The Canadian Tulip Legacy was established to celebrate the historic Royal gift of tulips from the Dutch to Canadians immediately following the Second World War as a symbol of international friendship. Each year, it funds the Canadian Tulip Festival focused on preserving the memorable role of the Canadian troops in the liberation of the Netherlands and Europe, as well as commemorates the birth of Dutch Princess Margriet in Ottawa during World War II—the only royal personage ever born in Canada.
In 2019, the festival welcomed more than 700,000 people to Commissioners Park. Not only is this event important to preserving history, but it is also an important economic driver for the City of Ottawa.
At a glance
Year founded: 1953
Total revenue for last fiscal year: $1,374,632
Geographic region of focus: Ottawa
Top funding sources:
- Government: 70%
- Corporate: 20%
- Individual: 2%
- Other sources: 5%
How you can help
As the festival is a free admission event that lasts 11 days, funding and donations are crucial to its survival. Now in its 67th year, the festival's goal is to keep as much of the programming open to the public at no charge. We rely heavily on government grants, which are volatile at best.
Our funding focus has shifted to include a stronger mix of corporate and individual funding opportunities. Corporations can sponsor different aspects of the festival and donors can support programs, the overall festival or participate in our fall planting programs. For as little as $15 (plus taxes and shipping) individuals can plant the signature tulip or tulip blend. A portion of the proceeds will go to support the Royal Canadian Legion, while the balance will support the festival.
The Canadian Tulip Festival operates with a small board of directors, and a special advisory group, to help shape direction for the festival. The festival would not happen without the help of volunteers. We typically work with 300+ volunteers involved in many different aspects including administration, wayfinding, retail sales, program management, photography, technical support and tour guides, among others. For more information on volunteer opportunities, visit tulipfestival.ca/volunteer/.
Events and fundraising:
The Canadian Tulip Festival
Commissioners Park, May 8-18, 2020
Our Commemorative Planting Campaign, which runs in the fall each year, is an online sale of signature tulip bulbs. The campaign not only allows us to fundraise but creates a beautiful display of tulips from coast to coast each year. Our 2019 campaign is focused on planting 1.1 million Liberation75 Tulip Bulbs for the 1.1 million Canadians who participated in the Second World War.
Board members and executives
The Canadian Tulip Legacy is looking for funding this year to help ensure this commemorative celebration remains free for all Canadians. 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands. The festival, in close cooperation with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, is looking to create experiential programming that will bring history to life.