More than 90,000 people headed to Trafalgar Square to celebrate the independence day of Canada yesterday.
An event that was initially organised in 2005 to promote Canada as a tourism destination to the British audience, has become one of London’s favourite free summer festivals.
We were invited to meet the organisers and taste some of the country’s most popular cuisines. One of our favourite discoveries happened when we accidentally put maple syryp on our pork thinking it was gravy (don’t judge us) – it actually tasted a lot better than we imagined.
To add some more excitement to the day, the former Governor of the Bank of Canada, Mark Carney, started his new position as Governor of the Bank of England.
Tom Arendas, Marketing Manager of the Canada Day International, said: “This day is about celebrating Canada. Celebrating Canadian culture, food, music and people”.
One of Canada’s most loved TV presenters George Stroumboulopouls, hosted the festival in London and New York. We noticed that as soon as his name was mentioned the crowd started screaming and shouting.
The Tragically Hip, were headlining the concert – a popular band that has sold millions of records worldwide. Other popular bands and singers that featured in the festival included Jann Arden, The Sheepdogs and Arkells.
Our favourite part of the day was finding out about a community arts engagement project that delivers love letters to strangers. Known as the Love Lettering Project, Canadian artist Lindsay Zier – Vogel has been getting people to write love letters to strangers in the cities they live in.
The festival is supported by 51 sponsors ranging from British Airways, Blackberry and Thomson Reuters. Less than three years ago the festival run on a very small budget but now the organisers have managed to raise it up to £1 million.
Tom said: “These days, as an event organiser, if you ran a festival and you’re able to raise up to a million pounds sponsorship, you must be doing something right”.