Hospitals and care homes across Canada have been gifted thousands of Tulips

In the last two weeks our Embassy Network of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Canada, gave thousands of tulips to healthcare workers, patients, residents and caregivers of care homes and hospitals across Canada, each one tied with ribbon, and a card reading “75 years of freedom.”

“To bring some colour and some joy to the people who brought so much joy for us 75 years ago, but also in the present to caregivers who are going through rough times.”

Read below what happened at our three missions, in Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa.

Tulip gift 75 yof

What happened in VANCOUVER

The first tulips blooming in Canada were located in the West part of the country.

With generous support of Van Noort Bulb Co. Ltd. and the Dutch Liberation 2020 Canadian Society, our Consulate-General of the Netherlands in Vancouver and volunteers of Tenold Transportation LTD delivered 26.000 tulips to more than 20 care-homes and hospitals in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley communities of Langley, Chilliwack, and Abbotsford at the end of April 2020.

With the tulips we say ‘Thank you’ to all staff, working very hard, under difficult circumstances. Vancouver Coastal Health helped us identifying the hardest hit care-homes. Bringing smiles to faces of those who deserve it most, was very rewarding.

video tulip gift vancouver
Image: ©Stefan van Mourik

Video of these gifts of tulips in the West of Canada

Stefan van Mourik made a wonderful video of the tulip action in Metro Vancouver. Please watch this video HERE to see the smiling health-care workers, donors and volunteers!

Tulips dropoff at Holland Christian Homes
Tulips delivery at Holland Christian Homes

What happened in TORONTO

Our colleague Mickey McLaughlin and Consul-General Anne Le Guellec and husband André Andeweg delivered a beautiful gift of Spring at Sunnybrook and Holland Christian Homes, respectively in Toronto and Brampton, with both having many residents of Dutch decent.

The residents and staff at the care homes are going through very rough times, and on top of that the brightening events and visits usually happening in May (Dutch Heritage Month in Ontario) and the 75 Years of Freedom festivities had to be cancelled.

Our Consulate-General wanted to bring some joy & cheerfulness by gifting many hundreds of tulips. It was very touching for everyone to see the joy in the eyes and the smiles on the faces of the veterans and staff.

Speech Anne tulip gift Sunnybrook
Anne Le Guellec giving a speech for the veterans and staff at Sunnybrook

News video of the gift of tulips in Toronto

CTV News was also, safely distanced, on site at Sunnybrook Veterans Centre in Toronto. Watch HERE the News Fragment.

Ambassador Henk van der Zwan, NCC CEO Tobi Nussbaum and Canadian Tulip Festival President Grant Hooker thank the healthcare workers

What happened in OTTAWA

On Wednesday, May 13, at 10:00 am, a very special gift of gratitude took place at the Ottawa Hospital’s Civic Campus. This is the hospital where HRH Princess Margriet of the Netherlands was born during the Second World War while she and her family found a safe haven in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa, in 1943.

Ambassador Henk Van der Zwan was joined by the President & Chairman of the Canadian Tulip Festival, Mr. Grant Hooker, along with the CEO of the National Capital Commission (NCC), Mr. Tobi Nussbaum, and Anthony Day, Community General Manager CIBC, at this historic hospital site, to deliver Tulips of Thanks to the frontline staff. They were greeted by Dr. Debra Bournes, Chief Nursing Executive, and Vice-President Clinical Programs Ms. Renée Légaré, Executive Vice-President & Chief Human Resources Officer.

As an extra gesture of gratitude, the NCC also delivered planters with tulips to decorate the entrance of the Ottawa Hospital’s Civic Campus, as well as the grounds of the Hôpital de Hull - CISSS de l'Outaouais.