Canada Day | When London waves the maple leaf

Thanks to a few enthusiastic expats, Celebrations 1any July reaches the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. In London, a group of Canadians have organized annual celebrations since 2007 that, for one day, have taken him on a mind-blowing trip back to his native land.

In this context, the tunnels of 26 Leake Street, a well-known reception hall in the Waterloo area, will be entirely dedicated to typical Canadian food, music and activities in this 1any July.

“It’s a great opportunity! Here, you’re not often surrounded by Canadian news or culture. At the other end of the line, Mark Sultana is clearly excited. In charge of the Canadians group in London, Ontario made an effort to chat with us for a few minutes in French.

“We want to celebrate and give Canadians a chance to come together,” he said. Instead of just seeing each other at the bar, we add our own food. And hearing a Canadian accent is really important when you’ve been away for a long time. »

And let’s say it’s rare that you’ll be able to spot dozens of maple leaf flags if you’re less than a kilometer away from Big Ben or the Palace of Westminster.

The idea of ​​bringing together Canadians living in London started with the creation of Facebook in 2007. At that time, it was a gathering of 1any July was pretty straightforward: From their online group, a few would get together every year for a short cruise around town and an evening of hockey at the Maple Leaf Bar.

The current format, i.e. the real party, has been around since 2014. For this edition, it is expected that there will be around 1,000 people on site. Very proud, Mark Sultana sees it as a great opportunity to make connections.

Photo provided by Marc Sultana

Group President since 2013 Marc Sultana

” [Les participants] Love her. They talk, they make friends. It is almost pointless to be so entertained that they talk to each other. You can walk around and have a conversation with someone without looking weird at them, which isn’t necessarily uncommon in London. »

Celebrate your roots

On site, you will be presented with a menu heavily influenced by Montreal’s culinary specialties. Poutine, sausages, cakes, butter patties, smoked meat sandwiches … To guarantee the quality of the food and, above all, the recipe, the Canadians team in London made sure to do business with Quebec and Canadian companies.

to drink? From Solomon, a well-known brewery based in Guelph, Ontario. To move around a bit, you will be assigned an area for ball hockey. Two Canadian singers (from Calgary and Nova Scotia) will also take to the stage during the evening.

All of these elements have one thing in common: the goal to make the Canadian residents of London feel at home on this day created to celebrate the founding of the Union.

Photo provided by Marc Sultana

The events organized by Canadians in London are above all an opportunity to meet.

Ariane Charlebois, a French teacher who grew up in Montreal before moving to England in 2005, for example, still feels proud to be Canadian. Although she couldn’t be there this year, she has participated in Canada Day several times.

“I find it important to meet people in the same position as you. It’s a very important gig,” she said in an interview.

It’s important that we get together, and talk about Canadian things, how the family works, and politics too, because it affects the lives of our friends and relatives.

Arianne Charlebois, Montrealer lives in England

Since she was born to a mother from Quebec and a father from Nova Scotia, we wanted to ask her how she perceives the Canadian population.

She responded, “Nice people, they accept a lot of things and they’re very diplomatic.” I’ve learned to always think of the best in people, and that’s something I try to do as a teacher and as a Canadian. In my work, I have tried a lot to develop a culture in which it is important to accept people as they are. »

An organizer of many other social activities during the year, Marc Sultana is very happy to see the Canada and London network grow. When he arrived as leader, the group had 2,000 members. Today, through all of its platforms, Canadians in London reaches nearly 16,000 individuals.

“Compared to the United States, which is very nationalistic, we have always been seen as calm and meticulous. But I think that is changing. Canadians are increasingly proud of it.”

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  • 90,000
    The United Kingdom, home to nearly 90,000 Canadians, is home to the third largest Canadian community in the world. This number is increasing every year.

    Immigration Advice Service (UK)

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