Message from the Governor General following the death of Mrs. Gerda Hnatyshyn C.C.

July 17, 2023

Mrs. Gerda Hnatyshyn was an extraordinary person who epitomized duty and service—to her family, to the arts, to Rideau Hall and its staff, and to the country.

She was exemplary in her role as spouse of Canada’s 24th Governor General, the Right Honourable Ramon John Hnaytshyn, and was devoted to supporting the arts, artists and philanthropy in the arts after his death.

Her determination and hard work led to the creation of the Canadian Heritage Garden at Rideau Hall, which continues to be enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year. Through her leadership of the Hnatyshyn Foundation, she helped hundreds of young people pursue their goals and fulfil their dreams. Just weeks before her death, she led an extremely successful initiative that brought together young artists from Canada and Ukraine to help with the restoration of cultural centres in Ukraine.

My husband, Whit, and I send our deepest condolences to her sons, John and Carl, and to all members of her family. She will be deeply missed by all those who knew her and worked with her, particularly members of the staff at Rideau Hall, past and present.

Mary Simon

Media information:
Rideau Hall Press Office

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