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Visit concluded in St John’s

Canada and Norway share many common interests and similarities, as both countries are situated in the far north. Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and Crown Princess concluded their official visit to Canada in St John’s on Newfoundland on Thursday.


St John’s– the province capital of Newfoundland and Labrador – is situated at the same latitude as Paris. The climate, however, is markedly different, and the marine areas off the coast pose similar challenges to those in the Barents Sea. Norway and Canada collaborate closely on offshore preparedness.

Safety and preparedness in the Arctic

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit began the day by attending a Norwegian-Canadian seminar on safety and preparedness in the Arctic. Topics on the agenda included offshore safety, rescue operations and oil spill preparedness.

Iceberg management is one of the challenges facing offshore operators in the northern areas. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess were given a demonstration of how personnel can practise towing away icebergs that are approaching a drilling rig. The Crown Prince had the opportunity to try his hand at lassoing an iceberg. 

The Centre for Marine Simulation has collaborated with Kongsberg Maritime Simulation for many years, and nearly 70 per cent of the simulator technology currently used by the centre has been delivered by Kongsberg. The technology enables personnel to prepare for hazardous situations, find solutions and train for operations.

Into the polar night

The exhibition “Polar Night: Light and Life in the Dead of Night” will be opening at the Johnson GEO CENTRE in St John’s at the beginning of 2017. Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit were given a preview tour of the exhibition, accompanied by a group of local young people. The exhibition is mounted in the dark and visitors are given a penlight.

The exhibition, which explores life in polar waters, is a result of collaboration with Tromsø University Museum, and has been displayed in several places in Canada and Norway. 

The Crown Prince and Crown Princess’s trip into the polar night led them thereafter into a visit to a seminar on ocean research.

Future food source

There is growing recognition of the important role that the oceans play in food security. As coastal nations, Norway and Canada can make a significant contribution in this area, and there is great potential for collaboration. Both countries have plans to step up their efforts.

The seminar, which was held at the Johnson GEO CENTRE, explored the importance of the oceans for coming generations and the need to maintain strong links between research and education. 

- Reading enriches our lives

In the afternoon it was time for a change of topic. Crown Princess Mette-Marit has long been active in promoting literature and reading and increasing access to Norwegian literature abroad. In St John’s she gave the opening remarks at an event on Norwegian and Canadian literature. The Crown Princess spoke about her love of reading, her travels throughout Norway on the Literature Train and the important role played by literature in understanding ourselves – and others. A video clip of the entire speech may be found on the Kongehuset pages on Facebook (see the list of links).

Norwegian author Erlend Loe’s novel Doppler is a bestseller in Canada. On Thursday Mr Loe and Canadian author Edward Riche shared the stage in St John’s, to have a conversation and read from their work. There are clear similarities between Doppler and Mr Riche’s novel Today I Learned It Was You. Situated on their respective continents, the two authors address important topics eloquently and humorously. 

Concluded their visit

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit concluded their official visit to Canada at a reception to promote contact between representatives of Norwegian and local trade and industry. There the Crown Prince and Crown Princess had the opportunity to sample seafood delicacies prepared by Norwegian and Canadian chefs.



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