Friday, May 10, 2002

Int'l Peace Garden Unveiled in Canada

Canada's Capital Region - The National Capital Commission (NCC), along with its partners and the Canadian Tulip Festival, had the honor of welcoming Her Royal Highness, Princess Margriet from the Netherlands at the Canada and the World Pavilion for the unveiling of the International Peace Garden.

Every spring, thousands of "Ottawa" tulips bloom in the International Peace Garden, which was conceived and planted in 1990. The idea was born in Canada during the Second World War when Canada's Capital offered sanctuary to a Dutch princess and her family. The 100, 000 bulbs planted for the Capital's first massive tulip displays were a post-war gift from Princess Juliana and the Dutch people.

"This International Peace Garden, initiated by Canada, was the precursor of a tradition now established throughout the world and we are proud to offer it a permanent space at the Canada and the World Pavilion", said Marcel Beaudry, Chairman of the National Capital Commission.

In 1990, the City of Ottawa and the Canadian Tulip Festival presented the United States with a "peace garden " to celebrate the world's longest undefended border. The unveiling of this garden inspired the 1992 creation of the International Peace Garden Foundation - a charitable organization that promotes human rights and advances global friendship. Tulips are sent each year, country to country, in which the most recent recipient chooses the next country to be honored. Since then, tulips have blossomed abundantly as a symbol of peace, freedom and international friendship. This year, Japan offered the International Peace Garden to Austria.

The event also marks the launch of the second season of the Canada and the World Pavilion, recently crowned Best New Attraction in Ontario, The Canada and the World Pavilion is a unique tourist attraction that celebrates the role of Canadians on the world scene in the areas of culture and sports, international co-operation, technological innovation and trade. Unveiled in May 2001 by the Prime Minister, Jean Chr├ętien, the Pavilion welcomed tens of thousands of visitors throughout its first year.

The National Capital Commission recognizes the generous contribution of its main federal partners: Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canadian International Development Agency, Industry Canada (Communications Research Centre and Canadian Space Agency), National Defence - and thanks its presenting and founding sponsor, Accentwre. The NCC also wishes to acknowledge the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who were on hand today for the opening of the Canada and the World Pavilion.

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