REGINA, 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 Regina, Saskatchewan, and Guelph, Ontario. On behalf of the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Tom Lukiwski, Member of Parliament for Regina-Lumsden-Lake Centre, participated in the coin toss at the Western semi-final game in Regina.
"Veterans Affairs Canada is proud of its partnership with the Canadian Football League," said Minister Fantino. "The annual Veterans' Tribute allows semi-final viewers, both at home and in the stands, a special chance to remember the sacrifices and achievements of Canada's Veterans. This tribute, which honours our brave men and women in uniform from past and present, has become an important tradition during Veterans' Week."
"We strive to support Canada's brave Veterans and their families," said MP Lukiwski. "And during this, the Year of the Korean War Veteran, we wish to give special recognition to those Canadians who fought to uphold freedom and democracy in the Republic of Korea."
"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
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
Manager of Communications
Canadian Football League