OTTAWA, Canada.- The Embassy of the Dominican Republic in Canada, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism through its Office of Tourism Promotion of Montreal, held a 5-day Dominican Gastronomic and Cultural Festival in the city of Ottawa, on the occasion of National Independence Day within the framework of the 65th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between the Dominican Republic and Canada.
The festival featured a seminar on inclusive trade with executives from the Trade Facilitation Office of Canada (TFO Canada) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA-Canada), as well as a training seminar for tour operators. There were also exhibitions of Dominican artisans and hotel chains, and a special presentation prepared by representatives of CHOCAL (Chocolate de la Cuenca de Altamira).
Dominican cuisine was the protagonist in the three restaurants that were part of the Festival: Bistro Alegría, Soup Guy Plus and the Carleton Grill of the Sheraton Hotel, with the latter offering a lunch-buffet for three days based on the Dominican culinary art and prepared by the renowned Dominican chefs Indhira Peguero and Paulette Tejada.
The main activity of the event consisted in the celebration of a reception to mark the 175th anniversary of the National Independence, which was attended by businessmen and Canadian authorities, ambassadors and other representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in Canada, representative figures of the Dominican community residing in this country, and members of the delegation that visited the Canadian capital to participate in the activities.
The Assistant Deputy Minister for the Americas at Global Affairs Canada, Michael Grant, delivered a speech in which he talked about the evolution of the Dominican-Canadian relations, highlighting the appeal of the culture and climate of the Dominican Republic for tourists from Canada.
The reception was also attended by the Speaker of the Senate of Canada, George Furey, and the senator from Quebec, Rosa Galvéz, as well as the Canadian Chief of Protocol, Stewart Wheeler.
The Dominican Ambassador Pedro Vergés Ciman took over the podium to remind the audience that 2019 marks 65 years of bilateral relations with Canada, and it will be a period to celebrate and bring to memory the achievements made since relations were officially established in 1954, as well as to consolidate the level of cooperation, cultural, commercial affairs between both nations. “That is why today we wanted to have a two-fold celebration; on the one hand, that of our independence and, on the other, that of the 65th anniversary of our relations with Canada, an endearing country to which I wish to attest, on behalf of our country and our government, the deepest respect and the most profound admiration”, said the Ambassador.
Vergés also pointed out the advances of the Dominican Republic in education, poverty reduction, economic growth, tourism, and foreign policy.
The agenda of five days of activities culminated on February 28 with the celebration of the “Dominican Carnival Night”, an event in which the richness of Dominican culture was displayed in an cheerful atmosphere in which Canadians and Dominicans celebrated together to the rhythm of live Merengue music along with the colorful and exciting traditional "Diablos Cojuelos".