A world of tulips

May 11th, 2018 | By | Category: On The Cover

(Y@H) In the national capital region spring is synonymous with the Canadian Tulip Festival. This year’s celebration runs until May 21 with the theme World of Tulips, which the Festival says stems from last year’s October visit to Ottawa of “tulipists” from among 34 countries, who participated in the 7th World Tulip Summit hosted by the Festival. According to the Festival, these tulip friendship countries also celebrate the tulip as a symbol of friendship and peace. They and the Festival come together biannually, to share tulip industry knowledge and experience, stories of recent celebrations, and best practices.

During the October Summit, more than 35,000 World Friendship Tulips were planted. These cream yellow Darwin Hybrids will bloom in public and private gardens across the capital region this spring. The 2018 Festival showcases some of the tulip friendship countries through cultural performances, special programming and themed tulip displays as well as artistic installations.

During the 10-day Festival, a wide array of events and theme days will be held at Landsdowne Park, Commissioners Park at Dow’s Lake, the Byward Market and the Garden Promenade.

On May 15, all veterans and their families will have free entry to the Lansdowne Park Art & Culture Festival experience (Aberdeen Pavilion, Lansdowne Park) from 10 am to 5 pm. Special displays will be set up to inform visitors about the Canadian Armed Forces as well as provide information about veteran support services.

To acknowledge and celebrate those who have served our country, the Festival will also be holding Honouring Our Veterans, a formal ceremony from 11 am to 12 noon in the Pavilion highlighting the Highway of Heroes Living Tribute, announcing the honourary veterans from navy, army and air force for the 2018 Festival as well as acknowledging veterans in attendance.

Special guests will include celebrity gardener and Highway of Heroes Champion, Mark Cullen, representatives from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Office of the Chief of the Defence Staff. The Festival will donate five dollars from every purchased non-veteran ticket to the Highway of Heroes Living Tribute.

The Festival has announced that it will be honouring photographer Malak Karsh with the Homage to Malak Photography Exhibit in the Lord Elgin Lobby Gallery.

The idea of a Canadian Tulip Festival was first presented to the Ottawa Board of Trade by Karsh, as a celebration of spring, as well as to commemorate the gift of tulips by Princess Juliana of the Netherlands. His iconic photographs have forever immortalized the tulip, proclaimed as the City of Ottawa’s Official Flower in 2002.

The Tulip Festival invites residents to help Paint the Town Tulip by planting a tulip garden and by purchasing the World Friendship Tulip, official tulip of the 2018 Canadian Tulip Festival. This cream yellow Darwin Hybrid grows to a height of 14 to 20’ inches in full sun, and is available for sale, via the Canadian Tulip Festival or Vesey’s Bulbs, while quantities last, in packages of 12, 100, 250 or 500 and more.

For information on events, venues and purchasing World Friendship Tulips visit www.tulipfestival.ca or call the hotline at 1-613567-5757.

Cover photo by Billie MacDonald

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