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NEWS RELEASE - Itinerary - Visits to Slovenia, Croatia and Greece

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Itinerary: Visits to Slovenia, Croatia and Greece

October 16, 2009

OTTAWA — At the request of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, will make an official visit to the Republic of Slovenia, from October 21 to 22, a State visit to the Republic of Croatia, from October 23 to 27, and a State visit to the Hellenic Republic, from October 29 to 31, 2009, during which she will be accompanied by her husband His Excellency Jean-Daniel Lafond.
 
“Slovenia and Croatia are young democracies whose roots reach back through centuries of history. Canada is young, but it has one of the oldest democratic traditions, and we who call this country home have a duty to encourage their vision of openness, as they try to fully assume their role in the international community,” said the Governor General. “I also think it is serendipitous that this trip ends in Greece, considered the cradle of democracy and Olympism. It is there that the Olympic flame, the foremost symbol of solidarity and reconciliation between peoples, will be passed to us, in preparation for the upcoming Winter Games in Vancouver,” she added.
 
The purpose of the official visit to the Republic of Slovenia is to recognize that country’s efforts towards democratization and to celebrate its integration into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union. The visit will also underscore the importance of the trade and cultural ties that Canada and Slovenia share. The Governor General will hold discussion forums with young people, women’s associations, cultural representatives and citizens, all of whom are concerned about social cohesion and peace in that country. In December 2008, the Governor General had to cut short her visit to Slovenia and return to Canada because of the political situation in Parliament.
 
During the State visit to the Republic of Croatia, the Governor General will commend the country’s recent membership in NATO, as well as the proactive and exemplary role Croat officials are playing in promoting security in the region and elsewhere. Her Excellency will hold a number of discussions with members of civil society on, among other things, cultural diversity, heritage preservation, and reconciliation efforts after years of conflict that divided communities. 


While visiting the Hellenic Republic, the Governor General and His Excellency Jean-Daniel Lafond will attend the official ceremony in which the Olympic flame will be passed to the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, at the Panathenaic Stadium, in Athens. Their Excellencies will listen to young Greeks during a dialogue and to the cultural milieu on the occasion of an Art Matters Forum. The State visit will also highlight Greece’s and Canada’s commitment to bringing peace and security to Afghanistan.
 
 
A delegation of Canadians representing a variety of fields—including diversity, arts and culture, civic engagement and youth—will interact with their Slovenian, Croatian and Greek counterparts as well as play an active role in Their Excellencies’ meetings with civil society. Information about members of the Canadian delegation will be available at www.gg.ca.
 
State visits by a governor general play an important role in Canada’s relations with other countries. They are the highest form of diplomatic contact, and they mark further developments in bilateral relations and exchanges among peoples.
 
The public can follow the official visit to Slovenia and the State visits to Croatia and Greece through the speeches, photos and videos available daily at www.gg.ca. Blogs written by Their Excellencies and the delegates will be posted on www.citizenvoices.gg.ca.
 
Below is the detailed itinerary for the visits (local time):


OFFICIAL VISIT TO THE REPUBLIC OF SLOVENIA
 
Wednesday, October 21
Ljubljana, Slovenia

10:30 a.m.
Official welcoming ceremony with military honours
The Governor General will be officially welcomed to the Republic of Slovenia during a ceremony with military honours.
Brdo Castle, Ljubljana
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY
 
10:45 a.m.
Meeting with the President of the Republic of Slovenia

Her Excellency will meet with His Excellency Dr. Danilo Türk, President of the Republic of Slovenia, to discuss relations between Canada and Slovenia. An expanded meeting with the official delegation will follow.
Brdo Castle, Ljubljana
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY – At the beginning of the meeting.
JOINT MEDIA AVAILABILITY – The Governor General and the President will deliver statements to the media at noon.
 
1 p.m.
Meeting with the President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia

The Governor General will meet with His Excellency Dr. Pavel Gantar, President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia.
National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia, Ljubljana
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY – At the beginning of the meeting.
 
1:30 p.m.
Luncheon hosted by the President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia

His Excellency Dr. Pavel Gantar, President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia, will host a luncheon in honour of the Governor General’s visit.
Vila Podrožnik, Ljubljana
OPEN TO THE MEDIA – Opening remarks only.

3:35 p.m.
Meeting with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia

Her Excellency will have the opportunity to discuss Canada-Slovenia relations with His Excellency Borut Pahor, Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia.
Government Palace, Ljubljana
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY – At the beginning of the meeting.
 
8 p.m.
Official dinner hosted by the President of the Republic of Slovenia

His Excellency Danilo Türk, President of the Republic of Slovenia, will host an official dinner in honour of Her Excellency’s visit.
Brdo Castle, Ljubljana
OPEN TO THE MEDIA – Opening remarks.


Thursday, October 22
Ljubljana, Slovenia

9:15 a.m.
Visit to the Barracks Franc Rozman Stane

Upon arriving at the barracks, the Governor General, in the presence of the President of Slovenia, will receive military honours. She will deliver an address to the Brigade and meet with Slovenian soldiers who served alongside members of the Canadian Forces in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul, Afghanistan. In 2006, Canada presented the General Campaign Star to 53 of these Slovenian soldiers.
Barracks Franc Rozman Stane, Ljubljana
OPEN TO MEDIA

10:30 a.m.
Meeting with the Mayor of Ljubljana

The Governor General will meet with His Worship Zoran Janković, Mayor of Ljubljana, and sign the golden book.
Ljubljana City Hall, Ljubljana
OPEN TO MEDIA
 
11 a.m.
Walking tour of Ljubljana

Along with the Mayor of Ljubljana, the Governor General will tour the historical downtown area of the city.
Downtown Ljubljana,Ljubljana
OPEN TO MEDIA

12 p.m.
Luncheon hosted by the Ambassador of Canada to Slovenia

His Excellency Pierre Guimond, Ambassador of Canada to Slovenia, will host a luncheon in honour of the Governor General’s visit to the country. The discussion during the luncheon will focus on the role of women in art, culture and civil society.
Restaurant Pri vitezu, Ljubljana
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY – Opening remarks.
 
5 p.m.
Youth Dialogue on Young people and Peace Building

Her Excellency will host a Youth Dialogue during which she will meet with young Slovenes to discuss the importance of empowering youth to build peace and solidarity in their communities.
 
Having made youth one of the priorities of her mandate, the Governor General inaugurated the Youth Dialogues series in 2007, providing youth in Canada and abroad with a space to voice their opinions on social issues and to pursue their dialogue with other young people on the Citizen Voices Web site. The Governor General’s Youth Dialogues are part of a series of national and international high-energy discussions that focus on galvanizing youth across the country and around the world to become catalysts of positive change. Her Excellency then shares the ideas and perspectives presented during the dialogues with decision makers. For more information about the Youth Dialogues, visit www.gg.ca/active-and-engaged/youth/youth-dialogues.
TR3, Ljubljana
OPEN TO MEDIA
 
7 p.m.
Reception hosted by the Ambassador of Canada to Slovenia, with cross-section of Slovene society and members the Canadian community in Slovenia

The Governor General will attend a reception hosted by His Excellency Pierre Guimond, Ambassador of Canada to Slovenia.
City Museum, Ljubljana
CLOSED TO MEDIA

STATE VISIT TO THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA
 
Friday, October 23
Zagreb, Croatia

10 a.m.
Official welcoming ceremony with military honours
The Governor General will be officially welcomed to the Republic of Croatia during a ceremony with military honours.
Office of the President, Zagreb
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

10:15 a.m.
Meeting with the President of the Republic of Croatia
The Governor General will meet with His Excellency Stjepan Mesić, President of the Republic of Croatia, to discuss relations between Canada and Croatia. An expanded meeting with the official delegation will follow.
Office of the President, Zagreb
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY – At the beginning of the meeting.
JOINT MEDIA AVAILABILITY – The Governor General and the President will deliver statements to the media at 11:20 a.m.

  
Noon
Meeting with the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament

Her Excellency will meet with His Excellency Luka Bebić, Speaker of the Croatian Parliament.
Sabor (Parliament of Croatia), Zagreb
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY – At the beginning of the meeting.
 
12:50 p.m.
Meeting with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia

The Governor General will have the opportunity to discuss Canada-Croatia relations with Her Excellency Jadranka Kosor, Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia. Upon her arrival, the Governor General will sign the golden book. The meeting will then be followed by a working luncheon.
Office of the Prime Minister, Government Building, Zagreb
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY – During the signing of the guest book and at the beginning of the meeting .

2:20 p.m.
Walking tour of Zagreb

The Governor General will discover the beautiful town of Zagreb on foot.
Downtown Zagreb, Zagreb
CLOSED TO MEDIA

8 p.m.
State dinner hosted by the President of the Republic of Croatia

His Excellency Stjepan Mesić, President of the Republic of Croatia, will host a State dinner in honour of Her Excellency’s visit.
Office of the President, Zagreb
CLOSED TO MEDIA 

Saturday, October 24
Zagreb, Croatia

9:30 a.m.
Roundtable discussion on the participation of women in society
The Governor General will participate in a roundtable discussion on the participation of women in society. This discussion will bring together prominent Croatian women from civil society and members of the Canadian delegation.
State Residence, Zagreb
OPEN TO MEDIA

Noon
Reception with Croatian Olympic and Paralympic committees
Her Excellency will meet with representatives of the Croatian Olympic and Paralympic committees, and with Croatian Olympic athletes as well as other sports figures to discuss and celebrate the upcoming Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Regent Esplanade Hotel, Zagreb
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY – Opening remarks.

4 p.m.
Public Art Matters Forum

In collaboration with the Zagreb Film Festival, the Governor General with host an Art Matters forum on the theme of the role of documentaries in our society. Panellists will include Croatian and Canadian filmmakers. On this occasion, the Governor General will deliver a speech before participants and members of the public.
Gallery Building at the Zagreb Film Festival, Zagreb
OPEN TO MEDIA

8 p.m.
Zagreb Film Festival Closing Ceremony
Her Excellency will attend the closing ceremony of the Zagreb Film Festival during which awards will be presented to the best filmmakers.
SC Studentski Centar, Zagreb
OPEN TO MEDIA

Sunday, October 25
Dubrovnik, Croatia

Noon
Luncheon with the Mayor of Dubrovnik and the Prefect of the County of Dubrovnik-Neretva

Upon the Governor General’s arrival in Dubrovnik, a luncheon will be hosted by His Worship
Dr. Andro Vlahušić, Mayor of Dubrovnik, and Mr. Nikola Dobroslavić, County Prefect of Dubrovnik-Neretva.  They will be accompanied by representatives from non-governmental organizations and other groups involved in the reconstruction of Dubrovnik following the Serbo-Croatian conflict of the early 1990s.
Nautika Restaurant, Dubrovnik
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY – Upon arrival and during greeting by the Mayor.
 
2 p.m.
Walking tour of Dubrovnik
The Governor General will conduct a walking tour of the city during which she will visit a museum, a theatre, and a cathedral.
Old Town, Dubrovnik
CLOSED TO MEDIA

Monday, October 26
Dubrovnik, Croatia

9:30 a.m.
Panel discussion on the preservation of culture and heritage in an open society
Her Excellency will participate in a panel discussion on the theme of preserving culture and heritage in an open society. Students and professors, as well as members of the Canadian delegation, will meet and exchange ideas on the subject matter during the event being held at the University of Dubrovnik.

The University of Dubrovnik is the most recently created university in Croatia. Established in 2003, the University provides degrees from eight departments, including the Department of Art and Restoration.
University of Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik
OPEN TO MEDIA

Monday, October 26
Split, Croatia

1:30 p.m.
Working luncheon hosted by the Mayor of Split to discuss civic engagement among youth
Upon Her Excellency’s arrival in Split, a luncheon will be hosted by His Worship Željko Kerum, Mayor of Split and will include young civil society leaders. The Governor General will also sign the golden book.

Split is the largest Dalmatian city and the second-largest urban centre in Croatia. It is situated on the eastern shores of the Adriatic Sea. The city is a vital maritime link to the numerous surrounding Adriatic islands and the Italian peninsula. Split is also one of the oldest cities in the area, traditionally considered over 1 700 years old.
Vila Dalmacija, Split
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY – Upon arrival and during the signing of the golden book.

3 p.m.
Tour of Diocletian’s Palace
Her Excellency will visit the Palace of Diocletian, in Split. It was built by the Roman emperor Diocletian at the turn of the fourth century AD, in preparation for his retirement. After the Romans abandoned the site, the palace remained empty for several centuries. In the seventh century, nearby residents fled to the walled palace to escape invading barbarians. Since then, the palace has been occupied by residents, who have made their homes and businesses within the palace basement and directly into its walls. Today, many restaurants and shops, and some homes, can still be found within the palace walls. In November 1979, Diocletian’s Palace was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Diocletian’s Palace, Split
CLOSED TO MEDIA

6:30 p.m.
Cultural event hosted by the Prefect of Split-Dalmatia County
At the invitation of Mr. Ante Sanader, Prefect of Split-Dalmatia, Her Excellency will attend a cultural event at the Meštrović Gallery, featuring Canadian and Croatian artists.

Ivan Meštrović (1883 –1962) was a Croatian artist known as one of the greatest sculptors of religious subject matter since the Renaissance, and the first living person to have a one-man show at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum. The gallery is housed in what used to be Meštrović’s summer residence.
Meštrović Gallery, Split
OPEN TO MEDIA

Tuesday, October 27
Vukovar, Croatia

10 a.m.
Wreath-Laying Ceremony 
Her Excellency will lay a wreath at the War Memorial Centre.
War Memorial Centre, Vukovar
OPEN TO MEDIA

10:45 a.m.
Visit to Vukovar Gymnasium
Her Excellency will visit a high school in Vukovar and have a discussion with youth.
Vukovar Gymnasium (High School), Vukovar
OPEN TO MEDIA

STATE VISIT TO THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC
Thursday, October 29
Athens, Greece

11:30 a.m.
Official welcoming ceremony with military honours
The Governor General and His Excellency Jean-Daniel Lafond will be officially welcomed to the Hellenic Republic during a ceremony with military honours at the Presidential Palace.

The Presidential Palace is the official residence of the president of the Hellenic Republic. It previously served as the Royal Palace until the abolition of the monarchy by referendum in 1974.
Presidential Palace, Athens
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

11:40 a.m.
Meeting with the President of the Hellenic Republic
Their Excellencies will meet with His Excellency Karolos Papoulias, President of the Hellenic Republic, and Mrs. May Papoulia to discuss relations between Canada and Greece. An expanded meeting with the official delegation will follow.
Presidential Palace, Athens
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY – At the beginning of the meeting.
JOINT MEDIA AVAILABILITY – The Governor General and the President will deliver statements to the press at 12:45 p.m.

2 p.m.
Luncheon hosted by the Government of the Hellenic Republic
The Government of the Hellenic Republic will host a luncheon in honour of Their Excellencies’ visit to Greece.
Athens
OPEN TO THE MEDIA – Opening remarks.

6 p.m.
Olympic Flame Handover Ceremony
 Their Excellencies will attend the Olympic Flame Handover Ceremony at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens. During the ceremony, the Governor General will witness the handover of the Olympic Flame by the Hellenic Olympic Committee to the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).
Panathenaic Stadium, Athens
OPEN TO MEDIA
JOINT MEDIA AVAILABILITY – Media will be able to attend the statements from the Governor General and Mr. John Furlong, VANOC CEO, following the ceremony.

9 p.m.
State dinner hosted by the President of the Hellenic Republic
His Excellency Karolos Papoulias, President of the Hellenic Republic, and Mrs. May Papoulia will host a State dinner in honour of Their Excellencies.
Presidential Palace, Athens
OPEN TO MEDIA – Opening remarks.

Friday, October 30
Athens, Greece

10 a.m.
Wreath-Laying Ceremony
The Governor General will lay a wreath at the Monument of the Unknown Soldier in Athens.
Constitution Square, Hellenic Parliament, Athens
OPEN TO MEDIA

10:15 a.m.
Meeting with the Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament 
Their Excellencies will meet with His Excellency Philippos Petsalnikos, Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament. 
Hellenic Parliament, Athens
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY – At the beginning of the meeting.

11 a.m.
Youth Dialogue on youth engagement for a better society
Their Excellencies will host a Youth Dialogue, entitled “Building for Social Change: Youth Engagement for a Better Society”. The discussion will bring together young Greeks from Athens’ various neighbourhoods, universities and performing arts schools, as well as members of the Canadian delegation. They will then explore the ways in which Canadian and Greek youth can bring positive change to their communities and to broader society. The Governor General will deliver a speech on this occasion.
Technopolis, Athens
OPEN TO MEDIA 

4 p.m.
Public Art Matters forum by His Excellency Jean-Daniel Lafond
His Excellency Jean-Daniel Lafond will host an Art Matters public forum. Joining him will be Mr. Chris McDonald, Executive Director of Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival, and Mrs. Nelofer Pazira, filmmaker, author, journalist and human rights activist. On this occasion, both the Governor General and His Excellency Jean-Daniel Lafond will deliver speeches.
Ianos Bookstore, Athens
OPEN TO MEDIA 

8:30 p.m.
Canadian cultural event hosted by the Ambassador of Canada to Greece|
Their Excellencies will attend a cultural event hosted by Her Excellency Renata E. Wielgosz, Ambassador of Canada to Greece, during which Canadian pianist and composer Alain Lefèvre will perform.
Hotel Grande Bretagne, Athens
CLOSED TO MEDIA 

Saturday, October 31
Olympia, Greece

11 a.m.
Visit to Ancient Olympia Archaeological Site
Their Excellencies will visit this historical site, which is the birthplace of the Olympics.
Olympia Site, Olympia 
OPEN TO MEDIA

12:30 p.m.
Visit to Archaeological Museum of Olympia
During a visit, Their Excellencies will discover the impressive remains of this ancient site.
Olympia Site, Olympia 
OPEN TO MEDIA

1:30 p.m.
Tree-planting ceremony
To commemorate the 2007 forest fires that devastated the region of Olympia, Their Excellencies will plant a tree as a symbolic gesture to regenerate the area.
Olympia Site, Olympia
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

2:30 p.m.
Luncheon hosted by the Mayor of Olympia
In honour of their State visit to Greece, Their Excellencies will attend a luncheon hosted by His Worship Georgios Aidonis, Mayor of Olympia. The Governor General will deliver a speech on this occasion.Hotel Antonios, Olympia

OPEN TO MEDIA – Opening remarks.  

                    -30-

Media Information:           
Marie-Ève Létourneau                                              
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-998-0287
613-302-0912 (cell.)
meletourneau@gg.ca
 
Marthe Blouin
Official spokesperson to the Governor General of Canada
613-993-0397
613-301-3379 (cell.)
mblouin@gg.ca
                                           
www.gg.ca                                                                                                    
www.citizenvoices.gg.ca