In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Canadian mission in Cyprus (1964-2014), the Canadian High Commission is organising a series of events from March 15-19, honouring one of the country's longest military forces missions.
Approximately 30,000 Canadians have served in Cyprus in the framework of the United Nations' peacekeeping mission (UNFICYP), thus confirming Canada's commitment to the sector of peacekeeping missions.
Canada's Minister of Veterans Affairs Julian Fantino arrived in Cyprus yesterday accompanied by a delegation of ten Canadian veterans to mark the 50th anniversary since Canada, together with other members of the United Nations, first began crucial peacekeeping operations here.
"Canada's international reputation has been built by our brave Veterans dedicated to operations such as the one in Cyprus. The 50-year-long engagement in Cyprus has demanded immense skills, perseverance and sacrifices from our veterans in the service of peace. It's an honour for me to accompany these men as they return to Cyprus to mark this anniversary," Fantino said.
Among other events, the delegation will take part in a rededication of the Canadian Peacekeeping Monument at the UN Buffer Zone in Nicosia, in honour of the men and women who have served in peacekeeping efforts overseas.
The delegation's time in Cyprus will also coincide with the decompression of one of the final groups of Canadian Armed Forces personnel returning from their deployment to Afghanistan as part of Operation ATTENTION, Canada's participation on the NATO training mission in Afghanistan.
"The service of our Canadian Armed Forces personnel in Cyprus has made a deep impression on our military, as well as on both Canadian and Cypriot history. The efforts of Canadian Veterans who served in Cyprus have paved the way for future generations of Canadian soldiers, sailors and air personnel to continue supporting peace and stability, including through international efforts in Afghanistan. The men and women who serve Canada have, and will continue, to stand up for freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law," Fantino continued.
PROGRAMME OF EVENTS
House of Canada
Events to mark the 50th anniversary of the Canadian mission in Cyprus will be launched with the official opening of the Canada House in Cyprus today at 8pm at the Hall of Peace on Ledra Street, Nicosia. The official opening will be performed by the Canada’s Minister of Veteran Affairs Julian Fantino.
The Canada House will be a meeting point which will offer visitors a unique experience of images and flavours from around Canada, with the support of Canadian company Presse Café.
The House will remain open daily from 9am to 6pm, from March 14 to 23.
A photography exhibition entitled “The Canadian Peacekeeping Mission” will be opened on Monday, March 17, at 6pm, at the Famagusta Gate in Nicosia, also by the Veteran Affairs Minister.
The unique exhibition is inspired by almost 30,000 Canadian peacekeepers who served in Cyprus. It includes exhibits from the Canada War Museum as well as a monument to honour the memory of the 28 Canadian peacekeepers who gave their lives during their mission in Cyprus.
The exhibition will be open from March 17 to 19, from 9am to 1pm and 4pm to 8pm.
A premiere screening of Canadian documentary ‘Our Man in Tehran’ will take place on Tuesday, March 18, at 8.30pm and Wednesday, March 19, at 8pm, at the Famagusta Gate in Nicosia.
‘Our Man in Tehran’ is an awarded documentary directed by Drew Taylor and Larry Weinstein.
The film which was mentioned in the Hollywood production ‘Argo’ tells the incredible but true story of the Canadian Ambassador in Tehran, Ken Taylor, who helped the escape of six American diplomats during the hostage crisis at the US Embassy in Iran in 1980.
A lecture entitled ‘Canada’s peacekeeping mission in Cyprus’ will be given on Wednesday, March 19 at 6pm, in Auditorium B of the European University Cyprus in Nicosia.
Dr Greg Donaghy, a Canadian diplomatic historian, will talk about the history of the Canadian Peacekeeping mission in Cyprus.