years ago. Can he travel to Canada for Christmas?

Answer: Your partner should apply for an eTA well in advance and respond accurately to all questions on the application form. In this case, because your partner was convicted of an offence in the UK, he will need to submit a police certificate from ACRO. His case will be assessed according to the Canadian Immigration legislation in place and he will be informed of the outcome. Please see Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada’s website for further information on criminal inadmissibility.

Did you know

Did you know that Canada's population has increased more than tenfold since the Confederation in 1867? The first census in 1871 counted 3.5 million people. In 2016, the population was 37.06 million! (Source: Statistics Canada) Check out this population clock which models Canada’s demographic growth in real time!

November and December Events

Friday November 1 – Sunday November 17 ¦ Doc’n’Roll Documentary Film Festival
Multiple venues across the UK ¦ A UK music documentary festival celebrating music subcultures by providing a unique platform to support the wealth of creative, compelling and unforgettable documentaries that celebrate performers, labels, scenes and stories. The festival features two Canadian productions, including the UK premiere of “Gordon Lightfoot – If You Could Read Your Mind”.

PoppiesSunday, November 10 (11 a.m.) ¦ Remembrance Sunday Service and Parade
Whitehall, London ¦ The main UK focus of remembrance at which members of the Royal Family, Commonwealth High Commissioners, including the High Commissioner for Canada, and senior UK politicians lay wreaths at the Cenotaph.  Following the wreath laying, there will be the Nation’s Thank You procession.  If you wish to view the Whitehall service and parade, it is recommended that you arrive early as the crowds are large. The ceremony is also televised on the BBC.

PoppiesMonday, November 11 (10:40 – 11:15 a.m.) ¦ Service of Remembrance
Canada Section of Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey ¦ Brookwood Military Cemetery is the largest Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in the U. K..  It contains the graves of more than 1,600 servicemen of the British Empire in the First World War and over 3,470 from the Second World War.  2,729 Canadian servicemen and women are buried or commemorated at Brookwood. The service will take place at the Cross of Remembrance in the Canadian section and will be attended by Canadian veterans and their families, serving CAF members and their families, Canadians living and/or working in the UK. Everyone is welcome to join. The cemetery is adjacent to Brookwood Station (about 50 mins by train from Waterloo).

Quebec LogoMonday, November 11 ¦ Quebec Annual Lecture: How artificial intelligence is fundamentally changing our relationship with technology
The Royal Institution, London ¦ For this new edition of the Quebec Annual Lecture, our guest speaker will be one of Quebec’s most renowned entrepreneurs in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Jean-François Gagné, CEO / Co-founder of ELEMENT AI. Element AI appeared virtually overnight. In two years, the company attracted over US $250m in funding and 400+ employees with its bold mission: democratizing AI. During the lecture, Mr. Gagné will share the realities of running Canada’s fastest growing startup, the years of lead-up to this moment, and how AI could fundamentally change our relationship with technology. Please note that the speech will be given in English.

Tuesday, November 12 ¦ Talk – Indigenous Futures, with Mohawk artist, Skawennati and Canadian writer, J.R. Carpenter
British Library, London ¦ Mohawk artist Skawennati and Canadian writer J. R. Carpenter discuss historical records, 3D environments, and indigenous futures in relation to First Nations materials held at the British Library.

Tuesday, November 12 – Saturday, November 16 ¦ What’s in a name?
Richmond Theatre, London ¦ A comic masterpiece adapted by British theatre director, writer and translator Jeremy Sams from the award-winning French film and stage sensation, Le Prénom. This international smash hit has played in over 30 countries and is now on its first ever UK tour, featuring Canadian actor, Alex Gaumond in the role of Carl.


Skawennati: Avatars Aliens Ancestors

L-R: She gathers the Rain, 2018 | Birth of an Avatar (Homage to Mariko Mori), 2017

Canada House leafNovember 13 - March 2020 ¦ Skawennati: Avatars Aliens Ancestors
Canada Gallery, Canada House, London ¦ Avatars Aliens Ancestors presents a selection of the characters that populate Skawennati’s artistic universe. Skawennati makes art that addresses history, the future, and change from her perspective as an urban Mohawk woman and as a cyberpunk avatar. Renowned for her machinimas (movies made in virtual environments) and machinimagraphs (images taken in virtual environments by her avatar), she also produces textiles, including beadwork, and sculptures. Born in Kahnawà:ke Mohawk Territory and active since the late 1990s, she has used cyberspace as both a metaphor for the future and a tool to create representations of Indigenous people in a revised history, a contemporary present and an anticipated tomorrow. For her first UK solo show, the artist presents a selection of the characters that populate her artistic universe. In addition to her own regalia-rocking avatar (who she has named “xox”), you will see a circle of elders from Skyworld, the planet our ancestors are said to have come from, and, in the TimeTraveller™ Portraits, a range of Indigenous people from the 15th to the 23rd century.

Meet upSunday, November 17 ¦ Café Canada – November 2019
Costa Coffee, Southwark ¦ A monthly coffee social with fellow Canadians and members of the Canadian Expat Meetup Group.

Meet upWednesday, November 20 ¦ London Vandoos
Henry’s, Piccadilly ¦ A monthly coffee social with fellow Canadians and members of the Canadian Expat Meetup Group.

Sunday, 24 November ¦ Tafelmusik: Love and betrayal
Milton Court Concert Hall, London ¦ Under the direction of Elisa Citterio, the Toronto-based orchestra and chamber choir Tafelmusik has built a global reputation for its inimitable flair. One of the world’s foremost Baroque ensembles brings to London a programme devoted to the instrumental music of the two great composers, Handel and Vivaldi, at their most unashamedly ardent and flamboyant. Tafelmusik will be joined by soprano Karina Gauvin, popularly known as the Baroque Diva. 

Meet upMonday, December 2 ¦ Monthly Expat Meetup: Wings Night
The Maple Leaf, London ¦ A monthly social event with members of the Canadian Expat Meetup Group gathering at The Maple Leaf Pub, Covent Garden.

Meet upSunday, December 15 ¦ Café Canada
Costa Coffee, Southwark ¦ A monthly cafe social with members of the Canadian Expat Meetup Group gathering at the Costa Coffee in Southwark.

Canadians in LondonThursday, December 19 ¦ A Canadian Christmas in London
White Mustache, Camden ¦ Canadians in London invites you to join them for a turkey dinner with all the trimmings this holiday season. Gather with Canadian expats and enjoy some Canadian treats, including eggnog and a selection of Canadian wines and beers.

Further Ahead

Until February 23 ¦ Meryl McMaster: As Immense as the Sky
Ikon Gallery, Birmingham ¦ The first UK solo exhibition by young Canadian artist Meryl McMaster (b. Ottawa 1988). She belongs to a generation of Indigenous artists who, by means of photography and a performative approach, explore First Nations’ identity and their cultural horizon.

Until February 23 ¦ 24/7 – A wake-up call for our non-stop world
Somerset House, London ¦ Tracing the origins of our ‘always-on’ culture back to the Industrial Revolution, 24/7 examines the blurred boundaries between day and night, work and leisure, human and machine, the individual and the collective. With every waking moment now an opportunity to work, tech companies tracking our facial expressions and our devices following our activity even while we sleep, how we cope with this accelerated pace of life is one of the most urgent contemporary issues affecting us all.  The exhibition features the work of Kelly Richardson, Daily Tous Les Jours, and Catherine Richards, and is co-curated by Sarah Cook.
The UK is buzzing with fascinating Canadian arts & culture events, including concerts by big names such as Mac DeMarco, Michael Bublé, and Rufus & Martha Wainright. For more great arts & culture listings, see our Culture Canada site!

This winter is filled with exciting and fascinating arts & culture events across the UK, highlighting great Canadian talent from Mac DeMarco to Michael Bublé. For more great arts & culture listings, see our Culture Canada site!


The High Commission works with partners in Canada and the UK to develop exhibitions, talks and other programming linked to Canada’s international priorities and objectives. Check out our Calendar of Events.

Job Opportunities

Canada House, London ¦ For information about working at the High Commission, visit the Job Opportunities page on our website. You can also follow us on LinkedIn for regular updates on new openings at Canada House.

Follow us on social media!

Our Communications Team is active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, both in English and French, to ensure that Canadian expats and British people with an interest in Canada are kept up to date with what is going on at Canada House.

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