His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, arrived early afternoon on May 29th for his first ever visit to Canada. His plane touched down at the Toronto Pearson International Airport after a ten-hour flight from London, United Kingdom. He was welcomed by members of the Kagyu Karma Association of Canada (KKAC) and numerous devotees. Next to the gate, volunteers held a colourful bilingual banner with the KKAC insignia trumpeting ¨Karmapa, Welcome to Canada¨. As he walked slowly past a long line of devotees offering white katas, the 17th Karmapa smiled warmly at everyone.
The Karmapa arrived at his hotel still looking jovial and high spirited, where an official reception followed. Dungse Lama Pema began with a welcome speech by thanking His Holiness for accepting the invitation to come to Canada, and his staff members for working hard in making this visit possible. Lama Tenzin Dakpa and several legislation members followed with short speeches to express both joy and gratitude.
A small welcoming Tibetan ceremony was offered by a group of Tibetans in traditional chupa dresses, serving the Tibetan yellow rice and tea which are customary in welcoming important guests. After the tea ceremony, His Holiness spoke briefly to the hundred guests gathered at this reception, relating his appreciation to the organizers who made tremendous efforts to make this happened and shared his wish to come again in the future.
His Holiness the Karmapa has been invited to visit Legislative Assembly of Ontario the next day.