The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall Visit Canada – Day One

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The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, try some local fish and chips, during their visit to Portree, in the Isle of Skye, in the Highlands of Scotland. September 16, 2021.

THE PRINCE OF WALES AND THE DUCHESS OF CORNWALL VISIT CANADA – Day One

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

Tuesday, 17th May

ARRIVAL 

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall arrive in St John’s. 

ENGAGEMENT 1 

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will attend the Official Welcome Ceremony at Confederation Building. 

On arrival, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will be greeted by The Governor General of Canada and her spouse, His Excellency Whit Grant Fraser and The Prime Minister of Canada, The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau. A group of local dignitaries and senior representatives of the main Indigenous communities will also attend the ceremony. 

His Royal Highness will take the Royal Salute, inspect the Guard of Honour, and take the Final Salute. 

Their Royal Highnesses will then watch the ceremony which will include a number of artistic and cultural performances representing Newfoundland and Labrador’s rich tradition of song and story. Speeches will be delivered by the Governor General of Canada, the Prime Minister, the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador and finally by The Prince. 

Their Royal Highnesses will sign the Golden Book and the Provincial Guest Book before departure. 

Confederation Building serves as the home of the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly. The building originally housed all provincial departments in the 1960s. 

The building is located on Confederation Hill, along Prince Phillip Parkway and it overlooks the city of St. John’s, the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Notable landmarks are visible from this location including, The Narrows – the only passage from the Atlantic Ocean to St. John’s Harbour and Cabot Tower – built in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and the 400th anniversary of John Cabot’s landing. The building opened in 1900. 

ENGAGEMENT 2 

Their Royal Highnesses will visit Government House to meet with representatives of the local communities, businesses and organisations.

Their Royal Highnesses will be greeted by The Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador, Her Honour The Honourable Judy May Foote and His Honour Howard William Foote. 

Their Royal Highnesses will then attend a solemn ceremony in the Heart Garden joined by Indigenous leaders from across Newfoundland and Labrador. A smudging ceremony will take place followed by a prayer by the President of NunatuKavut Community Council. The Lieutenant Governor will then speak about the meaning of the garden. 

All will observe a moment of silence to honour and remember the Indigenous children who attended residential schools in Labrador and Northern Newfoundland. 

To close the ceremony, local schoolchildren will plant paper hearts in the garden with messages of reconciliation while a solemn Indigenous musical performance is given by musical group, Eastern Owl. 

His Royal Highness will then proceed to The Dining Room, where he will be met by Mr. Matthew Rowe, CEO of The Campaign for Wool in Canada who will present a small group of key partners and supporters. 

Mr. Rowe will then introduce Ms. Keelin O’Leary, Manager of NONIA, who will speak about the organization’s rich history and ties to Government House. NONIA knitters will showcase various wool knitting projects and speak about their involvement in the organization and the communities where they live. Representatives of NONIA will show His Royal Highness some pieces on display, including a replica of the baby cardigan given by NONIA to Her Majesty after the birth of The Prince in 1948. 

His Royal Highness will then be introduced to Rosemarie Péloquin, a Franco-Manitoban artist who will show her needle-felted Canadian wool sculptures of The Prince and Her Majesty The Queen. The sculpture of Her Majesty was created especially for the Platinum Jubilee. Ms. Péloquin will also demonstrate her techniques and speak to the challenges of creating the works. 

Their Royal Highnesses will then proceed to the Commonwealth Walkway, a commemorative Platinum Jubilee project, where Their Royal Highnesses will be greeted by members of the public and local community organizations including Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award recipients. 

Finally, Their Royal Highnesses will unveil a bronze marker to commemorate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee and continue along the walkway to observe schoolchildren plant an Ivory Silk Lilac tree in the heart of the walkway to help launch the Queen’s Green Canopy project on the grounds. 

Government House 

Their Royal Highnesses previously visited Government House during the 2009 Royal Tour. The current Government House is Newfoundland and Labrador’s third Vice-Regal residence. Sir Thomas Cochrane, Governor from 1825 to 1834, made the provision of new accommodations a condition of his acceptance of his appointment. 

The Heart Garden 

The Heart Garden at Government House is the first in Newfoundland and Labrador, unveiled in 2019. It follows the national joint initiative by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Project of Heart, KAIROS, and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, which encouraged individuals, schools, and community groups to plant heart gardens in memory of children lost to the residential school system, to honour residential school survivors and their families, and to support the legacy of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. 

Smudging 

Smudging is a cultural ceremony practiced by a wide variety of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and other parts of the world. Although practices differ, smudging is used for medicinal and practical purposes as well as for spiritual ceremonies. The practice generally involves prayer and the burning of sacred medicines, such as sweetgrass, cedar, sage, and tobacco. 

Although Indigenous nations have their own culturally specific smudging traditions, they typically share certain teachings. For example, all smudging ceremonies require some sort of vessel to carry the medicinal herbs, such as a special container, shell, smudge stick or ball. Burned in small amounts, the herbs contained in the vessel produce smoke that is said to have healing powers and carry the prayers of the people to the Creator. 

The Campaign for Wool in Canada 

The Campaign for Wool was launched in Canada by Their Royal Highnesses in Pictou, Nova Scotia during their May 2014 Royal Tour. The Campaign is The Prince’s global endeavour to raise awareness of the unique, natural, and sustainable benefits of wool, and currently runs across the world in 13 different countries. 

The Campaign is a platform for engagement and education; showing Canadians the benefits of wool as a fibre as well as the importance of supporting their domestic wool industry with an annual program of activations and media partnerships in the fields of fashion, interior design, and fine art, centred around Canadian Wool Month (October). 

The campaign is delivered by the Canadian Wool Council, a non-profit organization focused on developing practical opportunities for Canadian wool and the Canadians who transform it. 

NONIA 

The Newfoundland Outport Nursing and Industrial Association (NONIA) was incorporated as a non-profit business in 1924 after being founded at Government House in 1920. It was established to assist Newfoundland outport communities to access health services, by raising money from the sale of hand-knit garments to pay the salaries of public health nurses. In 1934, the health care portion of NONIA’s operation was taken over by the government but the industrial side was maintained and continues today in much the same tradition as when it was founded. 

Today NONIA is a non-profit organization that is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors and a small staff at its retail location in St. John’s. NONIA is a manufacturing and retail operation employing 175 knitters and weavers across the province, who produce NONIA’s well known hand-knit sweaters, socks, hats, and mitts for infants to adults as well as woven placemats, runners, napkins, and scarves. 

The Commonwealth Walkway 

To mark Her Majesty The Queen’s historic Platinum Jubilee celebration, Newfoundland and Labrador is completing a commemorative initiative—the development of a Commonwealth Walkway on the grounds of Government House. 

The walkway will be one kilometre in distance, winding through more than 50 commemorative trees that have been planted over the years to recognize visits by Royalty—including from other countries; Governors General, Lieutenant Governor’s, Premier’s, and other notable dignitaries. 

The Commonwealth Walkway will also encompass tree and shrub plantings from The Queen’s Green Canopy—a unique tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. Additionally, certain historical aspects of the Government House property—such as the Old Garrison Hospital, built in 1805—will be highlighted throughout the walkway. 

The Commonwealth Walkway connects every nation and territory in the Commonwealth. It is designed to link and interpret local heritage, engage people in their shared history and tradition, promote the Commonwealth principles and values of diversity, equality and friendship. 

ENGAGEMENT 3 

Their Royal Highnesses will tour Quidi Vidi Village during which they will visit Quidi Vidi Village Artisan Studios and walk along the Harbour. 

Their Royal Highnesses will make their way to the boardwalk where there will be a brief photo opportunity. 

Their Royal Highnesses will then be introduced to representatives for the Quidi Vidi Village Artisan Studios. Business Advisor, Melissa Tarrant, will explain the Artisan Studios’ role in developing artists and their work into sustainable businesses. 

Their Royal Highnesses will part and engage with the artists including the Angora Borealis, wool spinning station, listed as an endangered craft by Heritage NL. 

Their Royal Highnesses will re-convene at a table set up to demonstrate a traditional craft of Atlantic Canada – rug hooking and be invited to start the first stitches in a collaborative community art project called ‘Come Home Year 2022’. 

The Prince and The Duchess will then make their way to the harbour where they will have the opportunity to enjoy local entertainment, live music and speak with members of the community, local vendors and fisherman at their boats moored alongside the boardwalk. There will also be an opportunity to meet a Newfoundland dog named “Chief”. 

Quidi Vidi Village 

Quidi Vidi Village is a picturesque neighbourhood of St. John’s which has been a traditional fishing village and a continued representation of a Newfoundland and Labrador outport fishing community. 

Quidi Vidi Village Artisan Studios 

The Quidi Vidi Village Artisan Studios (formerly Quidi Vidi Village Plantation) was established following a joint investment in 2010 by the Government of Canada and the City of St. John’s to rehabilitate a former fishing plantation into a city-owned multi-purpose artisan incubator to support the local arts community and advance the region’s tourism industry. 

The Artisan Studios is an arts-based business incubator with 10 studio spaces. A rotating number of emerging artisans rent out a studio where they will work, have an opportunity to sell to the public at the Artisan Studios, and to grow their business. The organization provides them with tools such as workshops and training in areas such as creating online stores, leveraging social media, marketing, navigating the postal system as a commercial entity, and other skills so they can maximize their potential as emerging entrepreneurs. Artists generally stay an upwards of 4-5 years at the Artisan Studios. 

Come Home Year 2022 

Come Home Year 2022 is an initiative of the Newfoundland and Labrador Government in response to the effects of COVID-19 on the tourism industry to encourage expat Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and former residents of the province to return home for a visit, remind current residents of the province of the wonders in their own ‘backyard,’ and expand ongoing marketing efforts to welcome non-resident visitors to the province. 

The Harbour 

The harbour area of Quidi Vidi (the land which is now commercially called The Wharf at Quidi Vidi) was recently repurposed as a summer tourist attraction. Since 2021, land proprietor and local businessman Mark Dobbin has installed infrastructure including a large tent for events, washrooms, ice cream stand and picnic tables for use as a public space and able to accommodate local food trucks. 

ENGAGEMENT 4 

Their Royal Highnesses will visit the Quidi Vidi Brewery. 

Their Royal Highnesses will walk from the Harbour to Quidi Vidi Brewery. Brewery founder and owner, David Fong and Brewery Marketing and Sales Director Justin Fong will escort Their Royal Highnesses to the brewery taproom. Their Royal Highnesses will learn about the unique elements of the brewery’s signature Iceberg beer, made from 20,000 year-old water harvested from icebergs which migrate seasonally to Newfoundland and Labrador and sample both the beer and iceberg water. Their Royal Highnesses will also have the opportunity to pour their own. 

The Prince and The Duchess will then meet with locals including Mr. Mark Critch, well-known Canadian, Comedian, Actor and Writer and entrepreneurs of Newfoundland and Labrador’s culinary community. They will introduce Their Royal Highnesses to the traditional cuisine, the emerging culinary scene and the unique bounty of sustainable food from Newfoundland and Labrador. Foraged wild edibles and food samples will be on display. 

Finally, David Fong will talk with Their Royal Highnesses about the history of Quidi Vidi as an outport community, the effects of the cod moratorium on the local fishing community, and the repurposing of industrial buildings from fishing to new economical ventures such as brewing and arts. 

Quidi Vidi Brewery 

Founded in 1996 by David Fong in a former fish processing plant, the brewery is the oldest craft brewery and third-largest brewer in Newfoundland. Currently, over 25 different brews are offered year round; including the famous blue bottled Iceberg Beer, which is made with 20,000 year old iceberg water harvested from icebergs off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.