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Media Advisory

HRM to Twin with Norfolk. Virginia

(Wednesday, April 26/06)-- Halifax Regional Municipality will have a new sister city tomorrow -- its twinning with Norfolk, Virginia.

Mayor Peter Kelly and Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim will sign the official twinning document tomorrow evening aboard the HMCS Halifax, which is visiting the U.S. dockyard at Norfolk as part of its NATO participation role. The ceremony will be hosted by the Canadian Atlantic Fleet Commander, Commodore Dean McFadden.

In addition to HMCS Halifax, several Canadian Forces Bands and cadets of the Royal Military College (RMC) of Canada will participate in various events, such as the International Parade and Tattoo, which are part of Norfolk’s annual International Azalea Festival, for which Canada was named the 2006 Most Honoured NATO nation.

The 2006 Queen Azalea, Miss Paulina Gretzky, daughter of Canadian hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, will be escorted by cadets from RMC throughout the festival.

“Like HRM, the economy of Norfolk depends heavily on the presence of the Armed Forces, and both cities are very proud of their military history,” said Mayor Kelly. “The twinning ceremony formally expressed HRM’s commitment to creating a greater mutual understanding between citizens of our two communities through educational, cultural, economic and professional exchanges."

“Our presence in Norfolk during the Azalea Festival will not only provide local citizens with the opportunity to tour one of Canada’s warships, but it will also allow my crew to represent Canadians at various festival events,” said Commander Scott Bishop, HMCS Halifax’s Commanding Officer.

The International Azalea Festival was launched in 1953 by the citizens of Norfolk, Virginia, as a salute to NATO and every year a different nation is honoured.

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Mayor Peter Kelly
490-4010 or 222-9999