PHOENIX — Better brush up on the lyrics to ‘O Canada’ and whip up some Poutine: Canada Week in Arizona starts on Saturday.
There will be several activities throughout the week with the goal of strengthening partnerships between business owners, lawmakers and residents from Arizona and Canada.
“It is a whole series of activities that are designed to talk about Canada’s presence (in Arizona),” James Villeneuve, the Consul General of Canada who represents the Southwest, said.
Villeneuve said the week also focuses on business opportunities for Arizonans in Canada and Canadians in Arizona.
Some of the events include The Great Canadian Picnic, a meet and greet at the state legislature on Feb. 6, as well as a chance to for residents to take photos with a real Canadian Mountie who will be roaming the streets of downtown Phoenix.
As Canadians continue to flock to Arizona during the winter months, Villeneuve said he hopes this week helps solidify partnerships and friendships between the two groups.
“It is really a celebration of the Canadian presence in Arizona,” he said. “There’s thousands of us there specifically in the winter when we want to get away from our cold climate.”
The Grand Canyon State has had a steady incline in Canadian tourists and part-time residents for several years. In 2014, Arizona saw nearly 900,000 overnight visitors from Canada.
It is also estimated that Canadians bring in about $1 billion to Arizona every year.