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Canada Plus – November

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

During some of my more challenging days as Premier of British Columbia, I always knew there was an escape route when I really needed one. It was only a short walk from the Legislative Assembly to Munro’s Books on Government Street. Opened by Jim and Alice Munro back in the 1960s, it endures as a champion of the independent bookseller. It offered both a respite from the problems of the day and a gateway to another world.

The same can be said of the work of Canada’s newest Nobel Laureate. Alice Munro has charmed generations of readers around the world with her beautifully crafted short stories. She has taken us all to the heart of small town Ontario, sharing the journeys of young girls and women facing day-to-day dilemmas and major life challenges.

Perhaps one of the reasons that so many of us beamed with pride at the news of Alice Munro winning Canada’s first ever Nobel Prize in Literature is that she transports readers to Canada, where they meet Canadians and get to know just a little bit more about who we are and what we are all about.

No doubt this award will ensure that even more people will get to share the joy of Alice’s short stories for many years to come and gain insight into our country and all that we have to offer.

As we celebrate historic firsts, we also take our hats off this month to the teams who have spent more than four years sealing the deal on Canada’s free trade agreement with Europe. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was signed in principle by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and EU President Jose Manuel Barroso in Brussels last week. The hard work, patience and leadership that went into securing a deal that works for everyone has paid off and Canadians and our European friends will reap the benefits in the years to come.

Finally, I would like to take time this month to recognize Canada’s veterans. I will be joining members of our Canadian Forces, veterans and their families for services in Green Park on Sunday, 10 November to remember those who have sacrificed so much for the freedoms we enjoy today. This year, we will be joined by the two Canadian members of the Commonwealth Team about to embark on the South Pole Allied Challenge. Together with injured soldiers from the United States and the UK they will overcome the elements and the scars of recent conflicts to demonstrate what veterans are capable of achieving. The efforts of Master Corporal Chris Downy and Corporal Alexandre Beaudin-D’Anjou will raise funds for Soldier On, the charity that supports injured and ill soldiers and their families. I am sure you will join me in wishing them well when they set off in the middle of the month.

As always, life here at the Canadian High Commission is both busy and diverse, no doubt mirroring the lives of the many Canadians and friends of Canada here in the UK. Please do let me know what you are up to and what you would like to see from our team in the coming months.

Gordon Campbell
 Gordon Campbell


Eyes on the fries

Did you know that one of every three fries sold around the world is a McCain fry? The High Commissioner visited the successful Canadian company’s UK headquarters in October and learned that McCain UK buys 12% of all the potatoes grown in the United Kingdom.

Prosperity = wellbeing

Canada has jumped from sixth place to third in this year’s Legatum Prosperity Index – a leading think tank analysis that does not rank nations solely based on economic performance, but on quality of life. While we were third overall (behind Norway and Switzerland), the researchers found that Canada leads the world when it comes to personal freedom.  That ranking is based largely on Canadians’ demonstrated tolerance for immigrants and ethnicities.
Canada House Update
Work continues on our plans to renew Canada House on Trafalgar Square as home to our diplomatic presence here in the UK. Stantec, a leading Canadian design firm, is working with its UK offices and specialist heritage architects to bring out the very best of this historic building.

The renewal will incorporate the adjacent 2-4 Cockspur Street building in order to house all High Commission activities in one location. The project strives to preserve and restore the unique history of the building and at the same time reflect the best of Canada in this century.

As we prepare to sell Macdonald House on Grosvenor Square, there has been plenty of active interest from a range of parties. Preparations for the move have included quite a bit of house cleaning. It is quite a task but it feels good to get started.

In the same vein, we have begun necessary work in the 2-4 Cockspur building ahead of the move late next year.

Drawing, Canada House

November Events

1 November – 10 November ¦ Ecocentrix: Indigenous Arts, Sustainable Acts
London, Bargehouse ¦ A 3D digital diorama introducing Canadian First Nations theatre by Marie Clements and Monique Mojica is one of the highlights of this interactive exhibition of contemporary indigenous performance.

8 and 10 November ¦ The Tenors
Canadian vocal quartet The Tenors make appearances on the The Alan Titchmarch Show on ITV on 8 November, followed by a performance with Celine Dion on BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing on 10 November. The 2013 Juno Award Winners have performed for Her Majesty The Queen and been guests on The Oprah Winfrey Show, the 2011 Emmy Awards and the opening ceremonies of Vancouver’s 2010 Olympics.

Poppies10 November ¦ Service of Remembrance
London, Canada Memorial ¦ You are welcome to join High Commissioner Gordon Campbell and members of Canada’s armed forces in a special Service of Remembrance and wreath-laying at the Canada Memorial in Green Park. The service will be held at 1:45 p.m.  Members of the Canadian community in London are also very welcome to join a reception at Canada House after the service (subject to availability) to meet veterans and hear from MCpl Chris Downy and Cpl Alexandre Beaudin-D’Anjou about their upcoming trek to the South Pole in support of Soldier On. To attend, please email:

12 November ¦ Canada House Presents Doug Saunders
London, Canada House ¦ As part of our signature talks series, “Canada House Presents” Globe and Mail journalist Doug Saunders talks with British journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown on the themes of his latest book, “The Myth of the Muslim Tide”. The discussion will be held between 18:00 and 20:00 p.m. For a free place at this event (subject to availability) email:

14 November ¦ Royal Canoe
London, Camden ¦ Genre defying electro-pop six-piece from Winnipeg Royal Canoe play at Camden’s The Black Heart.

19 November ¦ Canada Europe Energy Summit
London, Canada House ¦ The summit gathers leaders from Europe and the Canadian energy sector to explore the significant opportunities that are presented by Canada's emergence as an energy superpower. The speakers will include Bob Dudley, Chief Executive, BP; The Hon. Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources;  and The Rt Hon. Michael Fallon, UK Minister of State for Energy. 

23 November – 27 November ¦ Nickelback
Vancouver-based stadium rockers Nickelback play various UK dates as part of “The Hits Tour”.

25 November – 1 December ¦ Barenaked Ladies
Canadian rock band Barenaked Ladies tour their twelfth and latest album “Grinning Streak”.

 25 November ¦ Canada House Presents Michael Adams
London, Canada House ¦ Canadian social commentator and best-selling author Michael Adams presents the latest in our series of discussions by posing the question “Is Canada still cool? The evolution of Canadian values, attitudes and opinions”. 6-8 pm.  For a free place at this event (subject to availability) email:


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

Consular Corner

Question: As a Canadian citizen travelling to or living in the UK, can I get free hospital treatment through the NHS (National Health Service)?

Answer: NHS hospital treatment is free for residents of the UK. However, Canadians travelling to the UK on a holiday or short visit will be required to pay for the full cost of all treatment with the NHS (with exceptions for treatment given entirely in an accident and emergency department, treatment for certain communicable diseases and compulsory psychiatric treatment, all of which are free of charge to everyone). More information.

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

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