Today at noon I had the pleasure to be invited to an event celebrating 100 years of Canadian-German trade relations. In fact, in 1910 Canada opened its first Trade Office in Berlin, a connection between my home country and my country of residence I was not aware of before. Of course, Baden-Württemberg, the region I come from in Germany, has a close partnership with the province of Ontario and a lot of important German companies are represented on the Canadian market. Other Germans like Pia Kleber at the University of Toronto or myself at the COC work with important Canadian organizations.
A few months ago Sabine Sparwasser, the new German Consul General, arrived in Toronto. From the beginning she has expressed a lot of interest in my work with the COC. Married to a Canadian, she is always proud to promote Toronto as a vibrant and dynamic city and points out the Four Seasons Centre to German visitors as one of the city's cultural landmarks.
Today's event was a big reception at the University of Toronto's Hart House organized by the Canadian German Chamber of Industry and Commerce. When I arrived to register there was a little card with my name tag: "Please find your reserved seat in Row 1". I am sure I owe the honour to the Consul General finding myself seated next to Bill Graham and Bob Rae and listening to the guest speakers, the Honourable Sandra Pupatello (Minister of Economic Development and Trade in the Province of Ontario), the Honourable Peter Van Loan (Minister of International Trade in Canada) and Guido Westerwelle, the German Deputy Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs. Mrs. Sparwasser also kindly introduced me to the German Minister after the speeches, and he was interested to hear how a German came to lead Canada's largest producer of opera. I am very grateful that fellow Germans like the Consul General help me to spread the word about the COC and raise our international profile.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Canadian-German Relations / comments (0) / permalink
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