OTTAWA, 13 May 2019 – The President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović started her official State Visit to Canada on Sunday by meeting the Croatian community in Ottawa.
“Every visit to Ottawa and meeting with the community is a special occasion for me, bringing back dear memories of this town that is your home, as was home for me and my family whilst I worked at the Embassy,” the President said, pointing out that Croatian emigration is one of her main priorities during her mandate.
She added that, as Croatian president, she was particularly proud of the Croats in Canada who, through their knowledge, professionalism, responsibility, and devoted relationship to work, family and society, integrated into the society they live in.
“I am proud of you all because you have gained a reputation, started jobs, founded families and became respected members of society, just like many Croatians have around the world.”
President Grabar-Kitarović mentioned that Croatian emigrants were “our strength during the Homeland War because you not only assisted materially, but also through your efforts and personal contacts spread the truth about the struggle for the independence of the Croatian state”.
For the unselfish and extraordinary contribution to the provision of social and spiritual care and for long pastoral activity among Croatian emigrants in Canada, President Grabar-Kitarović awarded the Charter of the Republic of Croatia to Sv. Nikole Tavelić Parish – Montreal and the Croatian Catholic Parish of St. Leopold Mandić – Ottawa.
A Charter of the Republic of Croatia was also awarded to the Croatian-Canadian Folklore Association – East for its extraordinary and long-standing contribution to the promotion of Croatian heritage, language, culture and folklore, and the preservation of Croatian identity in Canada.
President Grabar-Kitarović will be in Canada on the State Visit until 17 May 2019. On Monday she will meet with the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau.
This is the first State Visit to Canada since the Republic of Croatia achieved independence.