The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Visit to the Midwest of the United States of America

April 17, 2015

Governor General to Undertake Visit to
the Midwest of the United States of America

OTTAWA—At the request of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will conduct a visit to the Midwest of the United States of America, from April 26 to 30, 2015.

“This will be my first visit to the Midwest as governor general, and my fourth to the United States in that capacity. I am looking forward to visiting this region, with which Canada has so much in common, starting with a border, water, history and culture,” said the Governor General. “I will be participating in a series of events in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; Chicago, Illinois; and Detroit, Michigan. They will focus on the importance of enhanced co-operation in innovation and education between our two countries, and on the advantages of thinking and acting regionally with the U.S. Midwest and the Great Lakes regions. I am also eager to meet with inspiring Midwesterners devoted to bettering the lives of others through philanthropy and volunteerism. We will talk about how we can learn from each other’s experiences and surpass ourselves in those fields.”

All timings indicated are in local time zone (Minneapolis and Chicago are in Central Daylight Time [UTC/GMT – 5:00]; Detroit is in Eastern Daylight Time [UTC/GMT – 4:00]).


Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
Sunday, April 26

1 p.m.             
Arrival in Minneapolis-St. Paul
His Excellency will be greeted by Jamshed Merchant, Consul General of Canada in Minneapolis. At various events in the afternoon and in the evening, the Governor General will meet with regional leaders and members of the Canadians living in Minnesota.

Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
Monday, April 27

8 a.m.
Meeting with the Governor of Minnesota
His Excellency will meet with the Honourable Mark Dayton, Governor of Minnesota, to discuss the strong, multi-faceted relationship between Canada and Minnesota.

9:30 a.m.                    
Round-table Discussion on The Diplomacy of Knowledge: Promising Practices and New Developments in Higher Education
The Governor General will take part in a discussion with representatives of public and private universities in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota. The round table will focus on Canada’s strengths in teaching and research, the advantages of partnerships between American and Canadian institutions, and the challenges of fostering higher education.
University of Minnesota, Northrop Memorial Auditorium, Founders Room, 2nd Floor
PHOTO OP—Following the meeting

Economic Club of Minnesota Luncheon Address on The Diplomacy of Knowledge: Innovation Exchange Across Borders
His Excellency will deliver an address on the need to share knowledge across borders and disciplines in today’s world to meet complex, interrelated challenges. His address will be followed by a question-and-answer period with the audience. 

The Economic Club of Minnesota (ECOM) provides a high-profile, non-partisan platform for national and international leaders in business, government and public policy to present their ideas on how Minnesota can better compete in the global economy and how America can most effectively provide world leadership on economic and strategic issues.For more information,visit
Hilton Minneapolis, 1001 Marquette Avenue, Salon Ballroom, 3rd Floor

2:30 p.m.
Discussion with Agriculture Innovation Sector Representatives: Developing a Canada-U.S. Agriculture Innovation Corridor
The Governor General will meet with key Canadian and U.S. influencers within the agriculture innovation sector to discuss cross-border strengths and challenges in agricultural innovation, research, funding and government programs, and to identify opportunities for collaboration between Canada and the Upper Midwest U.S.
Radisson Blu Minneapolis, Room Norway III, 3nd Floor
PHOTO OP—Following the meeting 

5:30 p.m.
Public Address on Stars of the North: Canada & Minnesota, Friendship & Co-operation
His Excellency will deliver a public address on Canada and Minnesota’s shared history, culture, values and priorities, and how our two societies need to work together to meet the challenges of a changing world. His address will be followed by a question-and-answer period with the audience. The event is co-organized with the Minnesota International Center (MIC) and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

For 60 years, as Minnesota’s Door to the World, the MIC has provided rich and varied opportunities for individuals from Minnesota and around the world to serve as citizen diplomats and to gain a deeper understanding of their place in the world community. Working with local, national and international partners, MIC creates conversations across cultures in communities and classrooms throughout Minnesota. For more information, visit

As a graduate school of public policy and planning, the Humphrey School of Public Affairs inspires, educates and supports innovative leaders to advance the common good in a diverse world. For more information, visit
University of Minnesota, Best Buy Family Theatre, Northrop Memorial Auditorium, 4th Floor

Chicago, Illinois
Monday, April 27

11:20 p.m.
Arrival in Chicago
The Governor General will be greeted by Roy Norton, Consul General of Canada in Chicago.

Chicago, Illinois
Tuesday, April 28

8:15 a.m.
Round-table Discussion with University Leaders
The Governor General will meet with leaders from leading research institutions based in Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin, along with their counterparts from Canadian institutions, to discuss academic co-operation and joint innovation research between leading Canadian and U.S. institutions.

10:30 a.m.
Visit to 1871 and MATTER; Round-Table Discussion on Innovation
His Excellency will visit 1871 and MATTER, and then participate in a discussion with innovation stakeholders from the Chicago region. The round table will be co-chaired by Howard Tullman, CEO of 1871 and by Steven Collens, CEO of MATTER.

1871 is Chicago’s entrepreneurial hub for digital start-ups. Located in the famed Merchandise Mart, the 50 000-square-foot facility provides Chicago start-ups with programming, access to mentors, educational resources and potential investors, and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs that help them on their path to building successful businesses. For more information, visit

MATTER is a community of health care entrepreneurs and industry leaders from a range of fields—including health care IT, medical devices, diagnostics and biopharmaceutical products—that are working together in a shared space to create products and services that advance the health care industry. For more information, visit
PHOTO OP – During the tour of the facility

Keynote Address at the Great Lakes Economic Forum on The Great Lakes Effect: Innovation and Excellence in the Great Lakes Region
The Governor General will deliver an address on the value of collaboration between business, government, academia and NGOs in fortifying the Great Lakes–St. Lawrence Region, a vital hub for continental and global trade. The event is hosted by the Council of the Great Lakes Region. 

The Council of the Great Lakes Region is a member-based organization led by an independent board of directors, with guidance from a larger advisory board. Both boards represent the diversity of regional interests and member organizations. The Council’s activities include preparing major research papers, developing region-wide strategies, hosting networking events and conferences, managing an online social and organizational networking space, and convening cross-sectorial dialogues and public outreach campaigns on issues of broad interest to the region. For more information, visit
Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington Street

1:15 p.m.
Discussion with Midwest Philanthropic Foundations Leaders
His Excellency will meet with leading U.S. philanthropy representatives from some of the largest foundations in the U.S., headquartered in or near Chicago. They will discuss trends and innovation in philanthropy, with a special focus on foundation mandates, funding for decision making, and collaboration between organizations.

6 p.m.
Keynote Address at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs: Canada’s Governor General on U.S.-Canada Relations
The Governor General will deliver an address on the importance of the Canada-U.S. economic relationship, during which he will highlight Canada’s economic competitiveness and innovation strengths. Following his address, His Excellency will field questions from Ambassador Ivo Daalder, President of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs followed by questions from the audience. 

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, founded in 1922, is an independent, non-partisan organization committed to educating the public—and influencing public discourse—on global issues of the day. The Council provides a forum in Chicago for world leaders, policymakers and other experts to speak to its members and to the public on these issues. For more information, visit
The Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park, Gold Room, 2nd Floor

Detroit, Michigan
Wednesday, April 29

4 p.m.
Arrival in Detroit
His Excellency will be greeted by Douglas George, Consul General of Canada in Detroit.

5:30 p.m.
Meet and Greet with Corporate Executives and Business Leaders
The Governor General will meet with a number of high-level corporate representatives and business leaders from Southeast Michigan and Southern Ontario to underscore the importance of developing cross-border collaboration and to highlight the support provided to innovative industries.

6 p.m.
Address at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA)
The Governor General will deliver remarks recognizing the successful role played by the museum in championing the importance of the arts, even when Detroit was struggling through bankruptcy proceedings. His Excellency will also highlight the historic collaboration between public and private sectors that saved this revered institution.

The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60 000 works comprising a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera’s world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA’s collection is known for its quality, range and depth. For more information, visit Detroit Institute of Arts, Rivera Court, 2nd Floor

Detroit, Michigan
Thursday, April 30

8:00 a.m.
Canada-U.S. Shiprider Program Event
His Excellency will meet with U.S. Coast Guard and RCMP officials to learn more about Shiprider, the Integrated Cross-Border Maritime Law Enforcement program in place on the Detroit River. Following a briefing, the Governor General will address members of the U.S. Coast Guard and of the RCMP before embarking on a patrol of the Detroit River, during which he will receive further details regarding the program.
US Coast Guard Sector Detroit
OPEN TO ACCREDITED MEDIA—During Governor General’s remarks and the pre-patrol briefing

10:30 a.m.
Meeting with the Governor of Michigan
The Governor General will meet with the Honourable Rick Snyder, Governor of Michigan, to discuss the importance of Canada-U.S. partnerships in North American competitiveness and Michigan economic prosperity.

11:20 a.m. - CANCELLED
University Innovation Round-Table Luncheon
His Excellency will meet with the presidents of universities based in Michigan, Ohio and Canada to discuss collaboration and the role of post-secondary research institutions in fostering innovation and economic development.

1:30 p.m. - CANCELLED
Visit to Focus: HOPE
His Excellency will tour the facilities of Focus: HOPE, meet with staff members and volunteers, and speak with students undergoing job training at the center. The visit will focus on pragmatic, community-based programs that strengthen the local labour market and generate increased economic activity while equipping youth with the skills necessary to work in emerging innovative industries. 

Focus: HOPE is a nationally recognized civil rights organization founded in 1968, with the mission of using “intelligent and practical action to overcome racism, poverty and injustice.” The centre established its first job training program in 1981, to open career opportunities to underserved residents. Since that time, nearly 12 000 talented men and women have completed the Focus: HOPE programs and have established successful careers. For more information, visit
Focus: HOPE Campus, 1355 Oakman Boulevard Detroit
PHOTO OP—During the meetings with volunteers and students 

4 p.m. - CANCELLED
Visit to the Toyota Technical Centre (TTC)
The Governor General will visit the research and development arm of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America (TEMA). He will be briefed on the centre’s work and its partnerships with Canadian organizations, including universities and federal institutions.

Visits abroad by a governor general play an important role in Canada’s relations with other countries. They are highly valuable as they help broaden bilateral relations and exchanges among peoples.

Members of the public can follow the Governor General’s visit to the Midwest of the United States of America online at, where speeches and photos will be posted.


This itinerary is subject to change without notice.
To obtain the latest updates, please visit

Media information:

Julie Rocheleau                                              
Rideau Hall Press Office

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