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  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Visit to Calgary

March 13, 2013

Governor General to Honour Excellence in Calgary

OTTAWA—His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will be in Calgary, on Friday, March 15, 2013, to honour Canadians for their outstanding achievements within their community. He will present the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award to dedicated volunteers from Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta. He will also present the Indigenous Educator Awards to individuals who are helping Indigenous students across the country succeed. 

10:30 a.m.
Habitat for Humanity Build and Presentation of the Caring Canadian Award
As patron of Habitat for Humanity Canada, His Excellency will participate in the construction of a duplex in the northwest community of Evanston, located in the city of Calgary. He will work alongside volunteers and learn about how this experience has changed their lives. He will also have the opportunity to meet with Habitat home owners. 

In addition to taking part in the build, His Excellency will present the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award to four recipients who contribute to the well-being of their community.  The list of recipients and their citations are included below.
1218 Evanston Drive NW, Calgary
MEDIA CONTACT: Cathy Alfonso, Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta,
403-253-9331, ext. 224,


6 p.m.
Presentation of Guiding the Journey: Indigenous Educator Awards
His Excellency will attend a ceremony for Guiding the Journey: Indigenous Educator Awards, presented as part of the National Gathering for Indigenous Education, a new initiative from Indspire that will bring together Indigenous educators from across Canada to share knowledge and best practices. 

At approximately 6 p.m., His Excellency will deliver a speech on the important role that teachers, elders and mentors play in helping Aboriginal students improve their lives and realize their potential, and how this strengthens our country as a whole. He will honour 12 Canadians who are making a difference in the lives of Indigenous students across the country at 7:45 p.m. Earlier in the day, the Governor General will attend workshops with educators at the National Gathering for Indigenous Education.
MacLeod Hall, Telus Convention Centre, Calgary
John Ecker, Indspire, 416-987-0260 (office), 647-408-5044 (cell),

About Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta
Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta is a non-profit organization working for a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live. Their mission is to mobilize volunteers and community partners in building affordable housing and promoting homeownership as a means to breaking the cycle of poverty. For more information, visit

About the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award
Created in 1995, the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award recognizes living Canadians and permanent residents who have made a significant, sustained, unpaid contribution to their community, in Canada or abroad. Often working behind the scenes, these individuals volunteer their time and efforts to help their fellow citizens. The award also brings to light the example set by volunteers, whose compassion and engagement are a part of our Canadian character. For more information about this award, visit 

About the National Gathering for Indigenous Education
The National Gathering for Indigenous Educations will feature 25 workshops that share best practices in Indigenous teaching and learning, present new research in the field, and provide opportunities for networking among educators from across the country. The event will take place on March 15 and 16, 2013.

About Indspire
Indspire is the former National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation. Its new name combines the key notions of Indigenous and inspiration to highlight its exciting mandate. Indspire is best known for its many programs that help Indigenous youth succeed. In addition to bursaries and scholarships, they offer career conferences for youth and interactive classroom learning modules, as well as the Indspire Institute and the Indspire Awards. For more information, visit 


Media information:

Marie-Ève Létourneau
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-302-0912 (cell)


Follow GGDavidJohnston and RideauHall on Facebook and Twitter



Patrick Cashion
Calgary, Alberta 

Patrick Cashion started volunteering in his community at a very young age. He served as a board member, treasurer or vice-president of several organizations, including the Alberta Ballet Company; Trinity Place Foundation, which provides housing for low-income, elderly Calgarians; and the Health and Education Centres, a storefront health clinic for street people. He also developed and then implemented a successful elder abuse community response model currently in operation at a number of organizations in Calgary. 

John Davis
Calgary, Alberta 

For over 15 years, John Davis has been a dedicated volunteer for Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta. A supportive and reliable leader, he is a true inspiration to his community. He spends three days a week working for the organization in the construction of affordable housing and in promoting homeownership as a means to breaking the cycle of poverty. He is considered by his peers to be an ambassador for Habitat for Humanity. 

Brenda Fischer
Calgary, Alberta 

From a young age, Brenda Fischer has volunteered in her community. She is always willing to help in whatever fashion she can, especially when it comes to Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta. She has participated in various national and international Habitat builds and loves to teach new volunteers, guiding them and helping them feel at ease on the construction site. She is also a member of Habitat’s board of directors. 

Phil Johnson
Calgary, Alberta 

For over eight years, Phil Johnson has been a devoted volunteer with Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta. He has donated thousands of hours on several affordable housing projects. As a construction crew leader, he has shown talent and leadership, and is respected by his fellow volunteers. He is motivated by the fact that Habitat for Humanity provides opportunities for many Canadian families to be able to access affordable housing.