Showing posts from 2005

Letter 21: Ottawa's annual Tulip Festival

Ottawa Tulip Festival, May 2005

It is that time of year after the Winterlude season is over, when Ottawa welcomes tourists by the thousands from all over the world, again. It is the time of the world famous “Ottawa Tulip Festival”.

The festival originated with the generosity of HRH Princess (later Queen) Juliana of the Netherlands and the Dutch people. HRH expressed her gratitude to Ottawa, where one of her daughters was born and where she and her family found refuge during the Second World War, by sending us an annual gift of 20,000 bulbs of tulips.

Ottawa photographer, Malak Karsh, in love with the beauty of the tulip, conceived the idea of the “Tulip festival.” He founded it and promoted it. His Armenian family having escaped from Mardin, after the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923, Malak was familiar with the splendor of this flower in his original homeland. When it was decided that playing on the Tulipomania of the XVIIIth century would bring an exotic flavour to the Tulip festival,…