Canada’s Capital Declares April as Sri Lankan Heritage Month

Publishing date: Nov 10, 2020  •  2 minute read

We are pleased to announce that His Worship Jim Watson, Mayor of City of Ottawa has declared April as Sri Lankan Heritage Month. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, all events were cancelled and there were delays to obtain the proclamation. We as a community are thankful to the Mayor, City Councilors and staff of City of Ottawa for this recognition. We also thank community volunteers, supporters , sponsors, SLCAO President Anura Ferdinand and Executive Committee to make this landmark recognition a success for not just Ottawa but for all of Canada.

The recognition received in 2020 will pave-way for future city-wide, province-wide and national proclamations with the support of community members.


During the 2019 SLCAO Tri-City Cricket Tournament & Six-a-Side Tournament petitions to request city wide and province wide April As Sri Lankan Heritage Month proclamations were collected and handed out. The events were well attended and the following dignitaries were present.

Hon MP David McGuinty, Ottawa South
Mr. David Bertschi, Concervative Candidate – Orleans
His Excellency High Commissioner M.A.K. Girihagama
Hon MP Chandra Arya, Nepean
Hon MPP Marie-France Lalonde, Orleans
City Councillor Riley Brockington of River Ward
Hon MPP John Fraser, Interim Leader Ontario MPP for Ottawa South
Mr. Nissanga Jaysinghe, Chair SLCAO Seniors Group 2019
Dr. Nimal De Silva, President Peradeniya Alumini Association

Signed petitions were handed over to:

City Councillor Riley Brockington of River Ward – Municipal Proclamation
Hon MPP John Fraser MPP for Ottawa South – Province Wide Proclamation

Full video here:

Full text of proclamation:


WHEREAS, Ottawa is home to a large and vibrant Sri Lankan community; and

WHEREAS, since the first Sri Lankans arrived in Canada in the 1950s, Sri Lankan-Canadians have made significant contributions ranging from Civil Service, University Academia, Medical and Engineering Professions, Agriculture and Agri Business, Computer Sciences, Banking , Arts and Crafts , Service , Manufacturing and many other Industries. Their contribution to Canada and to Ottawa is immeasurable: and

WHEREAS, “Aluth Avurudu” or New Year is the biggest of all celebratory festivals in the Sri Lankan community and it falls in April; and

WHEREAS, Sri Lankan Heritage Month will bring Canadians together to express their civic pride and to express their commitment to Canada by performing artistic activities, taking part in Canadian celebrations, sharing Canadian values and enriching the Canadian society with their practices of colourful heritage;

, I, Jim Watson, Mayor of the City of Ottawa, do hereby proclaim April as Sri Lankan Heritage Month in Ottawa.


ATTENDU QU’Ottawa abrite une communauté sri lankaise importante et dynamique; et

ATTENDU QUE Depuis l’arrivée des premiers Sri‑Lankais au Canada dans les années 1950, les Canadiens d’origine sri-lankaise ont apporté des contributions importantes allant de la fonction publique aux universités, en passant par les professions médicales et l’ingénierie, l’agriculture et l’agroalimentaire, les sciences informatiques, les banques, les arts et métiers, les industries de services et la fabrication en usine. Leur contribution au Canada et à Ottawa est incommensurable; et

ATTENDU QUE « Aluth Avurudu » ou Nouvel An est le plus grand de tous les festivals de célébration dans la communauté sri-lankaise et qu’il tombe en avril; et

ATTENDU QUE le Mois du patrimoine sri-lankais réunira les Canadiens pour exprimer leur fierté civique et exprimer leur engagement envers le Canada en effectuant des activités artistiques, en participant à des célébrations canadiennes, en partageant les valeurs canadiennes et en enrichissant la société canadienne avec leurs pratiques de patrimoine coloré; et

PAR CONSÉQUENT, je, Jim Watson, maire de la Ville d’Ottawa, proclame par la présente, avril comme Mois du patrimoine sri-lankais à Ottawa.

What this means to the community?

We would highly recommend future community events held in April to include “April as Sri Lankan Heritage Month” context and to invite municipal, provincial and federal dignitaries to share the Sri Lankan culture, heritage and friendships as Canadians.