The new Canadian Embassy and the great social event before the MARATHON
Words of greeting by the ambassador, Paul Dubois, at the real,- BERLIN-MARATHON Get-Together on Friday, September 23, 2005
The MARATHON get-together on the Friday before the BERLIN-MARATHON has a long and great tradition. Each year, the event organiser invites friends, sponsors, politicians, the media, runners, former victors, and numerous event organisers from around the world to this event.
The event was started several years ago – usually meeting in the athletes’ hotel, then starting in 2002 more prestigiously, meeting in the “Ministerial Gardens” of the representative house of Lower Saxony. In 2003, the British Embassy played host in their edifice in Wilhelmstraße, while in 2004 the venue was located in the Nordic Embassies in Rauchstraße. This year, the almost 600 international guests were able to admire the new Canadian Embassy at Leipziger Platz. The Canadian Embassy is now located near Potsdamer Platz, directly on the last kilometres of the real,- BERLIN-MARATHON.
We would like to thank them for their great hospitality in the new embassy and are publishing the words of greeting by the Canadian ambassador, his Excellency Paul Dubois:
Dear Friends and Sponsors of the real,- BERLIN-MARATHON,
It is a great pleasure to welcome you to the Get-together Party of the 32nd BERLIN-MARATHON in the new Embassy of Canada at Leipziger Platz.
As you know, the Embassy is situated on the former “no man’s land” separating East and West Berlin. Today your presence here is further evidence that sport is a unifying factor. The symbolism of the marathon with its origins at the Olympic Games in Athens is recreated every year in Berlin with remarkable success. Welcome to the marathon runners, the organizers and all sports friends.
Opened by the Governor General of Canada
The new building we are in was opened by the Governor General of Canada on April 29 this year and I hope you will find the time to take a closer look. The North-West Passage, which passes through the building, and our multimedia centre, the Marshall McLuhan Salon, are freely accessible during the day. You are very welcome to come back whenever you wish and our website www.kanada.de allows you to first pay a virtual visit to our Embassy. Photos of this event will also be posted on our website soon.
73 Canadians are taking part in the real,- BERLIN-MARATHON this year. By advertising the event on our website, though, I hope very much that we can motivate more Canadians to participate next year.
Like Germany, Canada is a federal state with strong regions. The materials used in this building originate, therefore, from the different parts of our large country – the Tyndall limestone on the facade from Manitoba, the granite flooring from Quebec, the Douglas fir in the Timber Hall from British Columbia, the Eramosa marble in the foyer from Ontario and of course maple wood from various regions of Canada.
Canada is as big as the whole of Europe up to the Urals
These Canadian regions are up to 5,500 km apart in an east-west direction and the materials were brought here to reflect Canada’s diversity. With its 10 million square kilometres, Canada is as big as the whole of Europe up to the Urals and about 28 times the size of Germany. Overcoming distances was and is, therefore, an identity-creating element in Canadian history and in the Canada of today.
“The Fast Runner”
In Canada we know a legend about a fast runner who covers large distances. It is the story of the Inuit Atarnarjuat, which is told in the film “The Fast Runner” by the director Zacharias Kunuk. This film, which is certainly worth seeing, won the Golden Camera award in Cannes in 2001. It was the first film to be shot in Inuktitut, the language of the Inuit.
So running, and sport in general, lie deep in the Canadian soul. If you go to Canada, you will indeed see how enthusiastic the Canadians are about sport – first and foremost ice hockey. In planning our new Embassy, it was clear that here too we wanted to make our contribution to life in this lively city. This is why we are especially pleased that the real,- BERLIN-MARATHON has offered us this opportunity to accommodate our first event in the area of sport.
I am pleased that our new Embassy building will be on the route taken by the runners at the weekend. I wish all those involved a happy and successful weekend.
Have a nice evening. Merci.
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