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Canada Plus – September

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 Campbell

Things have certainly changed in the last year. Here in London, there are new cabinet ministers and new challenges as the United Kingdom looks towards a general election next May. At the High Commission we are in the midst of a building project and a move to Canada House on Trafalgar Square that will bring together all of our activities under one roof for the first time in more than half a century. Later this month, the people of Scotland will make a very important decision about their future and the future of the United Kingdom – it is a decision that will affect us all.

All of this at a time when international events are leading to seismic shifts. These unsettled times both hold our attention and demand new approaches and renewed commitments to the values that Canada has consistently championed. The escalating global challenges help to underline the importance of our Canada-UK relationship. World events help to remind us on a near daily basis of our commitment to shared values. We do not take these bonds for granted and recognize the need to strengthen our ties with old friends and close allies.

For these reasons we are very lucky that Prime Minister Harper will be back in the United Kingdom the first week of September to attend the NATO summit in Wales. Prior to the summit he will be here in London leading a trade mission with Minister of International Trade Ed Fast. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Defence will also be in the UK to attend the NATO meetings.

The trade mission arrives just weeks after the final text for the Comprehensive European Trade Agreement (CETA) was agreed. CETA will provide businesses and investors on both sides of the Atlantic with new economic opportunities in new markets. The people of Europe and Canada will gain new jobs and new prosperity.
The trade mission will set out the many advantages to be found in improved business relationships in Europe. Following the agreement of the text, the next phase is translation and legal review. We here at the High Commission are ready to help when it comes to details about how businesses can take advantage of what this trade deal has to offer. Please feel free to contact me or our highly skilled team of trade commissioners and we will help you to design the program that suits your needs.

Here in the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron has predicted that the benefit to British business will amount to an injection of $2.4 billion (£1.3 billion) into the UK economy, boost exports by almost a third and create thousands of new jobs. Indeed, for many Canadian businesses, the UK – with our historic ties and existing strong relationship – is seen by many firms as a gateway to further European expansion.

The trade mission, with a strong emphasis on ICT (Information and Communications Technology), Life Sciences and the Agri-food industries, will no doubt pave the way for even more businesses to explore the UK market.
After speaking to key business leaders here in the UK, the Prime Minister will change gears and head to the NATO summit. The meeting comes at a time when international tensions demonstrate the vital role that Canada’s strategic military alliances continue to play some 65 years after the organization was founded.

September is a month of change for us here at the High Commission. Over the next weeks I hope many of you will all get the opportunity to meet the new members of our leadership team. They are anxious to get to know you and to continue your efforts to build on the great relationships we have across the United Kingdom.

It is going to be a busy time but it’s an exciting time as well. Take care everyone.

Signature - Gordon Campbell
Gordon Campbell


Win theatre tickets

Award-winning Vancouver theatre company The Chop Theatre is offering our readers four pairs of tickets to the opening night of How To Disappear Completely at the Battersea Arts Centre. To enter, just email us at by the end of the day on Sept 3 with the email address of a friend who would like to sign up to receive the newsletter. We’ll enter both of you to win a pair of tickets.

Study in Canada

Here at the High Commission we are hosting a number of events with Canadian universities for anyone considering pursuing post-secondary education in Canada. From the metropolis of Toronto to beautiful British Columbia, you can meet representatives of some of Canada’s best universities to discuss your education options. One highlight is the Study in Canada fair at the British Library on October 7. Explore what events may be of interest to you on our Education Spotlight page.

Canada bound for study, work or fun?

If you are planning on travelling to Canada and require a visa, Citizenship and Immigration Canada have a helpful website that lets you know what you need to do and most importantly – how early you need to apply. Wondering if you even need a visa to visit Canada? Then the Visit Canadawebsite is the place for you.

If you are applying in the United Kingdom, the approximate current wait times for visas are:

  • Visitor visa: 11 business days
  • Study visa: 7 weeks
  • Work permit: 3 months

If you are a Canadian with consular needs, then current standard wait times are:

  • Passport service – 20 business days
  • Citizenship certificate – 12-15 months

Any inquiries about passport services can be sent to:

For citizenship inquiries and other consular services, please email:

Alan Kessel was plants a maple treeMaple memorial

Deputy High Commissioner Alan Kessel was invited to plant a maple tree at Orpington Hospital, a facility originally created by the Government of Ontario in 1916 to treat soldiers injured in WWI. Hospital staff re-dedicated their garden in memory of the people who spent their last days there and to commemorate its role in the Great War.

Rugby World Cup

Congratulations to Canada, who made it into the final of the Women’s Rugby World Cup in France last month. They played extremely well, and were beaten by England in their first victory in 20 years. Well done! Canada House Update

Canada House construction hoardings

Where some might simply see construction hoardings around a building site, we here at Canada Plus see an opportunity to tell the world the story of Trafalgar Square, how Canada House came to be and even sneak in a fair few tidbits of Canadian history. Our timeline on the blue hoardings is in place and tens of thousands of passersby have a chance to find out more about our country and our place in the most iconic of London locations. If you get a chance, do pop by and have a look – you might just find a nugget of Canadiana that you did not already know.

Behind the hoardings, work continues to transform the building into our new Canadian High Commission to the UK that will be open for business later this year.

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

Business Brief

Minister for International Trade Ed Fast is joining the Prime Minister in leading a trade mission to the UK. They’ll be joined by up to 40 leading Canadian businesses and business associations building connections in the UK. Participants include those from the food industry, from specialty cheese producers, fresh blueberry juice and seafood companies and of course, maple syrup. They’ll also be joined by representatives of Canada’s fast-growing tech industry, life sciences sector and business associations, all hoping to use this chance to strengthen Canada’s close trade ties with the UK.

Consular Corner

Question:  How can I change my last name on my Canadian documents when I get married?

Answer:  It is not mandatory to change your last name on your passport after marriage. If you wish to do so, you must submit a new passport application with guarantor’s signature, 2 photos, the fee, your previous passport, and a piece of supplementary ID issued in your married surname. Please find additional information here. You should contact relevant provincial authorities in Canada in order to change your name on any provincial documents (driver’s licenses and health cards).

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

September Events

September ¦ Margaret Atwood – Stone Mattress
UK ¦ Publication of Margaret Atwood’s book of short stories where she ventures into the dark literary ground earlier explored by Robert Louis Stevenson, Daphne du Maurier and Arthur Conan Doyle.

1 September ¦ Cousins
Oslo, Hackney ¦ Garage rock from the Nova Scotian guitar/drums duo playing songs from their album The Halls of Wickwire.

1 September – 19 October ¦ Where do I end and you begin?
City Art Centre, Edinburgh ¦ An extensive group exhibition of international contemporary art that brings together 20 artists from across the Commonwealth and curators from five Commonwealth countries: New Zealand, South Africa, India, the UK and Canada. Highlights of the exhibition include a film collaboration by Canadian artists Brian Jungen & Duane Linklater.

1 – 13 September ¦ BBC Proms
Royal Albert Hall, London ¦ Soprano Erin Wall, baritone Gerald Finley and violinist James Ehnes are among the first class musicians representing Canada at the 2014 BBC Proms. Singer-composer Rufus Wainwright is also debuting at this year’s edition of the legendary eight-week summer season of daily orchestral classical music concerts and events.

1 – 13 September ¦ Cockadoodle
Manchester ¦ This first European solo exhibition by Maurice Vellekoop presents his contribution to illustration and underground comics. The Canadian artist draws from a vast and familiar pool of televisual and filmic motifs. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, Vogue, Wallpaper, New York Times and Rolling Stone.

1 – 14 September ¦ Digital Revolution
Barbican Centre, London ¦ Described as the most comprehensive presentation of digital creativity to be staged in the UK, this immersive and interactive exhibition brings together a range of artists, filmmakers, architects, designers, musicians and game developers pushing the boundaries of their fields using digital media. The exhibition includes works by two Montreal-based artists: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and Amon Tobin.

4 – 6 September ¦ How to Disappear Completely
Battersea Arts Centre, London ¦ Lighting designer and storyteller Itai Erdal draws on a life lived between his birthplace, Jerusalem, and home in Vancouver to retell the story of his dying mother.  Nominated for a Total Theatre Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the show is recommended for ages 12+.

8 – 18 September ¦ Bryan Adams
Various UK venues ¦ The Ontario-born rock legend tours the UK following the release of his latest album, “Tracks of My Years”.

9 September ¦ The Discerning Gentleman’s Guidebook to Britain’s North American Colonies
Two Chairmen Public House, London ¦ Book launch for Dr. Lee Rotherham’s new history book about Britain’s North American colonies in the 18th century, published by Bretwalda Books.

10 – 14 September ¦ The Invictus Games
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London ¦ Tickets have gone on sale for the Invictus Games. Championed by HRH Prince Harry, the Games will welcome more than 400 injured soldiers from 14 nations to compete in a range of sports from wheelchair rugby to athletics to indoor rowing. Canada’s team of a dozen athletes are sponsored by the Soldier On Foundation.

16 September ¦ Three Days Grace
Electric Ballroom, London ¦ Platinum-selling Ontario rock band Three Days Grace perform songs from “Transit of Venus”.

25 September ¦ Women in Clothes: We Were What We Wear
UK ¦ Part collective memoir and part field study, this is a book about women’s relationship with clothes. The publication features interviews, poems, essays, photographs and illustrations from writers, artists and cognoscenti, bringing together the views of hundreds of women of all nationalities.

26 September ¦ Douglas Coupland: Everywhere is Anywhere is Anything is Everything
Foyles, Charing Cross Road, London ¦ Douglas Coupland, better known for his seminal novels and non-fiction essays exploring the postmodern human condition and the world of consumerism and technology, presents the first comprehensive monograph of his work as a visual artist and designer. Published by Blackdog, the London launch of this work coincides with a major solo exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

26 September ¦ Lunch with Mr E.M. Blake Hutcheson
Butchers’ Hall, London ¦ The Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce presents this luncheon with Mr E. M. Blake Hutcheson, President and CEO of Oxford Properties group, delivering a speech titled ‘OMERS-Oxford: a colonial reverse takeover story’.

26 – 28 September ¦ Canada Focus: London Art Book Fair
Whitechapel Gallery, London ¦ The 2014 London Art Book Fair will feature Canada as a focus country with the participation of 9 Canadian art book publishers. Highlights include Canadian artist, publisher and co-founder of the New York Art Book Fair AA Bronson on zine publishing and best-selling author Douglas Coupland on technology, language and identity.

28 September – 1 October ¦ Cold Specks
Various UK venues ¦ Sparse arrangements and chain gang rhythms from the award winning singer-songwriter’s latest album, “Neuroplasticity”.

Further Ahead

4 – 5 October ¦ London Literature Festival: Freedom Play
Royal Festival Hall, London ¦ Craig Taylor, the author of One Million Tiny Plays about Britain turns his attention to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Taylor dramatises snatches of overheard conversations and confrontations and makes a series of snapshot observations about how freedom can be taken for granted.

5 October ¦ Terry Fox Run
Hampshire ¦ Thirty-four years after Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope, millions of people honour his legacy by participating in fundraising events, such as this 5km run around the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire estate. For details email


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

Archive - Canada Plus



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