Friday, April 8, 2011

Dutch Heritage Month

May is Dutch Heritage Month in Ontario.

Last month, Ontario's PC MPP, Elizabeth Witmer, introduced a private member's bill into the Ontario Legislature which would designate May as Dutch Heritage Month in Ontario.

Bill 166, Dutch Heritage Month Act, was unanimously given both second and third reading March 24th.

More than 500,000 citizens of Ontario are of Dutch extraction, and about a million people in Canada are of Dutch ancestry.

"This bill recognizes the many contributions of the Dutch community to the province of Ontario," said Ernie Hardeman, Oxford MPP. "As a Dutch Ontarian, I am especially proud to see the strong relationship between the Netherlands and Canada recognized by the Ontario Legislature."

May is a historically significant month. Canadian soldiers were instrumental in the liberation of the Netherlands in 1945. As a result, the Netherlands celebrates its liberation and independence along with the heroic actions of the Canadian forces with a national holiday on May 5, known as Liberation Day.

Ottawa has its annual Tulip Festival celebration in May. This year's theme is "Kaleidoscope – a celebration of spring awakening through colour, culture and community". You can go to to see the list of events.

For more information on the Dutch in Canada, you can go to the LAC's website, and research the "Immigration Branch", "Central Registry Files (RG 76)", the "Other Series of Records, the "Research in Other Institutions", "Research in Published Sources", and the "Research Online" pages.