The past few weeks have been quite exciting at the British Consulate. Everyone in the office has been wonderful at including us in the events and activities they have going on – and it’s been keeping us quite busy! We’ve had the opportunity to learn about the British Government’s policy priorities, and to contribute to the Toronto Consulate’s activities to promote them.
We’ve had the privilege of experiencing a number of events with different departments based at the Consulate, including Greenbuild and a fundraiser for the Canadian Friends of the National Trust of Scotland. Greenbuild is an annual environmentally-focused trade show and conference, mostly for the construction industry. We attended it alongside UK Trade & Investment, who hosted a booth for a visiting trade delegation from the UK, as well as the Science & Innovation team, who were on the lookout for potentially fruitful partnerships. It was fascinating to get a chance to see inside the trade show world – massive and impressive are two words that spring to mind. There were a good number of booths hosted by countries, which I found novel, but makes quite a bit of sense to sell the ‘brand’ of a country and provide a forum that allows smaller companies to be represented.
Belinda and I also had a pleasure of attending a fundraising dinner sponsored by Scottish Development International, the territory’s overseas commercial and cultural representatives. It was a wonderful evening to get to know our colleagues a little better – SDI also works out of the Toronto Consulate – and sample some of the finest culinary and bottled wares Scotland have to offer. It was also a pleasure to support the work the National Trust is doing for heritage Scottish properties (most of which, it seems, Mary Queen of Scots stayed in at some point!). Many thanks to our Scottish, British, and Canadian colleagues for a memorable evening and a fantastic experience in the office – I know both Belinda and I had an enriching and enjoyable time.