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News

Itinerary: Official Visit to Yukon

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February 7, 2011

Governor General to Undertake Official Visit to Yukon

OTTAWA—Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston will undertake an official visit to Yukon from February 9 to 12, 2011

Their Excellencies will visit Whitehorse, where they will meet with the Commissioner and the Premier of Yukon, the Grand Chief of the Council of the Yukon First Nations, and the Mayor. In addition to attending official functions and events, they will visit Yukon College, participate in a discussion with representatives and volunteers from the Association franco-yukonnaise, and join in the activities presented as part of the 11th annual Hockey Day in Canada. 

“My wife and I are looking forward to discovering the rich history, traditions, culture and nature of Northern Canada, but most importantly to meet with its people,” said His Excellency David Johnston. “Hockey Day in Canada organizers could not have chosen a better location than Whitehorse to present this national event, which highlights how hockey can foster leadership, exploration and innovation.” 

Their Excellencies will visit Dawson City, located in the middle of the Yukon wilderness, to meet with mushers competing in the 1 600 kilometres Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race. 

They will also travel north of the Arctic Circle to the fly-in community of Old Crow, home of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation. Their Excellencies will have the opportunity to meet and exchange with the Chief, councillors, Elders and community members.

Wednesday, February 9
Whitehorse, Yukon

1:15 p.m.
Meeting with the Honourable Douglas George Phillips, Commissioner of Yukon, and his wife Ms. Dale Stokes
Commissioner’s Office, Closeleigh Manor Building, Whitehorse
PHOTO OP—At the beginning of the meeting

1:50 p.m.
Official Welcoming Ceremony to Yukon
Upon their arrival at the Legislative Assembly, Their Excellencies, accompanied by the Commissioner and his wife, will meet with the Honourable Dennis Fentie, Premier of Yukon; Grand Chief Ruth Massie, of the Council of Yukon First Nations; Chief Brenda Sam, of the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council; Acting Chief Jessie Dawson, of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation; Brigadier General Guy Hamel, Commander of the Joint Task Force North; and Her Worship Bev Buckway, Mayor of Whitehorse. During the ceremony, the Governor General will conduct an inspection of the guard of honour composed of members of the Canadian Rangers.
Legislative Building, Whitehorse
OPEN TO MEDIA

2 p.m.
Meeting with the Honourable Dennis Fentie, Premier of Yukon
Following the meeting, Their Excellencies will be introduced to members of the Legislative Assembly. The Governor General will address the Assembly.
Premier’s Office and the Legislative Assembly, Whitehorse
PHOTO OP—At the beginning of the meeting
OPEN TO MEDIA—Remarks and introductions at the Legislative Assembly

3 p.m.
Meeting with Grand Chief Ruth Massie, of the Council of Yukon First Nations, and Chiefs from Member Nations
Offices of the Council of Yukon First Nations, Whitehorse
PHOTO OP—At the beginning of the meeting

4 p.m.
Meeting with Her Worship Bev Buckway, Mayor of Whitehorse
Following the meeting, Their Excellencies will be introduced to councillors at a reception.
City Hall, Whitehorse
PHOTO OP—At the beginning of the meeting and during the introduction to councillors

6:15 p.m.
Dinner Hosted by the Premier of Yukon
In honour of Their Excellencies’ official visit, the HonourableDennis Fentie, Premier of Yukon, will host a dinner with community members from across Yukon. The Governor General will deliver a speech.
Yukon Convention Centre, Whitehorse
OPEN TO MEDIA—Opening remarks only

Thursday, February 10
Whitehorse, Yukon

8:30 a.m.
Visit to Yukon College
Their Excellencies will tour the college. At the Research Centre of Excellence, the Governor General will participate in a discussion on research initiatives. Before leaving, he will deliver an address to students and answer questions from the audience. 

The Yukon Research Centre of Excellence at Yukon College hosts a number of programs and services, expanding Yukon’s research capabilities and knowledge on northern climate change by focusing on multidisciplinary issues and applied research on cold and varying climatic conditions, with a view of developing, commercializing and exporting sustainable cold-climate technologies and related solutions for subarctic regions around the world. The research groups include the Northern Climate Exchange, the Yukon Cold Climate Innovation Centre, the Northern Research Institute, the Social Economy Research Network of Northern Canada, and the Yukon Technology Innovation Program.
Yukon College, Whitehorse
OPEN TO MEDIA

Thursday, February 10
Dawson City, Yukon

2 p.m.
Welcoming Ceremony in Dawson City
Their Excellencies will attend a welcoming ceremony with Chief Eddie Taylor of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and His Worship Peter Jenkins, Mayor of Dawson City.During this event, the Governor General will deliver remarks.
Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre, Dawson City
OPEN TO MEDIA

In the afternoon
Meeting with Mushers Participating in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race
Their Excellencies will meet with mushers competing in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race, which covers 1 600 kilometres between Whitehorse, Yukon and Fairbanks, Alaska.

The Yukon Quest has been running every year since 1984; the race start alternates annually between the two host cities. The Yukon Quest Trail follows historic Gold Rush and Mail Delivery dog sled routes from the turn of the 20th century. Dog teams consist of one human 'musher' and their canine athletes, travelling for two weeks across some of the last pristine wilderness remaining in North America.
Visitor Centre and dog park (territorial campground), Dawson City
OPEN TO MEDIA 

6 p.m.
Alumni Hockey Game: the Dawson City Nuggets vs. the Ottawa Senators Alumni
Their Excellencies will attend this friendly alumni hockey game, which is a re-enactment of the January 1905 Stanley Cup Championship game in Ottawa. The Governor General will participate in the official puck-drop and address the crowd.

The Dawson City Nuggets were a hockey team from Dawson City that, in 1905, challenged the reigning champions, the Ottawa Senators—then known as The Silver Seven—for the Stanley Cup.  It took the team 23 days and $30,000 to travel east to play in the challenge. They travelled by dog sled (Dawson to Whitehorse), train (Whitehorse to Skagway), ship (Skagway to Vancouver) and then again by rail (Vancouver to Ottawa) to arrive in time for the two games on January 13 and 16, 1905. Although the Nuggets were no match for the Ottawa Senators, the team was inducted to the Yukon Hall of Fame in 1989, for its contribution to the sport of hockey in the early 20th century.
Arena, Dawson City
OPEN TO MEDIA

*** THE VISIT TO OLD CROW WAS CANCELLED
DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER CONDITIONS ***

Friday, February 11
Old Crow, Yukon

10:45 a.m.
Arrival in Old Crow
Upon their arrival in Old Crow, Their Excellencies will be greeted by Chief Norma Kassi, of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, and a guard of honour composed of members of the Canadian Rangers.

Old Crow is the most northerly community in Yukon, and the only community that can’t be reached by road. It is located on the banks of the Porcupine River, north of the Arctic Circle, about 800 kilometres north of Whitehorse. It is the home of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, meaning “People of the Lakes.”
Airport, Old Crow
OPEN TO MEDIA

11 a.m.
Visit to Chief Zzeh Gittlit School and Lunch with the Community
Their Excellencies will have the opportunity to visit the only school in Old Crow, which is an integral part of the community life. They will meet with students, community members and Elders who spend a lot of time at the school teaching ways of the past, telling legends, and showing the students how to trap, fish and hunt on the land.

The Chief Zzeh Gittlit School academic program runs from kindergarten to Grade 9. After Grade 9, students attend high school in Whitehorse. The majority of students are Gwitchin. The school follows British Columbia’s provincial curriculum, but with a high local Gwitchin component. The Gwich’in language is taught in the school.
Chief Zzeh Gittlit School, Old Crow
OPEN TO MEDIA

1:30 p.m.
Walking Tour of Old Crow

Their Excellencies, along with Chief Norma Kassi, of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, will visit the community.
Old Crow
PHOTO OP

Friday, February 11
Whitehorse, Yukon

7:30 p.m.
Discussion with Representatives from the Association franco-yukonnaise and their partners
Their Excellencies will meet with Francophone community leaders and volunteers to discuss the challenges Francophones face living in a minority environment. The Governor General will deliver a speech.

The Association franco-yukonnaise (AFY) was founded in 1982. With the support of its partners, the Association’s mission is to create and develop services, activities and institutions needed in order for Yukon’s Francophone community of 3 550 to remain viable and dynamic.
Centre de la francophonie, Whitehorse
OPEN TO MEDIA

Saturday, February 12
Whitehorse, Yukon

7:30 a.m.
Community Pancake Breakfast
Their Excellencies will attend this community breakfast hosted in honour of the 11th annual Hockey Day in Canada, organized by the Knights of Columbus.
CYO Hall, Whitehorse
OPEN TO MEDIA

8:30 a.m.
Hockey Clinic: Women’s Hockey Fest
Their Excellencies will attend the hockey clinic designed specifically for female players.
Canada Games Central, Whitehorse
OPEN TO MEDIA

10:30 a.m.
Arctic Family Activities
Their Excellencies will attend winter sports activities such as skating and dog sledding, as well as Dene demonstrations and games.
Shipyards Park, Whitehorse
OPEN TO MEDIA

1 p.m.
Meeting with Winning Team of “Big Save” Hockey Game Contest
The Governor General will meet with players from the Petitcodiac-Salisbury Flyers, Bantam A Division, in New Brunswick, who won the contest. They will attend the hockey game they will be playing as part of Hockey Day in Canada.
Canada Games Centre, Whitehorse
OPEN TO MEDIA

4 p.m.
Official Ceremony for Hockey Day in Canada
Their Excellencies will attend the hockey game between the Vancouver Giants and the Kamloops Blazers, of the Western Hockey League.
Takhini Arena, Whitehorse
OPEN TO MEDIA

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Media information:

Marie-Ève Létourneau
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-998-0287
613-302-0912 (cell)
marie-eve.letourneau@gg.ca