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Mathias Corvinus Collegium & Consulate General of Hungary Event

On June 4th, 2024, the NATO Association of Canada hosted a delegation of Hungarian students from the Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC), members of the Consulate General of Hungary in Toronto, and NAOC Directors at the Royal Canadian Military Institute in Toronto. Surrounded by prestigious military medals in the aptly named Medals Room of the RCMI, visitors took part in a unique opportunity for cross-national engagement between Hungary and Canada. This event stressed the importance of collaboration and the role of up-and-coming young leaders in the political sphere. By engaging in mutual dialogues and connecting based on shared experiences, this event furthered the NATO Associations goal towards security education both in Canada and globally. It also facilitated opportunities to discuss “Canada’s role on the world stage,” particularly when it comes to a new generation of global leaders

The itinerary started with opening remarks from our interim Director Lana Kharlip followed by introductions from Mr. Gábor Markocsány, the Consul to the Hungarian Consulate and diaspora liaison diplomat. Also in attendance was Mr. Máté Igaz, the Deputy head of mission to the Hungarian Consulate and Economic Trade Attaché, and Consular Assistant Zsuzsa Galgoczy. Mr. Péter Túri, Deputy Director-General for the postgraduate program at MCC was then invited to speak about MCC’s Leadership Academy. Designed as an elite training program, the Leadership Academy at MCC “aims to build knowledge and personality through a diversity of training methodologies, while focusing on practical and experiential learning” to build students’ careers. Toronto was their final stop before they traveled back home to Hungary, and we are honoured to have gotten that chance to be a part of their Canadian visit.

Lana Kharlip

Gábor Markocsány

 Péter Túri

Following the MCC presentation NAOC interns Victoria Clennan (social media coordinator) and Erik Anderson (events coordinator) gave a presentation on the NATO Association’s work in promoting values of peace, security, and prosperity. Other key points included a background on the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA) including the Hungarian branch – Magyar Atlanti Tanács (MAT), and NAOC’s ongoing and upcoming projects. 

Victoria Clennan and Erik Anderson

Elijah M. J. Nikiforuk

Elijah M. J. Nikiforuk, president of YATA’s Greater Toronto Area division, further discussed the role of the ATA family and NAOC’s youth division, YATA Canada. Along with the NAOC, YATA Canada works to connect young Canadians with young professionals throughout NATO member states and promote awareness of the Canadian security landscape. YATA’s Hungarian division is similarly active in youth engagement, having hosted the 2023 NATO Academy in Budapest.

We also got to hear some remarks from our Hungarian peers at MCC on their experiences thus far in North America, having started their visit with Washington, DC. Highlights in Canada included HungaroFest, hosted in Youth-Dudas square on June 1st, and a tour of Niagara Falls.

Closing remarks rounded out the presentation, beginning with our Hon. Chair Emerita, Kathryn E Langley Hope OStG, who included a personal note for our visitors from Hungary, as part of her discussion regarding NATO’s history and the need to keep in touch with, and share all of our stories.

“So often when we ‘tour or visit’, it is more in a ‘business or technical’ presentation in nature.”

Kathryn recounted how she met another young girl and her family, refugees from Hungary in 1956 in Toronto.

“Especially, in this age of disinformation the import of sharing our personal histories and stories has become even more relevant,”

Kathryn E. Langley Hope

These photos included her Mother’s sister, Agnes Groundwater, (pictured left) who worked in Canada with Mutual Life Insurance Co. in Montreal, her then to-be husband Lloyd D. Publicover, Cap’t, Ret’d, who served from 1939 to 1944 with the Royal Canadian Engineers in Europe, then was seconded to the USA, as a consultant on the expected invasion of Japan until 1945. Next is her Father, Major, Ret’d, Arthur J. Langley Sr, Royal Canadian Artillery, 1040-1945 and his fiancée, Edith Fergus Groundwater, Nursing Sister 1st Lieutenant, Ret’d, Royal Canadian Medical Corps, 1942-1945.

Two other members of Edith’s family served, one in the Royal Navy and the other in the Royal Canadian Air force in the UK with the RAF for the entire war.

Kathryn also brought some local and international newspaper articles as examples of good sources of information, seeking to highlight the importance of integrity and preserving our history, especially since the 80th anniversary of D-Day was just two days away. She sought to address the importance of understanding multilateral cooperation to draw attention to the multiple founding factors of NATO including articles honouring D-Day veterans and the National Post’s Letter to the Editor ‘Hungary’s moment.’


Saving the best for last, our group was honoured with guided tours of the RCMI facilitated by Michael Clarry, RCMI’s President and Executive Director. Before the tours, the RCMI Director took some time to explain the historical significance of the institution and its collection, the importance of the Canadian armed forces, and the value of military cooperation. Along with our guests, the NAOC team got an in-depth look at RCMI’s military archives, including remnants of the Red Baron’s plane and an original Victoria Cross medal.

The NATO Association of Canada would like to extend a gracious thank you to Michael Clarry and our friends at the RCMI for hosting this delegation visit. We would also like to thank distinguished members of the Hungarian Consulate for joining, including Máté Igaz, Gábor Markocsány, and Zsuzsa Galgoczy. Thank you to Túri Péter and the rest of the MCC delegation, as well as Victoria Clennan, Erik Anderson, and Elijah M. J. Nikiforuk for their presentations and work to make this event happen. Finally, we thank Kathyrn E. Langley Hope, Lana Kharlip and the NATO Association team who came to support this event.

Michael Clarry presenting an RCMI artifact

RCMI Military Library

The NATO Association welcomes consulates and visiting delegations interested in reaching out to facilitate similar events. Such events offer a unique opportunity for cultural collaboration and networking. To learn more about upcoming events, or if you are interested in partnering with the association, subscribe to our newsletter, follow our social media channels (LinkedIn, Instagram, X, and Facebook) or reach out at

NATO Association of Canada
The NATO Association of Canada (NAOC) strives to educate and engage Canadians about NATO and its goals of peace, prosperity and security. The NAOC ensures Canada has an informed citizenry able to participate in discussions about its role on the world stage.