CANADIAN TULIP LEGACY
The Canadian Tulip Festival is produced by the Canadian Tulip Legacy, a non-profit charitable organization established to:
- Celebrate the historic Royal gift of tulips from the Dutch to Canadians as a symbol of international friendship
- Preserve the legacy of the role of the Canadian troops in the liberation of Europe and the birth of Dutch Princess Margriet in Ottawa during World War II—the only royal personage ever born in North America.
- Celebrate friendship and promote education through the renowned Canadian Tulip Festival and other commemorative projects.
- Pay tribute to our Canadian veterans and servicemen LINK TO CANADIAN TULIP LEGACY SITE
The Canadian Tulip Festival has a rich history of unveiling commemorative works celebrating the Tulip Legacy. One in particular, recently unveiled May 2015, was the Princess Tulip Sculpture, a symbolic commemoration of the Tulip Legacy Story and the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation.
Artist’s sketch of mother and daughter. Dutch Princess Juliana and Princess Margriet.
The Canadian Tulip Legacy Committee, comprised of supporters and past presidents of the Canadian Tulip Festival, announced that the Shaw Convention Centre will be the home of one of the larger-than-life bronze sculptures which was donated and unveiled May 2015, commemorating Ottawa’s Tulip Legacy. The sculpture depicts Dutch Princess Margriet as an infant with her mother Princess Juliana in a Giant Tulip setting. The Committee aspires to unveil a duplicate in the Netherlands in 2017.
“The Princess Tulip Sculpture at the Shaw Convention Centre certainly serves as an excellent symbol and tribute to the strong bonds of friendship between our two countries,” says His Excellency, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Canada.
“Sponsorship support will be imperative for the funding of the second bronze Princess Tulip Sculpture in the Netherlands,” explains Laura Brown-Breetvelt, Executive & Artistic Director of the Canadian Tulip Festival. The sculpture initiative reflects Canadian Tulip Festival’s growing emphasis on the Tulip Legacy, as Canada’s 150th Birthday and the 72nd Anniversary of the Liberation of Europe and the Dutch people approaches in 2017. As former Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird commented: “I am very pleased to know that this date will be marked by a permanent commemorative symbol of our enduring friendship with the Dutch people.”
“The Festival is also seeking sponsorship support for funding an audio-visual presentation to go along with the bronze Princess Tulip Sculpture at the Shaw Convention Centre. It will animate the story of the Tulip Legacy that dates back to World War II. This will be an important commemorative project that will educate local, national, and international tourists of Canada’s role in the liberation of Europe and the people of the Netherlands," says Laura.
Every year since 1945, the Netherlands has sent an annual gift of Tulips marking the special friendship between Canadians and the Dutch people. Each May, for more than sixty years, Ottawa has staged the Canadian Tulip Festival, and the National Capital Region blooms with almost a million tulips planted by the National Capital Commission (NCC).
“I look forward to the unveiling in 2017 of a second bronze Princess Tulip Sculpture in Apeldoorn, Netherlands. The sculpture will be a reciprocal gift for the monument gifted by the Dutch to Canadians in 2002, created by Dutch artist Henk Visch entitled The Man with Two Hats (De man met de twee hoeden) that symbolizes the historic bonds between Canada and the Netherlands. The Princess Tulip Sculpture will mark a special occasion celebrating Canada’s 150th Birthday and Canada’s contribution as a safe haven for the Dutch Royal Family, as well as the birth place of Princess Margriet during the Second World War,” says Laura.
A Brief History
Ottawa was the temporary wartime home for members of the Dutch Royal family, and it was here that Princess Margriet was born—the only royal personage ever born in North America.
Photographer Malak Karsh brought international fame to Ottawa with his photos of the NCC tulip beds and inspired the Ottawa Board of Trade to establish the Canadian Tulip Festival in 1952. In 1990, The Canadian Tulip Festival led the establishment of international tulip friendship gardens in 20 countries, and in 2001, the Tulip was proclaimed as Ottawa’s official flower.
The Tulip is synonymous with Ottawa, as featured everywhere in tourism marketing campaigns and visitor photos over the years. “I’m delighted to see Ottawa’s own story of the Tulip and our official City flower commemorated this way in Ottawa’s most recent iconic landmark, the Shaw Convention Centre,” says Mayor Jim Watson.
The sculpture design is the creation of artist Laura Brown-Breetvelt. Examples of her other public sculptures and monuments may be seen at www.laurabrownbreetvelt.com.