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Canada Plus – December

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

The British invented so much of what I think of as Christmas.  For me, it was Dickens. I remember my Dad reading us A Christmas Carol from a small leather-bound book when we were children and every year we watched Alastair Sim as Scrooge learning the lessons of Christmas and buying the Cratchits the big “prize turkey that hung in the window down the street".

The great tale travelled with me through the years as I went on to teach English in Nigeria, where A Christmas Carol was part of the West Africa School Certificate Exam. 
The month of December is a time when we meet up, catch up and reach out to one another. For me and my family, it is perhaps the biggest gift we all receive. There is a spirit and it is imbued with memories, laughter and good cheer.  It is also a reflection on how lucky we are. As citizens of the UK and of Canada, it can become too easy to take our human and democratic rights for granted.

Taking in the big picture of the world we live in and acknowledging our good fortune is a theme that was beamed to earth by Commander Chris Hadfield during his months spent spinning the earth on the International Space Station.

Indeed, Commander Hadfield’s tweets and Facebook posts from space helped to take us all along on his amazing journey and allowed us to share his sense of awe at our shared planet. We are delighted that Commander Hadfield will be touching down at Canada House later this month to talk about life, space and the challenges of playing guitar in zero gravity. That he is doing so in aid of Nordoff Robbins, a leading music therapy charity, will make the evening even more special as he captures the very spirit of the season.

On behalf of Nancy and myself, my very best wishes to all of you for the holidays.

Gordon Campbell
 Gordon Campbell


Blunden Harbour - Emily CarrNational Arts Centre Orchestra UK Tour
To mark the Centenary of the First World War, Canada’s NACO will be touring the UK, under the patronage of HRH the Prince of Wales. The orchestra will perform an inspiring repertoire including a composition called “A Ballad of Canada” by composer Malcolm Forsyth.

A first for Emily Carr  
The Dulwich Picture Gallery, which recently hosted a highly acclaimed exhibition of Group of Seven paintings, has announced the first major solo show of Emily Carr’s works in Britain. The exhibit, which begins in late 2014, will feature an estimated 100 oil paintings, watercolours and previously unexhibited sketchbook drawings of the legendary artist’s work.

2014 Canada-UK Colloquium
Leading luminaries on health policy issues from Canada and the UK met at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park 21-23 November to discuss “New Realities in Global Health: Britain and Canada working together”. A report on ways the two countries can collaborate to address maternal and child health and other international health challenges is being written. Previous years’ reports can be seen at:
Canada House Update
The sale of our property at 1 Grosvenor Square was announced last week.

The building will be acquired by Lodha Group for $530 million Canadian, or £306 million.

Arrangements have been made for the mission to stay at Macdonald House until the renovations at Trafalgar Square are complete.  Construction plans for Canada House and the adjacent building at 2-4 Cockspur are on schedule. Early construction activities are under way at 2-4 Cockspur and the big project will begin in the early spring of 2014.  We’ll be hosting events at Canada House until the last moment - though sometimes our guests and our architects and engineers may find themselves stepping ‘round each other!
As planned, we’re anticipating the renovation will be complete at the end of 2014. We’ll provide further updates as construction begins in earnest.

Drawing, Canada House

Consular Corner

Question:  I have been waiting to hear back from the Home Office/UKBA about my application to live/work/study in the UK. Can the High Commission intervene?

Answer: Unfortunately we are unable to intervene on behalf of Canadian citizens with the Home Office on matters related to your stay in the UK. Please find contact information for relevant UK agencies on our website.

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

December Events

Chris Hadfield

December: Culture on Cloth: Inuit Wall Hangings 
Canada House, London: The latest exhibit at Canada House gallery brings together examples of wall hangings created by the women of Canada's only inland Inuit community, Baker Lake. Traditionally, sewing was a vital skill for Inuit living on the land. These wall hangings are a colourful, beautiful and uniquely Canadian art form. The exhibition is free, open 11:00a.m. – 5:45p.m. Mon – Fri and 11:00a.m. – 5:00p.m. Sat.

1 – 12 December: Orpheus Twice
London, David Roberts Arts Foundation: An exploration of that particular moment when an absence or a loss turns into an image, in all its multiple meanings, and when an image turns into an absence. Curated by Vincent Honore, this group exhibition features the work of Rodney Graham, along with that of Josh Stezaker, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Bruce McLean, Juliette Blightman, among others. 

1 – 21 December: Carl White
London, Beers Contemporary Art: Contemporary Visions IV is an exhibit featuring nine international artists selected from a pool of 1500. Calgary’s Carl White has been chosen to join the ranks of some exciting contemporary artists.

1 – 7 December: Trout Stanley
London, Southwark Playhouse ¦ The UK premiere of Claudia Dey’s play set in a remote northern Canadian town. Grace and Sugar Ducharme are infamous twins marked by tragic events from their past.

2 – 22 December: Hansel and Gretel
Bussey Building, London: After a sell-out production of Dido and Aeneas, Canadian-founded Opera in Space returns with a Christmas production of Hansel and Gretel. Their modern and sinister adaptation of the classic fairy-tale is staged across three floors of a converted warehouse and performed in English.

5 – 9 December: Esmerine
Various UK venues: Exotic beats from a Montreal-based band combining percussion, cello and marimba, Esmerine perform with their “Dalmark” band of friends on Turkish strings and percussion as part of a European tour.

6 December: Christmas Carol Service
Crown Court Church: The CWC annual Canadian Christmas Carol Service takes place at 6.30 in Crown Court Church, Russell Street, Covent Garden. The event is a traditional British Christmas service of carols and readings with a distinctly Canadian flavour. A collection is taken for the Maple Leaf Trust to support WWII veterans and Canadian postgraduate students in the UK and for church charities. A reception follows. RSVP

6 December: A Tribe Called Red
The Barfly, London: Pow Wow mixed with contemporary club sounds from this all-First Nations DJ crew.

19 December: Canada House Presents: Space Oddity - An Evening with Chris Hadfield
London, Canada House ¦ Astronaut, author and social media sensation, Commander Chris Hadfield touches down to share tales from the International Space Station with Top Gear presenter James May. In support of music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins. There are a number of tickets available through a lottery. For your chance to attend, email  with the name and email address of a friend you would like to sign up to receive Canada Plus. You will both be entered in the draw.

Further Ahead

The Canadian Centennial Scholarship Fund (CCSF) is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications for scholarships from Canadians who are currently enrolled on a multi-year postgraduate (or equivalent) programme of study at a UK university, college or institution. To be eligible, students must be continuing their program of study in the 2014-2015 academic year. The deadline for applications is Friday 7 March 2014. Full eligibility rules, application forms and contact information can be found at

12 January: Pavel Kolesnikov
Wigmore Hall, London: Canada's Honens International Piano Competition is a leader in discovering and launching the careers of young concert pianists. Russian pianist Pavel Kolesnikov was named Honens Prize Laureate in 2012 and makes his Wigmore Hall debut.

15 January: Gerald Finley  
Wigmore Hall, London: Gerald Finley’s Wigmore Hall Residency opens with Schubert’s song-cycle Winterreise.  Over the past quarter century Finley has matured in stature to become a regular feature at the world’s leading opera houses to sing everything from Mozart to Wagner, Handel to John Adams.

20 January: Canada House Presents: Professor Margaret MacMillan
London, Canada House: Historian and Professor Margaret MacMillan will talk on themes of her latest book, ‘The War That Ended Peace’.

11- 15 February: Basia Bulat
Various UK venues: The young Ontario artist is touring the UK after the release of her third full-length album.

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