Commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in Canada

Commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in Canada

4.11.2019 | Aktivity veľvyslancov |

The countries of the Visegrad Four celebrated the 30th anniversary of the fall of the communist regime and the return of freedom and democracy to Central Europe by a festive concert under the title “Freedom Reborn” at St. Andrew's Church in Toronto on Sunday, October 27, 2019. 


The concert, co-organized by the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Ottawa and the Consulates General of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland in Toronto, presented artists and compositions from these countries under the baton of the conductor Matthiew Jaskiewicz. Slovakia was represented by baritone Ján Vaculík, who performed also the Song about the native land (Pieseň o rodnej zemi).


The Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to Canada, Vít Koziak, in his speech thanked Canada for sheltering Slovaks who during the totalitarian regime found a new home in Canada and today represent a strong link in friendly relations between the two countries. He recalled important events such as the Candle Manifestation in Bratislava in March 1988, which led to the November Velvet Revolution in 1989. He pointed out successful membership of Slovakia in the European Union and NATO. He stressed the need not to take the acquired freedom and democracy for granted and to defend them against the challenges of populism, intolerance and extremism that today's democracies have to face. Strong democratic institutions, civil society and free media are key in this respect. "Freedom and democracy, which enable us to live in dignity, are always worth to fight for," the Slovak ambassador said.


The festive event, opened by Premier of Ontario Doug Ford, was attended by representatives of the diplomatic and consular corps, provincial parliament and the city of Toronto. Audience of more than 900 people, consisting mostly of Visegrad countries diaspora, rewarded the protagonists by long-standing applause and organizers with many positive responses.