January 10th, 2019

Dear Members and friends,

In further regards to the speech made by SLCAO President Anura Ferdinand, at the Festive Dinner Dance on the 5th of January, we have received a booking confirmation to our proposal to host “Sinhalese Heritage Day” in Parliament. This event will be held on the 27th of April 2019 from 3pm5pm. It will be the largest undertaking ever by SLCAO and a FREE event open to everyone. However, names of the guests would have to be submitted to the Parliament security 48 hours prior to the event with no exceptions. We will send another email to collect the names. Hall space is limited. So, please stay tuned for the evwnt invitation email!

In 2016 November, Sri Lanka Canada Association of Ottawa (SLCAO) initiated “April as a Sri Lankan Heritage Month” campaign (more information at and received many signatures of support from all over Canada. But it did not go very far. However, in the last few weeks, we have again looked into possibilities and done research on achieving the goal of “April as a Sri Lankan Heritage Month in Canada”. Without the Sinhalese Heritage being recognized in Canada, we cannot really talk about Sri Lankan Heritage. Therefore, we want to focus on establishing an identity for Sinhalese Heritage in Canada and ultimately move towards the goal of “April as a Sri Lankan Heritage Month in Canada”. This event is organized as per SLCAO’s #3 objective; “Contribute to the preservation and awareness of the Sri Lankan cultural heritage”.
Draft Program for the Sri Lankan/Sinhalese Heritage Day in Parliament (2pm-5pm on the 27thApril 2019):
· 2-3 speeches by prominent members of the Parliament
· Group cultural dances (Ottawa, Toronto and other cities)
· Cultural musical experience
· Sri Lankan sweets table
· Sri Lankan artifacts from national museums to be displayed
· Sri Lankan masks and musical instrument display
· Invite local and national organizations and prominent Sri Lankan personalities in Canada
· Sri Lankan flags to be displayed inside as well as outside Parliament Building

Other Associations in Canada have also been contacted to build a national approach to this event. The final list will be circulated soon.
A community meeting is scheduled on Saturday the 19th of January from 3pm-5pm, at the Heron Gate Community Center to collect ideas from the community on how best to organize the above event. If you have any ideas on how to make our Sri Lankan/Sinhalese Heritage Day in Parliament a great success, please attend the meeting at Heron Gate Community Center from 3pm-5pm on the 19th of January 2019.
Agenda of the Meeting at Heron Gate Community Center on the 19th of January:

  1. Build an active organising committee (suggested positions: cultural advisors, dance coordinators, cultural exhibition coordinators, cultural music coordinators, invitations coordinator, parliament decoration coordinators, souvenir coordinators, refreshments coordinators)
  2. develop a draft program
  3. Coordinate invitations
  4. Build a communications plan
  5. Establish a more refined program
  6. form a souvenir committee
    Again, if you have any ideas to share about how we can have a great Sri Lankan/Sinhalese Heritage Day in Parliament, we urge you to please attend the meeting at Heron Gate Community Center 3pm-5pm on the 19thof January 2019.
    Thank you
    Executive Committee – SLCAO