MAY 8-18 MAI, 2020 |The Canadian Tulip Festival is urging flower-lovers not to tiptoe through Commissioners Park — but instead enjoy a virtual version of the annual floral showcase. 

Participate Online   -  (See note *) 

The Tulip Story

When the Netherlands was invaded during the Second World War, Dutch Princess Juliana and her family were forced to flee. Juliana and her two young daughters set sail for Canada, an allied country and safe haven far from the conflict. The three were given a warm welcome in Ottawa, where they lived throughout the war. In 1943, the bond between Canada and the Netherlands was made even stronger, when the Princess’ third child, Margriet, was born at the Civic Hospital in Ottawa. The story is that the room in which she was born was make a part o the Netherlands for the event. In the occupied Netherlands, the Dutch people experienced hardship, oppression and starvation. In 1945, their ordeal came to an end as the Allies advanced across the country. Canadians played a significant role in the liberation of the Netherlands, an accomplishment for which the Dutch still remember us today.


After the war, the Dutch people and Princess Juliana expressed their thanks to Canada by sending thousands of tulip bulbs to the Capital. The Gift of Tulips became a yearly tradition. Every year, the Dutch Royal Family and the people of the Netherlands each send 10,000 bulbs to Ottawa. The Gift is planted in two flower beds in Ottawa. One bed, at the Ottawa Hospital, Civic Campus, pays tribute to the birth of Princess Margriet. The other is the Queen Juliana Gift Bed in Commissioners Park. The tulips planted in these beds are in shades of pink and purple – Juliana’s favourite colours.


 * The cover picture is of Malek Karsh doing what he loved.  Malek and his brother Yousuf were world famous photographers who lived in Ottawa for many years.