The Canadian Tulip Festival has created the “Order of the Tulip” to recognize individuals and groups who have been instrumental in ensuring the flourishing of the Festival over the last number of decades. Groups and individuals who have been honoured in the investiture of the “Order of the Tulip”, receive a distinctive tulip pin and certificate to commemorate their membership into the Order.
Barbara Karsh, one of the first recipients, was given the “Order of the Tulip” on behalf of her late husband Malak, who was a co-founder of the Canadian Tulip Festival. With his incredible photography, Malak put Ottawa on the map and helped the city earn its title as the “Tulip Capital of North America”.
Past Chairs of the Greater Ottawa Chamber of Commerce have been recognized for supporting the Festival since the Chamber, also a co-founder, has the distinction of presenting the first Canadian Tulip Festival in 1953.
Other recipients through the years include Chairs of The Ottawa Tourism and Convention Authority, the National Capital Commission for its planting of thousands of tulip beds every year; mayors of the Cities of Ottawa and Gatineau (previously known as Hull) for their financial and in-kind Festival support; and of course past and present presidents/executive directors of the Festival whose vision and leadership have guided this event to its present international stature.
The “Order of the Tulip” has two levels of recognition. The “Honourable Member” recognizes individuals outside of the National Capital Region who have offered their friendship to the Festival while the “Member” designation recognizes individuals within the Region.
This year, 14 past and present Chairs of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce will be inducted into the “Order of the Tulip” at a special celebration on the Festival’s opening night, May 12, 2017.