GUELPH, ON, Nov. 10, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Football League (CFL) and football fans across the country paid tribute today to Canada's Veterans during the two Grey Cup divisional semi-final playoff games in Guelph, Ontario, and Regina, Saskatchewan. The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, participated in the coin toss at the Eastern semi-final game in Guelph.
"The partnership between Veterans Affairs Canada and the Canadian Football League offers a wide reaching platform to honour the vital role that our Veterans have played in shaping our history," said Minister Fantino. "This important tribute is both solemn and celebratory, recognizing the selfless men and women in uniform who have sacrificed for the peace and well-being of our country."
"The Canadian Football League is deeply humbled to join our fans in the stadium, and right across the country, in honouring the men and women who have served our country with such commitment, courage and sacrifice," said Mark Cohon, Commissioner of the Canadian Football League. "We cherish all of our Canadian freedoms, including the right to assemble freely, and our Canadian traditions, including our beloved Grey Cup, and we are eternally grateful to all who have fought for them and our way of life."
The Minister of Veterans Affairs also announced funding of up to $70,000 under the Community Engagement Partnership Fund for the Canadian Football League's 2013 Veterans' Tribute. The Tribute includes the Jake Gaudaur Veterans Award, national broadcasts of the semi-final games, and the in-stadium activities commemorating the achievements and sacrifices of Canadian Veterans during times of war, military conflict and peace.
The semi-final games featured pre-game tributes and the placement of special commemorative markings on both football fields as well as on each player's helmet. The audience participated in a short ceremony that included a moment of silence in respect for Veterans and those still serving.
The Community Engagement Partnership Fund is administered by Veterans Affairs Canada, and it encompasses both national and community-based projects.
Veterans Affairs Canada's support and services offer the right care at the right time to achieve the best results for Veterans and their families. Find out more at veterans.gc.ca.
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information:
Media Relations Advisor
Veterans Affairs Canada
Manager of Communications, CFL
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs