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  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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National Volunteer Week

April 10, 2016 

Message from the Governor General of Canada
on the Occasion of National Volunteer Week

OTTAWA— Happy National Volunteer Week, Canada! Everybody knows this week is all about giving, but have you ever stopped to ask yourself why giving matters?

You may answer: Because giving your time, talent or treasure to a good cause helps people in need. Or, because giving helps us to connect with people in our communities. Or, because it’s simply the right thing to do.   

And all of those reasons are true of course! But there’s an even deeper reason why giving matters, and it has to do with the kind of country we want to live in. Every time you give, you make a statement that says: this is the Canada we want. A Canada that cares. A Canada that’s compassionate. A Canada where we help each other and all those in need.

Giving speaks volumes about the way we imagine our communities and our country. It may not always feel like you’re making a statement when you give, but you are—and guess what? It’s an important statement. It’s a statement we should feel proud to make from coast to coast to coast.

I’ve always believed in the importance of giving in our lives and society. That’s why volunteerism and philanthropy are two of my top priorities as governor general. That’s why we launched My Giving Moment a few years ago, a social marketing campaign to encourage giving among all Canadians, especially younger generations. And that’s why I’ll be delighted to hand out a new medal for the first time this week to recognize our most caring, compassionate citizens.

It’s called the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, and as an official Canadian honour, it builds on the legacy and spirit of the Caring Canadian Award in recognizing exceptional volunteers. This medal is driven by nominations from everyday Canadians who know their communities best.

I’m sure that you know someone who deserves a medal from their country for their dedication to others.Well, now you have a chance to give them that medal! So, who inspires you? Well, nominate them!

I also look forward to discussing giving with Canadians during my first live Q&A on Facebook this week through the My Giving Moment Facebook page. The Q&A starts at 2 p.m. Eastern Time on April 11, and I encourage you to join me and to send me your questions via Facebook.

During this National Volunteer Week, share your story, thank a volunteer, join the conversation and nominate someone for Canada’s new Medal for Volunteers. This week is dedicated to celebrating volunteerism, and I offer all volunteers in Canada my sincere kudos for showing such generosity and caring.

David Johnston


To view the Governor General’s video message,
please click on the following link:

Media information:

Marie-Pierre Bélanger
Rideau Hall Press Office

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