In May 1945 Canadian soldiers freed the Dutch people from the Nazis. Forever grateful, the Dutch celebrate Liberation Day with huge festivals each year. Canadian veterans and bands along with many Dutch families living in Canada travel to the Netherlands to participate in these festivals. Our committee is working with the Canadian and Netherland’s embassies to invite Princess Margriet to visit Canada, especially Goderich as Canada celebrates 150 years. 
In 2017, we are planning various events. A parade of dignitaries, bands, vintage Canadian Army vehicles, floats, veterans and students. We will end with a plaque and a new sign unveiling, with greetings from both countries. Several bands will be performing in a Liberation concert. A reception for the veterans and dignitaries will take place in a hall. Canadian and Dutch students will join us and learn more about each other’s cultures. Hopefully an exchange trip may happen so the children experience each other’s country.

We want to reconnect with the younger generations to bring a new and deepened interest into the special bond that started in May 1945 and exists today between Canada and the Netherlands. We have set up a website to update individuals as plans develop.  We will further develop the site to become a living testimony of veterans, Dutch immigrants, and the military units who formed the First Canadian Army of liberation.  


Our Vision
While the focal point of our event is the visit of Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, our committee is interested in developing a legacy communications strategy that will remain long after this event. This legacy would include awakening a renewed interest in the historic ties between Canada and the Netherlands. The Liberation of the Netherlands in 1944-1945 has had an enduring impact upon the people of the Netherlands and in South-Western Ontario. Canada’s generous and respectful treatment of the people of the Netherlands in their darkest hours paved the way for waves of emigration to Canada in the post war years of  World War II. These immigrants worked hard, they prospered and have become pillars of strength in the Canadian economic fabric.

Now, as the third and fourth generation of decedents progress through our education system, we must make a concerted effort to reconnect our youth with this part of Canadian history. While Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet and the remaining veterans are a living connection with the liberation of the Netherlands, unfortunately with this generation it is rapidly fading into the recesses of the Canadian consciousness. It is essential that the origins of this great Canadian story be made known to our present and future generations. 


Dutch Canadians in Huron County have been actively engaged in showing their appreciation to Canada for its sacrifice in the Liberation of Holland. A large fountain was unveiled for the 25th anniversary of the Liberation. The land on which the park is situated was donated to the Dutch community by the Town of Goderich. A celebration is held every 10 years and the area was developed into a beautiful park setting containing a large fountain and a pavillion. 
Canada can be proud of their contribution to the Liberation. We plan to unveil new signage and a copy of a plaque on “Hotel de Wereld” in Wageningen, The Netherlands, in the province of Gelerland.  The signage will include a QR code to connect visitors with a unique website that will inform, educate and engage the public. 

When the German army surrendered to the Canadian forces it put an end to the Second World War in Holland. We will always remember.Now, as the third and fourth generation of decedents progress through our education system, we must make a concerted effort to reconnect our youth with this part of Canadian history. While Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet and the remaining veterans are a living connection with the liberation of the Netherlands, unfortunately with this generation it is rapidly fading into the recesses of the Canadian consciousness. It is essential that the origins of this great Canadian story be made known to our present and future generations. 

When the German army surrendered to the Canadian forces it put an end to the Second World War in Holland. We will always remember.


"It is the Veteran, not the preacher,
Who has given us our freedom of religion." 

"It is the Veteran, not the reporter,
Who has given us freedom of the press."

"It is the Veteran, not the poet,
Who has given us freedom of speech."

"It is the Veteran, not the campus organizer,
Who has given us the freedom to assemble."

"It is the Veteran, not the lawyer,
Who has given us the right to a fair trial."

"It is the Veteran, not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote."