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Canada Plus – July and August 2020

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 CharetteIt was May when I last wrote to you, contemplating life under lockdown as it began to sink in that we might be in this for the long haul. Now, as the UK tentatively begins to reopen, I want to thank the Canadian community in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for your patience, flexibility and resilience in the face of this unprecedented crisis.  The Canada House team is still here for you if you need help. Although most of the team continue to work remotely, around a quarter of Canada House staff have now returned to the High Commission to resume work that cannot be done from home.

Some challenges are now familiar to us, such as working from home - or attempting to work from home while also trying to home-school our children! Others have been much harder to get used to, such as not being able to see friends or family, or grappling with financial hardship, unemployment and uncertainty about the future. Deepest condolences to any of you that have lost a loved one to the virus. And thanks to all of the essential workers – from the NHS, to the sanitation workers, cleaners and grocery store workers and some of our own Canada House staff that have been working throughout this crisis to take care of us. Bravo!

This has also been a time for reflection on wider societal issues. The #BlackLivesMatters protests have shone a spotlight on the need to work together to address the discrimination faced by too many Black people, as well as by Indigenous, Asian and other minority ethnic members of our community. Canada’s First Ministers made a statement condemning all forms of racism, intolerance and discrimination and committed to take action to combat it. At Canada House, we share that commitment and will continue to support the Government of Canada’s work here in the UK to contribute to a world that is free of racism and discrimination.

One way we are encouraging constructive conversation around race at Canada House is through representation in the arts. Our cultural diplomacy programme provides a platform for Canada’s vibrant community of talented Indigenous, Black and minority ethnic artists. Some of these artists were featured on July 1 as part of “Love From Canada”, the first-ever virtual official celebration of Canada Day.

The online show was a wonderful display of the diversity and talent that make Canada unique. Over 35 Canadian diplomatic missions in the UK, Europe and the Maghreb took part and more than 25,000 Canadians living around the world tuned in! Thanks to all who joined us. If you missed the show, you can watch it again on Facebook!
Congratulations to all the winners of our Canada Day party kit contest. We have featured some of the lovely photos of your (socially-distanced) Canada Day celebrations in the newsletter below. During the summer, do keep an eye on our social media channels for more online events and the best of Canadian arts and culture.
As we look with hope towards the future, let us remember to keep doing our part to protect those around us.  Wear a mask, keep a safe distance and wash your hands!

Until next time… Stay well. Stay safe. Take care of each other.

Warmest wishes,

 Signature - Janice Charette
Janice Charette

Consular Corner

Canadians in the UK 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.

Due to COVID-19, we are continuing to operate with a reduced on-site presence at Canada House and have been unable to accept routine passport and citizenship applications for an extended period. We are pleased to advise that clients may now submit their applications by trackable mail. Due to the increased demand, please be aware that processing will be subject to lengthy delays. The guidelines that all non-essential travel should be postponed still applies. If you have an emergency such as a death in the family and require urgent passport services, please email:

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

IRCC Information

Question: I am a British citizen married to a Canadian citizen. I have a valid electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA). My spouse and I were planning to go to Canada for one month, to perform some important maintenance work on our holiday home. We are aware that there are currently restrictions in place when travelling to Canada and are unsure if our trip qualifies as "essential". Can you please assist?

Answer: As an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen, you do not need to provide evidence that your trip is essential. You are eligible to travel to Canada as long as you can prove that you will be staying in Canada for at least 15 days, are in possession of a valid eTA, and have a quarantine plan for the first 14 days of your stay in Canada. This plan is mandatory. Please be advised that there may be other rules currently in place when travelling to Canada, which may apply to you. Always check that you have the most up-to-date information by referring to the Government of Canada website.

Did you know?

For a nation renowned for its cold climate, it may seem rather surprising that the UV Index was invented by Canadians! This scale was designed by three Environment Canada scientists in 1992 to measure the intensity of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. The UV index can sometimes reach 8 or 9 during the summer months in Southern parts of Canada, so don't forget your sunscreen! 

Business Brief

Your Business & Brexit

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

Looking back on Canada Day

Canada Day this year may have looked very different than in previous years, but thanks to our dedicated staff, we were able to deliver Canada Day party packs to 153 lucky Canadians across the UK to celebrate Canada’s birthday. Thank you to all who participated in the contest and a special thank you those of you who shared the wonderful photos of your celebrations - see below. If you are interested in participating in the Canada Day party pack contest next year, watch this space! Contest details are usually announced in the May edition of our Canada Plus newsletter.

Collage - Canada Day 2020

In addition to our annual Canada Day Party Pack contest, this year, the High Commission of Canada in London joined forces with over 35 Canadian diplomatic missions around Europe and the Maghreb for “Love From Canada”, our first ever virtual Canada Day celebration featuring an incredibly talented and diverse lineup of Canadian performers. With over 30,000 views and counting, suffice it say it was a smashing success. We hope you enjoyed the show on Canada Day, but if you missed it, you can watch it again here.

Curious about what goes on behind the doors of Canada House? Why not also watch our special Canada Day message, which we shared as part of Love From Canada, to learn more about the work we do here at the High Commission of Canada in the UK. Be sure to watch until the end for a surprise!

What’s Coming Up?

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

With current events having unfortunately forced the temporary closure of the Canada Gallery, and as part of our exciting new #CanadaGoesDigital initiative, we have been hard at work bringing the Canada Gallery to life online. 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.

July 13: Come to Canada – A World of Possibilities

Next Monday, the High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom will host “Come to Canada: A World of Possibilities”, a free live information session on studying in Canada. The virtual info session will include important information on how to pursue higher education in Canada, what makes Canada an excellent destination for international studies, as well as an update on the impact of COVID-19 on studying in Canada. Tune in on Webex or Facebook at 2:00 pm BST. Find out more here.

Until August 3: Digital Moon Festival Canadian Edition: “The Moon and its Possibilities”

The High Commission of Canada and the Moon Festival invite you to join the first iteration of the digital Moon Festival: a month of digital content celebrating the brightest rock in the sky and its relevance to Canadian culture. Opening the dances is none other than Canadian author Margaret Atwood, with a number of readings from folklore to an original, unpublished moon-themed story. Following this literary giant, audiences will enjoy a free reeling of film, theatre, visual art from every corner of Canada. Subscribe to the newsletter to receive weekly boosts of lunar love kicking off on until August 3 and follow the hashtag #CanadianMoon on social media.

Ongoing: Canada-UK Foundation and Canada Memorial Foundation announce partnership

The Canada-UK Foundation and the Canada Memorial Foundation are delighted to announce that they are formally working together, maintaining their unique brands, whilst incorporating their scholarships and education awards going forward.

In practical terms this very simply means that the two charities will be developing their education and academic strategies together, sharing staff resources in a way that minimizes costs and maximises collaboration potential. 

“This partnership is a fantastic opportunity for us, two key Canada-UK charitable foundations with similar visions and mandate, to speak with one voice and to be stronger together, rather than in parallel “says William Swords, Chair of the Canada-UK Foundation.  “Sharing staff gives us a unity of governance and strategic programme support that we greatly value in today’s challenging environment.”

Steven Lowe, Chair of the Canada Memorial Foundation, adds that “this alliance will create a synergy of resources. I am delighted that Foundation staff will be supporting and guiding both charities, and that Hasna Bloore will be the Academic Director for all scholarships and awards we both have. This will help our respective juries and academic panels to strategize together and make the most of our scholarship programs. I am also particularly delighted that the partnership has brought to life our long-held ambition to add a new Canada-to-UK component to our existing UK-to-Canada scholar support.”   

About the Canada Memorial Foundation scholarship: The CMF Scholarship supports exceptional young people for postgraduate study at Masters Level, and actively fosters lifelong learning and fellowship between Canadian and UK institutions. CMF awards full scholarships to successful candidates for both UK students wishing to study in Canada and Canadian students wishing to study in the UK.

We are building on what Canadian and British soldiers have fought for over the centuries – opportunities for young people and a common future. Our scholars’ experiences broaden their horizons, shape their characters and help them to develop their careers, providing memories and relationships that last a lifetime. The Canada Memorial Foundation scholarship is a life-changing opportunity for outstanding young individuals with the potential to make a positive impact in the world.

Applications for 2020/2021 are now open. For more details, please visit: Canada Memorial Foundation.

A Good News Story for Canada’s International Students!

COVID-19 has left many prospective international students and parents wondering about the future of post-secondary education in Canada. Amongst the uncertainty, a good news story has emerged. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has recently announced that international students who are required to study online in 2020 may complete up to 50% of their program while abroad (if through a Canadian Designated Learning Institution) and will still be eligible to obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit after completing their studies.  In addition, international students will not have time deducted from the length of their permit for the period of study they spent outside of Canada (up until 31 December 2020).

The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) allows students who have graduated from eligible Canadian Designated Learning Institutions to obtain an open work permit to gain valuable Canadian work experience, some of which may help graduates to qualify for permanent residence in Canada. The PGWPP is one reason Canada remains a highly competitive study destination for skilled international students. For more information, visit: Immigration and citizenship.

The Government of Canada has introduced a number of measures to support international students during COVID-19, but this announcement reinforces just how deeply Canada values its international students and the contributions that they make to its educational institutions, communities, and country. Students and families wanting updated information on studying in Canada should visit the EduCanada website.

Further Ahead

September: 40th anniversary of the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope

The Terry Fox Run is coming back to the UK to mark the 40th anniversary of Terry Fox’s inspirational ‘Marathon of Hope’ – a cross-country run to raise money for cancer research by the 22-year old Canadian amputee who averaged a marathon (26 miles) a day for 143 days in a row, on one natural leg.  He tragically never finished his run, as his cancer spread to his lungs and forced him to end his quest and ultimately cost him his life, but his story has inspired thousands of Canadians to run each year to raise money for cancer research.

You are invited to join participants around the world for the virtual Terry Fox Run on Sunday 20 September 2020 for a run, walk or bike ride to raise money for the world class Institute of Cancer Research. One Day. Your Way.

The event is free to enter, non-competitive and open to all. Those interested in participating can find out more and register via the UK website: Terry Fox Run UK.

October: EduCanada Fair

Next October, the High Commission of Canada will host the first virtual edition of its bi-annual EduCanada Fair, providing school counsellors in the United Kingdom, as well as students interested in university studies at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels, with the opportunity to learn more about higher education opportunities in Canada. Stay tuned to our social media for a confirmation of the date nearer the time.

Follow us on social media!

With the current pandemic changing the way we work and interact, more and more interactive content is being made available online. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, both in English and French, for all the latest in Canadian culture online and news updates on #COVID19.

You can follow us here:

Archive - Canada Plus

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