REGINA, Nov. 21, 2013 /CNW/ - On behalf of the Honourable Julian
Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, the Honourable Peter Van Loan,
Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, accompanied by two
Korean War Veterans from Regina, Ken Garbutt and Larry Adams, presented
the Jake Gaudaur Veterans' Trophy to the Canadian Football League (CFL)
player who best demonstrates the attributes of Canada's Veterans in
times of war, military conflict and peace. The recipient, Shea Emry,
was presented the trophy as part of the Gibson's Finest CFL Player
"This partnership between Veterans Affairs Canada and the CFL presents a
unique opportunity to reach a wide audience, recognizing the
achievements of our Veterans," said Minister Fantino. "It is vital that
we continue to honour the legacy of our Veterans, whose sacrifices have
directly contributed to our development as a peaceful and prosperous
nation. An award such as this celebrates the personal stories of the
heroes that make up our rich history."
"My congratulations to Shea Emry. It is my privilege to represent our
Government at such a special event," said Government House Leader Van
Loan. "This prestigious award is a merging of passions, celebrating a
great national pastime and creating more awareness of the extraordinary
people who have served our country."
This year's recipient of the Jake Gaudaur Veterans' Award, Emry, a
native of Richmond, British Columbia, was chosen for the leadership he
has shown on the field and in his public life.
A ferocious competitor on the field, the Montréal Alouette linebacker
suffers from depression, a fact he once kept hidden from his teammates
and coaches out of fear of embarrassment. But he has made a courageous
choice, to consistently speak out about mental illness so people better
understand how depression can affect anyone.
Emry has shared his story with thousands of young people across Canada,
encouraging them to speak out about mental health. He has founded
"Change the Stigma," an organization designed to provide a platform for
athletes to share their stories about mental illness and the pressures
that come with being an elite athlete.
He is also active in several community programs, from anti-bullying
campaigns to the Movember Movement for men's health research. He
overcame a serious concussion in 2011 to become an all-star in 2012,
and posted 44 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions during the
"Shea is a remarkable young man who inspires not only his teammates and
his audiences but thousands of people he has yet to meet," said Mark
Cohon, Commissioner of the Canadian Football League. "We congratulate
him on such a prestigious award, one designed to honour our veterans as
much, if not more, than we honour our athletes."
Prior to the awards ceremony, the Grey Cup was on display as part of an
event held at the Wascana Rehabilitation Centre, in partnership with
Veterans Affairs Canada and the CFL.
Jake Gaudaur is recognized as a Canadian hero. A Canadian fighter pilot
instructor during the Second World War, he won Grey Cups as both a
player and an executive, before serving as commissioner of the CFL from
1968 to 1984. His story embodies the historic bond between the league
and Veterans, one that is celebrated with the presentation of the Jake
Gaudaur Veterans' Award.
The award, now in its fourth year, is part of a Veterans' Tribute
project partnership between the Canadian Football League and Veterans
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information:
Media Relations Advisor
Veterans Affairs Canada
Director, Communications and Broadcast
Canadian Football League
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs