Presentation of Medal for Volunteers

by pmnationtalk on April 21, 201724 Views

April 20, 2017

Governor General to Present Medal for Volunteers

OTTAWA—His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will present the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers to 46 individuals on Monday, April 24, 2017, at 10:30 a.m., during a ceremony at Rideau Hall.

The 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, it also pays tribute to the dedication and exemplary commitment of volunteers.

The ceremony schedule, the list of recipients and their citations, and a fact sheet are attached. For more information about the program or to nominate a deserving volunteer, visit caring.gg.ca.

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Media wishing to cover the event are asked to confirm their attendance in advance with the Rideau Hall Press Office, and must arrive at the Princess Anne Entrance no later than 10:15 a.m. on the day of the ceremony.

Media information:

Marie-Pierre Bélanger
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-998-9166
613-852-3248 (cell)
marie-pierre.belanger@gg.ca

Follow GGDavidJohnston and RideauHall on Facebook and Twitter

CEREMONY SCHEDULE

10:30 a.m.: Ceremony begins
Remarks by the Governor General
Governor General presents the Medal for Volunteers
11:30 a.m.: Ceremony ends
11:45 a.m.: Media interviews with recipients

RECIPIENTS

Guy Arcand

Shawinigan, Que.

Russell Barton

Birch Hills, Sask.

Jack Boersma

Abbotsford, B.C.

Brigadier-General William Buckham, O.M.M., C.D. (Ret’d)

St. Albert, Alta.

Neil Chymko

Edmonton, Alta.

Faith Dickinson

Lakefield, Ont.

Ilija Dimeski

Mississauga, Ont.

Monique Ferland

Saint-Michel-des-Saints, Que.

Clément Fortin

Rivière-du-Loup, Que.

Mary Fredlund

Rankin Inlet, Nvt.

Douglas Brian Hay

Toronto, Ont.

Louisa Henry

Bonaventure, Que.

Kirk Hughes

Behchoko, N.W.T.

Kathleen Irwin

Rankin Inlet, Nvt.

Hazel Joyce

Eastern Passage, N.S.

Louisa Kay

Fort McPherson, N.W.T.

Susan-Mary Louise Keddie

Drumheller, Alta.

Alis Kennedy, O.Ont., C.D., O.M.C.

Woodbridge, Ont.

Teresa Kewachuk

Pugwash, N.S.

Joseph Lanteigne

Saint-Léolin, N.B.

André Larouche

Rivière-Malbaie, Que.

Donald Lavigne

Bathurst, N.B.

Marcel Lavigne

Ottawa, Ont.

Thérèse Hélène Lavigne

Ottawa, Ont.

Heather MacKinnon

Edmonton, Alta.

Thomas Morin-Cabana

Saint-Georges, Que.

Ken Hiu-Ming Ng

Unionville, Ont.

Avinash Patel

Calgary, Alta.

Denis Pelletier

Cacouna, Que.

Vinh Phan

Toronto, Ont.

Joffre Plaquin

Millet, Alta.

George Poblete

Toronto, Ont.

Sarah Rinke

Airdrie, Alta.

Margaret Roberts

Weston, Ont.

Claudette Savaria

Varennes, Que.

Adele Shamie

Toronto, Ont.

John Shaw

Brandon, Man.

Joe Shea

Canmore, Alta.

Harvey Shevalier

Sundre, Alta.

Darryl Sittler

Toronto, Ont.

June Switzer

Erin, Ont.

Huguette Tardif

Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.

Marjorie van de Sande

Calgary, Alta.

Mario Vincent

Warwick, Que.

Michael White

Bathurst, N.B.

Cecil Whitten

St. John’s, N.L.

RECIPIENTS’ CITATIONS

Guy Arcand
Shawinigan, Quebec

Guy Arcand has been actively involved in his community since 1970. He has devoted his time to youth, working with the cadet corps, and to regional heritage, having founded the Musée du bûcheron and the Appartenance Mauricie Société d’histoire régionale.

Russell Barton
Birch Hills, Saskatchewan

Russell Barton has improved the quality of life for those around him as a volunteer with the Red Cross and the Royal Canadian Legion. From assisting families who have lost their homes in a disaster to working as president of the Prince Albert branch of the Legion, he has dedicated his time to helping others in need.

Jack Boersma
Abbotsford, British Columbia

For the past four decades, Jack Boersma has helped over 1 000 students from Abbotsford Christian Secondary School reach their potential as track and field athletes. Through his committed and sustained efforts, he was able to put together the third-largest team of track and field athletes in British Columbia and ensured each student had a positive experience with the sport.

Brigadier-General William Buckham, O.M.M., C.D. (Ret’d)
St. Albert, Alberta

William Buckham has helped to preserve Edmonton’s aviation heritage through his involvement with the Alberta Aviation Museum and as president of the Griesbach RCAF Commemorative Society. He also serves as an honorary associate with the Air Cadet League of Canada and volunteers his time to a number of veterans associations.

Neil Chymko
Edmonton, Alberta

For 36 years, Neil Chymko has been dedicated to creating and improving public facilities within his community for children, adults and seniors, through his involvement with the Castle Downs Recreation Society. His contributions led to the opening of the Castle Downs Recreation Centre, as well as a YMCA facility.

Faith Dickinson
Lakefield, Ontario

At the age of nine, Faith Dickinson created Cuddles for Cancer to help children undergoing cancer treatments stay warm; since then, she has gone on to make over 2 000 cuddle blankets for patients and soldiers across Canada and around the world. Her fundraising efforts and yearly campaigns continue to keep thousands of people warm during times of hardship.

Ilija Dimeski
Mississauga, Ontario

Ilija Dimeski has volunteered his skills, time and resources to helping others, working to keep people safe, empower those with disabilities and provide a home to those without one. While an undergraduate student at York University, and even before that, he was an active participant in Armagh House, Connect-4-Life, Victims Services of Peel, Safe City Mississauga and Habitat for Humanity.

Monique Ferland
Saint-Michel-des-Saints, Quebec

Monique Ferland has been the captain of her Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) Relay for Life team for the past 14 years, and together they have raised close to $100,000. She has been named ambassador of the CCS in her region and has been instrumental in the success of the Thingamaboob campaign targeting women and early breast cancer detection.

Clément Fortin
Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec

Actively involved in his community, Clément Fortin has been volunteering for the Optimist Club since 1988, in addition to being a member of the hockey tournament committee. He is considered the expert on coordinating security for community events.

Mary Fredlund
Rankin Inlet, Nunavut

Mary Fredlund is a dedicated volunteer with the Ikurraq Food Bank (Deacon’s Cupboard) where she operates the thrift store and distributes food to hundreds of families. Her efforts have raised awareness about poverty in the north, and have stimulated an influx in donations and relief from throughout the country.

Douglas Brian Hay
Toronto, Ontario

For over 40 years, Douglas Brian Hay has been a voluntary board member of numerous non-profit organizations. He is the current vice-chair and past chair of the Mackenzie Institute, a Canadian think tank focused on security issues. He has also volunteered as both director and chair of the Fortune Society of Canada, a non-profit aimed at rehabilitating ex-offenders.

Louisa Henry
Bonaventure, Quebec

Louisa Henry volunteers with the Cercle de Fermières de Bonaventure and, for the past 25 years, has been helping with the Café de l’amitié, a service offered to families and citizens at funerals. She also founded her community’s municipal library, which she ran for 10 years.

Kirk Hughes
Behchoko, Northwest Territories

A dedicated emergency response and community volunteer, Kirk Hughes has been a leader in the implementation and development of volunteer search and rescue groups in Ontario and the Northwest Territories. His involvement and mentorship in this field have helped improve emergency response services in communities across Canada.

Kathleen Irwin
Rankin Inlet, Nunavut

Kathleen Irwin has coordinated and served as a board member of Ikurraq Food Bank (Deacon’s Cupboard) for more than 10 years. From mobilizing volunteers and fundraising to organizing the thrift shop and conducting outreach, she has contributed to the growth of this much-needed institution.

Hazel Joyce
Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia

For the past 50 years, Hazel Joyce has been volunteering at the Ocean View Continuing Care Centre, a long-term care home that provides round-the-clock assistance to its 176 residents. She is dedicated to putting the needs and well-being of the residents first.

Louisa Kay
Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories

A member of her community’s Special Activities Committee for seven years, Louisa Kay has organized a number of local events, from dance competitions to wedding anniversaries. She also volunteers at the community radio station on a weekly basis, where she routinely hosts donation programs to support families trying to cover the costs of funerals.

Susan-Mary Louise Keddie
Drumheller, Alberta

For a decade, Susan-Mary Louise Keddie has been volunteering with her church, where she has held the position of rector’s warden, organized community outreach projects, and provided pastoral care to the elderly. She also founded Drumheller’s first Welcome Wagon, and was the coordinator of the local farmers’ market, which expanded substantially under her direction.

Alis Kennedy, O.Ont., C.D., O.M.C.
Woodbridge, Ontario

For over 50 years, Dr. Alis Kennedy has contributed to many humanitarian, charitable and conservation organizations, both in Canada and abroad. In particular, she is recognized for her efforts on behalf of Métis and veterans groups, as well as for her commitment to wildlife conservation in Africa.

Teresa Kewachuk
Pugwash, Nova Scotia

Teresa Kewachuk is the volunteer on-site manager at the Thinkers Lodge National Historic site, the birthplace of the international Pugwash Movement that strives for nuclear disarmament. In the summer, she supervises university and high school interns, gives tours and oversees events; during part of the school year, she and the community volunteers welcome the general public.

Joseph Lanteigne
Saint-Léolin, New Brunswick

Joseph Lanteigne volunteers with a number of charitable organizations, including the parish of Sainte-Marguerite-Bourgeoys. For the past 25 years, he has been involved with the annual fundraising campaign benefiting the Fondation Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus, where he has helped raise thousands of dollars by organizing more than 40 fundraising dinners.

André Larouche
Rivière-Malbaie, Quebec

André Larouche has long been involved with various charitable organizations in his community. He is especially known for his volunteer work at the Centre hospitalier Saint-Joseph de la Malbaie where, for the past 40 years, he has been visiting patients every evening, listening to them and bringing comfort with words of hope and prayers.

Donald Lavigne
Bathurst, New Brunswick

Known for his compassion for young people with developmental disabilities, Donald Lavigne has been a cross-country ski coach for the Special Olympics since 1998. Despite the challenges these youths face, he has introduced many young athletes to the world of sport.

Marcel Lavigne
Ottawa, Ontario

Marcel Lavigne’s first-hand knowledge of war allows him to serve as an indispensable interpreter at the Canadian War Museum, where he helps to keep Canada’s military history alive. He also contributes to his community by volunteering at the local food bank on a weekly basis.

Thérèse Hélène Lavigne
Ottawa, Ontario

Thérèse Lavigne is a dedicated volunteer with the Orléans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre, where she works at the food bank and has taught computer skills to seniors. Her commitment to helping others was underscored when she sewed protective arm bands for patients undergoing chemotherapy, all while dealing with her own health issues.

Heather MacKinnon
Edmonton, Alberta

After 18 years of assisting low-income Canadians with their taxes, Heather MacKinnon continues to lead volunteers who help others gain access to essential financial resources.

Thomas Morin-Cabana
Saint-Georges, Quebec

Since 2011, Thomas Morin-Cabana has been volunteering in his community by helping out at Moisson Beauce, fundraising for the Citoyens du monde programme, and providing support to youth struggling with addiction and alcohol abuse. He is also a member of the Beauce Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.

Ken Hiu-Ming Ng
Unionville, Ontario

In 1981, Ken Hiu-Ming Ng founded and developed the Markham Chinese Cultural Centre. Through his work with various community organizations, he has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to promoting and improving intercultural co-operation.

Avinash Patel
Calgary, Alberta

For over four decades, Avinash Patel has been involved with the Gujarati Mandal of Calgary, an organization dedicated to supporting the culture and traditions of the Gujarat community. He is noted for organizing seniors’ activities that enhance their quality of life.

Denis Pelletier
Cacouna, Quebec

Since 1970, Denis Pelletier has been volunteering in the areas of health and education in the communities where he has lived. His contributions have enabled his fellow citizens—young or old, sick or healthy—to make the most of their community through a better quality of life.

Vinh Phan
Toronto, Ontario

Vinh Phan has dedicated countless hours to assisting underprivileged and at-risk youth. Having worked to establish both Rumie and the Teen Legal Helpline, he has enabled young men and women in Canada and around the world to have access to legal advice and to engage with educational materials on an equal and unbiased basis.

Joffre Plaquin
Millet, Alberta

Joffre Plaquin is a dedicated community volunteer who works hard to serve and honour veterans, support youth and fundraise for health initiatives. His most notable achievements include the renaming of several streets in his town as a tribute to first responders, and the restoration of approximately 50 veterans’ headstones.

George Poblete
Toronto, Ontario

For more than 50 years, George Poblete has enhanced the lives of people in his community by supporting numerous causes with dedication and passion, particularly those related to youth and sport, Filipino culture, and religious growth.

Sarah Rinke
Airdrie, Alberta

Sarah Rinke devotes her time and energy to numerous endeavours, both at her school and in her community. Whether she is leading a team at her school’s Ride of the Mustangs fundraiser, helping out with the breakfast program, or working at the Airdrie Food Bank, she serves as an inspiration to her fellow citizens.

Margaret Roberts
Weston, Ontario

Margaret Roberts has been committed to helping hospital patients and those needing assistance for over 30 years. She has provided leadership and been an aspirational model with the Buttonwood Catholic Pastoral Services at West Park Hospital, where she has been dedicated to the well-being and spiritual healing of patients, and with Weston Area Emergency Support Food Bank, where she has inspired others-young and old alike-to help those less fortunate.

Claudette Savaria
Varennes, Quebec

For many years, horticulturist Claudette Savaria has been promoting the creation of green spaces and environmental protection in municipalities across Canada to help improve the quality of life of her fellow citizens. Of note, she has worked with the Association des responsables d’espaces verts du Québec, the international Livable Communities program and Communities in Bloom.

Adele Shamie
Toronto, Ontario

Adele Shamie’s commitment to visual arts over the last 30 years has heralded great success for the Gardiner Museum. In addition to her tremendous knowledge of ceramics and strong relationships with the clientele, she has established many programs that support the museum and inspire creativity in Canada, including the Gardiner Shop, the Joy of Ceramics Luncheon and the 12 Trees of Christmas fundraiser and gala.

John Shaw
Brandon, Manitoba

John Shaw has been inspiring youth for 40 years. As the longest-serving volunteer with the Encounters with Canada program, he helped thousands of students learn about their country, explore career options and network with peers. He has also given his time to the United Church of Canada and to various youth sport organizations.

Joe Shea
Canmore, Alberta

In the early 1970s, Joe Shea helped establish Little League Canada in order to improve the game of baseball for children. Over the following years, he has volunteered as a coach, as a district administrator and as president of the League. Now serving as its Canadian regional director, he has fostered the growth of baseball programs across the country.

Harvey Shevalier
Sundre, Alberta

Harvey Shevalier has been an energetic volunteer in every community he has called home. He has been involved with such organizations as Scouts Canada, the Food Bank and the Legion; additionally, he was a driving force behind the introduction of veterans’ licence plates in Alberta, and a key player in having a major highway renamed the Veterans Memorial Highway.

Darryl Sittler
Toronto, Ontario

Since the 1970s, Darryl Sittler has been a committed volunteer with Special Olympics Canada. In this capacity, he has attended countless luncheons and breakfasts, and continues to support and promote the organization through television and radio appearances.

June Switzer
Erin, Ontario

June Switzer has been an active volunteer and 4-H leader for over 40 years, with six years of service on the provincial council to her credit. She has led hundreds of clubs and is responsible for developing numerous provincial projects, such as Sporting Change and Lego Engineering.

Huguette Tardif
Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec

Huguette Tardif has devoted herself to giving back to her community by opening a clothing counter, volunteering for the local food bank and caring for a neighbour living with a disability. She offers moral support to all those she helps and makes a difference in the lives of many people.

Marjorie van de Sande
Calgary, Alberta

Since 1995, Marjorie van de Sande has increased public awareness of myalgic encephalomyelitis and fibromyalgia syndrome while working to improve the lives of those afflicted. As a volunteer  with the National ME/FM Action Network, and through her contributions to various non-profit medical initiatives, she has helped galvanize the interest of the international research community.

Mario Vincent
Warwick, Quebec

In 1993, Mario Vincent joined the Scout movement in his community and remains active at the district level. From the outset, he has endeavoured to encourage better scouting, because he cares deeply about the movement and the values it upholds.

Michael White
Bathurst, New Brunswick

Michael White has been volunteering with such organizations as the Royal Canadian Legion, Scouts Canada and Encounters with Canada for over 40 years, helping young Canadians become responsible, active citizens. In various roles, from mentor to executive, he has guided many of today’s community leaders.

Cecil Whitten
St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

Cecil Whitten has long been a champion for those with disabilities, participating in a number of municipal committees and working groups, while also serving as a board member for several charitable organizations. His hard work has improved the lives of many, notably by making the city of St. John’s more accessible to all of its residents.

FACT SHEET ON THE MEDAL FOR VOLUNTEERS

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 caring.gg.ca 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.

NT4

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