Dutch musicians coming here for ‘Fun in the Sun’ Fort Frances to be offered gift of tulips

District residents will be treated to a free concert by performers from the Netherlands on Tuesday, June 28 when the “Tulips 2005—60th Anniversary Friendship Tour” stops in Fort Frances.
Luluk Purwanto and the Helsdingen Trio is a jazz ensemble doing 100 not-for-profit performances across Canada this summer as a tribute to Canadian veterans on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands during World War II.
Fort Frances is one of 75 communities in Canada to host the band, which is travelling across the country between May 5 and Sept. 30.
The ensemble’s first performance was at the Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa during the visit of Her Royal Highness Princess Magriet of the Netherlands.
“We’re quite honoured to be chosen as one of the stops on the tour,” said Bev Kotnik, who is treasurer of the Rainy Lake Multicultural Association (RLMA).
While the ensemble was scheduled to come here anyway, when “Fun in the Sun” chair Paul Bock learned about this, he decided to promote the show as part of the other FITS activities that week, she added.
As such, the RLMA, which normally is involved in planning for FITS in one way or another, is helping out by paying for the band’s accommodations and meals while they’re here.
Meanwhile, FITS will make a donation to the travelling show.
“We’re really looking forward to having them here,” noted Kotnik, who added this will be the RLMA’s event for the summer.
In the past, the RLMA has put together events like Culturama, but Bingo revenues are down and organizers can’t afford to put on anything of that scale this year.
Kotnik noted the concert will be held in the parking lot across from the Civic Centre on Portage Avenue,
While the exact time of the performance still is to be confirmed, it likely will be sometime between 5 and 7 p.m., she added.
Luluk Purwanto and the Helsdingen Trio are travelling across Canada in a “stage bus,” a mobile stage designed by Dutch installation artist Aart Marcus, which allows the artists to actually travel in the same space in which they perform.
This stage bus unfolds into a fully-equipped stage, including a grand piano, drum riser, backdrop, lighting, complete sound system, and even seats for the audience.
Since 2005 also marks the 60th anniversary of the gift of 100,000 tulip bulbs to Canadians by the Dutch royal family, the “Friendship Tour,” in partnership with the Canadian Tulip Festival, is ensuring that the mayor of each community visited, as well as local veterans involved in the liberation of the Netherlands, will be offered a “Tulip Friendship Garden” during a pre-concert ceremony.
This presentation consists of 600 tulip bulbs—a symbolic tulip garden—being donated to the town, courtesy of the Tulip Bulb Growers of the Netherlands.
Georges Bédard, president of the Canadian Tulip Festival, said the gift of 100,000 tulips 60 years ago was the inspiration for the creation of the festival, which has since grown to the world’s largest tulip festival and an annual tradition in Ottawa.
(Fort Frances Times)

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