News Articles

Popular Friendship Day event settles in botanical garden amidst flowers

Organizers add Royal touch

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

BURLINGTON, Ontario – The Canada Netherlands Friendship Day evening event has found a new home at the area’s Royal Botanical Gardens (RGB). The new venue greatly expands the space available for the event. The public also will be able to view the greenhouses, walk through a section of the gardens and take breaks at a restaurant. There will not be an entry fee for the occasion.

The event, which traditionally was held on the Saturday nearest to May 5, this year is scheduled for April 30. The noon flag raising ceremony and vintage warplane flyover – as usual – will take place at Burlington’s City Hall. Until now, a festive evening program was held in a two-level facility, which increasingly was packed beyond capacity. The RBG facility is ground-level and has wheelchair access. During the May 5-8 festivities in the Netherlands, Burlington will sign its twin city agreement with Apeldoorn.

The Canada Netherlands Friendship Day organizers – headed by Burlington clothier Jack Vander Laan – hail the new arrangement as one that offers many new possibilities. No longer restricted by space limitations, the group welcomes participation of those who are involved in promoting Dutch and Canadian ties in other areas of endeavour. The RGB for some years has been the location of the Four Day Evening Walk, an initiative copied from such (much larger) events in the Netherlands. The Four Day Evening Walk organizers maintain contact with the famed international Nijmegen event.

The new RBG venue, Vander Laan says, also in other ways will fit hand in glove for the local Dutch community, which excels at gardening and loves flowers. The setting of the Friendship Day event therefore is a bonus to everyone.