In 2017 Canada marks its 150th birthday, with holidaymakers invited to join in a countrywide, year-long celebration. The main focus for national events will be the capital city Ottawa, where 12 epic months of big, bold, immersive and moving experiences will be on offer. Billed as an ‘Ottawa 2017 Signature Event’, Ottawa Welcomes the World will be a one-off series of day festivals that will celebrate the culture and heritage of more than 90 participating countries.
Canada’s capital is home to more than 120 embassies and high commissions. In partnership with the Ottawa 2017 Bureau, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has invited foreign ambassadors and dignitaries to take part in Ottawa Welcomes the World between March and December 2017 at the city’s Aberdeen Pavilion and Horticulture Building – both located in Lansdowne just south of the downtown. Each day’s events will be open to Ottawans and holidaymakers alike, and will celebrate the culture of each nation through music, food, cinema, dance and more.
Countries from all over the world will take part spanning Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia; with the first event hosted by the Embassy of the Hellenic Republic of Greece on 21 March. Other countries set to take part include Turkey, Mexico, Haiti, Cuba, Guyana, UAE, Serbia, Ethiopia, Honduras, Rwanda, Colombia, China, Japan and Thailand to name but a few. In addition to the national days, there will also be series of Ottawa Welcomes the World partner events. They include a festival on 24 May that will celebrate the culture of 30 African countries, and a showcase on 11 June that will be hosted by a delegation of 18 members of the European Union.
In addition, the British High Commission and the Embassy of France are working on a project with the London-born photographer Rip Hopkins. Hopkins, who is of both British and French nationality, is taking a series of photographs that will demonstrate how British and French culture is represented in the Canadian capital. His exhibition, called Canada Canada, will be on show between 28 April and 11 June next year at Ottawa City Hall.