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Twin City Apeldoorn, The Netherlands & Mayor Ton Heerts Receive 2023 Burlington Key to the City

Apeldoorn Delegation Visit May 2023_Key Presentation_04

As part of the dual exchanges that take part in our twinning relationship with Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, both of our cities send reciprocal official delegations to each other every five years. This year marks the 18th anniversary of the City of Burlington’s twinning agreement with the City of Apeldoorn.

We hosted a wonderful delegation from Apeldoorn this past weekend (May 12-16) that included Mayor Ton Heerts and Chief of Staff Marjan Thalen as part of the Official Apeldoorn Delegation. In 2024, Burlington will be sending an official delegation from our city to Apeldoorn.

This weekend was made even more special as I was able to present the City of Apeldoorn, The Netherlands and Mayor Heerts with a Burlington Key to the City.

In May 2005, the City of Burlington signed an official twinning agreement with the City of Apeldoorn and our twinning relationship allows for cultural exchange and the sharing of ideas among youth, citizens and elected officials. We have a special connection with Apeldoorn — The Royal Canadian Regiment took part in the liberation of Apeldoorn in April 1945. Now, Apeldoorn is one of The Netherlands’ most progressive cities in terms of sustainable and responsible development. Apeldoorn’s commitment to sustainability, its similar size to Burlington and its strong historic connections with our veterans make it an ideal twinning partner for us.

Presenting Apeldoorn and Mayor Heerts with our Key to the City cements our two cities friendships and makes our connection even stronger.

We were also especially grateful for the lovely gifts the Apeldoorn Delegation presented to Council and our City Manager — that included ties and scarves in The Netherlands’ colours.

To learn more about our relationship with Apeldoorn and The Netherlands, please click/tap the link.

As part of the weekend’s event, we also held a special Canada Netherlands Friendship Day (May 5) celebration with the Official Apeldoorn Delegation at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre on May 13.

In addition to celebrating the 18th anniversary of our two cities twinning agreement, we also recognized the 78th anniversary of The Netherlands’ liberation by the Canadian Armed Forces during the Second World War.

The free community event featured:

  • Canadian and Dutch national anthems;
  • Greetings from, Consul General of the Netherlands, Harman Idema; Elizabeth Witmer, former Deputy Premier of Ontario; Mayor Ton Heerts of Apeldoorn; and Mayor Marianne Meed Ward;
  • Artwork on display from B.T. Lindley Public School and Trinity Christian School;
  • Art presentation from Nelson High School;
  • Presentation by Community Pathway Program; and
  • Music from Burlington Teen Tour Band.

These events are coordinated by Burlington’s Mundialization Committee. The volunteer advisory committee strives to connect Burlington to the world through events and initiatives and to promote the City of Burlington as “A World Community” dedicated to the United Nations philosophy of peaceful co-operation among the peoples of the world and encourage community understanding of different cultures global issues.

I want to thank our Mundialization Committee and Apeldoorn Subcommittee for all their hard work in organizing a wonderful weekend of events and ensuring the Official Apeldoorn Delegation felt absolutely welcomed in our city.

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Designed and created by local stained glass artist Teresa Seaton, the multi-coloured glass key incorporates elements of Burlington’s natural landscape and the City crest, all within the shape of our well-known blue city clock that stands proudly outside City Hall as a gift from our twin city, Itabashi, Japan. The key is housed in a textured glass box that adds to the timeless beauty of this work of art. Burlington’s Key to the City program was launched in 2019 by Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.


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