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Visit to London

March 7, 2017

Their Excellencies to Visit London and Present Honours 

OTTAWA—Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston will visit London, Ontario, on March 8 and 9, 2017.

On March 8, His Excellency will visit Western University’s campus. While there, he will tour the Robarts Research Institute’s concussion research and imaging laboratories; visit the Wellness Education Centre to participate in a round-table discussion on student mental health; and deliver the keynote address at the 2017 President’s Lecture Series. For her part, Her Excellency will visit the Merrymount Family Support and Crisis Centre to meet with its leadership team and patrons to better understand the ways the organization helps families and children in crisis.

On the second day, His Excellency will take part in a round-table discussion hosted by the Pillar Nonprofit Network, which will focus on volunteerism among youth and new Canadians. The Governor General will then conclude the visit to London by recognizing more than 45 remarkable Canadians with awards and honours.

Below is Their Excellencies’ detailed itinerary:

Wednesday, March 8

11 a.m.
Visit to Western University’s Robarts Research Institute
His Excellency will tour the Robarts Research Institute’s concussion research and imaging laboratories. During his visit, the Governor General will meet scientists and graduate students who are investigating the short- and long-term consequences of concussions, as well as developing new ways of preventing and treating brain injuries.  

Robarts researchers are part of a collaborative effort to improve diagnosis and treatment of concussions. Using state-of-the-art imaging techniques, blood analyses, cognitive testing and clinical assessments, they are evaluating athletes from Western University’s women’s rugby team, as well as London bantam-level hockey players, to identify concussion biomarkers, establish guidelines for return to play and predict future risk. For more information, visit
Robarts Research Institute, 1151 Richmond Street North, London

11 a.m.
Visit to Merrymount Family Support and Crisis Centre by Her Excellency Sharon Johnston
Mrs. Johnston will meet with members of Merrymount’s board of directors and leadership team who will provide an overview of the organization’s support programs for families in crisis. Her Excellency will then tour the facilities and meet with parents and children currently benefitting from the Centre’s programs to learn about the responsive and innovative services they receive at Merrymount. 

Merrymount Family Support and Crisis Centre helps over 8 000 families in crisis per year by building on their strengths, by providing resources and emergency child care, and by supporting the navigation of difficult life circumstances. For more information, visit
Merrymount Family Support and Crisis Centre, 1064 Colborne Street, London
OPEN TO MEDIA—For the tour of the Centre only
MEDIA CONTACT: Danielle Linkiewicz, Communications & Development Coordinator, 519-434-6848 ext. 229, 

1:20 p.m.
Round-table Discussion on Student Mental Health
Their Excellencies will visit Western University’s new Wellness Education Centre and participate in a round-table discussion on health and wellness with staff coordinators, student volunteers, and students who are benefitting from its services. 

The Wellness Education Centre is a one-stop shop for students seeking mental health/wellness resources and nutrition information, as well as sexual violence prevention education and survivors’ support. For more information, visit
Wellness Education Centre, University Community Centre, Room 269C, 1151 Richmond Street, London
MEDIA CONTACT: Keith Marnoch, Director, Media & Community Relations, Western University, 519-661-2111, 

3:30 p.m.
Keynote Address at the 2017 President’s Lecture Series and Book Signing

Their Excellencies will attend the President’s Lecture Series where the Governor General will deliver a keynote address on the theme of trust, specifically how professionals, educators and citizens can reinforce trust and strengthen the social contract in Canada. Following his speech, His Excellency will participate in a Q&A session with the audience. The event will end with a reception, during which time the Governor General will take part in a signing for his book, The Idea of Canada: Letters to a Nation. 

Established and hosted by Western University’s president and vice-chancellor, Mr. Amit Chakma, the President’s Lecture Series showcases personalities of national and international prominence from the realms of academia, politics, civil service, business and the arts as a means to engage the campus and broader community in meaningful public discourse on a wide range of important topics.For more information, visit
Alumni Hall, Lambton Drive, London
MEDIA CONTACT: Keith Marnoch, Director, Media & Community Relations, Western University, 519-661-2111, 

Thursday, March 9

10:30 a.m.
Round-table Discussion on Volunteerism Hosted by Pillar Nonprofit Network
His Excellency will participate in a round-table discussion on New Ways of Engaging Youth and New Canadians in Volunteering and Community Change. Pillar Nonprofit Network board members, representatives from non-profits, new Canadians, youth and individuals from its Innovation Works initiative will also participate in the discussion. Together, they will explore how social innovation can lead to new ways of engaging London’s young leaders and new Canadians in smart and caring ways that lead to deep community change. 

Pillar Nonprofit Network strengthens the impact of the non-profit sector. They connect three pillars—non-profit, business and government—to create community impact. For more information, visit
Innovation Works, 201 King Street, 1st Floor, London Life Solutions Lab
MEDIA CONTACT: Lore Wainwright, Director, Innovation Works, 519-433-7876 ext. 218,  

2 p.m.
Presentation of Honours
The Governor General will present honours to more than 45 remarkable Canadians to recognize excellence, courage or exceptional dedication to service. The ceremony will be streamed live online at The list of recipients, their citations and additional information will be published in a separate media advisory.  

The Governor General presents honours on behalf of all Canadians in communities across the country to help share inspiring stories, celebrate tremendous contributions to our society and connect with Canadians. From community volunteers to astronauts, from actors to members of the military, from scholars to everyday citizens, hundreds of Canadians earn our applause and gratitude. For more information about honours or to nominate someone who inspires you, visit
London Convention Centre, 300 York Street, London
MEDIA CONTACT: Marie-Pierre Bélanger, Rideau Hall Press Office, 613-998-9166 or 613-852-3248 (cell),


Media information:

Melanie Primeau
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-618-2691 (cell)  

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