Governor General Celebrates Province’s African Heritage, Its Youth and Its Volunteers during First Official Visit to Nova Scotia
February 5, 2007
OTTAWA–Their Excellencies the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, and Jean-Daniel Lafond will conduct their first official visit to Nova Scotia from February 12 to 14, 2007. During their two-day visit to Halifax, their Excellencies will focus on activities that empower groups of diverse backgrounds.
“Jean-Daniel Lafond and I are thrilled that we will have the opportunity to take part in Nova Scotia’s African Heritage Month celebrations, engage with women immigrants, youth, artists, and members of the Francophone community, as well as honour outstanding Nova Scotians for their community involvement,” said the Governor General. “While in Nova Scotia, we hope to forge links with as many of you as possible and learn not only from each other’s differences but also from what we have in common.”
Highlights of the visit include:
This will be the 11th provincial or territorial visit for the Governor General since being sworn into office. Governors general traditionally travel to every province and territory at the beginning of their mandate. Up to now, the Governor General has visited Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, Nunavut, Alberta, the Northwest Territories, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Jean-Daniel Lafond talks Art with Nova Scotia artists:
In the fall of 2006, the Governor General and Jean-Daniel Lafond launched Art Matters, a series of cultural dialogues held throughout the year in Ottawa and on the road. The forums, created by Mr. Lafond, give participants the opportunity to examine a particular artistic practice and explore its changes and challenges. While in Halifax, Jean‑Daniel Lafond will host an Art Matters round table at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia with local cultural leaders, artists, writers and filmmakers. The discussion will focus on the visual arts as a lead up to the presentation of the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts at Rideau Hall next month.
As he has done in previous visits, Jean-Daniel Lafond will also host a discussion with members of the province’s Francophone community—leaders, academics and students—on the state of Francophone affairs in Nova Scotia and in Canada, as well as on civic engagement and the role that universities can play in minority-language communities.
Citations for the Caring Canadian Award recipients follow (Annex A). More information on the Governor General can also be found at: www.gg.ca .
A detailed itinerary of the Governor General’s visit to Nova Scotia will be released prior to the visit.
Annex A: Citations for Caring Canadian Award Recipients:
George Gabriel Aucoin, Cheticamp, Nova Scotia
A veteran of the Korean War and long-time member of the Canadian Forces, George Gabriel Aucoin, now retired, continues to dedicate himself to supporting his fellow war veterans. He has also helped to shape future leaders in his home province by offering guidance to many young Canadians from 1982 to 1996, engaging cadets in community service and introducing them to a life of active citizenship. Since 1995, he has been involved with the Royal Canadian Legion, developing programs to aid the less fortunate members of his community. In addition, he is a volunteer with the Cheticamp Hospital Foundation.
Arthur "Sonny" Foster, Amherst, Nova Scotia
Arthur "Sonny" Foster has touched the lives of thousands of boys and girls through his work with the Amherst Little League Baseball Association. Since 1957, he has worked tirelessly as a coach, manager, umpire and executive member. He has played an integral role in turning the Association into one of the most successful youth sports organizations in the province, accessible to all at no cost. Off the baseball field, he has been a member of the Lions Club since 1961 and has devoted hundreds of hours each year raising awareness about substance abuse in schools. He has also dedicated himself to the service and care of the less fortunate, the elderly and, especially, children.
Gloria Goodwin, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
Gloria Goodwin's volunteer involvement dates back to the 1950s when she joined the Yarmouth YMCA. In leadership roles and as a fundraiser she has been a trusted link between the organization and the community. Mrs. Goodwin's commitment to literacy organizations such as the Yarmouth Literacy Council has enabled many adult residents to enhance their reading skills. A quiet and determined leader, she has chaired numerous committees and introduced constructive ideas that have benefited Juniper House, a shelter for abused women and their children, and that have helped to ensure the continuous growth of other community organizations.
Laura Middleton, Mount Uniacke, Nova Scotia
A community-minded individual, a talented artisan and a gentle woman, Laura Middleton is actively involved with most local groups and ventures in Mount Uniacke. As secretary of the Uniacke Heritage Society for 10 years, she has participated in nearly all community events and projects. She was the class mother and librarian for the Uniacke District School, supported the Breakfast Program to feed students, and has travelled many kilometres to collect donations for the Nova Scotia Cancer Society. Since 1994, she has been active with the Uniacke Wishgivers, which helps disadvantaged families. As a 4-H leader for almost 20 years, she has been responsible for organizing countless charitable fundraisers, including Cuddle Quilts for hospitalized children.
Cecil R. Small, Amherst, Nova Scotia
For more than 50 years, Cecil Small has participated in recreational sports and social action within the community of Amherst. A veteran of the Second World War, he broadened his calling to serve through his involvement in the Amherst Little League Baseball Association as coach, umpire and president. He used his many skills to renovate the field and to build a new canteen. In 1960, he joined the Lion Clubs, presiding over many interest groups such as the Sight and the Drug Awareness committees. In 1990, he launched the Lions Drug Awareness Poster Contest and has been organizing the annual competition ever since. Over the years, he has enabled the Lions Club to invest up to $120,000 a year into community programs and events.
Doreen Joy Tillotson, Wolfville, Nova Scotia
For five decades, Doreen Tillotson has made a contribution to St. Andrew's United Church in virtually every capacity: teacher, elder, organizer, motivator, caregiver, and worship leader. Through the pastoral team, she currently visits housebound persons. A member of the Interchurch Housing Society and a true visionary, she has dedicated herself to many activities and fundraising efforts that have led to the building of special housing projects such as Tideways for seniors and low-income citizens. Today, she is involved with the Abbeyfield Houses Society of Canada and carries on with her mission to enhance the quality of life of those around her.