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  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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2016 National Volunteer Week

April 7, 2016

Governor General to Mark 2016 National Volunteer Week

OTTAWA—Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston will participate in a variety of activities to highlight National Volunteer Week, from April 10 to 16, 2016.

“National Volunteer Week is an ideal opportunity to thank people for giving their time and talents to good causes that help people in need,” said the Governor General. “Giving speaks volumes about the way we imagine our communities, our provinces, our territories and our country: it says that we want a Canada that is caring and compassionate. Thank you for your generosity and for making such an important contribution that strengthens the fabric of our society.”

Their Excellencies’ itinerary for the week is outlined below:

Monday, April 11

2 p.m.
Live Facebook Q&A on Volunteerism with the Governor General
Canadians are invited to join His Excellency for a live 30-minute question and answer session hosted on the My Giving Moments Facebook page to talk about the role millennials play in building strong communities. Canadians from all over the country can submit questions on Facebook at and use the hashtag #SnapSomeGood.
Rideau Hall

Tuesday, April 12

10:30 a.m.
Inaugural Presentation Ceremony of the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers
His Excellency will present the new Medal for Volunteers to 56 Canadians to recognize exceptional volunteer achievements in a wide range of fields. The list of recipients and their citations will be published at a later date.

As an official Canadian honour, the Medal for Volunteers incorporates and replaces the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award, created in 1995 by then-governor general the Right Honourable Roméo LeBlanc. The Medal builds on the legacy and spirit of the Caring Canadian Award by honouring the dedication and commitment of volunteers. For more information about the program or to nominate an exceptional volunteer, visit
Rideau Hall

Wednesday, April 13

1:30 p.m.
Round-Table Discussion and Visit with Student Volunteers at Algonquin College
Their Excellencies will have the opportunity to meet with students involved with Algonquin College’s Volunteer Centre and to participate in a round-table discussion about the students’ volunteer experiences. Afterwards, Their Excellencies will assist the students with two community projects.

The Volunteer Centre at Algonquin College is based in the AC Hub, a modern, open concept space devised as a one-stop access point for student engagement. The Volunteer Centre acts as a connector for on-campus and off-campus volunteering opportunities, fostering a culture of continuous learning by providing leadership and real-world experiences that complement students’ programs of study and personal interests. For more information, visit
Algonquin College Student Commons (E Building), 1385 Woodroffe Avenue, Ottawa
MEDIA CONTACT: Phil Gaudreau, Communications Officer, 613-727-4723 ext. 2091,

Thursday, April 14

10:00 a.m.
Presentation on Volunteering with Live for the Cause
His Excellency will participate in a presentation tailored to grade 10 students at Macdonald High School on the importance of volunteering, being given by Live for the Cause. Through an interactive presentation, students will learn about how they can become more involved in volunteer initiatives, as well as the benefits of giving back to their community. 

Founded in 2015, Live for the Cause is dedicated to engaging, empowering and educating people of all ages on the important and rewarding aspects of becoming involved in philanthropy, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the Montreal community at large. For more information, visit
Macdonald High School, 17 Maple Avenue, Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Montréal
MEDIA CONTACT: Shelly Fabian, Director of Communications, 514-867-2278,

12:50 p.m.
Round-Table Discussion with Volunteers, Students and Founders of Iciéla
His Excellency will participate in a discussion with volunteers, previous participants of the program and the founder of Iciéla. A round-table discussion will focus on the impact of volunteer work on their lives and their communities, and the importance of engaging youth on intercultural social issues.

Iciéla is a volunteer organization that promotes the civic engagement of young people through intercultural dialogue. Their activities are geared towards generating interest among young people on various social issues and facilitating exchange between participants in various countries. For more information, visit (in French only).
1350 Sherbrooke Est, #1, Montréal
MEDIA CONTACT: Louise Choquette, 514-360-1580,

2:15 p.m.
Visit with Volunteers at the Benedict Labre House
His Excellency will meet with volunteers at Benedict Labre House, thank them for their time and commitment, and tour the facilities where hot meals are provided to over 1 500 guests each month with the help of over 40 volunteer groups.

Founded in 1952 by Tony Walsh, Benedict Labre House is a day shelter for the homeless. Staff and volunteers are committed to providing guests with essential services, such as hot meals, emergency food bags, clothing and showers, as well as tailored programs and services that are free of charge. For more information, visit
308, rue Young, Montréal 
MEDIA CONTACT: Karine Projean, Executive Director, 514-937-5973,

Friday, April 15

10:30 a.m.
Presentation of the Medal for Volunteers at the Ottawa Hospital by Her Excellency Sharon Johnston
Her Excellency will present the Medal for Volunteers to 16 dedicated volunteers from The Ottawa Hospital and its Foundation. The recipients and their citations are included below.
For more information about the Foundation, visit
Amphitheatre, 1st Floor, Civic Campus, The Ottawa Hospital, 1053 Carling Avenue
MEDIA CONTACT: Ingrid Gingras, Communications and Marketing Manager, The Ottawa Hospital Foundation, 


Media information:
Emily Keogh
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-993-2569 (office)/613-218-2299 (cell)  

Follow GGDavidJohnston and RideauHall on Facebook and Twitter.


(Ceremony on April 15 at The Ottawa Hospital)

Claude Bedard
Ottawa, Ontario

Claude Bedard has been a volunteer at The Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Centre for four years, helping with the Meal Assistance Program and at the Information Desk, where he ensures patients and visitors receive proper direction. During the course of his time with the hospital, he has taken on leadership roles in patient care, trained new volunteers, and helped foster a community among patients, volunteers and staff.

Jean-Pierre Blais
Gatineau, Quebec

Over the past six years, Jean-Pierre Blais has helped facilitate the annual President’s Breakfast for the Public Service, which has raised over $1.5 million for patient care and research at The Ottawa Hospital.

 Graham Bird
Ottawa, Ontario

It is through Graham Bird’s belief that “great health care is born out of an engaged community” that we can understand his commitment to The Ottawa Hospital through fundraising, conducting community outreach and co-chairing the annual President’s Breakfast. His dedication to Ottawans’ health and wellness is underscored through his volunteerism with the YMCA-YWCA, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.

Roberta Driscoll
Ottawa, Ontario

For eight years, Roberta Driscoll has been a driving force behind Partners Investing in Parkinson’s Research (PIPR), in addition to her ongoing commitment to the Summer Literacy Program at the Perth and Union District Public Library, and to the United Way. Under her leadership, more than $750,000 has been raised for PIPR during the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, strengthening a sense of community and rallying people from across Canada behind a common cause.

 Sheila Granger
Ottawa, Ontario

Sheila Granger has been an ongoing volunteer with The Ottawa Hospital since 2008, serving as the Anglican coordinator of spiritual care and as acting coordinator for Anglican ministries. In these capacities, she visits with patients and works with hospital administrators and pastoral or spiritual care teams to provide religious support; and, due in great part to her efforts, more than 1 800 Anglicans have received visits over the course of the past two years.

 Helene Hutchings
Ashton, Ontario

Cancer survivor Helene Hutchings began raising awareness and funds for cancer research at The Ottawa Hospital and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario by establishing Hair Donation Ottawa in 2011. Under her leadership, this initiative has raised over $250,000, collected over 15 000 inches of hair to be made into wigs for cancer patients, and engaged thousands of people in the National Capital Region.

Avetik Kocharyan
Ottawa, Ontario

Avetik Kocharyan began volunteering with The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre in 2010, caring for patients and fulfilling the role of patient ambassador, where he provides direction and assistance regarding hospital services. He constantly brings positivity to the hospital’s environment and comfort to those he cares for, and as a team leader, he mentors other volunteers to do the same.

Audrey MacDonell
Ottawa, Ontario

Audrey MacDonell has volunteered more than 6 700 hours at the Rideau Campus of The Ottawa Hospital since 1992, managing volunteer schedules and finances, and helping in the gift shop. Through the years, she has enhanced the experience of patients, staff, visitors and volunteers, and constantly endeavours to assist where she can.

Mary Jane Manley
Ottawa, Ontario

Over the past 10 years, Mary Jane Manley’s volunteer work has gone beyond her contributions to The Ottawa Hospital, where she has raised over $2 million for patient care and research as a volunteer with and co-chair of the President’s Breakfast. Her drive for community growth and support also includes volunteer work with Ottawa Hospice, Holy Rosary Catholic Church, and Big Brothers Big Sisters, where she has worked as a fundraiser, administrator and organizer.

 Lillian Meehan
Ottawa, Ontario

In October 2005, Lillian Meehan began volunteering at The Ottawa Hospital; since then, she has worked at the Information Desk, trained volunteers and prepared welcome baskets for new patients. Performing many tasks over the years, she has provided compassionate care to patients and their families, and has helped sustain a welcoming and healing environment.

Robert Merkley
Ottawa, Ontario

Robert Merkley has helped build a healthier, closer and more active community through his fundraising for The Ottawa Hospital. Whether organizing The Ride cycling fundraiser, leading the 20-20 Campaign for a new cancer centre, or chairing the Legacy Campaign committee, he has helped raise tens of millions of dollars towards research and hospital expansion, vastly improving the quality of life for those in his community.

 Daniel Moine
Ottawa, Ontario

Since 2005, Daniel Moine has been assisting staff and providing care to patients in the Surgical Day Care Unit of The Ottawa Hospital, in addition to training the unit’s new volunteers. Several times a week, he can be found comforting patients, cleaning and making beds, preparing supplies, and performing various administrative tasks, thereby helping to foster a welcoming and caring environment for everyone.

Louise Robitaille
Ottawa, Ontario

Since 2010, Louise Robitaille has been a front-line team member at The Ottawa Hospital, serving as an ambassador in the Intensive Care Unit Family Lounge and at the Information Desk. In addition to directly supporting patients and their families, she screens and interviews new volunteers, thereby helping to shape the image of the hospital volunteer program for the coming years.

Evelyn Stone
Ottawa, Ontario

Following a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma 15 years ago, Evelyn Stone became determined to raise funds for The Ottawa Hospital through the Gatineau Loppet, an annual 10-kilometre cross-country ski event, and to raise awareness of her disease. She has since continued her endeavour by recruiting more volunteers; alongside them, she has raised over $275,000 for the Little Angels Blood Cancer Fund at the hospital, thereby giving back to the community in a significant way.

Kim Teron
Ottawa, Ontario

After her husband, Ross Tuddenham, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, Kim Teron joined The Ottawa Hospital’s fundraising group Partners Investing in Parkinson’s Research (PIPR) in 2011. Since then, she has become its co-chair and has participated in the annual Run for Reason event during the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, as well as in ‘educational discovery’ sessions with Ph.D. students to raise awareness of the patient and family experience. PIPR recently met its fundraising goal of $1 million.

Bruce Wolfgram
Ottawa, Ontario

Bruce Wolfgram’s commitment to building and supporting the Ottawa community can be seen through his volunteerism with The Ottawa Hospital and its Foundation since 2002, in addition to his efforts with the United Way and Habitat for Humanity. With the hospital, he has helped expand its volunteer base, established the Foundation’s signature event, the President’s Breakfast, and steered the organization as a director and member of its Governance Committee.