Non-stop cultural parties in 2017

| April 11, 2017 | 0 Comments
Various embassies and high commissions provided entertainment for the Ottawa Welcomes the World launch at the Aberdeen Pavilion, where many of this year's events will take place. Here, Radha Jetty performs a traditional Indian dance.  (Photo: Ottawa 2017)

Various embassies and high commissions provided entertainment for the Ottawa Welcomes the World launch at the Aberdeen Pavilion, where many of this year’s events will take place. Here, Radha Jetty performs a traditional Indian dance. (Photo: Ottawa 2017)

Get ready for eight months of free parties, compliments of your friendly neighbourhood embassies and high commissions.
“Ottawa Welcomes the World” is a program dreamed up by Mayor Jim Watson for Ottawa’s 2017 celebrations. The city offered all foreign missions in Ottawa free rent in either Lansdowne’s Aberdeen Pavilion or the Horticulture Building if they agreed to host a cultural event there.
A total of 75 missions — a healthy majority of the city’s total of 135 — took the mayor up on his offer and the Ottawa 2017 Bureau, along with lead sponsor CIBC, will help facilitate the events.
“As the capital of Canada and host of so many foreign embassies and high commissions, our city has the unique opportunity to engage the international community in Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations,” Watson said.
Guy Laflamme, executive director of the Ottawa 2017 Bureau, said he’s delighted to have such a “wide spectrum of uptake from the diplomatic community.It fits with our mandate because it’s a celebration of diversity,” he said.
Mexican Ambassador Agustin García-López was on hand at a launch event at the Aberdeen Pavilion, to which he brought a mariachi band. He noted that when Mexico celebrated its 150th in 1960, Canada’s gift was a totem pole that was recently restored in honour of the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and Mexico.
“We’d like to do something special for your 150th,” he said, but added that for now, it has to remain a secret. What’s not a secret is the fact that Mexico will host a three-day event around its Cinco de Mayo celebrations in May.
Serbia will also take part. “It’s an embassy thing, and a community thing — it’s culture, dance, music and gastronomy,” said Ambassador Mihailo Papazoglu about his plans for a May 22 event. “The free venue was a real boost for everyone to join Canada’s 150th celebration.”
See page 27 for a full schedule of the events for the rest of 2017.

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