City of Courtenay horticulture supervisor Tyler Johns starts work on the tulip design that will bloom in the spring, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands. In all, more than 1,000 “Canadian Liberator” tulips will be planted in Courtenay, to support the Liberation75 initiative. Photo by Terry Farrell

City, Courtenay Legion collaborate on special tulip project

1,000+ tulip bulbs planted in advance of the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands

City parks workers were planting tulip bulbs at Simms Park Friday. But these weren’t just any tulip bulbs.

They were part of a Command-wide Legion initiative to celebrate the upcoming (2020) 75th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands.

In May of 2020, more than 20 branches in the BC/Yukon Command of the Royal Canadian Legion, including the Courtenay Legion, will be hosting candlelight tributes as well as decorating their local areas with red “Canadian Liberator” tulips.

In order to achieve this, the Courtenay Legion and the City of Courtenay collaborated to create a special planting in Simms Park.

Another tulip garden dedicated to the Liberation of the Netherlands is being planted at Native Sons Hall, and the Courtenay Legion will also have a special tulip garden on its premises.

Additionally, many tulip bulbs have been bought by members of the community to plant in their own gardens in order to “decorate the town” in remembrance and celebration of those who gave their lives to liberate the Netherlands and celebrate Canada’s relationship with the Dutch.

The goal is to plant as many red tulips across the country in cities, towns, villages, parks and home gardens, to create an atmosphere of overwhelming thanks and appreciation of Canada and its veterans. The major focus is to publicly commemorate the lives lost and the efforts made by Canadian men and women who helped re-establish freedom in the Netherlands in 1945.

The Courtenay Legion still has tulip bulbs available – get yours today at 367 Cliffe Ave.

Sale proceeds of the Canadian Liberator tulips sold through Legion branches in B.C. and Yukon stay at the branch which sold them to support veterans and their families in that community.

The Liberation75 initiative hopes Canadians will plant 1.1 million of these tulips this fall. Both the City and the Royal Canadian Legion will plant about 1,000 bulbs each at Simms Park, the Native Sons Hall and the Courtenay Legion.

(For more details on the Liberation of the Netherlands, visit

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Courtenay Legion members joined City parks workers and Counc. Manno Theos in a tulip bulb-planting celebration. The special Canadian Liberator tulips will bloom in the spring, as a living commemoration to the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands.

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