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Canada Plus – March

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

Gordon CampbellThe medal tally in Sochi has left no doubt - the Winter Olympics really are Canada’s Games. The women’s hockey gold-medal winning game was both heart-stopping and inspirational and the men’s victory was probably one of the most superb displays of disciplined teamwork we will ever get to see. Beyond hockey we had the gold medal winning men’s and women’s curlers, we had medal winning ice-dancing, skiing, speed skating, snowboarding, skeleton, the list goes wonderfully on. Once again our athletes were great both on and off the podium, even in the face of personal disappointment and injury, they made us very proud to call ourselves Canadians.

Canada’s Olympians were not the only big winners in recent weeks - it was a banner month for Bombardier as well. The announcement that their Derby manufacturing facility has won the £1 billion contract to supply the trains for London’s Crossrail west-to-east rail link that is one of the UK’s largest ongoing infrastructure projects was indeed something to celebrate.  Headquartered in Montreal, Bombardier is one of Canada’s biggest companies operating in the UK. In Northern Ireland, it is the largest private sector employer.

Canadian investment in the UK is reflected in the employment picture. The more than 700 Canadian companies operating on the British Isles collectively employ more than 100,000 people! Among them is Vue cinemas which were recently bought by Alberta Investment Management Corporation and the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System. Oxford Properties has launched a major redevelopment push while our food products continue to gain traction with consumers.

Firms of all shapes and sizes import their brand of Canadian ingenuity and skill to the UK’s business scene every month. We want to be sure they are connected to the incredible network of Canadians who live here. The visit of Governor General Dave Johnston last month reminded us all of the depth of that network and the rich potential it offers from students, to artists, to business entrepreneurs.

Our presence in the UK – and across Europe – is poised to grow even more with the planned Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union – which was agreed in principle in Brussels last October. In the coming weeks and months, we hope to connect with as many members of the UK and Canadian business communities as possible to be sure they maximize the benefits that this historic free trade deal has to offer.

For Canadian business, access to the 28 member states of the EU, with 500 million people and annual economic activity of more than $17 trillion Canadian (£9.2 trillion), makes the EU the world’s largest economy. British Prime Minister David Cameron didn’t mince words in detailing his view of the deal, saying it would inject an estimated $2.4 billion (£1.3 billion) into the UK economy, boost exports by almost a third and create thousands of new jobs.

As I look out the window of my office overlooking Grosvenor Square, the daffodils are up and the sun is casting faint shadows across the lawn as it struggles toward springtime. It strikes me that by this time next year we will all be in the revitalized Canada House at Trafalgar Square. Get ready for spring and have a great March 2014 everybody!
Signature - Gordon Campbell
 Gordon Campbell

Daffodiles in Grosvenor Square


Collage - Margaret Atwood and Peter Kemp

February 19th: Canadian literary legend Margaret Atwood returned to Canada House for a conversation with Peter Kemp, Chief Fiction Reviewer for the Sunday Times, to discuss her poetry and fiction.

Governor General

Governor General David JohnstonWe were delighted to see so many friends of Canada Plus last month for a special audience with Governor General David Johnston. His Excellency talked about innovation and collaboration between Canada and the UK in fields of education, research and enterprise. What made it even more special is we were able to host His Excellency at Canada House, which he called a showcase of Canada’s best in the UK. That will become even more apparent in the coming years, as we usher in a new era for Canada’s High Commission in the UK.


Putting a stop to wildlife trafficking

Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, John Baird, was in London last month to attend an International Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade, where he announced an additional $2 million in emergency funding to combat wildlife trafficking in Eastern Africa.

Remembering their sacrifices

Press cutting - PTE FLatt DeadThe Commonwealth War Graves Commission continues its work in commemorating the 300,000 Commonwealth servicemen and women who died in the two World Wars. Their graves are found in more than 13,000 locations. At Carlisle’s Dalton Road Cemetery, the Commission has installed smartphone technology and QR codes that provide visitors with access to the personal stories of some of the casualties buried or commemorated at that particular location. Among them is Private Willis Flatt was a farmer from Orangeville, Ontario, in Canada.

Despite having had no previous military experience, he enlisted in November 1915, and went on to serve with the Canadian Forestry Corps.

Flatt's service took him to the Western Front, where he remained for just a couple of months, before being transported to the UK for hospital treatment, as a result of illness.

Image: Private Willis Flatt, a farmer from Orangeville, Ontario who enlisted in the summer of 1915. Private Flatt was 29 when he died in a nearby hospital from injuries sustained on the Western Front.

Marathon Man

Following on from the great success of Brit Jamie McDonald who ran across Canada for charity, we’re pleased to welcome our own marathon man Martin Parnell to the UK. The 58-year old endurance athlete will be trying to run the entire South West Coast Path of England, running 1014 kms in 25 days, a marathon a day! Find out more about his fundraising quest. Canada House Update

We are well underway to a revitalised Canada House with news that Overbury has been named as the construction contractor. The project, expected to be completed by November 30, 2014, will renovate and refurbish Canada House and connect it to the adjacent building at 2-4 Cockspur Street, which will also be upgraded.

Regular Canada Plus readers will know that the linked buildings will consolidate all Canadian High Commission activities in the United Kingdom in one location and will become the new Canada House. Overbury, fit out and refurbishment experts, were selected through a competitive tendering process.

The Canadian government first acquired Canada House in 1923 and it has served as our historic diplomatic home in the United Kingdom ever since. Our plans will see it joined with 2-4 Cockspur, which was constructed between 1926-29 by SunLife of Canada and acquired by the Government of Canada in November 2012. The new building also has deep Canadian roots, in addition to being built for a Canadian company, it served as the Canadian Army headquarters in Europe during World War II.

Further ahead, there are exciting sponsorship opportunities related to the re-opening of Canada House. Contact Stephanie MacMillan for further details at
Drawing - Canada House

Consular Corner

Question: I am currently in the process of applying for proof of Canadian citizenship for my two young children. I do not have any photo ID aside from their passports and the list of supporting documents requires two forms of this.

Answer: Signature-bearing personal identification is only a requirement for adult (18 years and older) applications for proof of citizenship. We have made a note of this on the UK-specific instructions section of our website.

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

March Events

Ongoing ¦ Diefenbaker’s North
Helmsdale, Scotland ¦ The Timespan Museum presents this exhibit on how the local area has changed since the former Canadian PM John Diefenbaker’s ancestors emigrated. A number of special events are planned around the story of Canada’s 13th Prime Minister including a 1950’s Highland Hop Weekend in May. 

Until  5 July ¦ Edward Adamson and William Kurelek: Two artists of the mind
Bethlem Museum, South London ¦ This exhibit brings together works by Canadian artist William Kurelek, a former patient at the hospital with the work of Edward Adamson, the British man who pioneered art as therapy for those suffering from mental health problems.

Until 18 March ¦ Chloe Charles
Various, England ¦ The Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist returns to the UK, accompanying the release of her album ‘Break the Balance’ on March 10.

Until 13 March ¦ Michael Bublé
Various UK venues ¦ Award-winning jazz vocalist Michael Bublé returns to the UK following the 2013 release of his album ‘To Be Loved’, performing in Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham.

5 March ¦ Rufus Wainwright
Usher Hall, Edinburgh ¦ Singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright performs songs from his seventh studio album, ‘Out of the Game’.

6 -16 March ¦ Oshawa Vikings
Various UK venues ¦ The under-14 Oshawa rugby team will bring a co-ed team of 24 to play 5 games against young British teams.

7 March ¦ We Day UK
Wembley Arena, London ¦ The movement that was started in Canada to motivate young people to make a difference in the world comes to the UK for the first time. Speakers will include Al Gore, Ellie Goulding, Sir Richard Branson and Malala Yousafzai.

8 March ¦ Varsity Match
Oxford ¦ The oldest rivalry in the history of hockey, now in its 94th year – the Oxford Blues play the Cambridge University Blues. With many Canadians on the ice and in the stands, the game starts with ‘O Canada.’ A little bit of home in England.

10 March ¦ The Longest Kiss
Frontline Club, London ¦ Canadian director Alexandra Sicotte-Levesque will attend this screening and Q and A of her film about the secession of South Sudan from the north.

11 March ¦ Canadian Carnival
Watford Colosseum ¦ Bringing together music from Canada and Britain, the BBC Concert Orchestra presents this Commonwealth celebration featuring Benjamin Britten’s Canadian Carnival, Robert Farnon’s Lake of the Woods, and Canadian composer Howard Shore’s Mythic Gardens.

11 – 26 March ¦ Drake and The Weeknd
Various UK venues ¦ Singer/rapper Drake comes to the UK with his concert tour ‘Would You Like a Tour’ to promote his third studio album, ‘Nothing Was the Same’ supported by The Weeknd.

12 and 26 March ¦ National Career Guidance Show
Leicester, London ¦ National conference for guidance councillors where they can find out how to advise young people about going to study in Canada.

13 March ¦ Jersey Higher Education Fair
Jersey, CI ¦ Free event for students in Jersey to meet with university and government representatives, including Brock University and the Canadian High Commission.

17 March ¦ Constructing Community and Affirming Culture
The Swedenborg Society, London ¦ The Japan Society presents this lecture by Dr. Jonathan Mackintosh on the experience of Canadians of Japanese Descent in Postwar Canada. Free to attend but booking is recommended.

17 March ¦ New Realities for Global Health: Britain and Canada Working Together
UCL Institute of the Americas ¦ Philip Peacock, Chair of the Canada-UK Council, will chair a panel on ‘New Realities for Global Health: Britain and Canada Working Together’. The panel will present a report on the Canada-UK Colloquium held at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor, in November 2013. Please email Tony McCulloch to register,

March 18 – 28 ¦ Human Rights Watch Film Festival
Various London locations ¦ A chain-wallah travels across India in search of his missing son in Richie Mehta’s feature Siddharth while UK/US documentary First to Fall tells the story of Hamid and Tarek who leave their lives as students in Canada to join the fight to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi.

20 March ¦ La Francophonie improv evening (in French only)
The French Institute, London ¦ International teams will compete in a good natured celebration of Francophonie countries. Participants representing Belgium, Canada, France, Quebec and Switzerland will display improv skits around a randomly chosen theme.

20 – 30 March ¦ BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival
BFI Southbank, London ¦ The BFI’s newly-renamed LGBT film festival presents an array of Canadian films and events including: musical documentary My Prairie Home about trans singer and indie sensation, Rae Spoon, Killjoy’s Kastle a multi-media installation by Allyson Mitchell, as well as features Sarah Prefers to Run, Tru Love and a number of co-productions and shorts.

22- 23 March ¦ The Student World Fair
London, Leeds ¦ Free event for those interested in study abroad opportunities, including studying in Canada.

24 March ¦ UCL Annual Canadian Studies Lecture
 UCL Institute of the Americas ¦ Dr. Hector Mackenzie, Carleton University and Department of Foreign Affairs, Ottawa, will speak on Canada and the Americas. Please email Tony McCulloch to register,

Canada House leaf26 March ¦ Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Seminar   
London ¦ The Canadian High Commission in partnership with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is hosting a seminar on the benefits of the pending free trade agreement between Canada the European Union (CETA). Moderated by Shawn Donnan, World Trade Editor for the Financial Times, keynote speakers include Matthew Hancock, MP, Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Hon Jean Charest, former Premier of Quebec. Availability is limited, if you are interested in attending, please contact for more information.

Canada House leaf27 March ¦ Canada House Presents:  A Portrait of Leonardo     
National Portrait Gallery, London ¦ What did Leonardo da Vinci look like? In this illustrated lecture, international expert Ross King will examine possible portraits and self-portraits of Leonardo, as well as descriptions of him by his contemporaries, in order to try to reconstruct his appearance. Ross King has written six books on Italian, French and Canadian art and history. His most recent book won the 2012 Governor General’s Award. This event, in association with the National Portrait Gallery’s Late Shift programme, is free, but space is limited on a first-come first-serve basis. 7pm, Room 20 of the National Portrait Gallery.

28 – 29 March ¦ The Annual Canadian Studies Conference
UCL, London ¦ This year the focus is on historic and present-day Canadian cities, and will feature speakers from Brock University, Simon Fraser University, Université de Montréal, York University and INRS Montreal. Registration is free, but required in advance.

31 March ¦ First To Fall
Frontline Club, London ¦ The story of two young friends who leave peaceful lives in Canada to fight in the Libyan Revolution in 2011 is screened at the west London Frontline Club.

Further Ahead

4 April ¦ Tanya Tagaq in Concert with Nanook of the North  
Southbank Centre, London ¦ Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq is a contemporary performance artist of an ancient art. She will perform a live accompaniment to the 1922 silent docu-drama Nanook of the North.  Canada Plus readers can email us for a chance to win free tickets to see Tanya and attend a small reception afterwards.

5 April ¦ Book Launch: World Film Locations – Toronto and Vancouver
UCL, Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre ¦ The editors of the Toronto and Vancouver editions of World Film Locations discuss the relationship of the cities to cinema.

7 April ¦ Admiral Sir William Parker
Fan Museum, London ¦ Andrew and Daphne Joynes deliver a lecture on the life of Admiral Sir William Parker, who explored the coast of Newfoundland with Captain James Cook.

9 April – 25 August ¦ The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk
Barbican, London ¦ A collaboration between Maison Jean Paul Gaultier and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, it is the first major exhibition dedicated to the celebrated French designer.

11 April – 3 August ¦ McLaren 2014
Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling ¦ A project to celebrate the Scottish – Canadian filmmaker, animator and artist Norman McLaren. McLaren was born in Stirling, but went on to co-found the National Film Board of Canada. This celebration, in collaboration with the NFB, lasts from the centenary of his birth to the end of the Commonwealth Games.

18 April ¦ Shane Koyczan
London ¦ The Canadian poet who rose to fame during the Winter Olympics and has been compared to Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell reads from his work, accompanied by music.

Canada House leaf22 April ¦ Canada House Presents: General John de Chastelain     
London ¦ Ahead of the 70th anniversary of D-Day in June, Steve Paikin, anchor and editor of TVO’s flagship current affairs program The Agenda, talks to Canada’s former Chief of the Defence Staff, General John de Chastelain. If you are interested in attending this event, send an e-mail to Spaces will be limited.

24 - 26 April ¦ British Association of Canadian Studies Conference
Macdonald House, London ¦ BACS annual conference begins on Thursday 24 April with an opening keynote by General John de Chastelain, former head of the Canadian military, at Macdonald House, followed by two days of academic papers at the British Library Conference Centre. The theme of the conference is "Warrior or Peacemaker? The Battle over Canada's Identity, 1914-2014."

8 November ¦ 2014 Maple Leaf Ball
The Savoy, London ¦ The Maple Leaf Trust has announced the return of the Maple Leaf Ball, a fundraising event for the Canadian community to be held at The Savoy Hotel. Sign up for email updates using the link above.


For more news of culture and the arts with Canadian connections appearing in the UK check out our Calendar of Events.

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