Scene in D.C.: Canadian Cowboys, Colombia’s Folk Artists

Peter Holran, director of U.S. government affairs for Enbridge Energy Co., and his ostrich-skin cowboy boots fit right in at the Canadian Embassy yesterday.

Almost 1,000 revelers in western attire were gathered for a pancake breakfast.

“People in Washington look at you strangely when you wear them, but not here,” Holran said of his boots.

Last year, Enbridge sponsored the embassy’s party in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede. It was such a hit, Enbridge and the Canadian American Business Council arranged an encore. Canada’s National Day provided the occasion.

“I’ve got my boots,” said Craig Kelly, director of the Americas in international government relations for Exxon Mobil Corp., showing off his footwear to Bruce Friedman, a deputy director at the Department of State.

They both donned the white cowboy hats Enbridge passed around to guests.

“I’m from the East,” said David Biette, director of the Canada Institute at the Wilson Center, explaining his choice of a suit and cufflinks rather than rodeo accessories.

For French Canadians, like the embassy’s economic minister, Gilles Gauthier, from Montreal, Canada Day is known as “Fete du Canada.” He and his wife, Micheline Laforest, wore cowboy hats, not berets.

Hot cakes, scrambled eggs and hash browns were served in the embassy’s courtyard, where Garth Brooks tunes blared.

Despite the morning hours, the beverage of choice was the Bloody Caesar, a concoction of Clamato juice, vodka, Tabasco sauce and celery stalk.

Folk Art

Colombia’s Ambassador Carlos Urrutia hosted a reception last night for indigenous artists in town for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

The festival, for which Colombia was the honoree in 2011, has a Hungarian theme this year.

Urrutia, who assumed his post last September, won’t be taking any holidays. He said he’ll be in Washington all summer.

(Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

Muse highlights include Jeffrey Burke on books, James S. Russell on architecture, Jaime Widder on music.

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