Prime Minister Justin Trudeau kicks off state visit at Canada 2020 reception with The Weeknd

by Alex Paterson. Posted March 9, 2016


Canada 2020 packed the house for kick-off reception at stunning Renwick Gallery

March 9, 2016

Washington, D.C. – The Prime Minister’s State Visit in Washington unofficially began with glitz and glam Wednesday night, thanks to an exclusive event with distinguished guests including Grammy-winning, Oscar-nominated Canadian Alternative R&B superstar The Weeknd.

It was a warm welcome for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the crowd cheered and waved Canadian flags as he walked from his residence at Blair House to a reception hosted by Canada 2020, Canada’s leading, independent, progressive think-tank.

Also in attendance was Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Senator Tim Kaine, Senator Mark Warner, Senator Al Franken, Senator Debbie Stabenow, Senator Amy Klobochar, Representative Don Beyer, U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman, Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. David MacNaughton, as well as Canadian Ministers Stephane Dion (Foreign Affairs), Chrystia Freeland (International Trade), Harjit Sajjan (National Defence), Hunter Tootoo (Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard), and Catherine McKenna (Environment & Climate Change).

The Prime Minister spoke on the integral relationship between Canada and the U.S.

“We share so much in terms of values, in terms of perspectives, in terms of priorities,” he told the crowd.

Referring to global challenges that governments must address, Prime Minister said “the entire world needs this continent to be at its very best, to be at its most generous, to be to be at its wisest, and to be at its most innovative.”

Two Mounties in red serge flanked the entrance to the Renwick Art Gallery, a contemporary installation art gallery part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The exhibit, WONDER, was curated by Canadian artist and collector, Nicholas Bell.

Tom Pitfield, Canada 2020’s president, introduced Prime Minister Trudeau to the stage for his remarks:

“We are excited to celebrate Prime Minister Trudeau’s State Visit. For the past 10 years, Canada 2020 has worked towards facilitating dialogue around progressive thinking with our global partners, particularly in the U.S. We share the enthusiasm expressed by supporters around the globe for Mr. Trudeau’s refreshing brand of progressive leadership and we are proud to be marking this historic event.”

Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit is the first State Visit by a Canadian Prime Minister to the U.S. since 1997.

Guests at the Canada 2020 reception enjoyed authentic Montreal smoked meat and the bar served two signature cocktails, the Canuck and L’Habitant.

Canada 2020 will also host Prime Minister Trudeau for a lunch event on Friday in partnership with Global Progress and the Center for American Progress.

Rewatch Prime Minister Trudeau’s speech on Periscope.

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