For immediate release
May 7, 2015
A friendship that has bloomed for 70 years: Canada and the Netherlands remember Operation Manna
OTTAWA, May 7, 2015 – This year marks the 70th anniversary of Operation Manna. In the final year of the Second World War, the Dutch people were facing complete starvation due to flooding and isolation. As the German guns stood silent, in a humanitarian effort, bombers from the United States Army Air Force, the British Royal Air Force, and the Royal Canadian Air Force airdropped much-needed food and supplies over the Netherlands, which had been severely deprived as a result of the war.
This year’s celebrations commemoration of Operation Manna at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum (CASM) will mark this important anniversary with a special concert of the Orchestra of the Royal Netherlands Air Force on May 24 at 2 p.m. Under the direction of Chief Conductor Major Jos Pommer, the 48-member orchestra, accompanied by a five-piece rhythm section, will give a concert of thanks for the Liberation of the Netherlands. Unlike many of the world’s military orchestras, the Orchestra of the Royal Netherlands Air Force makes popular music an important part of its repertoire, and audience members can expect an eclectic mix of styles, from Glenn Miller and Dire Straits to Avicii.
Commemorative activities for Operation Manna will take place at the CASM every weekend throughout the month of May, including a printmaking workshop in which children create works of art honouring the courage of Canadian airmen and Dutch citizens during a period of extraordinary hardship.
Children will also learn about Bad Penny, one of the Lancaster bombers that participated in Operation Manna, and can take part in their own candy drop with the help of Captain Bob and the Royal Embassy of the Netherlands. For more information, visit the CASM Website.