This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.
Ottawa, Canada's national capital, has hosted the Tulip Festival since 1953. The festival stems from the gift in 1945 of thousands of tulips bulbs from the Queen of Holland to Canada. This giving of bulbs became a yearly thank you to our country for hosting Dutch Princess Juliana and her two daughters during the Second World War. A Bloom of Friendship: The Story of the Canadian Tulip Festival gives a general overview of the war, of the invasion of the Netherlands and of the life of the Dutch Royal family in Canada, including the birth of Princess Margriet in an Ottawa hospital. While the Royal family was safe in Canada, Dutch people in Holland suffered from hunger and cold at the hands of the Nazis, who took away most of the food. When Canadian troops liberated their country in the spring of 1945, they found a starving population. Many Canadian soldiers helped Dutch citizens to rebuild their houses and their country.
This non-fiction book is illustrated with colourful collages created by Ashley Spires. The textured, handmade paper makes for lively interior scenes and brings out the vivid colours of the Ottawa blooms in springtime. Maps, photographs and archival documents such as Dutch food coupons, Star of David badges, newspaper clippings and vintage postcards add historical interest to the book.