Jakarta. Canadian embassy dignitaries and staff, joined by nearly one thousand guests, gathered for a party in Jakarta on Wednesday (12/07) evening to celebrate the sesquicentennial anniversary of the Canadian Confederation as part of the "Canada 150" celebration all around the world.
Peter MacArthur, Canada's Ambassador to Indonesia, said this year also marks the 65th anniversary of of relations between Canada and Indonesia.
"Canada has worked alongside Indonesia for more than 60 years to reduce inequality and poverty, providing nearly $2 billion in official development assistance," he said.
The ambassador said Canada and Indonesia have enjoyed a dynamic relationship in trade and investment.
"Canadian investors in Indonesia employ thousands of Indonesians. [...] Canada’s cutting edge technologies in the aerospace, renewable and infrastructure sectors are a great fit for Indonesia," MacArthur said.
The ambassador singled out 10 Canadian water and wastewater technology companies attending the event as an example.
The companies showed strong interests in doing business in Indonesia and sent their representatives to the Indo-Water 2017 Expo and Forum – the biggest water and wastewater industry expo in Indonesia – on July 12-14 at the Jakarta Convention Center in South Jakarta.
Marie-Louise Hannan, Canada's Ambassador to Asean, who co-hosted the event, said Wednesday also marked 40 years of Asean-Canada relations.
"Let us celebrate the ways in which we make diversity work for us. Let us work together to promote and protect the rules-based systems that have allowed our countries to flourish and let us give every woman, man, girl and boy every opportunity to succeed," Hannan said.
She also said the values of diversity shared by Canada, Indonesia and all other Asean countries will help ensure a good future.
"This will help us overcome radical and violent ideologies," Hannan said.
A toast of ice wine handed out to the crowd followed the procession of speeches, and then a colorful party. The well-suited crowd were served iconic Canadian dishes like maple-glazed salmon, roast beef and an array of finger-food desserts.
Later in the night, the focus of the party turned to a fashion show by students from LaSalle College Jakarta. The hosts and guests then crowded the dance floor to the upbeat tunes of Canadian artists like The Weeknd and Celine Dion.
As the event came to a close, guests went out to a foyer decorated with life-size plastic maple trees, a plastic moose and totem poles before stepping out into the warm Jakarta night.