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Honourable senators, I rise today to speak about Winterlude, the national capital's winter celebration. Each year Winterlude is held in Ottawa-Gatineau during the month of February; this year it is the first to the eighteenth. Winterlude was created in 1979 to celebrate Canada's unique northern climate and culture. This year at Winterlude we are celebrating the Year of Korea in Canada and 50 years of friendship between our two countries.The city of Jinju has brought the Lantern Garden of the Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival, a spectacular 35-metre long tunnel made up of over 1,300 lanterns, to brighten Confederation Park daily throughout Winterlude. This extraordinary exhibit, three years in the making and created in collaboration with the Jinju Namgang Yudeung Lantern Festival in South Korea, represents the true spirit of our deep friendship. I would like to recognize the contribution of the tireless visionaries and champions who supported this unique collaboration and who made the project possible.

In particular, I wish to acknowledge Guy Laflamme, Senior Vice-President, Capital Experience and Official Residences, NCC; Professor Jeong Gang Hoan, and their dedicated teams. The Mayor of Jinju, Lee Chang-hee, and nine others took part in the opening weekend of Winterlude. As an honorary citizen of Jinju City, I had the pleasure of welcoming them to Parliament Hill on Monday, February 4. For Mayor Lee, it was a kind of homecoming. Thirty years ago he was a parliamentary intern in the National Assembly and participated in an overseas experience in Ottawa for six months, so for him this occasion was truly a homecoming.

2013 also marks the Year of the Korean War Veteran in honour of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Korean War Armistice. On February 7, on behalf of Minister Steven Blaney, I will be attending the unveiling of an impressive ice sculpture, The Statute of Brothers, to commemorate this important milestone. Last but not least, on February 10 there will be a most special event called the "Imjin Classic," a commemorative hockey game played during Winterlude on the Rideau Canal Skateway. A Canadian military team will play a parliamentary all-star team of ministers and MPs, NHL alumnus Doug Smith; a Vancouver Canucklehead named Doug Martin, who happens to be my husband; and a group of hockey-loving Canadians who live or lived in Korea and who belong to the Geckos Hockey Club. In Korea, the Imjin Classic annual hockey tournament is played in honour of the hockey games played on the frozen Imjin River during the war. The founders of the Geckos hockey club will be in Ottawa with the cup to play in this special game. I hope that all honourable senators may enjoy the hockey game and celebrate the importance of the tradition of hockey, the legacy of the Korean War and the Canadians who brought with them their love of the sport during the midst of war.


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