“In the same way I interact with and listen to the Maltese public back home, I feel it is part of my mission and duty to establish and nurture contacts with you here in Canada in particular,” said President Vella.
During an event organised by the Malta Band Club in Toronto, President Vella pointed out that the history of the Maltese diaspora in Canada is a most interesting one. “I am sure it means a lot to you personally, as most of the early migrants must have been your parents and grandparents,” added the President.
The very first Maltese settlement in Canada dates back to 1826. Today, about 14,000 first-generation Maltese and about 21,000 persons of Maltese ancestry live in metropolitan Toronto.
The President commended the Maltese community in Canada for their achievements and for still identifying themselves as Maltese and Gozitans and urged them to keep in mind that they, too, have a role to play in giving Malta’s name the respect it deserves in their adoptive homeland and with other communities. Traditions, said President Vella, are important as they foster national unity. “The Malta Band Club, like so many others across Canada, has a crucial role to play in this regard,” remarked the President whilst urging the Maltese community in Canada to keep their active contacts and reach out to one another as often as possible through cultural events, religious festivities, language classes, and culinary traditions.
In Toronto, the President also held a meeting with the Maltese Canadian Business Network Association (MCBNA). The ties between Malta and Canada were discussed from different angles, ranging from ideas on how to initiate and strengthen economic and business relations to education opportunities in Malta and cultural tourism exchanges. MCBNA focuses on diversity and inclusion, business and professional development, youth empowerment, and Maltese culture.
Accompanied by the Minister for Home Affairs, Security, Reforms and Equality, Byron Camilleri, President Vella and Mrs Vella also visited the Maltese community living in Hamilton, Ontario, as well as the Melita Soccer Club. They also visited the Malta Bake Shop, Malta’s Finest Pastries, and Nannu’s Pastizzi, with President Vella commending them for keeping Malta’s culinary traditions alive away from home.