Presentation of Honours (A.M. ceremony) (Vancouver, B.C.)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Friday, March 4, 2016
Good morning, and welcome all of you to this very special presentation of Canadian honours.
It’s wonderful to be here on the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations—truly a beautiful part of this beautiful province.
I’d also like to point out that this impressive centre was designed by Mr. Bing Thom—a Vancouver resident, and a proud member of the Order of Canada.
What a fitting place to recognize some of Canada’s very best!
You may have noticed I’m not alone on stage!
In fact, I’m in very good company.
Ladies and gentlemen, these are some of the finest people you could hope to meet.
We’ve borrowed them from their communities for a day, to honour them, and to celebrate their achievements. And this afternoon we’ll continue the celebration with another presentation of honours.
These individuals are from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Yukon.
They’re exceptional volunteers.
They’re philanthropists in the broadest sense of the word: they share a love for humanity.
Each of these great Canadians is making this a better country, one day at a time, one remarkable act a time.
Today, we’re here to say thank you for your compassion, for your excellence, for your sacrifices.
I’m delighted to present these honours in front of such a large and supportive crowd.
And a very well-dressed one, I might add!
This morning, all of you who have filled this room represent Canada.
And these individuals on stage, they represent our values, what we stand for, and the kind of country we want to live in. The kind of country we want our children and grandchildren to live in.
The Caring Canadian Award, the Exemplary Service Medals, the Decorations for Bravery and the Meritorious Service Decorations all share a dual purpose:
They honour those who inspire us.
And they celebrate and encourage such efforts.
Doing so has a remarkable side effect, as when a drop of dye is added to a glass of water.
The effect is transformative.
These honours inspire others to get involved, to help out, and to build networks of caring and creativity.
That’s why I’m so delighted to hold this special presentation of Canadian honours here in Vancouver—joined by my vice-regal colleagues from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Yukon—to connect with you and your families.
Each one of these individuals was nominated by someone they know. This celebration begins at the grassroots level, like the river grass from which the Musqueam First Nation takes its name.
Let today inspire you to nominate other deserving people for these honours.
To our recipients, congratulations, and thank you for everything you do for Canada.
This ceremony was very moving and powerful for me, and I hope for you as well.
I was so inspired to meet each of our recipients and to have this opportunity to thank you in person for your efforts.
I’m also delighted to have presented these honours in the presence of your loved ones, and so many others who care about building a better Canada.
To all of you, my thanks for your support of these remarkable individuals.
I would also like to take a moment to repeat the call for nominations. None of these honours were presented by accident: each is the result of a nomination process by those who know our recipients best, and who know how worthy they are of recognition.
So I ask: who inspires you in your communities? Honour them, and help us celebrate and encourage those who seek to make a difference.
Thank you again to all who have helped make today’s ceremony possible and to all of you for being here.
And congratulations once again to our deserving recipients.