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Visit to Winnipeg

June 4, 2013

Governor General in Winnipeg to Discuss
Philanthropy, Volunteerism and Aboriginal Education

OTTAWA—His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will be in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on June 5 and 6, 2013. The visit will engage citizens, volunteers and students in discussions on Aboriginal education and how to facilitate change through philanthropy and volunteerism.

His Excellency will also present the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award to individuals who contribute to the well-being of their community. 

Here is a detailed schedule of the Governor General’s itinerary:

Wednesday, June 5

 1:30 p.m.
Governor General’s Round Table on Youth Engagement
His Excellency will address more than 75 youth from the Winnipeg area at a round table on youth engagement. Organized by United Way of Winnipeg, this discussion will focus on defining meaningful youth involvement, identifying challenges faced by youth and how to address them, and finding new, innovative ways to help them succeed in their endeavours. The Governor General will talk to them about the importance of building a smarter, more caring community, and will hear their views and ideas on the themes of the discussion.
Fort Gibraltar, 866 St. Joseph Street (corner of St. Joseph and Messager), St. Boniface 
MEDIA CONTACT: Scott Sime, 204-801-5877, 

3:30 p.m.
Visit to The Ladybug Foundation and the Siloam Mission
His Excellency will visit the office of The Ladybug Foundation and meet with its founder, Hannah Taylor who will speak with the Governor General about how The Ladybug Foundation raises funds and awareness for the homeless. They will be joined by students and teachers who are benefitting from the foundation’s educational resources. For more information on The Ladybug Foundation and its partner charities, please visit 

His Excellency and Miss Taylor will then proceed to the Siloam Mission, to visit the drop-in centre, meet with some of its patrons, and tour Hannah’s Place, a 110-bed shelter within the mission, established with the help of The Ladybug Foundation.

Since 1987, Siloam Mission has worked to alleviate the hardships of the poor and homeless in Winnipeg by helping them become self-sufficient and by advocating nationwide on their behalf. The Mission provides a broad range of services, including meals and clothing, an emergency shelter, employment training, supportive housing at The Madison, basic health care, transition services and spiritual care.
300 Princess Street
MEDIA CONTACTS: Mike Duerksen, 204-956-4344 ext: 238, or Elizabeth Creed, 204-956-4344 ext: 133,

6:30 p.m.
Duke of Edinburgh Award Presentation
In celebration of 50 years of challenging young people in Canada, the Governor General will present The Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award of Achievement to 25 young people from across the province of Manitoba, in recognition for their dedication and personal accomplishments within their communities. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award encourages youth between the ages of 14 to 25, to pursue activities in four areas: Community Service, Physical Recreation, Skill Development, and an Adventurous Journey. For more information on this award, please visit
Wellington Room, Fairmont Hotel, 2 Lombard Place
MEDIA CONTACT: Lindsay Stovel, 204-988-3018, 

Thursday, June 6

9:30 a.m.
Visit to the Children of the Earth High School
His Excellency will participate in a group discussion on the Aboriginal programs offered at the Children of the Earth High School, and how these programs are helping prepare Aboriginal students for post-secondary education. His Excellency with then deliver remarks to an assembly of students, teachers and school board officials, which will be followed by a question period.
Gymnasium, Children of the Earth High School,100 Salter Street 
MEDIA CONTACT: Dale Burgos, 204-771-5352,

12:30 p.m.
University of Winnipeg Aboriginal Education and Research Discussion
His Excellency will tour the Collegiate Model School, an on-campus initiative for students in grades 9 to 12 who are referred by inner-city schools and community organizations to receive individualized learning plans so they can reach their full potential. 

The Governor General will then attend a discussion hosted by the Honourable Lloyd Axworthy, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winnipeg, which will focus on Aboriginal education and the unique and successful work done by the university, in partnership with the community. Prior to delivering opening remarks, His Excellency will hear an honour song and take part in a special presentation.
Convocation Hall, 2nd Floor, Wesley Hall, The University of Winnipeg, 515 Portage Avenue
MEDIA CONTACTS: Kevin Rosen, 204-786-9381, or Diane Poulin, 204-988-7135,

4 p.m.
Address to the Community Foundations of Canada 2013 Conference and Presentation of the Caring Canadian Award
His Excellency will deliver a keynote address at the Community Foundations of Canada 2013 Conference. The theme of this year’s conference is “Inspiring Smart & Caring Communities.” This international gathering of more than 600 members of the philanthropic sector is held every two years. On this occasion, His Excellency will also present the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award to individuals from across the country. The list of recipients and their citations are included below. 

The Community Foundations of Canada is the national membership association for the country’s 191 community foundations. These organizations have connected donors to community needs and opportunities since 1921, and are one of the country’s largest supporters of local charities. For more information, visit  
Winnipeg Convention Centre, 375 York Avenue
MEDIA CONTACT: Anne-Marie McElrone,

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 


Media information:

Melanie Villeneuve
Rideau Hall Press Office

Follow GGDavidJohnston and RideauHall on Facebook and Twitter



Milly Baino
Orleans, Ontario 

Milly Baino is an advocate for newcomers to Canada, particularly families arriving from her home country of Uganda, and is a spokesperson for greater diversity within the community. She has long supported Immigrant Women Services and has held the positions of board secretary, vice-chair and now chair of its board of directors. Milly Baino is dedicated to creating a better society for immigrant women and their children.

Stella Blackbird
Elphinstone, Manitoba

Stella Blackbird is a healer and teacher of traditional medicine, respected for her ability to build trust and understanding across cultures and nations. Since 1995, she has served as Elder for the Urban Circle Training Centre, in Winnipeg’s North End, making it one of the most successful Aboriginal training centres in Canada. In 2005, Stella envisioned an intergenerational children’s centre where youth and families of Aboriginal students could follow the traditional Indigenous way of life and teachings on a daily basis. She has also served as resident Elder with the Ontario Native Education Counselling Association, in Sudbury, and provided mental health services based on traditional methods for the Ojibway Tribal Family Services Sacred Circle, in Kenora.

Raymond F. Currie
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Raymond Currie works to make life’s journey better for others. Throughout his busy academic career in teaching, research and university administration, he remained dedicated to community service. He has been a board member with several organizations, including RESOLVE and the Prairieaction Foundation, both dedicated to preventing violence and abuse; Villa Rosa, a home for single mothers; the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of Manitoba; and the Winnipeg Community Foundation.

Renate Davidson
Dundas, Ontario

Renate Davidson has been a volunteer in her community for over 20 years. She has been involved with the Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton, the Hamilton Community Foundation, the Zonta Club of Hamilton 1 (an organization dedicated to improving the life of women and girls), the United Way of Burlington & Greater Hamilton, and YWCA Hamilton. Renate Davidson has been recognized by her hometown and her province for serving as a mentor and model of selfless giving and compassion.

Stephen (Steve) D. McKerrell
Victoria, British Columbia 

Quietly and without fanfare, Steve McKerrell contributes to his community of Victoria in many different ways. From taking his dogs on visits to provide canine therapy to shut-in seniors, to supporting the SPCA wild animal rehabilitation centre; from working with Arts Sustainability Victoria, to participating in the Oak Bay Emergency Preparedness Committee, he has been at the heart of many community initiatives, giving freely of his time, talents and resources.  

Sara Mudge
Saint John, New Brunswick

Even with a busy career, Sara Mudge has been involved with a number of community organizations. Notably, she served as a member of Engineers Without Borders, which creates sustainable development projects around the world with an emphasis on achievement through education. She has also served on the Fusion SAINT JOHN Board, an apolitical social and business movement for young adults aimed at fostering the city’s economic development and revitalization. She is a participant of the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and has been a member of the Saint John Vital Signs Committee for seven years.

Strini Reddy
Winnipeg, Manitoba 

Born in South Africa, Strini Reddy volunteers on behalf of children and families experiencing poverty, discrimination and social injustice. A retired educator, he works with such community organizations as Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg, the Manitoba Healthy Child Advisory Committee, and the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg to improve education and combat child poverty. He is the co-founder of a summer learning program that is provided free to underprivileged children and leads projects supporting education in resource-poor African communities.

Deirdre Roberts
Victoria, British Columbia 

Deirdre Roberts is known for her generous history of supporting philanthropy in the wider Victoria community. She has volunteered on the Board of the Victoria Hospice and Palliative Care Foundation and with the Aga Khan Foundation, Canada’s World Partnership Walk, the Friends of UVic Libraries and the Victoria Foundation. She is also well known for her work as an artist, notably as the Pacific Opera’s 2010 Artist in Residence, where she produced 18 behind-the-scenes paintings that were exhibited and sold to raise significant funding for the opera.

Sister Lesley Sacouman
Winnipeg, Manitoba 

Sister Lesley Sacouman’s compassion and wisdom have given a voice to those living on the margins of society. Her special focus is on the Aboriginal community and on newcomers to Canada. In 2002, she decided to live with street people in a New York shelter. This life-changing experience gave birth to Holy Names House of Peace, in downtown Winnipeg: a transitional shelter for women from different countries, circumstances and faiths. This is her home as much as it is a workplace; as well as offering her time as the agency’s executive director, she also lives with its residents.

Brian Toller
Ottawa, Ontario 

Brian Toller’s community engagement and volunteer work go back many years. They include co-running the milk program at his sons’ school, coaching minor league hockey, supporting the Great Canadian Theatre Company, and working on fundraisers for various organizations. In 2007, when the Community Foundation of Ottawa signed on to the UN Principles of Responsible Investment, Mr. Toller led the creation of the Impact Investing Program, a way of investing in local charities that both benefits the receiving organizations and allows for a financial return that can help support other charities in turn.

Erin Ward
Winnipeg, Manitoba 

Erin Ward is engaged in her community through the activities of the Winnipeg Foundation. As a student at St. Mary’s Academy, she participated in the Foundation’s Youth in Philanthropy (YiP) program, which allocates funds to local charities. She went on to become a founding member of the Young Philanthropists’ Network, a group of young professionals and post-secondary students dedicated to giving back to their community through grant funding. She also sits on the Foundation’s Nourishing Potential Committee, which provides grants to after-school nutrition programs in high-needs areas of Winnipeg.

Bonnie Yagar
Mississauga, Ontario 

Bonnie Yagar understands the importance of philanthropy and civic engagement. She has been involved with Community Living Mississauga, which serves people with intellectual disabilities; Fair Share for Peel Task Force, which secures equity in provincial funding for social services; and Success by 6, which helps to ensure the healthy growth and development of young children.