Governor General to Mark National Volunteer Week

OTTAWA, April 10, 2015 /CNW/ - Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston will participate in a variety of activities to highlight National Volunteer Week, from April 12 to 18, 2015.

"National Volunteer Week gives us an opportunity to thank volunteers whose valued contributions enrich our collective well-being," said the Governor General. "I also encourage Canadians to share stories of their own giving moments. We can all be drivers of change when we offer our time and talent to others. Every act of volunteerism creates a ripple effect, inspiring others to follow suit. Even the biggest wave starts out as a ripple. Let's keep it up!"

Their Excellencies' itinerary for the week is outlined below:

Monday, April 13

12:30 p.m.
Volunteer Recognition Event
Her Excellency will present the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award to 17 volunteers from The Ottawa Hospital and its Foundation. The recipients and their citations are included below. For more information, visit
Kaminski Room, 1st Floor, Civic Campus, 737 Parkdale Avenue
MEDIA CONTACT: Stéphanie Egan, Media Relations Officer, The Ottawa Hospital Foundation, 

2 p.m.
Live Twitter Chat on Volunteerism with the Governor General
Canadians are invited to join His Excellency in an hour-long, live Twitter session to talk about the unexpected bonuses of volunteering. By using the hashtag #GGDJ, participants will have the opportunity to engage in an online conversation with the Governor General on the power of giving and its benefits. The Twitter session is done in collaboration with Volunteer Canada.
Rideau Hall

Tuesday, April 14

10:30 a.m.
Caring Canadian Award Ceremony
His Excellency will present the Caring Canadian Award to 49 volunteers from across Canada who have made a difference in their communities. The list of recipients and their citations will be published at a later date.

Created 20 years ago, the award recognizes living Canadians and permanent residents who have made a significant, sustained, unpaid contribution to their community, in Canada or abroad. Often working behind the scenes, these individuals volunteer their time and efforts to help their fellow citizens. For more information or to nominate a deserving individual, visit
Rideau Hall

Thursday, April 16

9:30 a.m.
Discussion with Student Members of Changer ma Communauté
Their Excellencies will participate in a discussion with current as well as former student members of Changer ma communauté (Changing my Community). Students will explain the purpose of their projects and the positive impact it has on their communities and their lives. During the visit, the Governor General will also present the Caring Canadian Award to two deserving individuals. The recipients and their citations are included below.

Launched 11 years ago, Changer ma communauté helps students develop leadership skills and a sense of responsibility towards others. Students base their projects on themes related to community life: leisure, education, poverty, health, environment, violence, and family. For more information about the program, visit (in French only).
Collège catholique Samuel-Genest, 704 Carsons Road
MEDIA CONTACT: Roxanne Deevey, Director of Communications and Community Relations, Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est, 613-746-3066, 

11:30 a.m.
Visit to Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers
Upon arrival, Their Excellencies will be greeted by Soup Sisters founder Sharon Hapton, who will offer a brief overview of the social enterprise's mission and activities. Their Excellencies will then don aprons and put their culinary skills to the test as they help make soup with other volunteers. Their visit will conclude with a group discussion over lunch, about the ripple effects of volunteerism, and testimonials from representatives of Interval House and Oshiki Kizis Lodge who benefit directly from Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers. 

Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers is a non-profit charitable social enterprise dedicated to providing comfort through the making, sharing and donating of soup. Each month, hundreds of people come together across Canada to produce over 10 000 servings of fresh soup for women, children and youth in crisis. Since its inception in March 2009, the organization has delivered over half a million servings of soup to residential shelters across the country; over 20 000 Soup

Sisters and Broth Brothers participants are currently registered with the program.
For more information, visit
Grounded Kitchen, 100 Gloucester Street
MEDIA CONTACT: Dorothy Sitek, Generation Communications, 604-992-4963, 

6:15 p.m.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa (BBBSO) Annual Volunteer Appreciation Awards Ceremony
As patron of the BBBS of Canada, the Governor General will deliver remarks at the Big Shout Out, the organization's annual volunteer appreciation awards ceremony, where 50 volunteers will be recognized for their outstanding work in the community.

BBBSO's mission is to foster, facilitate and support volunteer-based mentoring programs for children in need. As Canada's leading child and youth mentoring charity, it facilitates life-changing relationships that inspire and empower children and youth to reach their potential, both as individuals and as Canadian citizens. For more information, visit
Atrium, Centrepointe Theatre, 101 Centrepointe Drive
MEDIA CONTACT: Jim Boone, Executive Director, BBBSO, 613-612-9314, 


(Ceremony on April 13)

Elsie Balfour
Ottawa, Ontario

Since 2003, Elsie Balfour has volunteered with the Transitional Care Unit and with the admitting department of The Ottawa Hospital. She helps with notifying physicians about their patient admissions and guiding new patients being admitted to the hospital. She is a great role model and mentor for new volunteers.

Susan Cartwright
Ottawa, Ontario

A champion for health care in Ottawa, Susan Cartwright continuously demonstrates compassion in her steadfast volunteer work with The Ottawa Hospital. She has been a key contributor to the success of the President's Breakfast for the Public Service and a motivator for many volunteers.

Kathy Charron
Orléans, Ontario

Kathy Charron has given more than 1 200 volunteer hours to making patients and visitors feel welcome at The Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Centre. Her excellent communication and interpersonal skills have made a real impact.

Lenore Dell
Ottawa, Ontario

Lenore Dell has greatly contributed to The Ottawa Hospital Riverside Auxiliary, from serving on its board to recently becoming its president. She understands the importance of teamwork and continuously demonstrates her dedication to making the patient's experience a little less stressful.

Jim Durrell
Ottawa, Ontario

A key leadership figure in the City of Ottawa, Jim Durrell has always made time to support charitable organizations, such as the Salvation Army and United Way Ottawa. At The Ottawa Hospital, he has co-chaired the annual President's Breakfast and has inspired many others to join as volunteers.

Andrew Frank
Ottawa, Ontario

An active volunteer with the Atom Minor Hockey League Association, Andrew Frank has also taken a strong interest in raising the profile of and finding a cure for Parkinson's disease by co-chairing the Partners Investing in Parkinson's Research. The funds raised are making a significant impact in support of research at The Ottawa Hospital.

Sandra Goldberg
Ottawa, Ontario

Committed to helping provide the very best care to every patient, Sandra Goldberg has helped to recruit over 200 volunteers. She serves as co-chair of The Ottawa Hospital Foundation's President's Breakfast, the funds from which have led to the creation and expansion of the Cancer Centre, as well as to numerous research initiatives.

Geoffrey Hartin
Ottawa, Ontario

Geoffrey Hartin volunteers three times a week as a patient ambassador at the three different campuses of The Ottawa Hospital. He is often the first person people meet upon arrival, and the care and compassion he brings to his many volunteer activities make patients and visitors alike feel better.

Steve Kaminski
Kanata, Ontario

An active philanthropist and community fundraiser for more than 20 years, Steve Kaminski has been a key member of The Ottawa Hospital Foundation's board of directors. His vision and strong understanding of finances have been instrumental in developing a successful strategic approach to fundraising in support of research.

Lynda Laberge
Orléans, Ontario

Since 2003, Lynda Laberge has been using her customer service skills to support The Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Centre. Whether she is working in the coffee shop or helping out with special events at the centre, her excellent communication and interpersonal skills have made people feel welcomed.

Wilma McLaughlin
Ottawa, Ontario

A retired nurse, Wilma McLaughlin has been volunteering in the Psychiatry Department and at the Information Desk at the General Campus of The Ottawa Hospital, since 1997.She is compassionate and courteous, and treats every person as if they were a member of her own family.

Pagah Mirzakhalili
Ottawa, Ontario

A volunteer at The Ottawa Hospital since 2008, Pagah Mirzakhalili is a patient ambassador as well as a team leader at the Cancer Centre. She provides guidance and encouragement to the volunteer teams she manages, and serves as a model of dedication to others.

Hélène Robillard
Ottawa, Ontario

A long-time volunteer with The Ottawa Hospital, Hélène Robillard sits on the board of the Riverside Hospital Auxiliary, of which she was a former president. She has also been involved in fundraising activities and with running the coffee shop. She is known for her outstanding dedication to making the hospital a world-class organization.

Inge Schrader
Ottawa, Ontario

Inge Schrader began her volunteer service at The Ottawa Hospital's Civic Campus in 1997. Over the years, she has been a member of the Auxiliary Board and of the Volunteer Association, maintained communication materials, and trained and mentored new volunteers—all while going above and beyond expectations, to the point that she is now "irreplaceable."

Richard Shantz
Kanata, Ontario

A long-time Rotarian, Richard Shantz has always found time to give back to the community. With the support of The Ottawa Hospital Foundation, he founded and co-chairs Partners Investing in Parkinson Research, which has raised the profile of this debilitating disease and rallied support for innovative research.

Betty Tayefeh-Ghahremani
Aylmer, Quebec

Since 1998, Betty Tayefeh-Ghahremani has volunteered more than 7 500 hours on the three campuses of The Ottawa Hospital. Her dedication to world-class care, exceptional service and compassion ensure a positive consumer experience in the campus shops that support the Hospital's ability to acquire new and state-of-the-art equipment.

Corinne Zagerman
Ottawa, Ontario

Corinne Zagerman has dedicated much of her life to the health and well-being of the people of Ottawa. A volunteer with The Ottawa Hospital and the Ottawa Hospital Foundation for over 61 years, she is known for her work with the Canadian Mental Health Association, for her leadership on the Foundation Board, and for her successes as a fundraiser.

(Ceremony on April 16)

Henri Babin and Thérèse Desautels
Ottawa, Ontario

Known for their unifying spirit and initiative, Henri Babin and Thérèse Desautels go above and beyond their professional duties. They have dedicated countless hours of their time to give young people in their school community an extraordinary volunteer experience through the "Changer ma communauté" project. By organizing volunteer opportunities, they are helping hundreds of youths to get involved and to use their talents, be it organizing suppers for the less fortunate or giving of their time to multiple partner organizations in the community.


SOURCE Government House

For further information: Marie-Eve Létourneau, Rideau Hall Press Office, 613-998-0287,; Follow GGDavidJohnston and RideauHall on Facebook and Twitter

Organization Profile

Government House

More on this organization

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890