Governor General to Officially Open the 2019 Canada Winter Games

February 14, 2019

OTTAWA—Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, will visit Red Deer, Alberta, on February 15 and 16, 2019, to officially open the Canada Winter Games. During her visit, the Governor General will also have an opportunity to meet with the Mayor of Red Deer and to encourage athletes at a variety of sporting events.

“The Canada Winter Games is our nation at its best, and brings together young athletes, their families, coaches, organizers and volunteers to showcase their dedication and love of sport,” said the Governor General. “Whether through exciting, large-scale events like this one, or through nail-biting hockey games at the local rink, winter sports are a way to bring our communities together and celebrate our Nordic traditions.” 

Below is Her Excellency’s detailed itinerary. Times are indicated in Mountain Standard Time (UTC – 7).

Red Deer
Friday, February 15

4:45 p.m.
Meeting with the Mayor of Red Deer

The Governor General will meet with Her Worship Tara Veer, Mayor of Red Deer.
Hockey Alberta Boardroom, Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre
PHOTO OP – At the beginning of the meeting
MEDIA CONTACT: Tara Shand, 403-896-2116,

5 p.m.
Presentation of the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers

Her Excellency will present the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers to Edward MacPherson. Mr. MacPherson’s citation and additional information about the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers is attached.
Hockey Alberta Boardroom, Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre

7 p.m.
Opening Ceremony of the 2019 Canada Winter Games

The Governor General will officially open the Canada Winter Games and deliver remarks to wish the athletes success.  

Featuring 19 sports, over 150 events and a major arts and cultural festival, the 2019 Canada Winter Games will welcome up to 3 600 athletes, managers and coaches, and more than 20 000 visitors. The 2019 Games will be the largest event ever hosted in Red Deer and central Alberta, and one of the largest events to be hosted in Alberta in over three decades, since the 1988 Calgary Olympics. For more information, visit
ENMAX Centrium
OPEN TO MEDIA – All media must be credited by the Canada Games.
MEDIA CONTACT: Christina Verticchio, 403-597-3200


Media information:

Josephine Laframboise
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-668-1929 (cell)

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Edward MacPherson
Penhold, Alberta

During Edward MacPherson’s 32-year career with the Canadian Armed Forces, he volunteered with youth in field sports at Penhold School and Springbrook Gymnasium, and participated in fundraising initiatives to benefit the community. He is a member of and volunteer with the Royal Canadian Legion, the Korea Veterans Association of Canada, and the NATO Veterans Organization of Canada.


The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers recognizes the exceptional volunteer achievements of Canadians from across the country in a wide range of fields. As an official Canadian honour, the Medal for Volunteers pays tribute to the dedication and exemplary commitment of volunteers.

Eligibility and Nomination Process

Any person who is a Canadian citizen and who has made significant, sustained and unpaid contributions to their community in Canada or abroad is eligible. Candidates must have demonstrated an exemplary commitment through their dedicated volunteerism. The Medal is awarded to individuals only, not to groups or couples. Non-Canadians are also eligible if their contributions have brought benefit or honour to Canadians or to Canada.

Anyone can nominate a volunteer by submitting an online nomination at in a few simple steps. There is no deadline for submissions. Nominations are accepted on an ongoing basis.

The Chancellery of Honours, part of the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, administers the program and receives all nominations. Each one is carefully researched and then reviewed by an advisory committee, which makes recommendations to the governor general. The selection process is non-partisan and merit-based. Presentation ceremonies are held throughout the year, in communities across Canada.

Description of the Medal

The Medal for Volunteers consists of a silver circular medal that is 36 mm in diameter with a suspension ring. The obverse depicts a contemporary effigy of the Sovereign, circumscribed with the inscription in capital letters of the Canadian Royal Title and the word “CANADA”, separated by two maple leaves.

The reverse indicates the ideas of caring and generosity, represented by two interlaced hearts. The sunburst pattern of the rim symbolizes the time that volunteers are giving and their actions. The ribbon uses the viceregal colours of blue and gold. The five gold stripes evoke the fingers of a hand, present in the Caring Canadian Award emblem, while the deep red colour is associated with royalty.

The design of the medal was created by the Canadian Heraldic Authority, based on a concept by Darcy DeMarsico, of the Chancellery of Honours. The medal is manufactured by the Royal Canadian Mint at its Ottawa facility.