The annual Diplomatic Reception, held at Estonian House on February 24th was hosted by the Hon. Consul General (EHCC) Mr Laas Leivat and the new President of the Estonian Central Council (ECC) Mr. Marcus Hess. The past president of the ECC, Mr. Avo Kittask, did a stellar job as master of ceremonies.
A main feature of the event is always the bestowing of the the Canadian-Estonian Medal of merit to those deserving. The contribution of Erik Hess, Toomas Kütti and Jüri Daniel were thus recognized.
The main guest of honour was Conservative, Federal House Leader Peter Van Loan and his wife Sheryl who spoke and extended his personal greetings from Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Other government representatives were federal members of parliament for Mississauga East-Cooksville, Conservative, Mr. Wladyslaw Lizon, Liberal member Ted (Hsu) Shee who also brought greetings from Liberal interim party leader Bob Rae , provincial Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (Liberal) the Honourable Charles Sousa, and provincial member (New Democratic Party) Michael Prue.
Diplomatic persons were, United States Vice Consul Ms. Ineke M. Stoneham, Consul General of the Czech Republic Ambassador Vladimir Ruml, Consul General of the Kingdom of Spain Francisco Pascual de la Parte, Finish Assistant Honourary Consul Laura McSwiggan, Polish Assistant Honourary Consul Marzena Baranowska, Hungarian Consul (and commerce consultant) Odon Kiraly and Latvian Honourary Consul Imants Purvs.
Community representatives were Lithuanian Federation of Canada President Joana Kuras, Latvian Culture Centre representative Arnis Markitants, Ukranian Canadian Congress Toronto Division Vice President Volodymyr Viguiliouk and Albanian Community President Dr. Ruki Kondaj.
Community business leaders were Lithuanian Credit Union Parama president Einar Medri (Estonian) and Chair Rita Urbanavicius-Muir.
Present was also former Toronto City Councillor Chris Korwin-Kuczynski who has over the years has been supportive of causes important to Estonians.
Estonian folkdance troupe Kungla with Ms. Killi Mirka as the MC performed a lively selection of their dance repertoire.
Sitting in the back, keeping an eye on things was Peter Van Loan's assistant Paul Läänemets, also in from Ottawa. The man is a good listener.
Independence Day diplomatic reception