This incredible adventure started when Anne van Leeuwen, head of Press and Cultural Affairs Section, Royal Netherlands Embassy, Ottawa and Fred de Bruin, Consul at the Consulate General of the Netherlands in Montréal, introduced us to Michel Gauthier, director of the Canadian Tulip Festival, during our visit of Canada in November 2004.  We were participants of the Cinars fair in Montreal and staged a promotional jazz performance at the Grand Hyatt hotel.
After a dinner with Michel in Ottawa our intentions were clear. Michel saw the possibility to use the Stage Bus to distribute the gift of the tulips from Holland all over Canada and to reach the young people with our music and remind them about the II world war, the Canadian veterans and our freedom of today.
Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet was coming to Ottawa this year for the 60th Anniversary and she would then launch our tour by releasing 60 doves at the Tulip Festival.

It was an enormous task to organize this project. - One hundred concerts in 76 communities. -  Informing the Mayors, getting in touch with the local legions, the festival organizers and contacting hundreds of people, spreading the word and finding the sponsors. We were very blessed when it all came together.

In cooperation with De Nederlandse Courant we wanted to create a News paper in tabloid format containing war stories of the veterans from the communities and cities that we were planning to visit during our concert tour.


From my home in Amsterdam we telephoned and interviewed the distinguished veterans and published their stories (Chapter VI). 36 Mayors in Holland said ‘Thank you Canada’ and agreed to sponsor this paper and added their war stories (Chapter V) and community logo's. At the end of April 2005 the Stage Bus was shipped to Halifax and the first concert was held on May 6th.

This book has the pictures of beautiful Canada and their beautiful people. Hundreds of veterans attended the concerts and we published their images in this book. In every community the mayor or his representative received a tulip friendship Garden in honour of the WWII Veterans, the 60th Anniversary of the liberation of Holland and the Friendship between Canadians and the Dutch.
In total we drove 50.000 km.  From Newfoundland to Alaska and back, twice. Luluk had a new digital camera and took most of the pictures.

During this tour it became so clear: the Dutch love the Canadians and the Canadians love the Dutch.
We have decided to publish this book on internet and to make all of this information available. When you notice anything that needs a correction or an addition, please let me know and email me at

If you would like to order the real book (printed version) send me an email.