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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

Photos - Gordon Campbell - Her Majesty and Gordon Smith - Her Majesty and His Royal Highness,John Baird, Gordon Campbell.From the first whispers of “doing something” with Canada House back in the early 1990s, it’s hard to believe, but on Thursday February 19, 2015, we managed to reunite all of the components of the Canadian High Commission in the United Kingdom under one roof, right here on Trafalgar Square.

Her Majesty and His Royal Highness made it a very special event for the High Commission team, construction workers, and the incredibly generous supporters who were able to attend. Opening day was a signature Canadian event, complete with RCMP in red serge on horseback, a specially minted key presented to Her Majesty by long-serving Canada House employee John Sommerville and the unveiling of a beautiful new plaque to mark the occasion.

In addition to meeting the people behind the project, former Foreign Affairs minister John Baird dedicated The Queen Elizabeth Atrium in Her Majesty’s honour. The Royal Couple also stopped to view London from the fabulous oval windows in the Sir Wilfrid Laurier Room and chatted with 95-year-old artist Gordon Smith, who painted an incredible piece called Reflections that hangs in the Cockspur Street lobby.

For those interested in seeing inside Canada House, we will be hosting further public tours in the months ahead. You will have a chance to view some of the art and design pieces which have received rave reviews, as well as tour some of the dedicated provincial and territorial rooms. Stay tuned to Canada Plus for announcements about future dates.

Just one day after the Royal couple visited, we formally opened a special Jeff Wall exhibit in the Canada Gallery. The gallery is open to the public 6 days a week Monday to Saturday and will be featuring new and established Canadian artists in the future.

With all this going on we need to remember that our immigration, trade, consular services, military liaisons,  public affairs and foreign policy teams are here, unpacked and getting down to the business of delivering Canada’s very best to our many friends here in the United Kingdom.

Stay tuned for lots of upcoming events and again thanks to all of you for your help and encouragement throughout this transformation. I hope to see you here at Canada House soon.

Signature - Gordon Campbell

Gordon Campbell

Photos - The Queen at Canada House

Left: The Queen signs the same book that her grandfather signed when opening Canada House in 1925.

Right: Her Majesty says goodbye to High Commissioner Gordon Campbell.


The Folio Prize

Canadian writers Miriam Toews and Rachel Cusk have been shortlisted for the 2015 Folio Prize.  The Folio Prize is the first major English language book prize open to writers from around the world.  Sponsored by The Folio Society, the prize celebrates the best fiction of our time, regardless of form or genre. The winner of the prize will be announced on March 23.

Thomas Tait’s catwalk showStylish Ideas

The inaugural Canada House Presents in our newly-refurbished space took on a decidedly stylish tone when we welcomed Canadian womenswear designer Thomas Tait to an evening in conversation with esteemed fashion writer Colin McDowell. With London Fashion Week as the backdrop, the pair spoke about the challenges for young talent in finding their feet. Thomas tipped his sartorial hat to Montreal’s LaSalle College, where he began his training behind a sewing machine.

Canada House Update
Collage - inside Canada House

Our scheduled tours of the revamped Canada House were in such high demand, all the spots were snatched up immediately! We will extend more opportunities to see Canada House from the inside in March. Watch our Calendar of Events for details.

Drawing - Canada House

Business Brief

The revitalization of Canada House – and the celebration of the official opening – was supported by a wide-range of Canadian firms who operate here in the UK and who helped deliver a true ‘taste of Canada’ here in London. Seafood ranging from scallops to hot, cold and even candied smoked salmon to shrimp and yellowtail flounder came from Clearwater, True North Salmon and Ocean Choice International and was served along with responsibly sourced Northern Divine Caviar. One Earth Farms donated Alberta Angus beef and anyone with a sweet tooth was treated to Nanaimo Bars. Wines from Quebec’s Vignoble Carone, Ontario’s Pillitteri Estates Winery and Andrew Peller Limited and Clos du Soleil from British Columbia rounded out a day celebrating Canadian excellence in both food and wine.

Consular Corner

Question:  I lived and worked in Canada for several years in the 1970s and 1980s, then returned to the UK permanently. I am now 65 and collecting my UK pension. I never obtained my Canadian citizenship. Am I eligible for a Canadian pension?

Answer:  If you worked in Canada after 1966, when Canada Pension Plan (CPP) came into effect, then you should be eligible for a Canadian pension whether or not you are a Canadian citizen. Information and application forms to make your CPP application. If you lived in Canada for more than 20 years after your 18th birthday, you may also be eligible for an Old Age Security (OAS) pension. Should you have any questions about your Canadian pension entitlements or would like an application pack sent to you, do not hesitate to contact us at

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

March Events

Boy falls from tree (2010)Until 15 May ¦ Jeff Wall
Canada House Gallery, London ¦ Renowned Canadian artist Jeff Wall’s unique large-scale photographs are the first to be featured in our newly-reopened Canada Gallery. Free. Monday – Saturday 11:00 – 5:45. Access through the Pall Mall entrance.

Boy falls from tree (2010)

March ¦ Adult Onset
Adult Onset, the new novel released in March from Ann-Marie MacDonald, the internationally bestselling author of Fall on Your Knees and The Way the Crow Flies, has been described as hilarious and heartbreaking.  MacDonald is an award-winning novelist, playwright, actor and broadcaster.

5 – 15 March ¦ Ian Sherwood
Various UK venues  ¦ Award-winning singer/songwriter Ian Sherwood (Contemporary Singer of the Year in the 2013 Canadian Folk Music Awards) tours venues across the North of England.

9 March ¦ Commonwealth Day
Commonwealth Day is celebrated around the world. In London, there is a private Commonwealth Day Observance at Westminster Abbey with the theme ‘A Young Commonwealth’.

10 March ¦ Finding HMS Erebus
National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth  ¦ Parks Canada underwater archeologist Ryan Harris talks about the exciting discovery of one of the lost ships of the Franklin Expedition.

12 March ¦ Canadian Alumni Networking Reception
Graduates from universities across Canada will be gathering at Canada House for this event to meet fellow alumni and network. Registration is now closed.

12 – 13 March ¦ Digital Quebec
BFI, Southbank ¦ The BFI and the Quebec Government present this series of live audiovisual performances combining music and the digital arts.

13 March ¦ Margaret Atwood: Fashion and Fiction
Victoria and Albert Museum ¦ Internationally acclaimed author Margaret Atwood talks about her lifelong interest in clothes.

19 – 29 March ¦ BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival
London ¦ Watch out for Canadian films at this year’s Flare including The Amina Profile, In the Turn and the documentary Out to Win, which is the closing night gala screening.

20 March ¦ Celebrating the Francophonie
Ciné lumière, London ¦ Actors from Belgium, Canada, France, Québec, Switzerland and Tunisia will help celebrate the Francophonie through improv skits around random themes.

21 March ¦ Gerald Finley
Wigmore Hall, London ¦ Bass barritone Gerald Finley returns to Wigmore Hall after his 2014 residency with a programme featuring Mozart, Brahms, Ned Rorem, Vaughan Williams and Ives.

23 – 27 March ¦ Josh Taerk
Various UK venues ¦ The Toronto singer-songwriter performs a series of free coffee house sessions across the UK, as well as some evening dates.

25 March ¦ Canadian Lawyers Networking Evening
London ¦ The Senior Status Law Society at Queen Mary University of London is holding a networking evening with Canadian law students and other Canadian legal professionals in the UK.

25 March ¦ Louis Lortie
Wigmore Hall, London ¦ Praised for his technical command and insights into the works in his repertoire, Lortie returns to Wigmore Hall with Beethoven’s 'Hammerklavier' Sonata and Liszt’s Sonata in B minor.

26 March ¦ Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz luncheon
Grange St Paul’s Hotel, London ¦ The Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce hosts a highly anticipated luncheon event with the Governor of the Bank of Canada.

28 March ¦ Michelle Todd
St Barnabus Church, Wellingborough ¦ British-Canadian soprano Michelle Todd will perform Mozart Requiem and Exsultate Jubilate in Northamptonshire.

28 – 31 March ¦ The Winkworth Collection: A Treasure House of Canadiana in London
Christie’s South Kensington, London ¦ Christie’s will be auctioning the last of celebrated collector Peter Winkworth’s collection of early Canadian art. It includes a watercolour of Niagara Falls from 1762, Mi’qmak crafts and some General Wolfe memorabilia. The collection will be on display to the public before the auction on 1 April.

Further Ahead

16 April – 3 May ¦ With Cruel Times In Between
Various UK venues ¦ Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador bring their lyrical portrait of Newfoundland culture to small venues in the North of England.

8 - 28 May ¦ Miss Caledonia
Various UK venues ¦ Melody Johnson’s comedy about an Ontario farm girl’s quest to become a movie star through entering beauty pageants tours venues in the North.

10 May ¦ Wreath Laying
St Peter’s Church, Petersham ¦ There will be a service and wreath-laying ceremony at the grave of Captain George Vancouver at 11:30.


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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Archive - Canada Plus

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