Coinciding with the Victory in Europe or VE Day, this year’s Official Launch of Canadian Tulip Festival was an extra special ceremony. It was held to honour and thank veterans hosted by the National Capital Commission and distinguished guests, including the Netherlands head of missions Rochus Pronk, Ottawa-Vanier MPP (Attorney General) Madeleine Meilleur and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, Twenty York Street (ML and Taylor B.), Skyfall Blue CEO Fadi Ghaby, as well as some invited dignitaries. This year’s festival marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands from the Nazis during the Second World War. The tulip festival, aside from being one of the most-visited sites and well-attended events in the nation’s capital, celebrates the Dutch-Canadian relations and the tradition borne from Canada’s role in protecting part of the Dutch royal family, when they fled Europe to go to Canada, during the Second World War.
The speeches were a moving reminder of this legacy and the long lasting friendship that Canada shares with the Netherlands. That and these TOP 5 REASONS ARE WHY YOU’LL LOVE THE TULIP FESTIVAL:
THE RICH HISTORY
Every year the Netherlands sends us thousands of tulips in commemoration of Canada’s assistance and protection during World War 2. These tulips have helped define Ottawa over the last 70 years and has helped us grow as a world renowned capital city. Our city’s symbol is a tulip because of this festival, which brings thousands of tourists from around the world.
THE FAMILY AND THE COMMUNITY
Every spring I call my grandmother and bring her out to see the tulips, and I’m absolutely certain we’re not the only family in Ottawa who does this. As Mayor Watson mentioned it’s great to see “families tip toe through the tulips” every season. And although you can’t actually tip toe through the tulips, it’s a place where people gather with family and friends to enjoy the spring, the beauty, the colour, food, ice cream and mostly, each other.
THE THRIVING SMALL BUSINESSES
In case you’re not aware of this fact, the Tulip Festival is also a great place for small kiosks and multicultural shops to showcase and sell their wares. It not only help small Ottawa business owners thrive but it also provides the opportunity for visitors to learn more about different culture, tradition and food from all over the globe. Moreover, it helps our city grow as a whole, bringing bus loads of tourists to photograph our one of a kind demonstration of international friendship, surround themselves with beauty and eat a little Beavertail treats. What could be more Canadian?
THE WARM SUNSHINE
When everyone is out, on their bikes, on foot or with their baby strollers enjoying the heat and sunshine, there couldn’t be a more perfect setting for a spring/summer festival. Reflecting off of the stunning Dow’s lake, with green grass finally growing, you’ll find people sun bathing on the lawn, so glad to finally say goodbye to winter and welcome the sun back to Ottawa. As the tulip festival usually marks the first week of sunshine, this year’s festival is going to be particularly welcomed with happy hearts after such a very long winter.
THE BEAUTIFUL AND COLOURFUL TULIPS
Last but certainly not the least, one of TOP 5 REASONS WHY YOU’LL LOVE THE TULIP FESTIVAL is the TULIP! They are completely breathtaking when seen en masse. From their different shapes, sizes and colour, it’s hard not to smile looking at a park full of tulips. It’s also amazing to appreciate all the hard work that the Commissioners of Canada on the upkeep of these beautiful gardens, so we can enjoy our day together in the sun. For more photos of the tulips and the Official Grand Opening of the 2015 Canadian Tulip Festival, visit our Twenty York Street Facebook Page here.
The tulip festival hosts a variety of kiosks and events, including live entertainment and high tea every day, live concerts over the weekend and fire works on opening day. If you haven’t made plans to go to the festival, start planning now because there’s something for the whole family like Sunday’s very special mother’s day high tea. The Canadian Tulip Festival is on from May 8 – 18, 2015, make sure you don’t miss it!
ABOUT TAYLOR BOILEAU
Ottawa-based French Canadian Blogger Taylor Boileau is Twenty York Street’s Resident vintage bargain shopping expert. With 10 years experience sifting through racks at Value Village, she’s got all the tips and tricks you need for finding those tags worth scouring the racks for. Taylor describes her style as quirky, bohemian and retro. She loves to mix and match to create a perfectly unique outfit. She’s currently studying public relations at Algonquin College and hopes to make on career copy writing and blogging. Taylor’s interests lie in fashion and beauty, writing and reading fantasy novels, knitting and sewing, as well as social activism, politics and current events.