Mr. John F.G. Hannaford and His Excellency Vesa Ilmari Lehtonen, Ambassador of the Republic of Finland

On June 4, 2019, a farewell luncheon was held in Ottawa in honour of His Excellency Vesa Ilmari Lehtonen, Ambassador of the Republic of Finland.

Marika Arovuo had the pleasure of representing CFCC at the aforementioned event. According to her, the formal but relaxed atmosphere of the luncheon was filled with great, colourful stories about Vesa’s encounters with the Minister, other Ambassadors, and the representatives of the Canadian government.

Ambassador Lehtonen sends his gratitude to all Finnish Canadians and friends of Finland that he was able to meet in the past three years in Canada. He also expressed his optimism in the future of Finnish-Canadian relations, and shared the exciting news as Business Finland opens an office in Toronto this fall.

LehtonenVesa2, kuva1511


June 15, 2019


Dear CFCC Members,

It’s my last day in Canada and my journey continues back to Helsinki. The past three years in Canada has been a memorable time for my family and myself.

I would like to thank all Finnish Canadians and Friends of Finland around the country for countless pleasant encounters during my posting. It has been a great pleasure to participate in FinnFests, concerts, anniversaries, meetings and other events, organized by vibrant Finnish communities and organizations. Finland 100 jubilee in 2017 was a special year to all of us and Finland received a lot of positive attention in Canada – thanks to the commitment and enthusiasm of all you.

The future in Finnish-Canadian relations looks bright and there is growing interest for Canada in Finland. Business Finland is opening an office in Toronto this fall and we have some new resources in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs as well. Personally, I am delighted to be able to continue working in North American affairs at the Ministry, of course including Canada. Hopefully, I will have a chance to meet many Finnish Canadian friends again.

I wish you all Iloista Juhannusta and all the best in the future.

Warm regards,