Discover Burlington Ontario

#BurlON Celebrates Twinning with Itabashi & Apeldoorn

by Pam Belgrade

How many of you knew though that Burlington was also a world citizen city?  For over 25 years Burlington has had a Mundialization Committee in place that has twinned cities in the belief that peaceful cooperation builds trust and appreciation of people’s different cultures.  Burlington celebrates our twinning with Itabashi, Japan and Apeldoorn, Netherlands by hosting a variety of events to connect you to these cities.

Celebrating Burlington’s Twin Cities – Saturday May 4, 2019

Each year Canada Netherlands Friendship Day is recognized in Burlington with an event held at Civic Square.   The rich history between Canada and the Netherlands is celebrated and they thank Canadian Veterans for their heroic efforts in the liberation of the Netherlands.  This year the event is happening on Saturday May 4, 2019 at 11 am – 12:30 pm at City Hall.  This free event includes student art exchange display, music and reception.

To recognize the continuing friendship between the citizens of Burlington and the citizens of our twin cities of Apeldoorn, the Netherlands and Itabashi, Japan, the Burlington Mundialization Committee invite you to celebrate spring downtown.  The magnificent sakura (cherry) trees in Spencer Smith Park, tulips in Apeldoorn Park – 1385 Elgin Street, Civic Square at City Hall, Tourism Burlington (414 Locust) and gardens in Brock Park – corner of Brock St. and Elgin St., will all be alive with spring colour.   In addition to the viewing of blooms and park activities, the annual Sakura Festival (an important Japanese custom to welcome spring) will be held at the Art Gallery of Burlington also on Saturday May 4, 2019 from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.. Free activities include; taiko drumming, koto harp, odori and yosakoi dancing, kimono fashion show and martial art demonstrations.

Mundialization committee volunteers will be available throughout the day to chat about the twin cities Apeldoorn and Itabashi. www.burlington.ca/mund

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Itabashi, Japan

The first Burlington twinning relationship was set up in 1989 when the City signed an agreement with the Itabashi, Japan. This twinning has blossomed and this year marks the 30th anniversary of this relationship.  In addition to the Sakura Festival a Celebration of Art is taking place from May 1-31 at the Art Gallery of Burlington, 1333 Lakeshore Road with art from Fujimidai School and Tecumseh Public School on display.

Burlington citizens are encouraged to attend an information night on May 23 from 7-9pm at City Hall to learn about the Burlington Friendship Tour to Itabashi.  This includes an extended tour of Japan and the tour will be from October 16- 27, 2019.

Itabashi Bridge - World Citizen CityOver the years various exchanges and programs have been carried out between ltabashi and Burlington and relations between the cities have flourished on all levels. The City named a road in Burlington “Itabashi Way”, and Itabashi donated the Itabashi Bridge (Tansley Woods Park) to the city.  In 1999 for the 10th anniversary Burlington received a fabulous waterfront fireworks display during the Sound of Music as a gift from Itabashi. Burlington marked the 10th anniversary by sending a delegation to Itabashi where our gift, the Friendship clock was unveiled. 2009 marked the 20th anniversary of this twinning relationship and Burlington hosted guests from Itabashi in June during the Sound of Music Festival.  2014 was the 25th anniversary and this was celebrated with a number of events including a group of ESL students visiting Burlington and staying with local families last summer.

Through this twinning Burlington welcomes numerous Japanese visitors and as a result has created a Welcome Burlington Japanese translated brochure.

Apeldoorn, Netherlands

Donated bench at Waterfront by twin city ApeldornIn 1995 Burlington Teen Tour Band (BTTB) was invited to participate in the Netherlands 50thAnniversary Celebration of their Liberation where the band performed in Apeldoorn and surrounding cities.  From the visit the seed was planted to establish a second twinning relationship and Burlington signed an agreement in 2005, in Apeldoorn.  The Apeldoorn Mayor presented the citizens of Burlington with “Louise”, a piece of landscape furniture artwork and Burlington presented a piece of original artwork entitled Jacob’s Creek, by Burlington artists Marian Cole and Elizabeth Pudsey, as signs of friendship and commitment to the twinning relationship. Jacob’s Creek is a magnificent quilt with five mixed media paintings.

Both cities have participated in a number of sport and cultural exchanges, as well as informal discussions.  Exchanges have included a contingent of young athletes from Apeldoorn who participated in the Burlington International Games and a group of students from Nelson High School attending an International Youth Conference in Apeldoorn.

In recognition of our relationship with the Netherlands Tourism Burlington has also developed a Welcome to Burlington in Dutch.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, U.S.A.

Ambassador Award - Sound of Music ParadeAfter years of Burlington Teen Tour Band’s participation in Can-Am Days events during March Break in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a friendship affiliation was signed in 1992.  Activities between the cities have focused primarily on sport and culture and involved participation in the former Burlington International Games, the Sound of Music Festival and the Teen Tour Band visits.   Working with Tourism Burlington Myrtle Beach has also supported a number of Burlington events including Golf Tournaments and A Taste of Burlington fixed price dining program by arranging contests and prize packages.

These twinning/friendship relationships have generated new interest across the world in visiting our beautiful city and Tourism Burlington is happy to welcome these visitors and help them experience Burlington.  Thanks to the many volunteers on the Mundalization Committees who have worked so hard to establish these relationships and for being such excellent ambassadors.  In recognition of their passion and dedication two Mundalization Committee members who took the lead in setting up the twinnings have received Tourism Ambassador Awards – Ako Matsubayashi 2009 Award Recipient and Jack van der Laan 2010 Award Recipient.

For further information about our twinning relationships contact Committee Clerk at 905-335-7600 ext 7492 or Email.

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