Chargé d’affaires Aubin’s Remarks at the International Pavilion’s Grand Opening

Chargé d'affaires Elizabeth Aubin welcomes guests to the International Pavilion. Credit US Embassy Ottawa.

Good evening. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrew Leslie; Senator Charlie Watt; Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Perry Bellegarde; National Capital Commission CEO Dr. Mark Kristmanson; Your Worship, Mayor Jim Watson; distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen: Bonsoir et bienvenue tout le monde! Entant que Chargé d’affaires des États-Unis, je suis très heureuse de vous accuellir ici ce soir.

It is with great delight that I welcome you to the grand opening of the U.S. Embassy’s sesquicentennial exhibitions here at the International Pavilion, honoring the remarkable relationship between the United States and Canada in Canada’s anniversary year.

Le pavillon international est une initiative de la Commission de la capitale nationale. L’ambassade des États-Unis est privilégié d’être la première mission étrangère à se joindre a ce prestigieux projet.

Tonight you’ll have your first look at three bilingual exhibits that highlight 150 years of U.S.-Canada friendship and cooperation. The exhibits will be on display here at the International Pavilion through February 19th. C’est gratuit, ouvert au public, et nous offrons des programmes pour toute la famille. We hope you will come back and bring others to share the experiences.

On the first floor you see the exhibit “Eyes on the North.” Il s’agit d’un affichage multimedia qui se concentre sur la cooperation bilatérale dans l’arctique, y compris la recherché, la faune, l’environnement, et met en valeur la culture et le mode de vie des Inuits.

“Northern Stars” is the display surrounding us in this room. Il explore la relation historique entre nos deux nations — from political ties to popular culture to joint exploration of space – I urge you be on the lookout for the photo of Minister Garneau as you tour the exhibit.

The creators of “Eyes on the North” and “Northern Stars” are Terry Harvey and his team at the Meridian International Center in Washington, D.C. On behalf of the U.S. Embassy, with support from the U.S. Department of State, the Meridian team researched, compiled, curated, and installed these two exhibits. Sous la direction de l’attaché culturel Dick Custin, la section des affaires publiques de l’Ambassade des États-Unis a réalisé le projet Pavilion depuis ses premières idées jusqu’aux beaux resultats que vous voyez ici ce soir. Under the leadership of Cultural Attaché Dick Custin, the U.S. Embassy’s Public Affairs Section has carried out the Pavilion project from its earliest ideas to the beautiful results you see here tonight.

Please join me in thanking them for a job well done. We appreciate your creativity, professionalism, and flexibility in developing these exhibits. I’m happy to say that other audiences across Canada will also share the experience; “Eyes on the North” and “Northern Stars” will travel to seven other cities across Canada until the end of 2017.

The third exhibit here tonight is “North is Freedom: The Legacy of the Underground Railroad.” This photographic essay celebrates the descendants of freedom-seekers who escaped slavery in the United States in the 19th century, before the American Civil War. Photographer Yuri Dojc is here with us tonight, as is one of his photographic subjects, Darryl Hogan. Yuri’s photographs were recently on display at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Nous sommes honorés de les presenter ici au pavillon au cours des prochaines semaines.

In a spirit of friendship and solidarity, je veux vous souhaiter la bienvenue au pavillon international, and I hope you will learn something new about our extensive, impressive, amazing relationship.

Joyeux sesquicentenaire. Happy 150th. We look forward to 150 more years of friendship and beyond.

And now I would like to invite Parliamentary Secretary Andrew Leslie to offer a word of welcome to you.